- James Walker, ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter
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Here are seven notes and observations from Week 3 in the AFC East.
I know it’s early to think about contracts, but the injury to Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis brings up an interesting scenario. Revis clearly wants a new contract next year and considered holding out this summer. Now, he played just three games and will be coming off major knee surgery. Will Revis demand a new extension in 2013 to become one of the NFL's highest-paid players? If so, will the Jets accommodate Revis or tell him to play another year under the old contract to prove he's the same dominant player? This is a precarious situation that will need to be ironed out by Revis and the Jets next year. This also is why players need to get paid when they have the leverage. Revis lost a lot of leverage with this injury.
The numbers don't look good for New York without Revis. According to ESPN Stats and Information, the Jets’ opponent completion percentage goes up from 54.1 to 62.5 the past two seasons when Revis is not on the field. The Jets also have allowed five touchdowns and recorded zero interceptions without Revis in that span. With Revis on the field the past two years, the Jets have 23 interceptions and allowed 15 passing touchdowns.
I'm not sure the Jets need Tim Tebow right now, especially if they still don't know how to use him. Much of the gimmicks they have come up with have not worked. Tebow ran two times for zero yards in Sunday's win over the Miami Dolphins. He also played tight end/H-back and had a pass bounce off his helmet. The only real contribution Tebow made was a successful fake punt on fourth down. Mark Sanchez doesn’t need to throw to Tebow. If that’s the best the Jets can come up with, Tebow is better off on the sidelines strictly as the No. 2 quarterback.
This is the time I want to see more growth from Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He continues to show flashes in three career starts. But I'm most concerned with Tannehill throwing just one passing touchdown in three games. He's on pace for a little more than five passing touchdowns this season, which won’t cut it. Miami doesn’t need Tannehill to take over games. But the Dolphins need a little more now that he is one month into the season. Miami won’t beat the undefeated Arizona Cardinals (3-0) on the road this week without solid quarterback play.
Perhaps what was most interesting about the Ravens’ win over the Patriots was how Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco outplayed New England’s Tom Brady in the clutch. Flacco was nearly flawless in the fourth quarter, throwing for an astounding 161 yards, one touchdown and had a 99.1 QBR. Brady struggled with just 41 yards and a 35.7 QBR in the fourth quarter. Some of it had to do with home-field advantage. But there is no doubt that Flacco outplayed Brady for the second straight game and this time it resulted in a close win.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was wrong for grabbing a referee after the loss. Belichick most likely will be fined for the incident, especially after the league sent a memo last week warning teams to respect the officials. But this is another example of frustration spilling over. The NFL needs to get this situation fixed so it won’t make national headlines every week.
The Buffalo Bills got disruptive play from both of their big free-agent additions in Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns. Bills defensive end Mario Williams and Mark Anderson were paid more than $100 million to be bookends on defense. The pair had their best game of the year by combining for 2.5 sacks and three additional hits on the quarterback. Williams and Anderson were constantly in the face of Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden.
Here are seven notes and observations from Week 3 in the AFC East. I know it’s early to think about contracts, but the injury to Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis brings up an interesting scenario.