Behind Enemy Lines: A Comedic Recap of Week 15 in the AFC East
(Cue AC/DC’s Back in Black)
That’s right everyone! After spending the past three weeks preparing for finals, I’m finally back! I was considering giving up writing for the Deep End altogether, but after that last round of exams, I think I may need to seriously consider a Plan B. So please support the Deep End Miami, because my options for gainful employment are rapidly dwindling with every passing day!
But any-who, let’s get on to Week 15.
New England Patriots:
Well, after Patrick Chung went down with an injury this week, it’s beginning to feel like it isn’t meant to be. Not that that’s ever stopped Bill Belichick who, like Ben Roethlisberger, doesn’t take no for an answer. The Patriots are so bloodied and broken that they’ve signed Steven Jackson to the roster. For those of you who only started watching football in this most recent decade, Steven Jackson used to be a running back in the NFL. Personally, I don’t see the need for a 40 year old running back, especially when we have someone like Joey Iosefa, a man who makes his cuts so that he can run into more defenders rather than avoid them. Seriously, this guy is fun to watch.
As the injuries pile up, we’ve gotten to see more of Keshawn Martin, who has been a pleasant bright spot in the receiving game. Meanwhile, many still question Brendan LaFell’s dubious surgery to replace his hands with another pair of feet. In a shocking turn of events, the only person who has been relatively healthy is Rob Gronkowski. When Gronk is one of the healthiest people on your team, you have a very serious problem.
And then there’s the offensive line. Good God that offensive line. I’m just thankful that Brady has his level of pocket awareness, because otherwise he’d be dead many times over already. At this point, the biggest obstacle for the Patriots isn’t any team in the NFL. It’s the injury gods. And to help appease these vengeful deities, let us pray…
Our Fathers, who art in Canton,
Hallowed be thy names.
Thy fandoms come
Thy wills be done
In games as they are in practice.
Give us this week our weekly games,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us
(like Odell Beckham Jr. oh my God what a f****** tool that guy is actually the worst)
And lead us not into depression
But deliver us from injuries.
For thine is the NFL, and the power, and the glory
Forever and ever, amen.
Also if you guys could finally do something about that Roger Goodell guy that would be really great, because he’s pretty much ruining the NFL as we know it and we kind of all want him gone.
New York Jets:
Ugghh. Why do the Jets have to be playing well? Why? I could be done writing about them, but noooooooooo. Like a bad case of herpes, they just keep hanging around. And now, it’s looking like they’ll be the second team to represent the AFC East in the playoffs.
I never thought I’d say this, but it looks like it’s going to be the offense that really caries this team into the playoffs. Fitzy McPatrick is playing the best football of his career, which really isn’t saying much but is probably still worth mentioning. Brandon Marshall continues to remind everyone that he’s one of the best receivers in the NFL, while Eric Decker continues to struggle to remind people that he still actually plays in the NFL. The passing attack has really taken off, but they still get stalled out when they can’t establish the run game. Chris Ivory remains the lifeblood of this offense, as this team lives or dies on their ability to establish the run.
The defense has been generating turnovers again, and it’s no coincidence that the Jets have been on a hot streak. Like I’ve been saying all year, this team needs to create turnovers in order to win games, and they’ve been doing just that. Still, this defense is a little disappointing. They were my picks to be the best defense in the league, yet I feel like I’ve seen them get shredded by mediocre offenses on more than a couple occasions.
At the end of the day, this is a team that has really taken the identity of its coach Todd Bowles. Just like their coach, the Jets are solid but fairly meh personality-wise, kind of boring to watch, and lack any real star power. I could see the Jets winning a playoff game this year, but I doubt they have the talent to move deeper into the playoffs.
Ok, so I’ve figured it out. Remember when I said I was waiting for the Jets to implode? And then, instead of the Jets imploding like they always do, it happened to the Bills instead? It’s not the franchise itself that implodes every year; it’s Rex Ryan! Yup, a team that I thought for sure would lock up a wildcard spot is now on the outside looking in. It’s a real shame too, because I think they have far more talent than the Jets or the Chiefs.
But why (besides being coached by a man who’s BMI is as inconsistent as his football team) did the Bills implode so horrendously? Well, the answer lies in the tape. However, I’m far too lazy to actually watch the tape, so I’m just going to wing it. A big problem for the Bills has been the disappearance of the run game. LeSean McCoy is injured once more, and Karlos Williams isn’t the dynamic back he once was. Without the run game keeping defenses honest, Tyrod Taylor struggles to move the ball outside of lobbing it up to Sammy Watkins. Which, to be fair, isn’t an awful strategy. Because guess what; Mr. Samuel Watkins is good at football. He loses his temper and gets frustrated with his teammates at times, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s still good at football. He’s still a far better person than Odell Beckham, Jr. Seriously, what’s your [expletive] problem OBJ? Are you really gonna tell me you decided to turn a football game into an MMA event just because they were carrying a baseball bat? Gimme a break. It’s just another example of the NFL manipulating the media in order to protect its interests; in this case, one of its most marketable players.
Oh, right. Bills. AFC East. Things I’m supposed to write about.
The Bills’ defense has really dropped the ball lately, and what was once one of the stingiest units in the league is now one of the “meh”-est units in the league. Earlier this year, teams were scared to play a brutal Bills’ defense that played hard and hit harder. What happened to that Bills’ defense? Well I’ll tell you John. They Bills started talking. Just like they’re head coach, the Bills started talking trash in media sessions instead of letting their pads do the talking on the field. I think that’s what led to the downfall of this unit; they cared more about talking trash and winning the “war of words” than they have about winning football games. The Bills are truly adopting the Rex Ryan persona; they’re more entertaining during press conferences, and they talk with a mean swagger, but they don’t understand that all of that is worth exactly squat on a football field. You want to get into the playoffs Bills? You’ve got the talent to do it. Just shut up and play football.
I’ve come to a difficult crossroads people. I just don’t know if I can do it anymore. I mean… is he still worthy of the nicknames? I understand, the man is still the same imposing force of nature he was in Week 7, but what about the team? It has fallen apart, and I don’t know that coach Campbell will be around much longer. Will he even stay with the Dolphins? If so, in what capacity? I think the answer is clear that he isn’t ready to be a head coach, even if his biceps tell a different story. I don’t care if he has washboard abs that you could use to sharpen a steak knife, and I don’t care that he was the inspiration for Metallica’s album “Kill ‘Em All.” No, instead our man has Dolphins fans singing “Sad But True,” because the sad truth is that Dan Campbell is just not the Dolphins savior people hoped he would be. It’s been a great ride Dan, and I hope that one more time this year you can give me a reason to call you Dan “The Master of Puppets” Campbell.