Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC East [Print without images]

Friday, September 14, 2012
Final Word: AFC East

By James Walker

NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Here are five nuggets of knowledge about Week 2:

Fight for legitimacy: The New York Jets silenced some -- but not all -- of their critics with a convincing 48-28 win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. But the Bills are a team the Jets have owned the past several years. The Pittsburgh Steelers will be a much stiffer test for New York in Week 2. The Jets have a chance to show they are for real if they can go into Pittsburgh and get a win at Heinz Field. A 2-0 start with wins over Buffalo and Pittsburgh would make the Jets legitimate contenders for a wild-card spot in the AFC.

Mario Williams
Mario Williams had a very quiet Bills debut, recording just one tackle.
Super Mario must produce: Bills defensive end Mario Williams was correct in his assertion that unknown Jets tackle Austin Howard illegally used hands to the face in Week 1. However, there is no more time for excuses. This is a big-game opportunity for Williams to bounce back at home against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills signed Williams to a franchise-record $100 million contract this offseason. With that comes the pressure to produce on a weekly basis. He registered just one tackle against the Jets, and the Bills certainly need more from him.

Impact of Wildcat: The much-anticipated debut of the Jets' Wildcat package with Tim Tebow was a dud in Week 1. Tebow rushed for just 11 yards on five carries in the win over Buffalo. However, Tebow had much more success using a similar read-option offense last year in a playoff win over the Steelers, who host the Jets on Sunday. Tebow rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries in the Denver Broncos’ 29-23 playoff win over the Steelers. Tebow also threw for 316 yards in that game, against last year’s No. 1 defense. Pittsburgh clearly had issues defending Tebow. So the Jets must find the right balance to get Tebow on the field while not hurting starting quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Dangers of falling to 0-2: If the Bills and Miami Dolphins aim to make the playoffs, it would be in their best interest not to lose Sunday. Since 1990, teams that start 0-2 have made the postseason only 12 percent of the time, according to ESPN Stats & Information. A win and 1-1 record would increase their chances to 41 percent. Buffalo entered the year with playoff aspirations and an improved roster. Miami is rebuilding this season and will host the Oakland Raiders at Sun Life Stadium.

Brady Bunch: Do the Arizona Cardinals have a chance at pulling off an upset over the New England Patriots? Based on the numbers, it doesn’t look good. New England quarterback Tom Brady is an amazing 35-1 in his previous 36 home starts, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Brady also is 10-0 in home openers. The Patriots, with Brady, know how to get off to fast starts at home and will be heavy favorites against the Cardinals, who will start Kevin Kolb at quarterback.