AFC East: Shonne Greene

Here are the most interesting stories Monday morning in the AFC East: Morning take: The injury wasn’t thought to be too serious because Gronkowski played on it during the Super Bowl. But time is going fast after surgery and you wonder if he will be ready by training camp.
  • The Miami Dolphins reportedly will use the franchise tag on left tackle Jake Long if an agreement isn't reached before next year's free agency.
Morning take: There is no reason for Miami to let Long walk for nothing. The Dolphins say they want Long there for many years and will make a strong pitch.

Morning take: This is Buffalo's bread and butter. Mario Williams, Mark Anderson, Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus should be tough to contain as long as everyone stays healthy.
Morning take: The Jets may need another tailback to go with starter Shonn Greene. New York will "ground and pound" a lot this year, and Greene must stay healthy.

AFC East Stock Watch

October, 25, 2011
10/25/11
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FALLING

1. Miami Dolphins' poise: The Dolphins (0-6) are setting records for being inept. They are the first team to blow a 15-point lead in the final three minutes since the NFL-AFL merger, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Once Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow got hot, Miami completely unraveled on offense, defense and special teams. The Dolphins' defense allowed two late touchdown drives to Tebow, the special teams failed to recover an onside kick, and Miami quarterback Matt Moore's sack and fumble led to Denver's game-winning field goal. It was a teamwide collapse.

2. Tony Sparano, Miami head coach: The Dolphins' coach is one of the AFC East leaders in the "falling" category this season. He dropped his ninth straight game as head coach. The Dolphins also are an astounding 1-12 in Sparano's last 13 home games. It's just a matter of time before Miami makes a coaching change. It could happen next week or at the end of the season. But Miami can't continue down this path beyond the 2011 season.

3. New York Jets in the first half: This may sound like nitpicking -- New York eventually came back to beat the Chargers -- but the Jets have started slow for the past month. New York trailed at halftime in three of its past four games. The Jets led at halftime only against the winless Dolphins, 14-6, in that span. New York overcame a 21-10 deficit last week against the Chargers. The Jets are 4-3 and cannot continue to rely on second-half rallies if they want to make the playoffs.

RISING

[+] EnlargeNew York Jets running back Shonn Greene
Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE After a slow start to the season, New York Jets running back Shonn Greene rushed for his first 100-yard game against the Chargers.
1. Shonn Greene, Jets tailback: The AFC East blog has been critical of Greene's lack of production all season. So it's fair to give Greene credit when he has a great game. Green rushed for a season-high 112 yards on 20 carries. He ran strong between the tackles against the Chargers and averaged 5.6 yards per carry. The Jets can win a lot of games if Greene runs this way more consistently. This is the first 100-yard game for Greene in 2011.

2. Plaxico Burress, Jets receiver: Burress had the most impressive four-catch, 25-yard performance a receiver can have. Burress was unstoppable in the red zone against San Diego. He scored all three of New York's touchdowns to lead the Jets to a 27-21 win. The Jets invested $3 million into Burress for games like this. He's a big body who can make quarterback Mark Sanchez's job a lot easier when the offense is clicking.

3. Rest for Patriots and Bills: The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots should benefit from the bye week. Both teams had injuries and gave key players two weeks to heal. For the Patriots, Pro Bowl linebacker Jerod Mayo is improving and has a chance to return against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Buffalo is expected to get back starting linebacker Chris Kelsay. Linebacker Shawne Merriman (Achilles) also said last week he expects to play against Washington, but nothing has been made official by the Bills.

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