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Morning take: Rex Ryan defends Cromartie

Here are the most interesting stories Thursday in the AFC East:

  • New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan defended starting cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who has been inconsistent.

Morning take: I expected Cromartie to make more big plays this season. He signed a big free-agent contract and hasn't had an interception since Oct. 9. He also allowed a long touchdown pass last week against the Buffalo Bills.

Morning take: It would have been better if Miami played Oakland a few weeks ago while Palmer was learning the playbook. Now, the Raiders are playing their best football of the season. This is a good matchup of two hot teams.

  • Will the New England Patriots (8-3) and quarterback Tom Brady look past the winless Indianapolis Colts?

Morning take: Highly unlikely. The Patriots usually are a focused group. I expect a romp for New England this weekend.

Morning take: This should be Buffalo’s biggest concern entering the draft and free agency next year. The Bills desperately need an edge rusher to put pressure on the quarterback.