AFC East Report – Week 12

With this weeks lost to the Colts the playoffs are all but out of reach for the Bills (Photo: US Presswire)

By BBD Editor Mike Watkins

Week 12 has come and gone in the AFC East and it saw the Patriots continued dominance at the expense of the Jets, while the Bills continue to flounder, and the Dolphins giving their fans hope that they are finally on the right path.

Buffalo Bills

-Thing that keeps getting said by the national media that just isn’t true, “Chan Gailey is a good play caller”. How exactly are they coming to this conclusion? He misuses one of the most if not the most explosive players in the NFL on a regular basis. Yet they continue to label him a “great play caller”. Well you don’t need to be a football mastermind to know that giving the Ball to Spiller a mere 14 times and having him on the sideline on the games key drive to tie it up is about as inept of play calling as you can get.

-If you see anyone try to pin this loss on the defense your in luck, because it makes it easy to identify the people who have no clue what they are talking about. They gave up 13 points on the road and played well enough to win. At some point there is only so much your defense can with stand while being put in horrible position after another.

-I don’t have the officially stat but the total number, with the two today, has to be around 8 or 9. The number I’m talking about is the number of TD’s that have been left on the field because of Fitzpatrick’s inability to hit the deep ball. Yes he hit S.Johnson but that is rare as it gets. He missed TD’s to both CJ Spiller and D.Jones, both of whom would have had huge TD’s if Fitzpatrick had a shred of accuracy in his throw.

-Far too many pass plays were called in the early part of this game. It falls back on Chans play calling again. You have an undersized front 7 for the Colts that is far more fast then they are big and with the Bills OL they should have established the ground game early by running right at them. Instead the Bills played right into the Colts strength and let them use their speed against the Bills

-Its pretty clear at this point that the wrist injury was a far bigger issue with Mario Williams than he or the Bills led on. He has been a completely different player since the bye week surgery and is starting to look like the 100 million dollar player the Bills paid for in the offseason. He had 3 sacks today all coming on third down, and coming against a QB with great pocket feel and a quick release

-I have been saying for weeks that J.Rogers should not be on the field anybody who watches football knows he shouldn’t be out there. He, since A.Williams has been injured, has become the new favorite target of opposing QB’s. How the Bills ever let him line up on R.Wayne at any point during this game is astounding. Regardless of that he shouldn’t be on the field to begin with

-Dareus is another player that seems to have turned his season around in the past few games. He seems to be coming out of that sophomore slump that has plagued him this year. He has been getting more and more push and been far more active than in the earlier part of the season

-Gilmore had a solid game again sans the pass interference call at the end of the game but it was ticktack and the game was over anyway. Future is looking bright for the Bills first round pick

-McKelvin has also quietly been solid on the other side of Gilmore. Williams was atrocious during his time there and at the bare minimum McKelvin has made it respectable again

-Gaileys reluctance to try 50+ yard FG’s is a head scratcher. If you don’t think you have a kicker that can hit that then I suggest the Bills go find one who can.

-Hairston had his worst game as a pro against the Colts. OLB R.Mathis absolutely ate him up from the get go. He has shown to have real problems with speed and Mathis was a bad matchup. Which brings us back to Gaileys play calling. If you are seeing your RT getting abused by a pass rush why are you not running the ball more when you are having success doing it or running screens to his side to use Mathis aggression against him? These are questions Gailey has to be held accountable for and just letting him spit out some nonsense about tape review or they took it away is no longer acceptable

-One player I don’t why we don’t see more of is B.Smith in the slot. Why don’t the Bills try and use him more? He has shown that he can be a playmaker in open space with the ball in his hand. So if you are an offense struggling why wouldn’t you want to try and incorporate that more into your game plan?

-One player who is getting better is WR D.Jones. The numbers don’t show it as they should but he is in large part being wasted by a QB who cant get him the ball. It would not surprise me one bit if he left Buffalo one day and caught on with a team that has a QB that can actually utilize his talents to become at least a quality deep threat WR. Some will then look back and ask why he didn’t do that in Buffalo? The answer is easy Ryan Fitzpatrick is why

-Stevie Johnson calling out Gailey by saying that Fitzpatrick should be able to call more plays is interesting. It brings into question how much power does Fitzpatrick have to audible at the LOS? Judging by some of the plays we have seen that go right into the teeth of a defense for no gain, loss, or worse a turnover I’d say he has little to none. That said this statement speaks deeper into what might be going on in the locker room. A while ago I questioned if Gailey had begun to lose the locker room and this statement by Johnson may be an indicator that he has. When you have one of your best players questioning something you’re known for and allegedly good at publicly, that’s a problem. It also might signal that Johnson is not the only one that feels this way and the Bills players don’t believe in Gaileys game plan to put them in a position to win. I mean if you’re on that offense you have to question how little Spiller is used even though they say week after week they want to get him the ball more. Yet the game plan and the plays called say they don’t want to do that. They want to try and pass there way out of everything. If Gailey has lost the confidence of the players than Nix has no choice, Chan Gailey must be fired at the end of the year

-So the Bills have officially reached the point where they are not “mathematically done” but to anyone with two 20/20 eyes and a basic knowledge level of football knows the Bills playoff chances ended today. From here on out I’ll be fixated on draft position instead of playoff position. Right now the Bills sit in the 7-12 pick range and are currently at #8 while I write this

-One final note I rounded up the score and gave $20 to the American Red Cross for the #BBDgiveback. I hope other did as well and if you did thank you for participating and spreading the word. Hopefully we can make this a yearly event at Thanksgiving

AFC East

-That was about as bad a performance as you will get from a starting QB in the NFL by Mark Sanchez. The logical thing to do would be start finding a way to part ways with him but with the extension he signed its going to be difficult to do. The Jets however may have no other choice.

-Bart Scott needs to be replaced on the field. He has been one of the Jets biggest liabilities all season long. It shouldn’t matter if he makes 7 million dollars or not, he is playing nowhere near the level needed to justify that salary.

-The OLB’s are another problem for the Jets and they like a lot of players on the team are all over paid. Pace and Thomas just don’t generate enough pass rush to warrant being on the field

-M.Wilkerson is the best player the Jets have on defense and with Revis out its not even close. I give him a lot of credit he goes hard every play no matter how bleak it looks sometimes

-Mike Tannenbaum should be worried at this point, he is looking like he is going to be gone. Now Rex Ryan for a long time was considered to be safe but he may be on the chopping block as well. His act has worn thin in a city that expects you to walk when you talk as much as Ryan does. There is no doubting he can coach defense, but his handling of the offense has been a joke at best

-When the Patriots get the running game going like they did against the Jets they are nearly impossible to stop. They put defenses on their heels and then T.Brady just tears you apart

-The Patriots have a suspect defense no one debates that. One thing they do well however is when they start getting turnovers its like the floodgates open up. They will give up some big plays but they also get after the ball.

-I mean what else can you say about the Patriots, they are once again starting to head into their peak at the right time of the season and there may not be a better team in the AFC and possibly the NFL

-Dolphins showed Sunday that sometimes a little luck goes a long way. In what would have been a devastating INT by Seahawks LB B.Wagner a questionable roughing the passer penalty on E.Thomas bailed out the Dolphins and Tannehill. Thomas should know better but the Dolphins were able to turn it into 7 points that eventually led them to winning the game

-The Defense finally showed up for the Dolphins in what had been a no show for a few weeks. They kept M.Lynch in check and under 100 yards which is no small task

-The Dolphins did a better job with R.Bush than they did against Buffalo but 14 carries is still not enough. He ended with 82 yards and a 6.2 avg. He needs to get the ball more than he is. The Dolphins don’t have an explosive WR so they have to find ways to get the ball into his hands. Bush may not be great between the OT’s but he is still a threat to score from anywhere on the field

-J.Long finally had a decent game after 3 straight weeks of playing really below average football. The Dolphins are not going to just let him walk out the door but these negotiations are going to be long and difficult. I’ll be surprised if they get a multiyear deal worked out in the offseason.

-Are the Dolphins still in the playoff hunt? I guess you could say yes to that but with 2 N.E. games left and one verses S.F. the likelihood is a long shot at best

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