AFC East: Final Word AFC 2011 Week 16

Final Word: AFC East

December, 23, 2011
12/23/11
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 16:

Sanchez missing the mark: The New York Jets haven't made many big plays this season. A major reason is that Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez is missing the mark on deep passes. Sanchez is completing just 25.6 percent of his passes of more than 20 yards. He also has four interceptions and an abysmal Total Quarterback Rating of 14.4 when throwing deep. The Jets' offensive line hasn't protected well, and that's affecting their deep passing game. The New York Giants have a solid pass rush and will try to pressure Sanchez. But if the Jets' pass protection holds up, big plays can be had against the Giants, who rank No. 29 in pass defense.

[+] EnlargeShonn Greene
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty ImagesJets RB Shonn Greene needs 59 rushing yards on Saturday to reach 1,000 for the season.
Greene for 1,000: Another key in the "Battle for New York" will be Jets running back Shonn Greene. He's come on strong in the second half of the season and is just 59 yards shy of 1,000. The Jets are at their best offensively when Greene has it going and Sanchez can throw it successfully off play-action. The Giants' defense also allows 127.6 yards per game on the ground, which is 22nd in the league.

Taking care of business: The New England Patriots (11-3) have to win their final two games at Gillette Stadium to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. It starts Saturday against the Miami Dolphins (5-9). Miami hasn't quit this season. The Dolphins are 5-2 in their past seven games but are just 2-5 on the road. Chances look pretty good for the Patriots, who are 22-1 in their past 23 regular-season games at home.

Big game for Moore: It's a critical time for Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore. He is 5-5 as a starter this year, but this is by far his biggest game of the season. Moore, like other quarterbacks in the AFC East, ultimately will be judged on whether he can compete with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. If not, the Dolphins need to find someone else who can. Moore's performance Saturday in Gillette Stadium will go a long way toward making that determination.

Bills face TebowMania: The disappointing Buffalo Bills (5-9) have lost seven straight games. But Buffalo has a good opportunity to play spoiler to one of the biggest stories in the NFL. The Bills (5-9) host quarterback Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos (8-6), who are trying to hold onto a one-game lead in the AFC West over the Oakland Raiders (7-7) and San Diego Chargers (7-7). Most expect Tebow to lead Denver to the playoffs. But a Buffalo upset would put Denver at risk in the final week.

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