AFC East Report – Week 13

Brooks made his first start of his young career this week (Photo: US Presswire)

By BBD Editor: Mike Watkins

It was a good week for the AFC East as three of its four teams won and the Jets have now added another variable into their QB problems! As we move forward into Week 14 a congrats is in order to the New England Patriots for winning the AFC East and meanwhile the remainder of the AFC East is all tied at 5-7. It’s going to be a mad dash to the finish line.

Buffalo Bills
-The Bills did what they should have done Sunday and dominated a team they should dominate. The Bills have more talent top to bottom and it showed in the final result. It started off a little slow but they eventually took the game over and didn’t look back.

-Bills fans finally got a glimpse of what TJ Graham can be when Fitzpatrick completed a 51 yard pass to him. He has deep speed and the ability to separate to get behind a defense. To use that ability however you need a QB that can hit that on a somewhat regular basis, which Buffalo lacks at this point

-Fred Jackson who has had an injured plagued season so far was able to clip 100 yards in this game. Its good to see him out there grinding out yards again. As much as Spiller should be the starter the Bills still need production from Jackson to be an effective offense

-The running game overall was impressive and what Bills fans have been waiting to see all season. The problem is Gailey flat out admitted after the game that it wasn’t by design and the only reason they ran so much is because the weather dictated it. So for Bills fans hoping this open his eyes to what could and should be a run first team, don’t count on it. He’ll most likely be right back to his passing ways next Sunday

-After a season full of bashing we have to give credit to the defense when it does show up and honestly it has been getting better and better lately. The DL is finally stepping up across the board and it showed yesterday with a dominating performance on third downs (1-10) and against the run (50 yards)

-The 50 yard performance makes it now 3 straight games the Bills have held an opponent to less than 90 yards rushing

-I was really happy to see M.Easley get a big play in yesterday. He is just a guy that has had a really tough go of it in his first couple years in the NFL. When most people would have hung it up he has kept working hard and it’s nice to see it pay off for the first time. I personally would like to see more of him moving forward.

-R.Brooks had a tough day in his first major minutes in the NFL and it’s to be expected for a rookie CB. He made some common rookie mistakes but I still would like to see him on the field over J.Rogers

-Real interesting matchup of first round rookies in this game between CB S.Gilmore and WR J.Blackmon. The Jaguars where said to be interested in both of them in the first round and if they hadn’t gone up for Blackmon they would have taken Gilmore. With 1 catch for 9 yards off of 6 targets I think its safe to say Gilmore won round 1 of this matchup

-Big game for A.Carrington on Sunday. He seemed to be all over the place with a sack and a half and a couple tackles for loss. He is just another example of how this DL is coming together right now from both a starter and reserve role standpoint. Merriman should also be noted here as he has been playing well since his return.

-So Lindell can hit a 50 yarder in horrible weather outside but it’s too risky to try from that same distance inside?

-There was a price to this victory and it came at in the form of injuries to Wood, McKelvin, Stevie Johnson, and C.Hairston. All of them could be really significant moving forward

-I think Chandler is a much bigger key to this offense than people realize. When he gets involved early and often things just seem to flow and work better as a whole for the Bills offense.

-The Bills are finally getting what they paid for in Mario Williams. He has been very good since the break and Sunday was no different

-Draft update: Currently the Bills sit at #11

AFC East
-If you were lucky enough to watch the Jets Cardinals game Sunday you were treated to pretty good display of nauseating football. The game was ugly from the get go but the Jets were able to pull out a win and in this league you’ll take W’s no matter how ugly they look

-The biggest story from this game is going to be Sanchez getting pulled, not for Tim Tebow mind you, but for G.McElroy. Common sense would dictate that this is the beginning of the end for Sanchez in New York. However, common sense with the Jets QB situation waved bye bye a long time ago when they traded for Tim Tebow. I imagine the Jets will throw Sanchez back out there next week because they are going to give him every chance to turn it around. They can say all they want that it’s who they think they can win with but the reality is money is dictating this decision in the form of Mark Sanchez extension he signed in the offseason. To put that in perspective, he has a cap number of about 12 million next year and it balloons to about 17.5 million if they release him.

-From a Jets standpoint you would like to be able to still look at the score and say the defense play well but to be honest that was more of an indicator of just how bad the once potent Cardinals offense has fallen this year

-D.Keller has been a medical mess for most of the year for the Jets and its really hurt their offense

-Dolphins played the Patriots tight and could have stolen a win on the road with Brady not exactly having his best day. Still with how this season has gone so far you still have to be pretty happy if you are a Dolphins fan with how hard the team is playing this far

-One head scratching decision by the Dolphins in this game was not having C.Wake or J.Odrick on the field for the first 8 plays of the final defensive stand of the game. Philbin said it was the normal rotation but that is nonsense. When the game is coming down to the wire you need your best players on the field as much as possible.

-Jake Long suffered an injury that took him out of this game and the extent of it was still unknown as I write this. He is going to be an interesting topic heading forward for Miami. In a contract year he has been good but not great for the Dolphins and to franchise him would cost in the neighborhood of 16 million. I don’t see the Dolphins paying him that but letting him walk out the door while getting nothing in return would be a hard pill to swallow.

-J.Martin in filling in for Long played well. Moving forward he may be the answer over there if the Dolphins cannot bring Long back

-Sunday was not one of Tannehills better outings. He look flustered all day and could not put together much. He had a bunch of errant throws, a fumble, and less than 200 yards passing. Overall he will likely want to forget this first game against the Patriots and move on to the next one

-Dolphins really killed themselves with self inflicted wounds, a big one being B.Fields fumbled snap on the punt that left the ball with the Patriots at the 12 yard line which in turn led to an almost immediate TD

-S R.Jones had a really big day for the Dolphins and was all over the place with 10 tackles and an INT. The secondary has been hit or miss lately with the Dolphins but way better than they were expected to be before the season.

-Even when Brady has an off day the Patriots still find a way to win and that is the mark of a Super Bowl contender. Brady was misfiring all day and ended the game with a 74.8 passer rating yet still managed to put a W up and take the AFC East crown

-Talib kept Hartline in check most of the game but was helped out by a few bad throws from Tannehill

-The Patriots ended the game with a masterful drive that took 7:18 off the clock and led to a key FG that in essence ended the game. The drive was fueled by RB S.Ridley whose development has been a major plus this year for the Patriots

-Is anyone still pushing the phasing out Wes Welker theory anymore? No?…good, because it was absurd when it first got mention and even more so now

-T.Scott had a nice day for the Patriots yesterday with a couple of Sacks. Moving forward this will be important for the Patriots to build the confidence of as many pass rushers as they can. With still a questionable secondary they are going to have to rely on the front 7 to take pressure off of them

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