Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Week 4 Rubdown - AFC East

1. NY JETS (3-1)

WK 3 W at Miami 31-23, WK 4 W at Buffalo 38-14
Offense Rank 13th, Defense Rank 13th

One thing you always know about the NFL, whatever you think about anything heading into the season will be totally wrong. The Jets were supposed to run roughshod to the Super Bowl on the back of their aggressive defense, which was supposed to make the 85 Bears Defense look like something you'd see in the nether regions of the WAC. The offense was supposed to be barely competent enough to avoid screwing the whole thing up. Now that we're one quatrain through the season, the Jets still look like a solid bet to make the Super Bowl, however the offense looks a lot better than expected, and the defense looks pretty ordinary. First the good, Mark Sanchez has surprised me by being one of the best QBs in the league so far this year. His passer rating is over 100, and ranks behind only Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Michael Vick. LaDanian Tomlinson is averaging a ridiculous 6.1 yards a carry, and Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller have been dangerous targets for Sanchez. And Santonio Holmes comes back this week to not only bolster their offense but put them over their quota of miscreants at the WR position.

The defense has been OK, but only just OK. Honestly, when you look at the personnel, other than Revis Island, who has been marooned on Hamstring Island recently, there's nothing here that makes you go wow or justifies all the hype this defense has received. Sure, the scheme is crazy with lots of unnecessary blitzing on 3rd and long, but who excites you here? Shaun Ellis? Bart Scott? Jason Taylor and his old balls? A scheme is nice but a defense isn't great unless it has great players. Not sure the Jets have that. What I am sure of though, is they've won 3 division games in a row, and that's a good start.

WK 3 W v. Buffalo 38-30, WK 4 W at Miami 41-14
Offense Rank 11th, Defense Rank 28th

I don't know how good the Patriots are, any team that gives up 30 points at home to the Ryan Fitzpatrick led Bills is under suspicion. I do know they are really exciting to watch though. The Patriots have been putting huge amounts of points up, with their Monday Night steamrolling of the Dolphins in Miami making the 3rd time in 4 games this year they have scored 38 points or more. In the big win over the Dolphins, they didn't even need any offense at all to win, they got 3 special teams and defensive touchdowns coming on a Brandon Tate kickoff return, a blocked field goal run back for a TD, and a Patrick Chung INT. New England's offense has expanded it's arsenal this year. While Randy Moss has been very quiet, and Wes Welker only slightly less so, players like Tate, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, and the 4 foot tall mogwai Danny Woodhead have made the Pats the most exciting team in the league so far. Again, that's something you wouldn't expect from the staid old team of the 00's, but that's why the NFL is the NFL.


WK 3 L v. NY Jets 23-31, WK 4 L v. New England 14-41
Offense Rank 13th, Defense Rank 6th

When you lose two in a row at home to the teams that you are fighting for divisional supremacy with, that's called being put in your place. I can sit here and analyze the Dolphins stats all day, and it's not going to change that in the last two weeks, they've proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that at this point on the space-time continuum, they are just not good enough to win this division, or finish second. There's nothing to pin this on other than the fact they make too many mistakes. In the 2 huge losses, the Dolphins turned it over 5 times, and the Jets and Patriots turned it over 0 times. There's no glaring weakness on this team other than just screwing up too much. You can't give up three touchdowns to another team without their offense even needing to be on the field, like the Dolphins did last night. Chad Henne, Ronnie/Ricky, Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess, a solid no-name defense, the Dolphins have all those things going for them. But yet, here we are with 2 home games they had to have both in the L column, and trips to Green Bay, Cincinnati, and Baltimore sandwiched around a home game against Pittsburgh coming up in the next 4 weeks. All of a sudden things look pretty scary here.


WK 3 L at New England 30-38, WK 4 L v. NY Jets 14-38
Offense Rank 32nd, Defense Rank 27th

Not a whole lot to talk about here as the Bills are every bit as awful as expected, but let's duly note the release of Senator Trent Edwards, confirming that the correct choice in the JP Losman/Edwards QB controversy was "none of the above". Let's also duly note that the Eagles and Packers are reportedly sniffing around Marshawn Lynch to address the gaping holes those teams have at running back due to injuries to LeSean McCoy and Ryan Grant. Let's also duly note that the Bills have given up over 200 yards rushing 2 weeks in a row now, and the Jets had 2 100 yard rushers against them last week.

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