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)
We still have two teams in the playoff race. Let's chat about the AFC East.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that the Buffalo Bills will finish with a 5-11 Record?
James Walker (4:02 PM)
Chris, I think Buffalo still has one more win in them. I don't think it will be this week. But the Bills will probably surprise someone by the end of the season. It's hard to picture with the way they're playing. But the NFL is crazy on any given week.
James, another victory for the Jets. Are they going to sneak in the playoffs again this year? KC's up next and that should be another victory. PS, when will they learn how to field punts???
James Walker (4:04 PM)
Rachel, the Jets are on a week-to-week basis. They've been one of the most up-and-down teams all year that no one can project how they finish. Right now they are up, which is a good sign. New York has the talent to beat anyone but it never seems to put it all together for a long stretch. I have a feeling it comes down to whether they beat the Dolphins in Miami on New Year's Day.
What do you see in the future for the Dolphins? Is Moore the answer or should they rely on a little Luck? Your thought on their head coach? Thanks!!
James Walker (4:06 PM)
Alex, I still think the Dolphins change the head coach. But Tony Sparano is making it tough. The quarterback position could be Matt Moore next year. But it depends on the coach. If it's a new coach, I think someone comes in to compete, via the draft or free agency.
James Walker (4:07 PM)
What I would do is draft a QB in the first round and let him compete or grow behind Moore if he can't beat him in training camp.
Justin Cafiero (Westfield NJ)
Hey James, do you think that Rex Ryan is an elite coach in the NFL?
James Walker (4:08 PM)
I don't take the term "elite" lightly. I leave that for the coaches who have won the Super Bowl. Ryan hasn't done that. But he's a good coach.
JW - Do you think the Jets should re-sign Maybin after this season or let him go, and why?
James Walker (4:10 PM)
Good question, Joe. Maybin is having a career year and I think he's a good fit for what New York likes to do. He has five sacks in New York's wins. So his plays are making an impact.
James Walker (4:11 PM)
I think New York goes after him in the offseason and Maybin returns. He likes it in New York.
Jonathan (Austin, TX)
Was it smart for the Pats to pull Brady so early and let the Colts almost come back?
James Walker (4:12 PM)
I'm not too worried about what happened last week. New England is notorious for running up the score. This time, the Patriots took their foot off the pedal for once and still got criticized. Which would you prefer?
Nick (Jacksonville, FL)
If the Dolphins keep playing like this for Sporano, do you think he will be able to keep his job?
James Walker (4:13 PM)
It all comes down to wins and losses, Nick. Keep in mind, Sparano's entire body of work will be judged. That includes his 0-7 start. Not just the fast finish. I think that's fair.
Hey James, do you think the Jets can make another deep run in the playoffs if they get in? That seem unlikely at this point, but it didn't seem likely the last two years either.
James Walker (4:15 PM)
That's a tough question, Luke. The Jets have to get in first. But when they've squeaked in in the past, the Jets have done a good job. New York has so much talent that the team can be a matchup problem for anyone, especially in a one-game scenario. We've seen that the last two years.
Do you think the 3 conference games we have left will (Bills, Jets and Pats) will decide the fate of Saparno? if we even go 2 -1 in that stretch it would be hard to fire him right?
James Walker (4:17 PM)
I don't think the conference games have much to do with it. Sparano needs to win. That's the bottom line. He's already promised his third straight non-winning season. If he runs the table Miami will be .500.
tony S (miami fl)
JW- how many teams in the afc/ afc east fear" my "i mean the dolphins??
James Walker (4:19 PM)
I wouldn't want to play Miami right now. I've been saying all year they have talent. I predicted they were an eight-win team. The Dolphins may not hit that mark, but they're finally playing like it.
Seth Rabin (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Will Wes Welker be in the Hall of Fame?
James Walker (4:20 PM)
No. He hasn't done nearly enough. This is the first time that question has even been brought up.
Anyone left on the Dolphins' schedule that would give them a chance to play spoiler this year?
James Walker (4:21 PM)
Sure, George. They play two division teams: New York and New England. Both teams are playing for a lot and Miami lost to both earlier this year.
Seth Rabin (Buffalo Grove, IL)
With the rise of Reggie Bush, have the Dolphins proven to be a threat for 2012?
James Walker (4:22 PM)
I like the combo of Bush and Daniel Thomas. Together I think Miami is set at running back. That's one less position the Dolphins have to address in the draft next April.
Spiller have a decent game in him this week vs.SD?
James Walker (4:24 PM)
If you have him on your fantasy team, he would be a good play. I didn't like how Chan Gailey went away from the run in the second half. Spiller had it going early. But maybe Gailey learned from his mistakes.
Jonathan (Austin, TX)
How much of Gronkowski's success is due to Brady? Would he have had this kind of success at another team?
James Walker (4:25 PM)
That's hard to say. Tom Brady makes everyone better. But I think "Gronk" is a very, very good player. He's only in his second year. He's only going to get better.
What are you thoughts on how Jerry filled in a gaurd for Carey?What about bumping him back out to RT and releasing the awful Columbo?
James Walker (4:28 PM)
I thought JJ did a great job, Jake. The best thing is you didn't noticed him. That's usually not the case when someone fills in. You may get a false start or a couple missed blocks. But Jerry played well.
Do you think the Miami Dolphins will be an elite team in 2012?
James Walker (4:30 PM)
Slooooow down, Jordan. Who's your QB next year? Who's your coach? Let's allow the season to play out and see what happens. It's still the Brady and Belichick division until proven otherwise.
In your mind, is David Harris one of the most underrated defensive players in the league?
James Walker (4:32 PM)
I really like David Harris, A-Mo. He is one of the NFL's most underrated players. I think Harris is too quiet. He plays on a team full of talkers and doesn't get noticed for his play. I'm not sure he cares too much.
Fitzpatrick in the Pro-Bowl. Yes or no
James Walker (4:33 PM)
No. Too many good QBs in the AFC. Fitzpatrick is too streaky. A lot of great games and bad games.
Do you think there is a scenario where the Jets pull the plug on sanchez?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
Barring injury, I don't see it, Randy. The Jets are all-in with Mark Sanchez and he's won a lot of big games for them.
Who are your top 3 quarterbacks in the AFC to go to the pro bowl?
James Walker (4:36 PM)
Tebow. Tebow. And Tebow.
James Walker (4:36 PM)
Just kidding. Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and the third is pretty open.
Jets are your favorite team in the AFC East. Yes or no.
James Walker (4:37 PM)
I don't have a favorite team in the AFC East or the NFL. It doesn't matter to me who wins or who loses. I just write about it.
Where does Fitzpatrick rank in AFC quarterbacks?
James Walker (4:38 PM)
I'm still trying to figure out where he ranks in the AFC East. The "Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch" is heating up.
Why are the Bills better than they were last year?
James Walker (4:41 PM)
Well, they have one more win with the potential for more. I think Buffalo has more stability at QB, too, which is big.
Who wins Jets v Dolphins week 17?
James Walker (4:42 PM)
I'm back to picking games. I'm 8-2 so far. I will make that pick when the time comes.
Jennifer (OLE MISS)
How many more years of Brady in NE?
James Walker (4:44 PM)
Tom Brady says he wants to play until he's 40. In terms of ability, he can do it. It will come down to staying healthy.
If the phins win all the games they have left... Is there still hope for a playoff run? That is if the jets and pats lose at least 2 of their next few games
James Walker (4:46 PM)
Stop it, Alex. You must have been one of those fans e-mailing me about Miami running the table when the Dolphins were 0-7. Miami won't make the playoffs, even with eight wins.
What are the chances both the Jets and the Giants make the playoffs, given the still have to play each other?
James Walker (4:46 PM)
I think one or neither make it, Matt. That game at MetLife Stadium will probably be an elimination game. Too little room for error on both sides.
Which stadium in the AFC east has the best food?
James Walker (4:48 PM)
I only know Press Box food, Mike. To be honest, neither really stands out above the other. As a division, I think the AFC North pre-game meals were better, for whatever that's worth.
Ben (Madison, WI)
Hey James,Despite being under contract, what are the chances that the Jets don't bring back Schotty next year. I really don't want him back. He does not make good game plans; he never tries the deep ball. Sanchez needs to be given a chance to develop under a different OC.
James Walker (4:50 PM)
Most of the fire Schottenhiemer talk has come from media and fans. I haven't heard anything about that from the team. Since he's still under contract I think he returns, especially if the Jets make the playoffs.
AJ (Burlington, VT)
With Welker taking the #1 spot. In your opinion who's the second best receiver in the AFC East?
James Walker (4:52 PM)
I would say Santonio Holmes. He's still really good and clutch. Holmes gets open more than you think. Mark Sanchez misses him more than he should.
Will this be another one and done year for the pats in the playoffs? I think it will!
James Walker (4:53 PM)
It depends on the matchup. Last year the Patriots ran into a familar team that was confident. That's a tough combo. There are certain teams I think New England matches up well against.
James Walker (4:54 PM)
Houston, Denver, Oakland, Cincinnati would all be good matchups for New England, IMO.
James Walker (4:55 PM)
Traditionally Pittsburgh, too. But I think New England would prefer to stay away from the Steelers this year. The Patriots would be happy if the Ravens and Steelers played each other in the divisional round. That leaves just one of those teams for New England to worry about.
How do you think Tebow would fare in Buffalo's offense?
James Walker (4:57 PM)
Buffalo throws 35 times a game. That's not a good match. Denver is doing the right thing with Tebow. Run him early and often to set up the pass.
Rick (Columbus, Oh)
Hi James. Greetings from Columbus. We miss you up here. What's your take on where the Jets should focus their attention on during the 2012 draft & free agency? I'm a realistic Jet's fan
James Walker (4:59 PM)
Right tackle for sure. I think the Jets need an upgrade for Wayne Hunter. Every game I've attended he's struggled. After that I think they need depth more than anything. They could use depth at WR, DL, maybe another pass-rusher if Maybin doesn't return. Maybe a deep threat at WR. Plaxico Burress is an upcoming free agent, as well.
So you would say New England doesnt want to face the Jets?
James Walker (5:01 PM)
Not saying the Patriots don't want to face them. But in terms of familiarity and talent, it's a tougher matchup than teams like the Texans, Raiders, Broncos and Bengals. Those would be easier games to start their playoffs.
James Walker (5:02 PM)
Everyone, thanks for the fun chat. Remember to check out the AFC East blog for constant updates.