September 30, 2016

AFC East Roundup, Week Two

By Bruce Allen, Patriots Daily Staff

A quick look inside the division as week two of the NFL season winds down…

New England Patriots (2-0, 1-0 in AFCE)

If you’re a Patriots fan you should be very worried about the defense, at least that’s the takeaway from at least a couple of people in the media following yesterday’s 35-21 romp over the San Diego Chargers. Nationally, it seems the perception is that Tom Brady masks the Patriots’ problems. Looks like it’s going to be long season in New England, as nothing this team does in the regular season matters one bit until they can win a playoff game.Of course, Tony Massarotti told us last week that this was a game in which we would learn the identity of this Patriots team. If asked today, I’m pretty sure he’ll still say we don’t know what this team is.

The Patriots now head into their second AFC East road game, as the head to Western New York to take on the surprising Bills next Sunday afternoon. Incredibly, this is only one of four 1:00 PM starts the Patriots will have this season.

New York Jets (2-0, 0-0 in AFCE)

The Jets routed the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars 32-3 yesterday, moving them also to 2-0 on the season. How did the Jets get two back-to-back cupcakes at home to start the season? Hmm. on The Jets Blog, Tuchman is encouraged to see the Jets play so well against a weak opponent. Bassett on the other hand, says “even though the score was lopsided, there’s still some concerns from a team that are setting their sights on the Super Bowl.” Sounds very familiar.

The Jets next travel out to Oakland next Sunday to take on the Raiders, who despite a setback yesterday, have gotten some positive attention for their play in the early going this season. Still, you expect the Jets to come out of next week sitting at 3-0.

Buffalo Bills (2-0, 0-0 in AFCE)

The Bills may be the surprise of the AFC, if not the entire NFL right now, with back-to-back wins to open the season against AFC West opponents Kansas City and Oakland. Yesterday’s 38-35 Bills win might’ve been the single most entertaining game of the weekend, with the teams trading leads and touchdowns right down to the closing seconds yesterday. The Bills came roaring back from an 18-point halftime deficit to post the win in their home opener. Stevie Johnson was dominant, not only with his production, but by being able to draw penalties from the Raiders. Did you know that Fred Jackson leads the league in rushing through two weeks? Ryan Fitzpatrick is also getting attention from around the league, including talk about whether the Bills should be trying to get him a new contract. Buffalo some exciting young pieces in place.

Buffalo gets a big test next Sunday with the Patriots coming to town. As is well-documented, the Patriots have beaten the Bills 15 straight times dating back to a certain 2003 opening day contest. Logic dictates that the Bills need to break that streak at some point. Is it now?

Miami Dolphins (0-2, 0-1 in AFCE)

Not good times in South Florida. Of course, as a followup to the high scoring Patriots in week one, the Dolphins had to contend with the media’s-favorite-team-of-2011, the Houston Texans yesterday afternoon. The result was a 23-13 loss for Miami, who have now dropped their first two games, both at home to open the season. What’s the problem? LeftCoastFinFan says that it starts with coaching. Simply put, the best game-day coach in the league* just isn’t making the right calls or adjustments this season.

The Dolphins hit the road this week, heading to Cleveland in search of their first win of the season. The season could be getting away from Miami quickly with a loss there.

*© Albert Breer, 2010

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