Miami Dolphins (4-3 overall, 1-1 division)
The Dolphins used their bye week effectively and came out firing against the Jets. The major question with the Dolphins right now is the health of their quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. Since the Dolphins were blowing out the Jets, Tannehill was able to sit on the sidelines and didn’t need to push himself with his injured knee/quad. Matt Moore filled in admirably, but in my opinion, Tannehill will need to be healthy if the Dolphins are going to make a run at the playoffs. We should know more about his health within the next day or so when the Dolphins return to the practice field.
This week, the Dolphins head to Indianapolis to take on a Colts team (4-3) that, like the Dolphins, has surprised a lot of people. Did you know that if the playoffs started today, the Dolphins would be the 1st wild card and the Colts would be the 2nd? That makes this game that much more important. The winner of this game will not only improve to 5-3, but will pick up another conference win and the all important head to head tiebreaker. If the Dolphins can find a way to win, they’ll finish the week tied with the Patriots for 1st place in the AFC East. Not to be overlooked, the Colts will turn around and play next Thursday night against division rival Jacksonville, so they must prepare for an upcoming short week.
The Colts are a scrappy team and despite injuries, are playing very well behind rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. The Colts have also played very well at home, going 3-1 thus far with their signature win coming against the Packers a couple of weeks ago. The Dolphins will need to continue to play solid defense and win the turnover battle if they hope to win. The last 3 weeks, the Dolphins have won the turnover battle. Not surprisingly, they have won all 3 games.
Buffalo Bills (3-4 overall, 0-2 division)
The Bills took a tough loss to Tennessee into their bye week last week. The Bills defense has really let them down this year and that was supposed to be a strength of their team this season. The Bills will head to Houston this week to face the 6-1 Texans who look like the best team in the AFC. I don’t see any way that the Bills win this game and they’ll continue their downward spiral in the AFC East.
New York Jets (3-5 overall, 2-2 division)
The bye week couldn’t come at a better time for the Jets. They are reeling after losing to the Pats and Dolphins in consecutive weeks. Chants for Tebow have started in New York….the offense is regularly booed (with good reason)….and Rex Ryan’s confidence is waning in his team. The Jets still have some tough games left on the schedule so they are probably going to end up missing the playoffs. After their bye week, the Jets will travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks (4-4), in a game that will not be easy. If things continue to head in this direction, you have to wonder what the future holds for the Jets QB, Head Coach, and General Manager.