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Friday, September 19, 2008
Audibles: AFC East Week 3 preview


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Miami Dolphins (0-2) at New England Patriots (2-0), 1 p.m. ET

Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter has been crowing this week about facing career backup quarterback Matt Cassel rather than Tom Brady. Porter declared Cassel "shouldn't be that hard."

True that. Instead of losing by 25 points, the Dolphins will lose by half as many.

Even without Brady, this game looks like a mismatch on paper. The Dolphins are coming off a terrible performance against the Arizona Cardinals, a 31-10 loss.

The Dolphins have shown virtually no running game or passing game, and they're about to go up against an elite front seven that includes the NFL's best defensive line. The Dolphins' pass defense has been immolated, and they're going to face Randy Moss and Wes Welker.

Other than that and special teams, the Dolphins have the edge.

Oakland Raiders (1-1) at Buffalo Bills (2-0), 1 p.m. ET

The Bills haven't won their first three games since 1992, but that should happen Sunday. The atmosphere should be electric in Ralph Wilson Stadium, where legendary defensive end Bruce Smith will be inducted on the team's Wall of Fame at halftime.

The Raiders are reeling. Head coach Lane Kiffin might be asked to turn in his office key at the end of the game and fly home commercial. Running back Justin Fargas isn't expected to play.

This game might be closer than Bills fans would like. The Bills have had trouble against good running teams in the past, and Oakland still has blue-chip rookie Darren McFadden.

The Bills, however, have demonstrated an extraordinary three-phase attack in victories over the Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars. If the Bills don't win this one, it will be viewed as a colossal disappointment and expunge much of the enthusiasm that has engulfed Western New York.

New York Jets (1-1) at San Diego Chargers (0-2), 8:30 p.m. ET Monday

There will be no shortage of talking points for this one.

Mr. Monday Night, Brett Favre, will try to work his magic again and try to rebound from throwing a critical interception that led to the decisive touchdown in Sunday's 19-10 loss to the Patriots.

The Chargers have had their fill of losing and would like nothing more than to unleash their frustrations on the Jets, who still are trying to find their offensive identity based on the criticism directed at head coach Eric Mangini and coordinator Brian Schottenheimer for their conservative play calls.

If the coaching staff has rabbit ears, then maybe Favre will have one of his classic Monday night performances and throw the ball all over the field -- even to tight end Dustn Keller and Laveranues Coles. Imagine that.