2021 Week 9 AFCE Overreactions – Back to Normal?
Oh boy. The AFC East race is heating up. All four teams played and not an inter-divisional matchup in sight. As the calendar turns to November, teams start to show their true colors and it looks like our teams may be proving that their colors are what they’ve been for the past two decades. A 2-2 record that was not necessarily what everyone expected heading into the weekend.
In last place, the Bills. Bills fans finally got what they’ve been screaming about for over two years, the Bills are were the talk of the league on Monday morning. Alas, it was for all the wrong reasons. The Bills headed to scenic Jacksonville for what should have been a walk in the Florida sunshine. Instead they turned in one of the most embarrassing performances in recent history. Josh Allen showed us why he’s the real MVP by tuning in arguably the worst performance by any QB in the NFL this season. He was completely emasculated by a man sharing his name, accounting for three turnovers and countless head scratching plays. Now Bills fans, who just a week ago were still desperately clinging to the hope that their team could win the division are abandoning the bandwagon like it’s 1845 and the natives are coming. With some even predicting a loss to the Jets next week. Don’t worry Bills fans, we went through this last year. I know the Pats aren’t as bad as you keep telling yourselves and that shadow is growing over your shoulder, but you still lead the division standings. Barely.
And second to last goes to the Jets. The plucky Jets entered the week as the toast of the league. Fresh off their triumph of the now proven to be fraud Bengals, they opened the NFL action on Thursday night against the Colts. Things started well as Mike F’ing White led the team right down the field for a touchdown. Then, as things are wont to go for the Jets, Mr. White left the game with an injury and all hell broke loose. The defense lost all hope and the Colts were able to basically do whatever they wanted for the rest of the game. White was able to return, but by then the Jets and their fans had already thrown in the towel. Oh well, there’s always next week.
And now the winners.
In second place, the Dolphins. Hey everyone, the Dolphins won a football game. It was against one of the worst NFL teams ever assembled in the Houston Texans and it did feature an NFL record 9 turnovers, but good news, only 5 of those were Dolphin turnovers. But hey, the Fins were able to overcome the annual announcement of Devante Parker going on IR and Tua magically breaking his middle finger in the pregame (he totally wasn’t flipping off Ross when he entered the building) to get back in the win column. I mean sure Jacoby Brissett showed us all once again that he really isn’t good at football, but whatever. Someone had to win that game and the Fins were the lucky recipients. Moving on.
First place goes to the team that now shares this division lead for wins. The Patriots. As has been the case for the better part of the last 20 years, the Pats are rounding into form as the season moves into it’s second half. Mac Jones was once again, not perfect. As happens with rookies, the league seems to be catching on to what he does well and how to make him struggle, but he has shown a great ability to rebound from mistakes an follow them up with a good drive. Additionally, the Pats’ offensive line is slowly but surely getting better and the emergence of young stud running back Rhamondre Stevenson seems to be lightening the load in young Mac. The real story for the Pats and the thing that has Bills fans sitting in the dark hugging their knees is the fact that the Pats’ defense seems to be getting it all together. Matt Judon continues to dominate offensive lines and make opposing QB’s days miserable, while the secondary, finally rid of that dead weight Stephon Gilmore, are starting to play to their full potential. JC Jackson is playing like an undrafted free agent that is coming up on his first payday, intercepting Sam Darnold twice, returning the first 88 yards for a touchdown. The division title is in sight for the Pats and the seas seem to parting for them as has happened so many times in the past.