Chat with James Walker
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC East blogger James Walker will stop by to chat about the NFL and what to expect from your team.
Walker joined ESPN.com in 2008 after three seasons covering the Cleveland Browns for the Columbus Dispatch.
Send your questions now and join James Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:00 PM)
What's going on, AFC East fans? Let's talk about the division.
Mike newyork [via mobile]
Whats got to happen for the patriots to get back on track this coming week ?
James Walker (4:02 PM)
Good question, Mike. For the Pats, they need to make less mistakes on offense and play a little better defensively. Tom Brady has been decent. But he hasn't been Tom Brady -- and New England needs that level of play to win. The defense isn't doing enough to carry the team. So Brady usually needs to throw for a lot of yards, touchdowns and control the game in that way. It will be hard against the Jets, whose secondary matches up pretty well with New England's receivers.
Matt (Apex, NC)
Do u think Matt Moore could start for any other team in the NFL after his preformance sunday
James Walker (4:04 PM)
Absolutely, Matt. There is some baaaad quarterbacking in the NFL. Have you seen teams like Cleveland and Seattle play? Moore is just at that level where he's not a franchise quarterback but he's better than most backups. He can win a few games off the bench but you can't go into the season with him as your starter. Miami will need to find a quarterback it can rely on for 16 games next season.
JR (Tampa Bay)
Hey James. It seems like the Dolphins can't do anything right to keep the fans happy. First they couldn't win, now they didn't lose.
James Walker (4:07 PM)
Well, JR, I think the biggest complaint is they didn't win when it was necessary. If Miami started out 1-0 with a 31-3 win over the Pats in Week 1, the city of Miami would have been jubilant. But with the season over, getting your first win in Week 9 has no impact. It doesn't save jobs in Miami and it hurts draft position. That's not the team's perspective. But that's how many Dolphins fans see it.
Do you see the jets sticking to ground and pound or going with a more pass happy offense because of the patriots terrible pass defense
James Walker (4:08 PM)
If the Jets are controlling the game, it will be more ground-and-pound. The only way I see Mark Sanchez throwing the ball more than 40 times this week is if the Patriots get a lead early and keep the Jets playing from behind.
Chris (Manhattan, NY)
James,Which offensive and defensive Stat do the Jets or Patriots need to dominate to ensure victory this weekend?Thanks for all your insights.
James Walker (4:10 PM)
For Jets, time of possession. For Patriots, Tom Brady's passing yards against a talented Jets secondary.
My question here in the chat today is.......How do you feel Landry Jones might fit in Miami under a new regime? From the looks of things it seems like Andrew Luck will be a Colt when the draft rolls around and I think that the Dolphins will be picking in the 4 to 5 range in need of a franchise quarterback for the future. To me, Landry Jones seems like a good option if the Dolphins don't get Andrew Luck. I'd like to hear your opinion. Thanks.
James Walker (4:12 PM)
I like Landry Jones but I'm not convinced just yet that he's the No. 2 overall pick. I think watching Andrew Luck the past two years has jaded me a little. Luck is so far and away the better college QB that Jones and Barkley seem like consolation prizes.
the hooded genius (CT, New England)
Are you going to the NE-NYJ game? I know ESPN Boston and NY probably have it covered but you should get there anyways.
James Walker (4:14 PM)
Yes, HG. I will be there to offer my insight. Thanks for being a loyal reader, BTW.
are the jets in the drivers seat in the division? amazing
James Walker (4:15 PM)
Neil, I wouldn't say any team is in the driver's seat when there's a three-way tie at the top of the AFC East. Now, San Francisco, that's my idea of being in the driver's seat. But the AFC East is completely up for grabs.
James, does this sound reasonable. Bills beat Miami twice, Denver, and Tennessee...then beat SD or Dallas, probably lose at Jets and Pats for 10-6 record?
James Walker (4:17 PM)
I try to stay away from all that. I'm not even predicting one game this year, let alone the rest of the season.
James, I think the Dolphins are too talented to win the luck sweepstakes. Do you think another quarterback in college or in the league can help turn them around?
James Walker (4:19 PM)
Yes, another college QB could help, but nearly to the degree of Andrew Luck. In my opinion, Luck has a chance to be the second or third best QB in the AFC East as a rookie. He's that good. Landry Jones and Barkley would be behind Brady, Fitz and Sanchez. Miami would still be years away from contending. That's how big a difference it would be to get Luck.
John Fabrizzio (Jersey )
If the Jets beat the Patriots the divison is the Jets to lose, would you agree?
James Walker (4:20 PM)
I wouldn't say that. The tiebreaker would still be up in the air because both teams would split games. So it would be a one-game led for NY with seven games to go. Plenty of football left.
Tim (McKinney Tx)
I read an article about the dolphins that mentioned they have a decent chance of going 7-9. What are your thoughts?
James Walker (4:21 PM)
So Miami would have to go 6-2 in the second half of the season? Not happening.
Hey how r u (Good)
Why is Fitzpatrick so good against every team but the jets
James Walker (4:25 PM)
It's just an awful matchup. The Jets have better personnel at key positions and know how to the stop Buffalo's offense. If the Revis, Cro and Wilson can shutout the Bills' WRs playing one-on-one and NY run blitzes to stop Fred Jackson, what can Buffalo really do?
James Walker (4:27 PM)
Nothing against Buffalo, but think about it: Revis>S. Johnson, Cromartie>Donald Jones and at least on this day Kyle Wilson>David Nelson. If the Bills can't win those one-on-one matchups, they are toast. NY brought extra blitzers most downs to get to Fred Jackson or QB Ryan Fitzpatrick if Buffalo passed.
has santonio holmes signed to the wrong team to make use of his skills
James Walker (4:31 PM)
I think Holmes and the Jets will be fine. NY is not a passing team. The Jets thought they could be early in the year and we saw how that turned out. Holmes is a good player, regardless of his numbers. He just has to be ready to make plays when needed.
There is no choking for the Bills....they have already surpassed expectations. We we be able to sustain the run for the next few years?
James Walker (4:34 PM)
Five wins is not surpassing expectations, in my opinion. The Bills were 4-12 last year. Buffalo needs to build off this fast start and contend for a playoff spot. The bar has been raised. They need to finish with a winning record for Bills fans to be happy.
Would it make sense for the jets to put Kyle Wilson on branch and Cromarti on either Gronk or Hernandez because of his length.
James Walker (4:36 PM)
I'm not sure about that one, Tim. Cromartie isn't an inside DB. He's best on the outside against the fastest, most athletic player. Plus, if Tom Brady sees Big Gronk lined up over Cromartie he will audible to a run play often. That will be a big advantage for N.E. with Gronk blocking Cro inside the box.
Dima (Brooklyn, NY)
Do you think the Jets are thinking about signing Haynesworth for intel? Or do they know better?
James Walker (4:40 PM)
Nah, I don't see it. Sometimes teams do it, but not with big names. For example, the Jets signed former Bills TE Shawn Nelson last week. It's cheap and you can get the same info. No point on spending money on a big-name player.
Eddie (Cleveland )
How many wins do you think wins the division? Are 2 teams from the AFC East making the playoffs?
James Walker (4:42 PM)
Yes, I think two teams get in, as well as two teams from the AFC North. As far as wins for the AFC East, I would say 11. Ten for the wildcard.
Why would the vastly superior Jets need any "intel" to beat NE?
James Walker (4:43 PM)
The Jets are "vastly superior"?
andy (West Va.)
R.Bush been doing well past 2 weeks! As long as Thomas is injured does Reggie keep this up or fade away again?
James Walker (4:44 PM)
I think the Dolphins have finally figured out how to use Reggie Bush. It's funny, because plenty of media, including myself, have been saying since September that it doesn't make sense to constantly pound him inside. Miami's coaching staff finally figured this out in November.
What chance does Matt Moore have to develop into the QB Miami needs, if we can't trade-up to draft Luck? He is showing some great talent when he's protected in the pocket.
James Walker (4:46 PM)
Austin, I wouldn't overrated anything you see from Moore or Miami in these final eight games. The team isn't playing for anything. There is no pressure. Because Moore has one good game in a meaningless situation doesn't mean he's your franchise quarterback. Moore is a great backup and borderline starter. But he's not leading any team to a Super Bowl.
Chris (Richmond, VA)
Do you think the Bills have a shot at the playoffs?
James Walker (4:48 PM)
Of course. They are 5-3 and tied for first place in the AFC East. All three teams have a shot. But of those three teams, I think the Bills have the most to prove that they are legit.
Tom (New York)
Would it be worth the Dolphins giving the Colts asking price for Luck?
James Walker (4:51 PM)
It depends on the asking price. It's too early to speculate. The Dolphins may have the No. 2 pick or the No. 5 pick. That changes the asking price.
the hooded genius (CT, New England)
I'd do: Revis on Hernandez, Cro on Branch, Wilson on Welker with help, combination coverages on Gronk.
James Walker (4:53 PM)
Kyle Wilson is going to need a looooot of help, HG. Why put NY's third best CB on N.E.'s top WR?
David (West melbourne,FLa.)
James your thoughts on D.Thomas! Is he going to finally overcome injury and play alot in 2nd half? Thanks
James Walker (4:55 PM)
Good player, David. But hamstrings are tricky. If Thomas doesn't rest it long enough, it can easily come back. That's been the case all season. Miami just needs to continue to sit Thomas until he's 100 percent. Coming back too soon just puts him back on the shelf.
Kyle Williams to the IR...man that's rough for the Bills...do they even explore Big Al as a possibility for depth purposes?
James Walker (4:57 PM)
Not happening, Xander. The Bills play primarily a 3-4 scheme. As Haynesworth proved with the Washington Redskins, he wants absolutely no part of that.
Chris (New York)
Revis on Welker. Cro on Branch. Wilson on Hernandez? What do you think is the best combo?
James Walker (5:00 PM)
I like this one the best so far. But if I were the Jets, I would put Revis on Welker the entire game and just take that option away from Tom Brady. Everything else I would mix up and give different man and zone looks.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for the time. Remember to check out the AFC East blog and AFC East Twitter for constant updates.