By Kennedy Ross
Cold, Hard Football Facts AFC East Overlord (@FNscribeNY)
We tried to warn them. Seattle is no longer a joke in this league. We're sure Wes Welker won't have any one-liners about them this week. Bill Belichick won't be laughing either, but then he probably thinks laughing is punishable by death.
If you peak up a little you will see the 3-3 Patriots going up against the 3-3 Jets next week. Speaking of the Jets, they finally had something to smile about today. They gave rookie quarterback Andrew Luck a very unfriendly welcome into the NFL. Luck is probably thinking to himself "so this is what Sanchez must feel like".
The Dolphins seem intent on forcing their fans onto some sort of blood pressure medication. This is the third game out of the last four that the Dolphins have ended up on one side or another of a three point game. Miami's rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill must have gray hair by now.
Meanwhile the Bills went into the desert and out-defensed the Cardinals for an overtime victory to keep them stacked up with the rest of the AFC East.
Here are five things we learned about the AFC East in week 6:
1. The Seahawks have their own big-play QB. (Seahawks 24 - Patriots 23)
One quarterback had a passer rating of 79.3, the others was 133.7. One quarterback threw two interceptions at crucial moments, the other didn't throw any.
One quarterback is going home to cry into the bosom of his super model wife. The other is going to be thinking about the bosom of the other's supermodel wife.
OK, the last one kind of gave it away, but it was still fun to play along . . . and think about super model bosom.
As far as the NFL is concerned, supermodels mean nothing. Wins and loses mean everything. And today Tom Brady goes home with a loss against Russell Wilson.
Wilson was fantastically efficient, throwing 16 for 27 for 293 yards and three touchdowns. He completed three passes in the game for over 40 yards, and two of them were over 50 yards. He had minimal support from his running game which only averaged 3.3 yards a rush.
He was backed up by that Seattle defense however. They not only held the Patriots running game, which came in number one on our Offensive Hog Index to 87 yards total, but they only allowed 3.3 yards per carry as well.
But the big plays by Russell and the big plays on Brady by the defense turned out to be the winning combination. Welker got his 100+ yards. Brady was five yards short of 400 on the day. But when it counted he couldn't come up with the positive plays the way Russell did. Must be the mountain air.
2. So that's what ground and pound looks like. (Jets 35 - Colts 9)
Well Hallelujah!! The Jets have been screaming it from the mountain tops for months. They wanted us to have faith in something that we couldn't see. They even brought in their own beacon of hope. As it turns out it just wasn't as easy as they thought it would be.
But there it was today in all of it's time consuming, defense draining glory. The ground and pound was front and center in the Jets win over the Colts. How else can you explain a 26 point win where your quarterback does't even throw for 100 yards?
Mark Sanchez was supposed to be playing for his job today. He put in a half day of work at best. Sanchez completed 11 of 18 passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers sound like either he was concussed in the first half, or his running game was lights out today.
"We'll take B-lights out. Final answer Regis."
As a team, the Jets rushed for 252 yards, with a whopping 5.0 YPA. The Jets came in 27th in our Offensive Hog Index, so we know that Rex Ryan and the rest of the team have been waiting long for this day to come.
Even corner back Antonio Cromartie didn't play like a complete piece of crap today. He was flagged three times for pass interference. But overall the Jets pass defense held Andrew Luck to no touchdowns and two interceptions. This was the same Luck who blossomed before our eyes last week in his upset win over Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers.
Of course if you have morsel of functioning gray matter in your head, you have taken into account that this is the Colts - with a rookie quarterback. The Jets looked like world beaters after dismantling the Bills in Week 1. And we've seen how that worked out in the subsequent weeks.
Hmmm, what would be a good test for them at this point? How about a Patriots team with a bruised ego and a .500 record? The Jets are in luck then. One pissed Patriots squad coming up next week.
3. A hard but happy homecoming for Fitzpatrick (Bills 19 - Cardinals 16)
Mama Fitzpatrick's boy done good. Well, actually he didn't do much. But that is a good thing in a tough defensive game like this one. Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't turn the ball over to one of the top defenses in the league. So he did do good.
The Bills rushed for more yards than they threw for. They won the battle at the line of scrimmage, averaging 5 yards per carry on the ground. Running back C.J. Spiller came off the bench to out perform starter Fred Jackson 88-53 respectively.
Fitzpatrick threw for only 153 yards with no touchdowns, but had no interceptions either. Although Arizona rushed for 182 yards, the Bills held them to 150 yards through the air. They also knocked Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb out of the game late, forcing the return of John Skelton.
They quickly took advantage of that with a game ending interception and run back to put Buffalo in field goal range. Defensive end Mario Williams even got in on the action. Williams racked up three tackles and two sacks on the day. That type of productivity will have to become the norm if the passing game can't get their stuff together.
4. Miami just likes to keep it interesting. (Dolphins 17 - Rams 14)
This is the fourth game in a row Miami has either won or lost by four or less points. If all the seniors in the city weren't New York transplants, the Dolphins might be responsible for mass geriatric homicide.
Once again, Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill comes out smelling like a rose.
Tannehill efficiently completed 21 of his 29 passes for a modest 185 yards and two touchdowns. Most importantly, especially for a rookie going up against a defense ranked three on our Defensive Passer Rating, he didn't commit any turnovers.
Tannehill lost the first two close games he played. Now he has won his lost two close ones. He is clearly being educated on toughness and resilience in this early season. If he can get a little more help on offense from his receivers, coupled with more consistency from running back Reggie Bush, the Dolphins can stay in the AFC East hunt.
5 Now that the smoke has cleared . . .
. . . There was a SIGNIFICANT Tebow sighting today. It only took six games for him to complete a meaningful pass. And NOT out of the wildcat mind you.
. . . The Patriots are now 3-3. Are they average when you consider that the Jets and the Dolphins are also 3-3? Or is their team bus getting shorter and shorter with a slight yellowish hue?
. . . If Ryan Tannehill wins about four more close games he just might become as popular as his wife.