AFC East Review: Week 4

Week 4 Games:

Jets defeat Bills 38-14

LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene each rushed for over 100 yards and Tomlinson scored two touchdowns to help the Jets demolish the Bills. Tight end Dustin Keller added two TD receptions to bring his total for the season to five, and Braylon Edwards pulled in four catches for 86 yards and a score. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie filled in well for Darrelle Revis, holding the Bills' best receiver Lee Evans to a single catch for 6 yards.

New York got out to an early lead with a Tomlinson touchdown on their opening drive. On the ensuing kickoff the Jets went with a short kick that was never secured by Bills linebacker Chris Ellis. Lance Laury was able to recover the ball for the Jets at the Buffalo 41, which led to a field goal attempt that was missed. New York’s defense stifled the Bills attack the rest of the way, holding Ryan Fitzpatrick to just 12 completions for 128 yards. The Jets swept their three consecutive division games putting them on top of the AFC East with a head-to-head advantage over the Patriots.

 

Patriots defeat Dolphins 41-14

After trailing 7-6 at halftime, New England scored five touchdowns in the second half to rout Miami. Receiver Brandon Tate returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown to give the Patriots some momentum, and they never looked back. Safety Patrick "Mini-Missle" Chung had a night to remember, blocking a punt and a field goal as well as returning an interception 51 yards for a TD. The Dolphins looked dangerous in the first half as they repeatedly drove into Patriots territory, however they were only able to come away with one touchdown. Outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich ended two of those drives with crucial interceptions to keep the Patriots in the game.

Despite poor tackling on defense in the first half and a lackluster passing game (Tom Brady threw for only 153 yards, and Randy Moss was held without a catch), the Patriots were able to win big thanks to a committed team effort, and some strong special teams play. They go into their bye week on a high note as they prepare for a tough home game against the Ravens on October 17th.

Awards and more after the jump.

 

 

Awards:

Offense of the Week: New York Jets

New York’s offense put up 38 points, including 21 in the third quarter alone. The Jets running game racked up 273 yards, with a 5.6 yard average per carry. Mark Sanchez threw two touchdowns and Brad Smith added a third. New York gained 25 first downs, and kept possession of the ball for a whopping 40 minutes.

 

Defense of the Week: New York Jets

New York’s defense dominated the Bills, holding them to only 223 total yards. They recovered a fumble from running back Marshawn Lynch and sacked quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick three times. Although Fitzpatrick was able to gain 74 yards scrambling, the Jets held Buffalo’s running backs to a combined 40 yards on 9 carries.

 

Special Teams Unit of the Week: New England Patriots

Not a tough decision here as the New England special teams unit carried the team and provided the necessary spark for a dominant second half.

 

Offensive Player of the Week: LaDainian Tomlinson, New York Jets

Tomlinson has won the starting role that was promised to Shonn Greene before the season began. LT added 3 catches for 22 yards in addition to his 133 rushing yards and two TDs. He is lucky to have a powerful runner like Greene to compliment him. This may allow him to stay healthy the entire season and more importantly the playoffs, should the Jets make it that far.

 

Defensive Player of the Week: Rob Ninkovich, Patriots

The New England outside linebacker had some struggles early in the game against the run, but made up for it with two spectacular interceptions at crucial moments. Both came when Miami was driving down the field convincingly, and helped take away their momentum. Ninkovich added a key sack on Chad Henne in the fourth quarter which put the Dolphins in a third-and-17, leading to Chung interception two plays later on fourth down.

 

Special Teams Player of the Week: Patrick Chung/Brandon Tate, Patriots

Tate’s second half kickoff return for a touchdown was a phenomenal team effort. He was aided by some good blocking, but made a couple terrific fakes before turning on the burners and beating everyone up the sideline.

Chung was the standard bearer for a Patriots special teams unit that had a fantastic game collectively. "Mini-Missle" was responsible for 21 of New England’s points as both his blocked kicks lead to touchdowns, and he scored one of his own off an interception.

 

Coach of the Week: Scott O’Brien, Patriots

The New England special teams coach deserves a ton of credit for their victory. The play of this unit is vastly improved from last year. O’Brien must be happy to have weapons like Tate and Chung at his disposal.

 

Goat of the Week: Chris Ellis, Bills

It was a somewhat forgivable mistake for a linebacker who is not used to catching kicks, but his early bobble/fumble of the Jets short kickoff meant the Bills were halfway into the first quarter before their offense even took the field.

 

Injury Watch:

Bills cornerback Terrence McGee had knee surgery and will be out at least two weeks. New England’s Brandon Meriweather left the field during Monday’s game, but his leg injury does not seem too serious. Patriots running back Fred Taylor missed the game with a toe injury. Darrelle Revis remains sidelined for the Jets with his return unknown.

 

Standings:

1. New York Jets 3-1 (3-0 in division)

2. New England Patriots 3-1 (2-1 in division)

3. Miami Dolphins 2-2 (1-2 in division)

4. Buffalo Bills 0-4 (0-3 in division)

 

Week 5 Preview:

Jaguars @ Bills

The Jaguars are riding high coming off a last-second win over the Colts. The Bills are struggling, but have not played quite as poorly as their record suggests. Marshawn Lynch was traded to Seattle, so C.J. Spiller will be asked to step up in this offense. The Jaguars will have to focus and come prepared otherwise the Bills could take advantage of their overconfidence.

 

Vikings @ Jets

Randy Moss returns to the Meadowlands to face the Jets with his new team. The Vikings have struggled this season, but they will go into this Monday night game with new energy. Will the Jets keep a safety back to cover Moss deep and potentially make it easier for Adrian Peterson to run against them? This is a tough decision. New York will have Santonio Holmes back from his suspension, and should fit in well with Edwards and Keller to give the Jets a potent aerial attack to go with their strong running game. Both defenses will have their hands full this game.

The Dolphins and Patriots have a bye week

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