AFC East: Steve Slaton

Here are the most interesting stories Thursday in the AFC East: Morning take: Baltimore's release of Mason was a surprise. But he landed on his feet quickly in New York with former Ravens assistant Rex Ryan. Expect Mason to be motivated in his return to Baltimore.
  • The Miami Dolphins added former Houston Texans running back Steve Slaton off waivers.
Morning take: Slaton got lost in the mix in Houston after a fast start early in his career. Miami has two running backs already in Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush. But the winless Dolphins (0-3) need all the talent they can gather.
Morning take: Les Carpenter of Yahoo!Sports did a great job capturing the energy in Buffalo. You can feel the town's pride after the Bills' 3-0 start.
Morning take: The Oakland Raiders will be a good test. They run the ball very well. Oakland will try to control the tempo with tailback Darren McFadden to keep Patriots quarterback Tom Brady off the field.

Report: Second-rounder gets Lynch

April, 13, 2010
4/13/10
9:33
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According to a report by Yahoo! Sports writer Charles Robinson, the Buffalo Bills haven't been actively trying to move running back Marshawn Lynch, but they'll entertain offers and are open to trading Lynch for a package that includes a second-round pick.

Marshawn Lynch
Rick Stewart/Getty ImagesIn three seasons with the Bills, Marshawn Lynch has rushed for 2,601 yards, but he has run into trouble away from the field.
Yeah, good luck with that.

A second-round pick?

Robinson, citing an unnamed sources, reports the Seattle Seahawks have had internal discussions about making a play for Lynch.

Lynch has the potential to be elite. That's why the Bills drafted him 12th overall three years ago. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in his first two seasons and made a Pro Bowl.

But Lynch, much like Santonio Holmes, is one misstep away from a long suspension. Lynch began last season with a three-game suspension for repeated misbehavior. He was involved in a hit-and-run incident in Buffalo and made a plea deal on gun charges in California. He has been accused of other transgressions, too.

A second-round pick for a player with Lynch's rap sheet seems expensive. The Scouts Inc. draft board projects Cal's Jahvid Best and Ole Miss' Dexter McCluster as second-round picks in this year's draft.

Talented running backs aren't that difficult to discover. Lynch eventually lost his starting job to Fred Jackson, a Division III product who wasn't drafted at all.

Here's a list of running backs who have been drafted in the third round: Shonn Greene, Frank Gore, Steve Slaton and Jamaal Charles. In the fourth round: Marion Barber, Brandon Jacobs and Darren Sproles.

If you'll allow me to mix up positions, the New York Jets acquired Holmes for a fifth-round choice. There's a belief the Denver Broncos will accept a high second-round pick for Brandon Marshall.

Buffalo might very well pull the trigger on a Lynch trade, but if the front office can finagle a second-round draft pick out of another team, then it will be a substantial coup.

Video: AccuScore likes Texans over Bills -- barely

October, 29, 2009
10/29/09
3:16
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ESPN's Jenny Dell informs us AccuScore simulations spit out a Buffalo Bills victory 70 percent of the time if Lee Evans can score a touchdown and the Bills commit no more than one turnover against the Houston Texans.

Wrap-up: Jets 24, Texans 7

September, 13, 2009
9/13/09
4:14
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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham


I'm not sure which to be more impressed by: the New York Jets' defense or the performance of rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez in a 24-7 victory over the Houston Texans in Reliant Stadium.

There are two major reasons to be upbeat right now if you're a Jets fan. Exhilarating first impressions will do that.

Sanchez won in his NFL debut and became the first to do so on the road since Chris Weinke eight years ago.

Sanchez completed 18 of 31 passes for 272 yards and one touchdown. He was in command. He converted several big third downs throughout the game.

Rookie head coach Rex Ryan, meanwhile, unleashed his defense with dramatic results.

The Jets were lights out. They manhandled the Texans, making a respectable offense look pedestrian. The Texans have become a trendy pick to reach the playoffs and have weapons like Andre Johnson and Steve Slaton. But they were rendered mute by the swarming Jets' defense.

The Jets forced two turnovers, sacked Matt Schaub twice, held Slaton to 17 yards rushing, held Johnson to 35 yards receiving and got off the field quickly enough that the Jets had the ball for 38:30.

Ryan's defense pitched a shutout. Houston's points came off a Sanchez interception late in the game.

But the reason I'm going to say the Jets' defense was more remarkable than Sanchez is that they were playing without defensive end Shaun Ellis and outside linebacker Calvin Pace, who both were serving suspensions.

How much do they mean to the defense?

Ellis and Pace combined last year for 133 tackles, 15 sacks, 18 tackles for losses, 21 quarterback hits, seven forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns.

And the Jets still dominated.

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