Behind Enemy Lines: AFC East Preseason Week Three Roundup
Alright everyone, Week 3. Let’s just be thankful that the regular season is less than two weeks away, which means that these articles are less than two weeks away from being almost interesting. You know the drill by now. This is gonna be quick and dirty.
New England Patriots:
I’m not talking about Deflatgate today. There’s nothing left to say. God My editor willing, I’ll have a piece for you when Judge Berman releases his decision.
Update from the editor: Well, so much for 4-games. F%!*ing Brady.
Aaron Dobson, what happened man? Dobson has gone from one of New England’s most exciting prospects to another disappointing wide receiver. He hasn’t shown the kind of hands that got him drafted 59th overall in 2013. To make matters worse, he can’t seem to master the surgical route running and timing that Brady demands from his wide-outs. Don’t be surprised if Dobson isn’t on the Patriots roster come Week 1. Reggie Wayne looked about as good as you’d expect him to look after getting only a few days to memorize the playbook. His play will improve and his targets increase as he gets the hang of the offense, but it’s still going to be an uphill battle for Wayne to get many meaningful snaps.
Scott Chandler: I like you. Please don’t shoot anyone.
Their offense looked like their offense has all preseason, and Jimmy had another solid outing against the Panther’s second-team. The running backs failed to impress, which is to be expected against Carolina’s stout run D.
Note from the editor: didn’t seem to be a problem for Miami.
Dominque Easley showed Saturday that, when healthy, he can be one of the most versatile Defensive Tackles in the game. This is a guy isn’t really a pass rusher or a run stopper: he does both. If he can stay healthy, I’m excited to see what Belichick does with him next to Malcom Brown.
New York Jets:
Make no mistake: the Jets are going to run the ball A LOT this year. Between Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Zac Stacy, and Stevan Ridley, the Jets could run the ball every single play and still have fresh legs by the fourth quarter. Todd Bowles, this one’s free: run the ball every single play. At least that way the ball can’t be intercepted.
But seriously, if opponents can’t stop the Jets run game, they’re going to be in trouble, because this is the one part of the Jets offense where you can use the word “acceptable.” Hell, you could even use the word “good.” I won’t, because I refuse to use the words “Jets” and “good” in the same sentence without the word “not” in between them, but that’s just me.
Jace Amaro was placed on season-ending IR. While Amaro is a young player with a lot of potential, he failed to be a factor in the Jets’ offense last year. Don’t expect his absence to be too detrimental to the passing attack. Granted, it’s hard to have a more pathetic passing attack than the Jets right now, but good job New York; you found a way.
In what may be the first thing to fall in the Jets favor this offseason, first-round-pick Leonard Williams only has a minor knee injury after being taken out of the game against the Giants. I’d never wish injury on a player, even a Jet; especially when that player has as promising a career as Leonard Williams. But the Williams scare shows just how paper thin the Jets’ defense is right now. If even one of their defensive linemen goes down now, it will be a serious blow to a unit which, as I recall, is the one thing the Jets currently have going for them.
Besides of course their “acceptable” running back corps.
Let’s start off with what Rex Ryan did right this week. He named Tyrod Taylor his starting QB. Good job Rex. Try not to get too close to him; you might accidentally turn him into Mark Sanchez. Or get your wife wearing his jersey tattooed on your forearm. But seriously, if nothing else this kid is exciting to watch, and has way more upside than Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel have to offer. I’m almost willing to say he could be better than Geno Smith. Almost. Being better than Geno isn’t a hard thing to do, but I at least want to see Taylor in some regular season action before I make any statements I’ll regret.
Now, what Rex Ryan did wrong this week. Cutting Fred Jackson was not “the move” Rex. Fred Jackson has been a staple of the Bills for the past 36 years (46 maybe? I can’t remember) and has been ruining the value of fantasy backs in Buffalo for just as long (60 years?). Fred Jackson may be getting up there in age (like 72, right?), but he’s easily the only solid number 2 back in Buffalo. So why was this such a bad move? I’m glad you asked Rex. Because betting on LeSean McCoy to be healthy for the entire season is just a bad idea. When you’re number one running back is as injury prone as Shady is, you don’t cut your best backup, no matter how old he is (87).
We’ll have to wait and see what happens with Buffalo’s offense. On the off-chance that things click and this offense can get the ball moving, be scared. But if there’s an implosion at the quarterback position, an injury at the running back position, or both, don’t be surprised when the Bills are sitting at the bottom of the AFC East.
I would just like to let everyone know that I am not a moron, and I am fully aware that Fred Jackson is only 42 years old.