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 Walker Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:00 PM)
Hello, everyone. Let's talk about the AFC East.
SHAWN (RALEIGH, NC)
If the Bills win out the rest of their games, including their last game against the Patriots. Do you think its possible to sneak into the playoffs as a 10-6 team??
James Walker (4:02 PM)
A 10-6 record does give a team a chance to get into the playoffs, Shawn. But I don't think it will be the Bills. For starters, the team isn't playing well enough to suddenly run the table. What has Buffalo shown in the past month (0-4) that it can make that kind of turnaround? Second, the Bills are behind on some tiebreakers. They lost the head-to-head to Cincinnati and the Jets, for example.
James, who seems to be the weak link on the Jets offensive line? It seems Sanchez is under pressure every other game. Also, it was ugly sunday but they survived. Easy win in Washington next week?
James Walker (4:04 PM)
Rachel, the group as a whole doesn't play well together. But if I had to pick a weak link it will be RT Wayne Hunter. Everyone on the O-line has had their issues. But Hunter has been manhandled regularly.
do you think the Buffalo Bills should draft a QB in the first round of the draft to replace me or a defensive back??
James Walker (4:06 PM)
Fitz, you don't have to worry -- at least not for next year. The Bills have invested too much ($59 million) in you. You will be the starter for at least a couple of seasons. Maybe the Bills draft a guy to develop over time as your successor.
jason (norwich ct)
is Peyton Manning league MVP?
James Walker (4:07 PM)
I understand your point, Jason. But you can't make vote for someone who hasn't played a down.
JStar (New Mexico)
Hey James, welcome to the AFC East! Am I wrong in thinking the Jets now have a good shot to make the playoffs? The only real competition for the wild card is Cincinnati and Denver. With Cincy still having games against both Pittsburgh and Baltimore, you'd think they're bound to lose a couple more this season. I'm also not sold on Denver being able to win out (especially with a game against the Patriots upcoming) either. Thoughts?
James Walker (4:09 PM)
Good shot? I don't know if that's a little strong. I would say the Jets have a decent shot. The margin of error is so small. The Jets can only lose one game tops. I don't think New York runs the table so it's going to be close.
Joey (Rockaway NJ)
If the Jets don't make the playoffs this year, any chance next season the Jets look for another QB?
James Walker (4:10 PM)
No, Joey. The Jets are committed to Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback. He will not be replaced next season. He's won too many big games for that franchise. But I think the rest of this year and next year is big for him to see if he's the long-term solution.
Joe (Bronx, NY)
What are the odds of the Pats going one and done again this year in the playoffs? > 50% > 75%?
James Walker (4:11 PM)
So much depends on the matchup, Joe. So that's hard to call in November. Last year the Patriots fan into a familiar opponent. But what if they get the Bengals, Raiders or Texans this season. I think New England is in great shape to win a playoff game?
JD (Charleston SC)
With Miami's improved play do you feel that they should still draft a first round QB next year or let Moore play another year?
James Walker (4:14 PM)
I think the Dolphins need to bring in another new quarterback to at least challenge Matt Moore in camp. Whether that's a rookie first-round pick or a big free agent, that's up to Miami's next regime to decide. I don't think you can go in with Moore as the unquestioned, long-term solution. The Dolphins need someone they can at least develop into that role.
Max (Oradell, NJ)
James, Who do you got in the Jets Giants game in a couple of weeks?
James Walker (4:16 PM)
Every week people have been asking me to do picks. I finally started doing them and went 3-0 last week, by the way. But I'm doing them week to week. Check back when those two teams play.
james, what did you think of the play of our young rookie cb arron williams?
James Walker (4:18 PM)
I liked Aaron's play before the injury and I thought he stepped up and made a few plays last week. He didn't have an easy assignment. Williams spent a lot of time on Santonio Holmes and help his own for a rookie.
Jim (Albany, NY)
After watching the Giants and Eagles both get destroyed this past week, do you think the Jets will win those two games? They are the only two games I see the Jets losing.
James Walker (4:20 PM)
You can't look at it that way, Jim. For example, the Bills were drilled by the Dolphins two weeks ago. You probably thought Buffalo would get drilled by the Jets the same way, right? Every game and every matchup is different.
Do you think the Dolphins are close to making in-season coaching change like the Jags and getting ahead start on finding a new head coach?
James Walker (4:21 PM)
Not at all, Jake. Miami is 3-1 (nearly 4-0) in its last four games. There is no reason to make an in-season coaching change. Tony Sparano has Miami playing its best football of the season.
Jim (Buffalo, NY)
James, I haven't seen the Bills have a good year since I was 17 (now 28) and it's getting to be that Sunday is suuuper depressing. When do you pack it in and say, I'm not supporting ownership that doesn't even try to win.
James Walker (4:23 PM)
I tell fans to always stick with their teams. Buffalo has a chance to do better than anyone expected. Most picked them to finish last in the AFC East. The Bills have a chance to still finish second.
What is more likely: Sparano is the Dolphins head coach next year or Matt Moore is the Dolphins starting quarterback?
James Walker (4:24 PM)
Matt Moore as the starting quarterback.
Would Stevie Johnson really have made it to the endzone if he hadn't dropped that ball at the 25 yardline with 1 min to go?
James Walker (4:25 PM)
I think Eric Smith or Jim Leonhard eventually makes the tackle. But the point is he was so wide open that he would have challenged for a touchdown and could have set up the game-winning score.
Spiller (Orchard Park, NY)
Do you see me having a 1000 yd. season?
James Walker (4:26 PM)
This year, CJ? Not happening. In future seasons, I have to see more before I'm comfortable saying.
Gronkowski now the best all around TE in the game?
James Walker (4:28 PM)
"Gronk" is challenging for the top spot. But I need to see more of a body of work before declaring him the absolute best. I would put him in my top five right now.
How do you sort out the third WR situation in NE? Ocho is a bust, Price isn't being used at all and a street WR/special teamer jumped to WR3 this past weekend. What gives?
James Walker (4:31 PM)
I think you have to stick with Ocho if he's healthy. He's still capable of making a big play and that's what New England needs, even if it's only for a decoy. But the Patriots run so many two tight end sets that lack of production from a third WR hasn't hurt them much.
How serious is the injury problem this year for the Buffalo Bills?
James Walker (4:34 PM)
Fred Jackson obviously is huge. I think the losses of Kyle Williams, Shawne Merriman and lately George Wilson also hurt the defense. But I'm not into injury excuses. Teams need depth, because injuries happen every year. The Bills need to add more depth next year.
James (New York)
How many wins do you think the #6 seed in the AFC will have, and who do you think it will be?
James Walker (4:36 PM)
Ten, and not ready to predcit games five weeks down the road. But you can do ESPN.com's Playoff Machine now and find out who gets the final wild card. Check it out.
How long does NE continue to dominate this division?
James Walker (4:37 PM)
As long as Tom Brady is healthy and Bill Belichick are on the sidelines, New England will be the favorites.
Joe (Bronx, NY)
If the Jets do not make the playoffs, is Rex's job in jeopardy and why or why not?
James Walker (4:38 PM)
Rex Ryan is not in the hot seat. He's been to back-to-back AFC title games. Do you know how many teams would take that? He's bought himself some time, even in New York.
Do you anticipate Rex finally toning down the offseason trash talk and Super Bowl predictions if the Jets miss the playoffs?
James Walker (4:41 PM)
Rex will be Rex. He's the one coach that I cannot predict what he will say. Rex might predict another Super Bowl. But he shouldn't.
who do you think will get the number 2 seed in the nfc saints 49ers or someone else and what four lose teams right now in the nfc not make the playoffs
James Walker (4:44 PM)
I would say the 49ers will get it. They already have a one-game lead. But I like the Saints' chances better to make a deep playoff run. They're probably the one team that could give the Packers a strong run. It's all about the matchup.
When you think New York football, do you think Jets or Giants?
James Walker (4:44 PM)
James Walker (4:45 PM)
Just kidding. I know there's been a lot of talk in New York about the Giants and Jets. But I don't really get into that. That's for the fans to decide, not the media.
Have you caught the limited, late game action of Shane Vereen? Ridley looked good early in the season, but Vereen's outside speed is impressive.
James Walker (4:48 PM)
I liked Shane coming out of the draft, and I know the Browns (I used to cover the AFC North) were one team interested in him as a change-of-pace back. The Patriots have done a good job of stockpiling RBs. They have four capable players who can run the ball and it helps with depth and overcoming injuries.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that Bills WR Stevie Johnson will be Penalized by the NFL for the TD Prop that Imitates Jets WR Plaxico Burris during the Jets/Bills Game on November 27?
James Walker (4:49 PM)
A fine is forthcoming. But that will probably be the end of it. It will be time to move on.
James,Do you think it makes sense for Jets to extend Schotty's contract to 2013? Also what do you think of actually cutting Sanchez, save 9mm in cap space - and beef up our D and O line?
James Walker (4:52 PM)
The extension wasn't done this season, Michael. The media just got wind of it. The Jets are not cutting Sanchez.
You're right James, the Bills are the only one of those teams that actually plays in NY
James Walker (4:54 PM)
I was just joking about that. I know Jets, Giants and Bills fans go at it about actually playing in the state of New York. To me, the Jets and Giants are New York City teams.
James do u think the Pats D is finally comin' around? or it's just smoke & mirrors? thx
James Walker (4:55 PM)
I don't think the Patriots will ever be a great defense. But New England is an offensive team. The key is to keep points down.
What divisions get the wildcard playoff births?
James Walker (4:58 PM)
Definitely the AFC North, Meesha. You can count the Steelers or Ravens to get one wild card. That last one is up for grabs. There's a lot of football left to play so it's hard to pick between the Bengals, Jets, Broncos and Titans.
What are the chances Miami upsets the Raiders Sunday?
James Walker (4:59 PM)
I think the Dolphins have a good chance in this game, Kevin. That is a looong road trip for Oakland. We've seen teams struggle with cross-country trips all season. I think this plays to Miami's advantage.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for your time. Be sure to check out the AFC East blog and AFC East Twitter for constant updates on the division.