AFC East Roundtable – Which Division Team Was More Impressive In Week One?
Four AFC East websites get together each week to discuss the AFC East. This week we discuss which division team was the most impressive in their win on opening weekend. See what Matt Barbato of New York Jet Fuel, Ian Logue of PatsFans.com, Steve Saslow ofBills Daily, and Luis Sung of Phin Maniacs has to say right here.
Steve Saslow (@BillsDaily): All the teams in the AFC East were impressive as this was the first time since the realignment in 2002 that they are all 1-0. I have to go with the Bills as the most impressive because of the quality of their opponent and how soundly they defeated them. The Colts are considered a co-favorite to go to the Super Bowl and the Bills dominated them before going into a shell late in the game.
Miami was expected to beat the lowly Redskins soundly and struggled to win but a road win is a win. The Jets were impressive in their win over the Browns but like the Redskins they are one of the bottom feeders of the league.
The Patriots were their normally impressive self against a quality opponent but I give the Bills win the edge based on the surprise element of the big win.
Luis Sung (@PhinManiacs): In the interest of being completely objective, I have to say that the Miami Dolphins were the worst looking team in the AFC East during the first week of the regular season despite the victory over the Washington Redskins, and it has a lot of Dolphins fans up in arms that they weren’t completely dominant as per expectations. Whether this is actually a legitimate cause for concern or not has yet to be determined.
If I had to choose a team that was the most impressive, I would have to go with the Buffalo Bills by default. While I don’t agree with the experts in the media that say that the Colts are one of the top teams in contention for a Super Bowl (their defense is still sub-par), I can acknowledge that their offense has propelled them to success in the past and so they’re the most powerful team the East faced this week.
An argument could be made that the Patriots had a rougher time of it with Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, but the Patriots merely did what they always do and managed to win like they usually do. As for the Jets, they beat the Browns with incredible defense and forced an interception and two fumbles out of Johnny Manziel, but the edge goes to Buffalo because of the level of their opponent.
With each team in the AFC East going 1-0 for the first time since the merger, it should be indicative of the level of competition teams will have to deal with when facing them, and no one should be slept on unless they want to get pummeled. The Redskins planned well for Miami, which may explain their struggles, but underestimate them, and they’ll come back. The same goes for Buffalo and New York. New England? I doubt anyone ever sleeps on them. Be ready for a fierce competition.
Matt Barbato (@NewYorkJetFuel): The AFC East had a great day, with the Jets and Bills defeating their opponents by double digits. The Patriots had their double-digit lead cut to seven because of a garbage time touchdown from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown.
With the exception of Miami, the entire division had stretches of dominance in the season opener. However, the Jets dominated against Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns and struggled early. The Patriots’ offense dominated, but the defense had trouble containing DeAngelo Williams in the running game.
Buffalo knocked off an AFC contender and not only won, they dominated. The Bills limited Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense to just 304 yards of offense and forced two interceptions from the MVP candidate. Buffalo also proved it could lean on its running game to win games and Tyrod Taylor was pretty impressive in his debut. All in all, the Bills had the best week, but they will have another challenge heading to Orchard Park next weekend when the defending champs come to town.
Ian Logue (@PatsFans): 1)BUFFALO: As good as the Patriots looked last Thursday, I’d have to go with the Bills as the team that had the most impressive win in week one, primarily because they played a pretty complete game and set the tone from the time the ball was kicked off. The Bills shut down Indianapolis’ passing game and made Andrew Luck miserable the whole time, putting together a 24-0 lead and never looked back. Head coach Rex Ryan is already fired up after just one win, and it’s going to be interesting to see if they just simply outplayed a bad Colts team, or if the Bills are finally really on to something.
2) NEW ENGLAND: Coming off of a frustrating offseason many were curious to see how Tom Brady would respond on the field against the Steelers, and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Brady finished the night with a franchise-record 19 straight completions during the 28-21 win, including four touchdowns, three of which went to tight end Rob Gronkowski. The main reason why the Patriots aren’t listed first in this would be because they had some issues defensively against the run against the Steelers, who ran all over them. That will definitely be something to keep an eye on this week in Buffalo.
3) NY JETS: The Jets did a good job of disposing of a bad Cleveland Browns team 31-10 and won that game convincingly, but they also earned the victory the way they’ll likely win others over the course of the season, with balance on offense with a pretty good receiving core, along with the ability to shut teams down defensively. Aside from the 54yd touchdown pass from Johnny Manziel, the Browns weren’t able to really do much offensively and Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t great, but he did just enough to help them win. With Ryan gone the Jets aren’t getting much attention, but they could quietly be a team to watch this year.
4) MIAMI: Better to be lucky than good, and the Dolphins were fortunate to escape with a win on opening weekend down in Washington. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill didn’t exactly have a great game and they didn’t run the ball well, and it wasn’t even the offense that won the game. As a matter of fact, it took a 69yd punt return for a touchdown to cap a 10 point fourth quarter for Miami to pull off the come-from-behind win. However, at the end of the day good teams are supposed to make plays when it counts and we’ll find out in the coming weeks just how good the Dolphins, along with all of these teams, really are.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary