AFCE WEEK 13 RECAP
- Dolphins 23, Jets 3
- It’s only been 12 games, but the Geno Smith era could be over in New York. Smith, who has always been able to say that he has played relatively well at home, was a complete disgrace in this contest. He was 4-of-9 for 29 yards just prior to halftime, as many of his attempts were nowhere near his intended targets. He also took four sacks. Matters got only worse after that, as he carelessly heaved an interception downfield with less than half a minute remaining on the clock, giving the Dolphins a free field goal.Rex Ryan had seen enough at that point. He benched Smith in favor of Matt Simms, who wasn’t any better. Simms was 2-of-7 for 27 yards before compiling some garbage yardage late in the fourth quarter. It was all for naught, however, as he eventually threw an interception. He was also credited with a lost fumble on a botched hand-off with Bilal Powell (7-34).
- Patriots 34, Texans 31
- The Texans lost to the Raiders and Jaguars in consecutive home games, so this naturally was going to be an even worse defeat, right? Well, that was the conventional wisdom, as public bettors pounded New England as if there was no tomorrow.Those who expected a blowout were greatly disappointed, as Houston established a 17-7 lead by halftime. Showing effort for the first time in close to a month, the Texans seemed determined to avenge last year’s playoff loss. New England, meanwhile, looked completely lethargic in the first half. Tom Brady wasn’t sharp at all. He completely missed an open Kenbrell Thompkins along the sideline and then went on to toss an interception on an underthrow to Rob Gronkowski. He later missed an open Julian Edelman for a big gain downfield.
However, Brady played like a new man after intermission. He let the ball hit the ground just five times in the second half, going 18-of-23 for 263 yards and a touchdown following the break. The Patriots’ offense, transforming into a deadly machine, scored on all but one possession in the final two quarters.
Brady’s final numbers looked like this: 29-of-41, 371 yards, two touchdowns and the aforementioned pick. Brady, who had a potential third score dropped by Brandon Bolden, had a strong connection going with Gronkowski and Edelman after the early mistakes. Gronkowski had six grabs for 127 yards and a score, while Edelman led the team with nine receptions for 101 yards. Gronkowski hurt his ankle during the game, but remained on the field. It’s reportedly not serious at all.
- Falcons 34, Bills 31
- I’m still trying to figure out how the Bills lost this game. They were up 14-0 in the first quarter, and despite a late Atlanta charge, they still led by a touchdown at the end of regulation. They had the Falcons seemingly stopped on multiple occasions, but three penalties gave the Falcons new life. One wasn’t too bad – Jerry Hughes was offside – but an illegal contact (where there was no contact) gave Atlanta first down instead of a third-down situation. The worst infraction, however, occurred on a third-and-16. Rookie Nickell Robey was flagged for a very questionable pass interference, setting up the Falcons with a short touchdown.The Bills still had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but Stevie Johnson fumbled at the Atlanta 30-yard line. Scott Chandler then coughed the ball up near midfield on the first drive in overtime. The Falcons, starting at the Buffalo 47-yard line, went 30 yards to set up Matt Bryant with a short, game-winning field goal.