How I See It: AFC East Stock Watch

September, 15, 2010
9/15/10
9:22
AM ET
NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

FALLING

[+] EnlargeAntonio Cromartie
Ed Mulholland/US PresswireAntonio Cromartie was penalized four times for a total of 43 yards in New York's loss to Baltimore.
1. Antonio Cromartie, Jets cornerback: The Ravens picked on Cromartie rather than test a cornerback who missed training camp and all four preseason games. And the Ravens were wildly successful in their strategy. Cromartie did make a tremendously athletic play to intercept Joe Flacco near the goal line and return it 66 yards. But Cromartie was caught cheating all night. He committed four penalties for 43 yards.

2. C.J. Spiller, Bills running back: He was the most hyped-up rookie of the preseason because of highlight-reel touchdowns that made it look like the transition from Clemson to the NFL would be a snap. Not so fast. In a loss to the Dolphins in Ralph Wilson Stadium, Spiller had 11 offensive touches for 14 yards. He had one kickoff return for 11 yards.

3. Shonn Greene, Jets running back: The supposed feature back in the Jets' ground-and-pound offense had a bad opener. On the second play of the game, he had a 9 yard reception that he fumbled out of bounds. He totaled five carries for 18 yards, all by the 4:09 mark of the second quarter. He fumbled away his last attempt and didn't get another touch until the fourth quarter. Mark Sanchez tossed an easy pass to Greene in the flat. Greene dropped it.

RISING

1. Wes Welker, Patriots receiver: He's back to his old Welkerrific self. Tom Brady targeted his favorite receiver 11 times. Welker had eight receptions for 64 yards and two touchdowns, half of his last year's scoring total. Fans might hold their collective breath on a hard collision here or there in the next couple weeks, but I think we can stop worrying about Welker's rebuilt knee.

2. Dolphins' balanced offense: Identifying a star from Sunday's low-octane victory over the Bills is difficult. Offensive coordinator Dan Henning won with remarkable equilibrium. They ran 36 times. They passed 34 times. Ronnie Brown rushed for 65 yards (and a touchdown). Ricky Williams ran for 62 yards. Brandon Marshall had eight catches for 53 yards. Davone Bess had six grabs for 51 yards. Quarterback Chad Henne also got tight end Anthony Fasano involved with three receptions, including a 21-yard strike to put the ball at the Buffalo 1.

3. Patrick Chung, Patriots safety: The sophomore safety had a prolific afternoon in his second NFL start. He made 16 tackles, including one for a loss. Chung stepped in and staked his claim to the position ahead of veteran James Sanders, who started the final five games, including the postseason. Brandon McGowan started 11 games at free safety but was placed on injured reserve. Chung and strong safety Brandon Meriweather could form a rollicking duo on the back end.

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