by Kennedy Ross
Cold, Hard Football Facts AFC East Overlord (@FNscribeNY)
After an AFC East holiday comedy special featuring the Jets and the Patriots, things got back to normal football today. The other cellar dwellers in the east, Buffalo and Miami, went back to work Sunday. They both struggled mightily with one of them manging to get over the hump.
Here are five things we learned from Act II of this holiday special:
1. Rookie QB's are safer at home. (Dolphins 24 - Seahawks 21)
Ryan Tannehill was locked in rookie quarterback battle with the Seahawks' Russell Wilson. Wilson has been a home field guy for much of this season. His numbers as well as wins have been starkly different when he play on the road.
Unfortunately for Wilson the only thing that changed this road trip was that he put up some good numbers, but still lost the game. Wilson completed 21 of 27 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Great number for any quarterback.
Tannehill had a good game as well with 253 yards on 18 completions with one touchdown and one interception.
The difference was Tannehill finally got some much needed support from his running game. The Dolphins racked up 189 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. Tannehill chucked in 33 rushing yards of his own. Even with those numbers, the Dolphins still needed a last second field goal to win the game.
2. Sometimes, you're just a bad team. (Colts 20 - Bills 13)
So it seems that Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to stick with underwhelming and average and forgo his former daring and implosive self. Fitzpatrick barely made his presence known throwing for 180 yards with a 5.5 yard average per throw.
He threw one pick and one touchdown. As stated a little while ago, average. He had decent support from his running game. Running back C.J. Spiller ran for 107 of the Bills 135 rushing yards.
The game turned into a field goal battle which the Bills lost ironically after touchdowns by the Colts and Bills in the third and fourth quarters respectively.
The futility of the Bills offense was exposed through the first three quarters. Maybe Fitzpatrick should go back to daring and implosive. At least whatever the outcome, it will be more interesting than this.
3. Reggie makes a cameo appearance.
With no rhyme or reason, Dolphins Running back Reggie Bush has been M.I.A. in M.I.A.M.I. for the past several weeks. Today, with no more indication, Bush and the whole running attack was at full throttle.
Bush rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Right behind him was Daniel Thomas with 60 yards and a touchdown of his own.
As a whole, the Dolphins rushed for 189 yards against the Seahawks run defense who fittingly sits at No.22 on our Defensive Hog Index .
It wouldn't have even been that close were it not for a Leon Washington, 98 yard kick return for a touchdown. The Seahawks needed all phases to keep it so close. they probably would have won if they were at home . . . like usual.
4. Spring training starts early.
With that loss, Buffalo puts themselves at 4-7 along with the Jets at the bottom of the east. The Dolphins are only a game a head of them but in reality, their fate is the same. All three teams will have to run the table on their last five games.
Obviously with inter-divisional games left on the schedule, it will be impossible for them to do this. the reality is that none of these teams will make the playoffs. They have too many inconsistencies and deficiencies to make a strong run. Not to mention the fact that any of them would be a one-and-done if they managed to back into the post season.
All three teams need to start identifying their barnacles and start the scraping for 2013.
5. Now that the smoke has cleared . . .
. . . Impending fatherhood seems to be a good thing for Reggie Bush. He should try and get another chick knocked up before next Sunday.
. . . Mario Williams logged a season high three sacks against the Colts. Now he's probably thinking, "why bother".
. . . Tom Brady could beat both these teams . . . without the Patriots.