AFC East: 2010 Week 11 Wrap Ups

Wrap-up: Bills 49, Bengals 31

November, 21, 2010
A few thoughts on Buffalo's win over Cincinnati:

What it means: The Bills are on a winning streak. A week after their first victory of the season, the Bills seemed on the verge of getting annihilated at Paul Brown Stadium. They trailed 28-7 in the second quarter, but surged in the second half to crush the Bengals.

How they did it: The Bills scored 35 unanswered points after the intermission to flip a blowout loss into a blowout victory. The Bills entered the game with two interceptions all year, but in the second half intercepted Carson Palmer twice and recovered a Cedric Benson fumble. Drayton Florence returned the fumble 27 yards for a touchdown.

The villain as a hero: Steve Johnson scrawled "Why so serious?" on his undershirt in homage to The Joker, a role Johnson wanted to play against the self-proclaimed Batman and Robin, Bengals receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco. Johnson finished with eight catches for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Batman and Robin combined for six receptions, 91 yards and two touchdowns.

Unhappy returns: Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick played poorly for much of his first game back in Cincinnati, where he spent two seasons and started a dozen games. Fitzpatrick threw two first-half interceptions to Johnathan Joseph, who returned one of them 21 yards for a touchdown to put Cincinnati up 28-7.

Happy returns: Fitzpatrick rebounded in the second half to complete seven of 10 throws for 139 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. In two seasons with Buffalo, he already has 27 touchdown passes, two more than Trent Edwards had in his three-plus seasons.

High-profile inactives: The Bills scratched four first-round draft choices: running back C.J. Spiller (injured), defensive lineman John McCargo (healthy) and outside linebackers Aaron Maybin (healthy) and Shawne Merriman (injured).

What's next: The Bills welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Week 12.

Wrap-up: Bears 16, Dolphins 0

November, 18, 2010
A few thoughts about Miami's 16-0 loss to the Bears.

What it means: The Dolphins technically aren't out of the playoff race, but they're almost out of hope.

To get a wild-card berth, the Dolphins must catch either the AFC East runners-up (New York Jets or New England Patriots) or surpass the AFC North runners-up (Baltimore Ravens or Pittsburgh Steelers) while also outjockeying the other teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans.

The Dolphins won't win many tiebreakers, having already lost head-to-head versus the Jets, Patriots, Steelers and Ravens.

Rare shutout: The Dolphins had been blanked at home only once in the past 40 years. That was in 2001 against the Jets.

Dolphins quarterback update: Tyler Thigpen didn't get much help. His line was banged up, the Dolphins failed to establish a running game and he had only three days to prepare for the match. Still, Thigpen didn't give Dolfans much hope for the homestretch, completing 17 of 29 passes for 187 yards and an interception.

Miami abandons the run: The Dolphins rushed for a season-low 39 yards, with Thigpen gaining 27 of them. Ronnie Brown ran three times for 10 yards. Ricky Williams ran three times for 1 yard.

Marshall disappoints again: Brandon Marshall, after insisting over the summer he was a changed man, is living up to his reputation as a clown. On one second quarter possession he had two bad drops and was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct along the Bears sideline for throwing the ball at old Denver Broncos teammate Jay Cutler. That's the second straight week Marshall was flagged for chucking the ball after a catch. Marshall permanently left the game in the second quarter with a right hamstring injury.

More injuries: The Dolphins are eroding by the week, but at least they have 10 days to slather on some spackle. Cory Procter, playing center for the injured Joe Berger, went down with a non-contact knee injury in the first quarter. That's bad news. Left guard Richie Incognito was shifted to center and had trouble with shotgun snaps.

Wake a bright spot for Miami: Unless he gets hurt, Dolphins outside linebacker Cameron Wake is headed to the Pro Bowl. He was a force in the first half, recording a strip sack (the Bears recovered) and drawing two holding calls on tackle J'Marcus Webb.

Third-down woes: Miami was awful on third down. Chicago converted 55 percent in the game. On a drive that straddled the first and second quarters, Chicago converted third downs of 9 and 16 yards (a Cutler scramble) before kicking a field goal. Miami's offense converted 9 percent of its third downs.

Henne in uniform: Chad Henne dressed as the third quarterback. That doesn't necessarily indicate anything about his injured knee, but it's a better sign than going to the injured reserve. The thing is, if the Dolphins can't generate any momentum, then there's no motivation to bring him back this year, and they might as well shelve him.

What's next: The Dolphins have extra time to prepare, but they'll have to travel cross-continent to play the Oakland Raiders in Week 12.