Final Word: AFC East

December, 18, 2009
12/18/09
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NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 15:


Kevin Hoffman/US PresswireTerrell Owens only had two receptions for 46 yards when he faced the Patriots during Week 1.
Terrell Owens and Lee Evans have to be amped to face the Patriots secondary. Owens and Evans combined for a measly five receptions and 71 yards on opening night at Gillette Stadium. I wouldn't be surprised if each posted numbers better than that in Sunday's rematch. Trent Edwards, aka Captain Checkdown, was Buffalo's quarterback then. The relatively freewheeling Ryan Fitzpatrick is heaving it now, and the Patriots secondary has been giving up mammoth gains in recent weeks.

What is the opposite of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object? That would be Mark Sanchez facing the Atlanta Falcons' pass defense. Something has to give -- and give and give and give. Jets coach Rex Ryan announced Sanchez will return from a knee injury and start Sunday at the Meadowlands. Sanchez's interceptions have cost the Jets a legitimate shot at the playoffs, but the Falcons have the 30th-ranked pass defense. Opposing quarterbacks have posted a cumulative 98.2 passer rating, second-highest in the league.

The Dolphins haven't seen anything like Chris Johnson this year. The Dolphins' run defense did a tremendous job shutting down Maurice Jones-Drew last week, but their task on Sunday looks virtually impossible based on Johnson's weekly numbers. He is averaging 5.8 yards a carry and 147.1 yards over his past seven games with nine touchdowns. Good luck with that.

An on-field response from Randy Moss might not be forthcoming. Moss was called out by Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, and two Panthers defensive backs essentially for quitting. Moss also has been defended by Patriots owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady and multiple film dissectors. But Moss might not get a chance to make his statement Sunday against the Bills, who own the NFL's worst defense against the run and fifth against the pass.

If the Bills defeat the Patriots on Sunday, then interim coach Perry Fewell gets the job. The last Bills coach to beat the Patriots was Gregg Williams on opening day 2003. The Patriots have won a dozen straight games, but what better way for the Bills to mark a mostly irrelevant season by ending that drought? The Bills haven't made the playoffs in a decade. This will be their Super Bowl, and a victory would give the Bills plenty of justification to stick with Fewell.

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