AFC East Breakdown: Week 4
By Brian Miller
(Brian Miller writes for Phin Phanatic, which is FSB’s Dolphins blog. Representing the rest of the AFC East are Musket Fire, The J-E-T Press and The BuffaLowdown.)
With two of the four AFC East teams taking the weekend off, Miami and New England, both the Jets and Bills had an opportunity to gain some ground or reclaim some that had been lost. The questions going into the weekend centered around Brett Favre’s sore ankle and the Bills overlooking the win-less St. Louis Rams. Week 5 will see 3 of the four division teams playing on Sunday while the Jets will focus on getting their nicks and bruises healed.
Buffalo Bills (4-0):
Looking Back: While the Bills came out of the game with an unblemished record, once again it took the full compliment of minutes to do so. Trailing most of the game, the Bills found themselves trying to rally from a 14 -6 hole after the first half. Down by one to the Rams in the 4th, the Bills scored 18 unanswered points including a defensive touchdown. The final score was no indication toward the game that they had played.
Looking Forward: The Bills will travel West to take on the Arizona Cardinals in week 5 and then take week 6 off. The Cardinals are no easy task despite the showing they posted against the Jets in week 4. The Bills will need to continue their defensive domination and will likely not have to face Anquan Boldin who will be an injury scratch due to a head to head collision. The Bills should win this game, but they will fight for it.
Miami Dolphins (1-2):
Looking Back: The last time the Dolphins were on the field, they were watching the final seconds tick off a drubbing of the New England Patriots. Head Coach Tony Sparano is not one to relish in the past and told his team they had 12 hours to celebrate and then it was on to San Diego.
Looking Forward: Miami will stay home this week to take on the visiting Chargers. San Diego looked out of sync yesterday and it will mark the first time that former Miami Dolphins WR Chris Chambers has returned to Miami following his trade last season. The Dolphins will be faced with the task of stopping Ladainian Tomlinson and the arm of Charger QB Phillip Rivers. While the San Diego defense has been porous this season so far, the Dolphins will still have to turn to downright “want to” to beat a San Diego front 7.
New England Patriots (2-1):
Looking Back: Most Patriot fans do not want to think back two weeks ago to the week 3 Miami Dolphins game. The bye week likely did not provide much comfort for the 53 men responsible for losing the first game in 22 attempts. The Patriots were either exposed or they spent the week working on repairing the offensive unit who never could get it together.
Looking Forward: The Patriots will face a menacing and hungry San Francisco team who could only manage 9 points in their week 4 game against the Saints. At the core of the New England team is the question surrounding Matt Cassel. Was week 3 the real MC or was that just a bad week? San Francisco will use every bit of pass rush to find that answer out come next Sunday.
New York Jets (2-2):
Looking Back: It was yet another record breaking day for the ageless wonder, Brett Favre. Favre threw 6 touchdown passes for the Jets, the first time in his career he has ever done so. While Favre was the man on the offense, the defense gave up 35 points in the 2nd half. NY scored 34 points in the 2nd quarter and then added 22 in the 4th. The win moves the team two games back of the Bills for AFC East Supremacy.
Looking Forward: The Jets will take their large lopsided victory home with them and sit on it for a week as the team goes on their bye-week. They will stay at home for week 6 as they host the reeling and winless to date Cincinnati Bengals.