The theme for week 12 was “Separation”. As in separation from the top to the bottom. The Jets pulled off a “Titanic” victory and the Patriots did enough to keep pace. With 6 games remaining in the NFL season, it is appearing that crunch time has started for the other two AFC East teams, the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins.
Buffalo Bills (6-5):
Looking back: The Bills needed the Kansas City Chiefs more than they could have ever known. The 54 points posted against the Chiefs were the most in KC history and the win for the Bills ended a 4 game slide. The Bills received 5 turnovers from the Chiefs but more importantly received 4 touchdowns from QB Trent Edwards, two on the ground and two in the air.
Looking ahead: The Bills will head home to play the visiting San Francisco 49′ers. The 9′ers are coming off a loss to the Dallas Cowboys and will face a renewed Buffalo team that still has hopes of finishing strong to make the playoffs. The Bills however can not get caught looking beyond the 2-7 team as they face the Dolphins the following week.
Miami Dolphins (6-5):
Looking back: The Phins lost a game, their composure, their number 1 WR (Greg Camarillo on IR), and they lost control of their own future this season. The Phins gave up 48 points to a Patriots team that had struggled over the last few weeks. With the loss, the Phins move back into a 3rd place tie with the Bills and are now 2 games behind division leading NY.
Looking ahead: It may be safe to say this, the Dolphins will not be looking over the heads of the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. After struggling against the Raiders and Seahawks, then getting blown out at home by the Patriots, the Dolphins will likely take out their aggression on the 2 win team.
New England Patriots (7-4):
Looking back: The Patriots traded scores for three and 1/4 quarter and then Matt Light traded punches with LB Channing Crowder of the Dolphins. Suspensions for Light and possibly Crowder loom on the horizon. Light and Crowder both were ejected. Still, Light got the better end of that fight and the Patriots got the better end of the game.
Looking ahead: The Patriots will not find an easy road this week as they play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are holding a tight one game lead in the AFC North and a loss by the Patriots could put them back in a 3 way tie in the division with Miami and Buffalo. Matt Cassel who has back to back 400 yard games under his belt will try and make it three in a row.
New York Jets (8-3):
Looking back: It was supposed to be one of the “games of the week” but instead it proved the Jets are not “weak”. New York took ball control early and never let up defeating the previously unbeaten Titans. Behind the arm of Brett Favre and the legs of Thomas Jones and Leon Washington, the Jets improved on their season and kept the rabid Patriots in their rear-view mirror. It is unlikely that the Jets will gain home field advantage through the playoffs, but it’s evident that they are becoming the favorite to win not only the AFC East, but the entire AFC Conference.
Looking ahead: The Jets have a pretty simple schedule and this week is not different. The Jets will travel to Denver to take on the reeling Broncos who are one game up on the Chargers in the west with a 6-5 record. Denver got beat badly against the Oakland Raiders this past Sunday. The Jets will try and run the ball as much as possible given the Denver Broncos lack of run defense. Should be an easy game for the Jets.