AFC East: Final Word 2011 Week 7

Final Word: AFC East

October, 21, 2011
10/21/11
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 7:

Cross-country advantage: The New York Jets are slight underdogs against the San Diego Chargers. But one big advantage New York will have is playing against a team traveling across the country. According to ESPN Stats & Information, teams traveling at least two time zones are 9-13 this season. The Chargers are traveling three time zones to New York, which is one of the longest road trips in the NFL. New York struggled with a similar trip in Week 3, when it lost to the Oakland Raiders.

[+] EnlargeLaDainian Tomlinson
Ed Mulholland/US PresswireLaDainian Tomlinson is expected to start Sunday for the Jets against his former team, the Chargers.
Familiar faces: Expect Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson and starting cornerback Antonio Cromartie to have extra motivation this week. Both are playing the Chargers for the first time since leaving the team two seasons ago. Tomlinson was one of the best players in franchise history but was released unceremoniously. He is expected to start Sunday. Cromartie had other issues, including a claim that Chargers doctors withheld injury information about a cracked hip during his tenure.

Don’t forget Marshall: Consider it "Reunion Week" in the AFC East. Another player facing his former team is receiver Brandon Marshall of the Miami Dolphins, who will host the Denver Broncos Sunday at Sun Life Stadium. Marshall is coming off one of his best games of the season against the Jets. He caught six passes for 109 yards. The Dolphins need Marshall to be consistent for backup quarterback Matt Moore to have a chance to win this season.

Move the chains: Miami is the worst team in the NFL on third downs. The Dolphins convert on just 24 percent of third downs and were an abysmal 2-for-13 in last week's loss to the Jets. Moore, making his second start for the Dolphins, has to do a better job on the most important down in football. Moore has the ability to scramble on broken plays, but he rarely used it last week.

Tough road after byes: The New England Patriots (5-1) and Buffalo Bills (4-2) are getting healthy on their bye weeks. But both teams have rough stretches coming up. New England will travel to play the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) in Week 8, followed by games against the New York Giants (4-2) and Jets (3-3). The Bills (4-2) will host the Washington Redskins (3-2), then play the Jets and Dallas Cowboys (2-3) in their next three games.

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