Well that’s more like it. After a few weeks of divisional upheaval, everyone settled back into their proper places in life, let’s get right after it.
In last place, right where they belong, we find the rancid corpse of the Miami Dolphins. The Fins got the opportunity to play the New York Giants on Monday Night Football this week and the NFL was no doubt thrilled to have that product highlight the week. The Dolphin secondary, led by the venerable Brent Grimes, looked like they really wanted to be out there and allowed Eli Manning to play like it was the Super Bowl and complete 27 of the 31 passes he attempted for 337 yards and four touchdowns. If that isn’t elite secondary play, I don’t know what is. On the plus side, Tannehill crossed the 200 yd passing plateau for the first time in a while…OK, let’s have a looksee at the Phins’ high priced free agents…Big Sue continued his dominance over the league with three tackles and star tight end Jordan Cameron (who is at least 4x the player Charles Clay is…) caught three passes for 35 yards. He also fumbled once. I don’t know, do I need to use up any more words to tell you how bad this team is?
OK, continuing their annual slide into awfulness, we find the Buffalo Bills. The Bills season opened, like so many others, with great hope and optimism. The good times even continued all the way through the month of November and Bills fans everywhere were raising their stink fingers in unison to salute the King of Stink himself, Rex Ryan. Then the calendar turned to December and the Football Gods finally got around to continuing their persecution of the Bills (I assume as retribution for Ralphie and Bill Polian). The Bills entered this week’s game against the Eagles talking all sorts of trash and standing as one united unit in support of Shady McCoy against Chip Kelly. Then the game started and the Bills were the Bills that we have grown to know and loathe, they came out flat and stupid. They did however increase their lead in the race to become the most penalized team in the NFL, honestly they may have clinched the title at this point. Hey, at least the Bills fans won’t have to rearrange their winter schedules, they can get out to the hunting cabins in January and start their debate on who the new head coach should be and once they sign the wrong guy, telling the rest of us how “this year is going to be different.” The Bills are like a woman, never as sexy as promised and will always let you down. At least Bills fans are finally getting used to it.
And now for the winners.
The Jets continued their surprising run of success. I mean they were playing the Titans, so anything less than a lopsided victory would have been enough to consider disbanding the team (something I think should be considered anyway). They did also allow Marcus Mariota to score on a 41 yard reception, so you definitely have to question their intelligence on a few levels, but on the whole the Jets were good. And, to be honest I believe that keeping Brandon Marshall engaged and keeping him from berating his teammates has been nothing short of a miracle. I also wonder if Ryan Fitzpatrick has been popping down to Baltimore to consult with the Ravens medical staff in order to keep himself from falling off his annual cliff. I mean, breaking your thumb, having surgery on said thumb and not missing a single game has a certain deer antlery feel to it…Oh well, it’s not cheating if you don’t get caught! Revis made his triumphant return to the field after DeAndre Hopkins hurt his feelings so bad it took him two whole weeks to recover. He was largely unnoticed in the game. The Jets technically control their own destiny, if they win out they make the playoffs. Good luck.
And back in their rightful place as AFC East Champions (for the seventh consecutive year), we find the New England Patriots. I personally set the Karma of the New England region back on point on Saturday and come Sunday the Football Gods showed that they approved of me buying that Christmas tree for a stranger by breaking Andy Dalton’s thumb (although I think they would have lost that game even with Andy) and forcing Brock Osweiller to resume being Brock Osweiller. Then the Pats got to play the Texans with Rob Gronkowski making his triumphant return to the field. Many analysts were predicting a close game or even a Texans victory in the morning, but most of them were probably doubting their word choice when they saw Logan Ryan (?!?!?) locking down DeAndre Hopkins and then the Texans lining up in the wildcat on third downs. The Pats didn’t play a perfect game, but the Texans are a bad football team and that #72 they had playing right tackle made Marcus Cannon look like an All-Pro. The Pats now have their first sets of hats and t-shirts this season, let’s get two more.