The Miami Dolphins were able to sit at home on Sunday and watch 2 out of the other 3 teams in the AFC East lose. The Jets and Bills both lost and the Patriots came within one Saints first down of losing. Do even with a week off, the Dolphins gained some ground. Also, a number of their out-of-division playoff competition lost as well. The Jets, Titans, Browns, Ravens, Texans, and Colts all lost last week.
I know some people are reading this and saying that it’s too early to even think about the playoffs. While I agree that it’s early, it’s never too early to keep an eye on (and root against) potential competition for playoff spots. I promise, if the Dolphins lose this week to the Bills, there will be no playoff talk until they prove themselves. Actually, if they lose to the Bills this week, I may go into hibernation.
With all that said, let’s take a look at the current state of the AFC East. This week, all 4 AFC East teams will play against one another. So, if the Dolphins can beat the Bills, they’ll gain ground on them and the loser of the Patriots/Jets game. Here’s a recap of the week that was and the week ahead:
Patriots (5-1 overall, 2-0 division)
The Patriots pulled off a miracle last week, with their come from behind win against the Saints. Actually, it wasn’t as much of a miracle as it was a choke job by the Saints. The high powered Saints offense and ‘genius’ coach failed to get a first down in their final 2 possessions. This meant that Tom Brady had 3 chances with the football with less than 4 minutes to play. Unbelievable.
This week, the Patriots travel to New York/New Jersey to take on the Jets. The Patriots beat the Jets in a close game in week 2 of the season, so the Jets will be looking for some pay back. The Patriots are banged up too, having lost Wilfork and Mayo for the season on defense. As much as I want to root against both teams, I’d prefer the Jets won, to give the Patriots their 2nd loss.
Dolphins (3-2 overall, 0-0 division)
The Dolphins are the only AFC East team that hasn’t played a divisional game. They’re coming off of a bye during which they had 2 weeks to stew over their back-to-back losses to the Saints and Ravens. The Dolphins will host the Bills on Sunday and although it’s not a must win, it’s a game they should win. The Dolphins need to beat teams like the Bills if they want to make the playoffs. They also need to beat the Bills so that they can improve to 4-2 before heading to Foxboro next week to take on the Patriots.
A win on Sunday would get the Dolphins back on track because after the Patriots and Bengals games, the Dolphins schedule lightens up a bit. They’ll play the Bucs, Chargers, Panthers, and Jets after that. Those teams aren’t pushovers, but they are certainly more winnable games. For this Sunday, the motto is: Just win baby! (continued on page 2, CLICK HERE)