Behind Enemy Lines: A Comedic Recap of Week 1 in the AFC East
I pull out a box from under my bed. Inside, a single keyboard lies waiting. As I blow of the dust that has gathered between the keys since the end of the last season, I allow myself a moment of reflection: what kind of writer do I want to be? There are so many important topics that need to be discussed. What does Kaepernick’s protest mean about the relationship between the police and minorities in this country? Does our flag represent the veterans who have fought for our freedom, the legislators who define and guide our nation or the state of our union as a whole? What does it mean to take a knee on a day meant to honor those brave men and women who lost their lives on 9/11? I could use my writings to help start a discussion about the important issues facing the league, and even the nation as a whole. I could shed light on the complex and difficult challenges that face the American people.
Or I could make silly jokes about the AFC East. Yeah, we’re back mother*&^%*%s.
New England Patriots (1-0)
That didn’t take long.
It’s only week one, and the Patriots already hold undisputed ownership of the AFC East. Now, to be fair, the AFC East teams all faced quality opponents to start off the season. The Patriots played the Cardinals, the Dolphins played the Seahawks, the Jets played the Bengals and the Bills played the… Ravens?
OK, so almost every team played a quality opponent. But we’ll come back to that. First, let’s dive into how the Patriots beat the highly favorited Cardinals.
Oh yeah, the NFL’s most handsome quarterback himself, led the Patriots to a close victory against the Cardinals by… doing the exact same thing that the Patriots always do? It was far from the poetry that is Brady under center, but minus a few errant throws and a couple of unusually quick scrambles (Patriots fans didn’t know QB’s were allowed to run that fast), the offense ran smoothly. Short dinks to Julian Edleman and James White paired with the occasional up-the-middle gash from LeGarrette Blount netted the Patriots a surprising amount of yards against one of the best defenses in the league. Oh, and Danny Amendola was able to find just enough duct tape to hold himself together and make a few very crucial catches towards the end of the game.
Is Jimmy G taking Brady’s starting job? I’ll answer that question the same way Bill Belichick did.
*Stares at reporter until he quits his job, leaves his family and moves to a Siberian labor-camp in hopes that he will never have to see Bill Belichick’s face again*
But you have to wonder how many calls Bill Belichick will get from teams asking about the value they place on that drop-dead-gorgeous quarterback out of Eastern Illinois.
Oh, and the defense did things too, I guess. But they aren’t as pretty. I mean…
New York Jets (0-1)
Hey everyone, remember when people said that Belichick was a fool for letting Revis go? That he was worth every penny the Jets gave him to come play in New York? I don’t either, but I’m sure some people said that, and those people were WRONG. Here’s an actual picture from this Sunday’s contest against the Bengals that has not been altered or edited in any way, shape or form.
Revis spent the majority of the night getting burned by A.J. Green, as the Bengals secondary was able to make Brandon Marshall, the Jets’ top receiver, almost invisible on the stat sheet. The fact that the game ended as close as it did (and I’m going to have to use gasoline as mouthwash to get the taste of this sentence out of my mouth) speaks to the… versatility and… the overall depth of th—blegh—of the Jets. Oh god, give me a minute… I need to jam my hands into a paper shredder.
Anyway, don’t fret football fans. Despite the overall talent that has somehow snuck its way onto the Jets’ roster, I am wholly confident in their ability to miss the playoffs and continue disappointing their fans. Now I feel better.
Miami Dolphins (0-1)
For a moment, I almost believed. I almost believed that the Dolphins could pull out the Week 1 upset against the Seahawks in Seattle. But fortunately, I already believe in the Dolphin’s ability to disappoint their fans, and hey! They did it!
It was an exciting game that featured (much to my surprise) two evenly matched teams (for that day at least) duking it out in a defensive struggle. Probably the biggest surprise was that Russell Wilson spent almost as much time running for his life as Ryan Tannehil did! But in all seriousness…wait, almost forgot my editors don’t allow seriousness from me.
Suh almost looked like he’s worth the money Miami is paying him, and Cameron Wake looks like he hasn’t missed a beat after missing the vast majority of the 2015 season. The Dolphins held their own against one of the league’s better best teams, and doesn’t that, for at least one weak, make the Dolphins… one of the league’s better teams?
But before anyone gets too excited (a phenomenon I would’ve thought incapable for Dolphins fans after all these years), let’s consider an alternative to the Dolphins being surprisingly good: the Seahawks being surprisingly bad. Seattle had one of the worst offensive lines in the league last year and did very little to improve upon that issue going into 2016. Their defense loses more and more pieces to free agency every year, and the once-sensational Jimmy Graham continues to be a non-factor on the offense. I’ve re-watched the game film (ok, no I haven’t), and I’ll tell you what I saw in the Dolphins’ opponent: a great quarterback doing everything in his power to make something happen behind an almost nonexistent front line, and a defense that’s kidding itself if it thinks it evokes the same fear in offenses as the 2013 Legion of Boom did.
So are the Dolphins good this year? We don’t know for sure, but I’ll stick with my perennial answer.
Buffalo Bills (0-1):
Does anyone else always forget that there’s a fourth team in the AFC East? Me too.
The Bills’ offense looked electric at times last season. Their 2016 season opener did not continue the trend.
Shady McCoy was held to (calculator ticks in background) under 4 yards a carry, which is an uninspiring effort from the running back the Bills will often rely on to carry his team to victory in 2015. Sammy Watkins is hurt. No news there. It would actually be bigger news if he wasn’t on the injury report. Last but not least, while Tyrod Taylor looked steady in the pocket (15/22 for 111 yards), on average he threw for less than (more calculator noises in background) 7.5 yards per completion. Perhaps more absent than Taylor’s deep ball was his rushing ability, as the quarterback failed to make much of anything happen with his legs.
On the other side of the ball, the Bills played excellent defense for a majority of the game, but let up just enough big plays down the field to hand over the win. I can only imagine the single tear that trickled down the faces of so many Dolphins fans as Mike Wallace caught a deep ball for a score. I can hear your outraged cries, “Why didn’t you do that for us!”
Well, because he didn’t want to, and given Mike Wallace’s history, he might not want to next week for the Ravens.
Back to the Bills. If Sammy Watkins can’t stay healthy and LeSean McCoy continues to put up pedestrian numbers, I don’t see the Bills going anywhere but towards the basement of the AFC East.
I guess based on the fact that they landed in third place last year it wouldn’t be such a long trip.
Screw you, Max. Your unpaid labor WILL NOT write a useless conclusion to this article.
*mutters and walks away*