- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Let’s take a look at whose stock is rising and falling in the AFC East.
1. Miami Dolphins’ playoff chances: Just three weeks ago, the Dolphins were 4-3 and thinking playoffs. But that ended quickly following Miami’s three-game losing streak capped by a 19-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins are 4-6 and have virtually no shot of making the playoffs. Miami was a nice story in the first half of the season. But it looks much more gloomy the rest of the way. Miami’s next three games are against playoff contenders with winning records. The Dolphins can easily be 4-9 in a few weeks.
2. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins quarterback: It took a while, but Tannehill has finally crashed into the proverbial rookie wall. Tannehill looks like a rookie again and struggled with his accuracy and ball security. Teams have a lot more film on Tannehill and are making the adjustments. But it’s up to Tannehill and Miami’s offense to readjust. The rookie has thrown for one touchdown and five interceptions in his past two games. He’s also struggled in the clutch. The Dolphins expected growing pains when they decided to start a rookie, and they are going through them right now with Tannehill.
3. Reggie Bush, Dolphins tailback: Miami was the only team to lose this past week. Therefore, the Dolphins get the clean sweep. Bush is struggling mightily after his fast start in September. Bush totaled zero yards after his first seven carries against Buffalo. He finished with 20 yards on 10 carries. Miami’s coaching staff seems to be losing confidence in Bush. The Dolphins are increasingly giving carries to backups Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller.
1. Julian Edelman, Patriots receiver: The Patriots may have another secret weapon developing in the second half of the season. Edelman had a huge, all-around game for the Patriots on Sunday. He caught five passes for 58 yards and a touchdown. He also had 47 rushing yards and a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown. Edelman split time earlier this year with receiver Wes Welker but injured his hand. Now that he’s healthy again, expect Edelman to get more chances.
2. Bills' defense: We have been hard on Buffalo’s defense all season in the AFC East blog. So this is a much-needed pat on the back for a job well done. The Bills’ defense played up to their capability. They finally stopped the run, pressured Miami’s Tannehill and picked him off twice in the secondary. It was a solid group effort for the Bills’ defense, which has some talent. It makes you wonder why Buffalo can’t play like this on defense more often.
3. New York Jets: It may have been just one game. But the Jets deserve credit for coming together as a team and beating the St. Louis Rams on the road. The Jets had a week full of distractions leading up to the game and still ended a three-game losing streak. New York (4-6) kept its slim playoff hopes alive and enter a big game on Thanksgiving against the rival Patriots.