Miami Dolphins (3-3 overall, 0-1 division)
Last Sunday, the Dolphins were out gained by the Rams on ground……the Dolphins were out gained by the Rams through the air…..yet the Dolphins still managed to eek out a win, in large part because Legatron, the Rams rookie kicker, missed 3 field goals. The Dolphins got an efficient day from Ryan Tannehill, who posted a 112 QB rating. The Dolphins need to use this bye week to correct the issues on their offensive line and their running game. They also need to figure out how to stop the run, since they gave up a whopping 162 yards to the Rams on the ground.
The Dolphins are the only team in the AFC East with a bye this week, meaning they’ll be 3-3 heading into their week 8 matchup at the Jets. Since the Jets already beat the Dolphins once and are 2-0 in the division, the Dolphins REALLY need to win this game. It’s not a must win, but if the Dolphins have hopes of making the playoffs, they need to take advantage of their upcoming schedule (@Jets, @Colts, vs. Seahawks, @Bills). The Dolphins play 4 games in 18 days and this could be the stretch that could determine if they have a shot of making the playoffs. The bye week came at a good time as the Dolphins prepare for this very important stretch.
Buffalo Bills (3-3 overall, 0-2 division)
The Bills defense picked a heck of a time to play the way they were supposed to. Traveling to Arizona, the Bills were giving up most points than an NBA All Star team. The Bills managed to hold the Cardinals to 16 points and beat them in overtime, creating the 4 way tie in the AFC East. This week, the Bills welcome in the Tennessee Titans (2-4). The Titans are coming off of their Thursday night win last week against the Steelers. With an extra 3 days of rest, the Titans will give the Bills all they can handle on Sunday.
If I had to bet, I’d say that the AFC East looks like this on Monday morning:
However, if the Bills lose this week and the Jets pull off a miracle in New England, the Dolphins/Jets game next weekend would be for first place. Crazy, isn’t it? Crazy seems to be the path we’re heading down in the AFC East. Remember though, even if one team (i.e. the Patriots) runs away with the division, a second AFC East team (or even 2) could make a run at the playoffs. When playoff time comes around, tiebreakers are broken in division by head to head records and then by division record. The Dolphins can rest up and get healthy this weekend, but they need to get a win in the AFC East against the Jets coming out of the bye or their playoff hopes could take a hit……..It’s THAT important of a game.