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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
How I See It: AFC East Stock Watch


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Falling

1. Rex Ryan, Jets coach: Everybody in the stadium knew Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez was the target on that fateful fourth-and-goal play with 1:38 left, but Ryan's defense still couldn't stop it. Moments later, Ryan blew up at referee Ron Winter, then walked into his postgame news conference and declared his team has been eliminated from the playoff hunt. Except they haven't been.

2. Chad Henne, Dolphins quarterback: Henne threw for a career-high 349 yards and guided the Dolphins to a 15-point, fourth-quarter rally and forced overtime in Nashville. But he threw the last of his three interceptions three plays into sudden death, frittering the hallowed first possession. The Titans kicked the winning field goal four plays later.

3. Mark Sanchez, Jets quarterback: A game away because of a knee injury didn't seem to help Sanchez settle down. The rookie came back Sunday and threw three interceptions, his fourth game with at least three in 13 NFL starts. His 20 interceptions are second in the league. He ranks 29th in passer rating.

Rising

Moss
New England's Randy Moss rebounded with a strong game against Buffalo.
1. Randy Moss, Patriots receiver: Under fire for perceived lollygagging, Moss had a strong game against the Bills. Tom Brady threw for just 115 yards, but Moss generated 113 yards and scored a touchdown. He finished with a game-high five receptions for 70 yards and drew another 43 yards on a Bills pass interference near the goal line.

2. Patriots pass rush: Without nose tackle Vince Wilfork and defensive ends Ty Warren and Myron Pryor, the Patriots rung up a season-high six sacks. Outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain recorded three of them. Bills quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards both suffered ankle injuries.

3. Fred Jackson, Bills running back: Jackson, the supposed backup to Pro Bowler Marshawn Lynch, is 189 yards from the coveted 1,000-yard milestone. Not bad for an undrafted Division III player who came up through the arena bush leagues. Jackson rushed 15 times for 80 yards against the Patriots. He also caught four passes for 32 yards and returned four kickoffs for 108 yards.