Behind Enemy Lines: AFC East Week Two Roundup
Week 2 has come and gone, and man was it nasty. I know this is supposed to be an AFC East article, but that Eagles-Cowboys game may have been one of the most boring, poorly played, and overall painful games I have ever watched. I’m still bitter about the two hours I spent watching it. Anyway, in an attempt to cleanse my pallet of that atrocity, here’s your Week 2 recap.
New England Patriots:
For anyone still questioning who the favorite to win the AFC is, look no further than Foxboro. Tom Brady and the Pats shredded the same Bills defense that gave Andrew Luck fits just a week ago. Tom Brady looked as great as ever, and for those of you waiting for the year where Brady starts his decline, this is not that year.
While I could sit here and write about Gronk for days, it’s really Edelman who shined in the win against the Bills. Edelman has a knack for getting open against even the stingiest of defenses, and it’s this talent for getting open that makes him so dangerous. Gronk gets all the attention, from fans and defenses alike, but Edelman is just as important to the success of this Patriots passing attack. Also, this Dion Lewis guy is good. How good? Good enough that he got to keep playing after his second fumble in as many games. He’s even getting early down work, something not even last year’s 3rd down RB saw much of. What was his name again? Sean Varane? Oh well.
There’s only one weakness in this Patriots defense, and his name is Bradley Fletcher. Seriously, the only time this guy doesn’t get burned deep is when he fouls the receiver to keep them from going deep. Otherwise, the defense looked phenomenal. Belichick’s defense took advantage of a shaky offensive line and a young quarterback to notch 8 sacks as well as 3 interceptions. If the Patriots defense can keep playing like this (and replace Bradley “Burnt-Toast” Fletcher) the Patriots will remain the scariest team in the AFC East.
Also, I feel the need to say this again. Gronk is not human.
New York Jets:
That Brandon Marshall guy is still a pretty good receiver. And it looks like Ryan Fitzpatrick knows it. Fitzy wasn’t asked to throw too often Monday night, but when he was, he threw it to Marshall. Fitzgerald was able to pull a lot of defensive PI calls by throwing to Marshall in one-on-one coverage, trusting in the Colt’s depleted secondary to screw it up.
Also, I was ready to shoot myself after hearing Jon Gruden say “the depleted Colt’s secondary” 50 times over the course of the evening. I don’t know how the man is an analyst, and I think there may finally be an announcer in the NFL who annoys me more than Phil Simms.
Anyways, back on track. Right, the Jets. Really, there’s not much to say here. They’re everything we thought they would be. Their defense looks like one of the best units in the NFL, and that Revis guy is still OK at football I guess. Chris Ivory trucked through the Colts front seven, and Fitzgerald turned Eric Decker into a fantasy football star for the night. The Jets offense has looked good against the Browns and the Colts, but I’m still waiting for them to stand up to a real defense. When the Jets play the Patriots or Bills, don’t expect Fitzy and friends to look quite so comfortable behind their unstable offensive line.
At the end of the day, all we have to do is wait. This is still the Jets we’re talking about, and they’ll find some way to squander a 2-0 start. I still expect to see the Jets at the bottom of the AFC East come December.
Hopefully the Bills now know what happens when you spend the week trash talking instead of preparing for your opponent. After all the talk, talk, and more talk, the Bills defense gave up a whopping 40 points to the Patriots on Sunday. Still, the Bills made it a close game, scoring 19 points in the 4th quarter to bring the game to 40-32 before Tyrod Taylor threw his 3rd interception to end the game.
The only thing that should really worry the Bills after this game is their offensive line. While they created a couple of nice running lanes for LeSean McCoy, they failed to protect Tyrod Taylor, who was sacked 8 times over the course of the game. Moreover, Taylor was pressured all day, and rarely had a clean pocket to throw in. Part of this is Taylor’s fault; he needs to get the ball out quicker. However, getting the ball out quicker may not be enough to mask an offensive line that is easily the weakest link of this Bills team.
Sammy Watkins is good at football. LeSean McCoy looked far healthier on Sunday, and ran with more spring in his step. Karlos Williams is a big man who knows how to power through an opposing defense’s front seven. Percy Harvin is still very fast. Despite the sub-par offensive line play, this Bills offense has the weapons to do some damage on unprepared teams.
Can you really blame the defense for what happened on Sunday? Belichick ran the same game plan as he did against Seattle. The Patriots abandoned the run, and in doing so took away the Bills’ greatest strength: its run defense. Quick slants and Gronk shredded the Bills all day, while personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct gave the Patriots good field position on a number of drives. This is still a very good football team, and is now my pick to finish second in the AFC East in addition to their wild-card spot.
And for those of you pissed that I’ve moved the Dolphins down to 3rd, you lost to the Jags. THE JAGS.
Note from the Editor: Bills still stands for “Boy I Love Losing Superbowls”