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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
AFC East Stock Watch

By James Walker

NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

FALLING

1. New York Jets: There are reports of unhappiness and internal strife in the Jets' locker room. Three consecutive losses can do that to a team. New York's poor product on the field is driving Jets fans crazy. The offense is ranked 28th and the defense, although still talented, isn't what it used to be. There are no easy answers for the Jets. They can't seem to figure out their identity and put it all together. If New York can't get it right in time for its "Monday Night Football" game against the winless Miami Dolphins, it may be too late.

2. Buffalo Bills' defense: Watching Buffalo's defense can be exciting and maddening at the same time. The Bills fly to the football and often make heady interceptions and force fumbles. But Buffalo's defense also gives up way too many yards. The Bills have allowed 450 yards or more in four straight games. It's amazing that they are 3-1 in those contests. Buffalo constantly walks the edge and usually comes out on top. But if the defense doesn't improve, being in close games every week may eventually catch up to the Bills.

3. Jets' third-down offense: New York is 7 for 26 (21 percent) on third downs the past two games. That is a sure way to wear out your defense and lose games. The execution just hasn't been there most of the season.

RISING

BenJarvus Green-Ellis
BenJarvus Green-Ellis has rushed for 24 touchdowns over the last two seasons for the Patriots.
1. New England Patriots running game: Few people know this, but the Patriots' offense is sixth in the NFL in rushing. Quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots' high-powered passing attack get most of the credit for their 4-1 start. But New England also is running the ball very efficiently. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Stevan Ridley and Danny Woodhead have all contributed at different times. Balance on offense also has helped keep New England's struggling defense off the field in recent weeks.

2. Bills safety George Wilson: The sixth-year safety is having the best season of his career. Wilson probably had the best game of his career Sunday in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. He recorded 11 tackles, three passes defended and an interception. Wilson's steady leadership is one of the reasons Buffalo is tied for the best record in the AFC.

3. Bills running back Fred Jackson: What more can we say about Jackson, who has been a regular in the "Rising" category of Stock Watch? Jackson had another great game, accounting for 196 total yards and one touchdown against Philadelphia. Jackson is having a career year and setting himself up well for a contract extension. He's rushed for 480 yards and five touchdowns in five games. Jackson is averaging 5.3 yards per carry.