AFC East: Final Word AFC 2011 Week 9

Final Word: AFC East

November, 4, 2011
11/04/11
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Here are five nuggets of knowledge about Week 9:

Rex Ryan versus Buffalo: The New York Jets should feel very confident facing the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. New York swept the Bills last season by a combined score of 76-21, and Ryan is 3-1 against Buffalo since 2009. On paper, the Jets have plenty of good matchups against the Bills. New York is one of the few teams talented enough and deep enough at defensive back to defend Buffalo's spread offense successfully.

[+] EnlargeNew York Jets coach Rex Ryan
AP Photo/Bill KostrounRex Ryan and the Jets swept the Bills last season by a combined score of 76-21.
Winless on the road: The Jets remain one of seven NFL teams yet to win a road game. New York is 0-3 away from MetLife Stadium and losing by an average margin of 12 points. The Jets have to turn that around if they want to remain in playoff contention. New York (4-3) is just one game behind the New England Patriots (5-2) and Buffalo (5-2) in the AFC East. The Bills are 4-0 at home, which includes last week's win in Toronto over the Washington Redskins.

Protecting Sanchez: New York's offensive line is playing better. But it faces Buffalo's front seven, which is coming off its best performance of the season. The Bills recorded an astounding 10 sacks against Washington, which was the second most in franchise history. The Jets have allowed 16 sacks of quarterback Mark Sanchez in seven games. New York allowed only 27 sacks last season.

Slowing down the Pats: What's happened to the New England Patriots’ high-scoring offense? The Patriots have scored their lowest point totals of the season the past two weeks. New England scored 17 and 20 points against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys, respectively. That has many wondering whether teams have finally figured out quarterback Tom Brady
& Co. The Patriots were fortunate enough to get a late touchdown against Dallas to pull out a 20-16 victory. But opponents are not giving up huge yards and are controlling the clock against New England. Look for Sunday's opponent -- the New York Giants -- to have a similar game plan.

Thunder and lightning: The winless Miami Dolphins (0-7) have been unable to get their running back duo of Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas on the same page. Sometimes that's been because of injuries and other times it was questionable game plans and play calling. But this week is a good opportunity for Bush and Thomas to help Miami. The Kansas City Chiefs have the NFL's 22nd-ranked run defense. Bush is coming off his first 100-yard game this season, and Thomas (hamstring) is expected to return. Miami's best chance to pull the upset is for Bush and Thomas to run wild against the Chiefs, who are coming off a short week of preparation.

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