Tuesday, November 29, 2011
AFC East Stock Watch
By James Walker
1. Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills wide receiver: Johnson (eight receptions, 75 yards) had success against New York Jets Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis. But his antics and dropped passes were crucial in Buffalo’s 28-24 defeat. Johnson got a 15-yard penalty for his controversial touchdown celebration mocking Jets receiver Plaxico Burress’ accidental shooting. That helped the Jets score a touchdown before halftime in a close game. Johnson also dropped a potential score and failed to make a tough catch in the end zone on Buffalo‘s final drive. Johnson apologized to his team after the game. He made an even smarter move Monday when he apologized to Burress. Still, the NFL is expected to fine Johnson.
2. Bills’ defense: Buffalo gave up four touchdown passes to Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and allowed 6.0 yards per carry. The Bills didn’t generate any pass rush. They had zero sacks against the Jets, who often struggle with pass protection. Buffalo needs to take a hard look at this group in the offseason and find ways to improve. The Bills do not do anything particularly well defensively.
3. Darrelle Revis, Jets cornerback: It wasn’t a typical shutdown game for Revis. Johnson made some tough catches and gave Revis more trouble than any receiver I’ve seen this season. Most of the plays were not for big gains, and the Jets said afterwards that the game plan was to keep everything in front of them. It’s kind of odd that a receiver catching for 75 yards on Revis is considered a bad game. But that’s how high his standards are.
Tom Brady and the Patriots have scored at least 34 points per game during their current three-game winning streak.
1.Tom Brady, New England Patriots quarterback: It looks like “Tom Terrific” is back. Brady has been in elite form lately, including this past Sunday’s masterful performance in a 38-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Brady threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns. He had the second-highest Total Quarterback Rating in Week 12. With a cupcake schedule, expect Brady to continue to boost his numbers on his way to the playoffs.
2. Mark Sanchez, Jets quarterback: Say what you want about Sanchez, but he comes through in the big moments. There was no bigger moment this season than New York’s 82-yard drive that kept the team’s playoff hopes alive. Sanchez was 7-for-9 for 65 yards on that drive and made two huge throws to Burress and Santonio Holmes. But Sanchez needs to be more consistent in the first three quarters.
3. Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins quarterback: Moore completes the quarterback sweep this week. I don’t think Moore is the long-term solution in Miami. But he’s at least making me consider the concept. He’s had a string of good performances, including a season-high 288 yards and a touchdown in a 20-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Moore, who is under contract next year, might at least get a chance to compete with the Dolphins next year depending on whom the team and new coach bring in.