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!
Deven (Buffalo, NY)
What went wrong for the Bills on Sunday, Mr. Walker?
James Walker (4:03 PM)
Let's start with Bills. It's a lot that went wrong, Deven. I think the biggest thing is they couldn't stop the run and didn't adjust. The Patriots knew they were playing nickel and dropping guys back and switched it up in the second half. Buffalo should have not been that predictable on defense.
Brandon (New Windsor)
Even though the Bills got demolished embarrassingly on Sunday. If you look at their last 7 games. (vs. MIA, @IND, vs. JAC, vs. StL, vs. SEA, @MIA, vs. NYJ) do you think they'd be able to run the table (or at least win 5-6 games) and still compete for a wild card? With that said how many wins do you think the bills need to get in their first 9 to really have a shot at that?
James Walker (4:04 PM)
There is no way the Bills are running the table with that schedule, Brandon. Buffalo is going to have a tough time right off the bat with the 49ers. But the Bills need to win half of those games to remain in contention. I think that should be the goal for this team.
Will the Jets bounce back, or is Houston just too good?
James Walker (4:06 PM)
I don't make predictions until later in the week, Alex. (I am 12-1 this season, by the way.) But I will say this is a tough matchup for the Jets. I don't like the fact that NY's run defense is so mediocre. That might be the biggest surprise.
Tim (Long Island)
How is Shonn Greene still the starting running back if he can't get decent yardage on his runs?
James Walker (4:07 PM)
The Jets have no answer behind him. Can they start Bilal Powell? Joe McKnight? Depth is a major issue on the Jets overall.
James Walker (4:08 PM)
By the way, the Dolphins have signed WR Jabar Gaffney and cut WR Legedu Naanee. Good move for Miami to cut its losses with Naanee.
Big Bubba (Bubbasville )
Is it time for Dan Carpenter to go?? He missed two game winning FGs against the Jets, and he missed a FG against the Cardinals. He can't make the FGs that count and close out games. He needs to go now!
James Walker (4:10 PM)
Kickers are always tough, Big Bubba. Carpenter has been consistent for years and suddenly he's struggling. That happens to all players. But it seems kickers have a very short leash of a couple games. If Mark Sanchez struggles for two games or Ryan Fitzpatrick, no one says cut Sanchez and Fitzpatrick. I think Carpenter has earned time to get back in the grove.
Joe (Wichita, KS)
Can the Bills put in TJack so we can see something different? I'm sick of Fitz's "deep throws"! 30 yards is not deep (especially when it's horribly underthrown). I saw Matt Ryan throw more than 50 yards through the air perfectly to a wide receiver... and wept.
James Walker (4:11 PM)
Stop it. Tarvaris Jackson has not even earned his way to the backup spot yet. He's behind and trying to work his way up. Until T.Jax is at least the backup, he's not in the conversation.
What took them so long to sign Gaffney? He was an upgrade over Naanee BEFORE the season!
James Walker (4:13 PM)
Gaffney was a little banged up when he left the Patriots, but the Dolphins met with him and kept him on their short list. Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland signed Naanee in free agency and didn't want to cut him loose that early.
Joe (Wichita, KS)
Seriously, why are the Bills still messing around with Fitz? I don't care about 12 TD, it's about beating good teams... and he can't!
James Walker (4:16 PM)
I'm surprised Ryan Fitzpatrick is such a hot topic today. He didn't give up 52 points Sunday. The Bills committed to Fitzpatrick last year to the tune of $59 million. I said at the time it was a risky investment for a QB who hasn't really done anything. But Buffalo has to stick with him for at least the next year or two.
Brendan ( New Jersey)
How much of an impact do you think Jabar Gaffney will have on the Dolphins?
James Walker (4:18 PM)
Gaffney hasn't played in more than a month. We have to see what kind of shape he's in and how quickly he can pick up the offense.
Trout or Cabrera for AL MVP? We need to hear everyone's opinion.
James Walker (4:18 PM)
Spiller? FJax? How do you see this RB situation unfolding?
James Walker (4:19 PM)
If both are 100-percent healthy, Spiller should be the starter. But Jackson is more healthy right now.
What are your thoughts on how Tannehill is progressing he seems to get better from week to week?
James Walker (4:21 PM)
Tannehill is getting better and that should be the No. 1 goal for Miami this year. The Dolphins will talk playoffs but that's not the reality. It's all about the rebuild and getting Tannehill ready for next year and beyond.
James Walker (4:22 PM)
It's only four games, but I will say Tannehill has a higher ceiling than Sanchez and Fitzpatrick. Sanchez and Fitzpatrick are what they are and won't get much better over the next few years. Tannehill's arrow is pointing up.
How much of the bills loss falls on the coaching? Without the necessary personnel on the field, we never had much of a chance to stop the run
James Walker (4:25 PM)
That was part of the problem, Nick. The jury is definitely still out on Bills coach Chan Gailey. They didn't make any adjustments in the second half and was outcoached by Bill Belichick.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What does the Jets have to do to Improve after a very Stinky Game against the 49ers?
James Walker (4:26 PM)
The Jets are in trouble, Chris. This is a sinking ship and I'm not sure the Jets can stop all the leaks. Revis and Holmes are out. The offense can't score. The defense is not nearly as good as the Jets thought. NY has too much to fix.
Another Brady/Manning matchup this week. NE hasn't had much of a problem with Denver's defense lately, more of the same this week?
James Walker (4:27 PM)
I'm saving predictions for later in the week, Mark. Check the AFC East blog for it.
Tim Tebow (Jersey)
Comon you know you want to.
James Walker (4:28 PM)
Not this week, Tim. Check back soon if things continue to go downhill.
do you like the falcons as a super bowl contender
James Walker (4:29 PM)
The Falcons are a good regular-season team. They have to win a playoff game first before I feel comfortable putting them in Super Bowl contention.
Luke (Oakville, Ontario)
Does Ryan Tannehill have a shot of being the best rookie QB by season's end?
James Walker (4:30 PM)
A lot of quarterbacking, to me, is wins and losses. I think Tannehill is going to have to do better than 1-3 in order to be considered at or near the top.
How come people don't cut Fitz some slack? It's one thing to state that he doesn't have the arm strength to make some throws. But the guy is better than he gets credit for. I've heard it state by some analysts (and I agree, actually though it before I read and heard it) that of mistakes aren't really his mistakes. What do you think?
James Walker (4:31 PM)
That's Fitzpatrick. He drives Bills fans crazy one week and is good the next. By biggest issue with Fitz is his streakiness. You don't know what you will get from him week to week. So you never really know if the Bills are capable of winning a big game. The QB is too much of a wildcard.
Zach (New York)
Best front 7 in the AFC East?
James Walker (4:34 PM)
The Dolphins front seven is PLAYING the best. I Think that's more important than what's on paper.
Almost time for Belichick to start auditioning FG kickers?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
Belichick said he has confidence in Stephen Gostkowski. He's safe for this week after a win, but he better get his act together.
Dallas [via mobile]
What is ur take on bills after 4 weeks do see them improving
James Walker (4:37 PM)
An up-and-down team that can't win in the division. That's not good. We will know more about Buffalo over the next five games.
Burt (Lethbridge, Alberta)
Jimmy James! Not trying to uncork some sort of potential bias or anything, I'm just curious: who were some of your favorite athletes/teams growing up? Again, just curious, as a sports fan.
James Walker (4:38 PM)
I'm a Temple fan, Burt. That's it.
Who takes the AFC east?
James Walker (4:38 PM)
I picked the Patriots in the preseason. I don't sway from preseason picks.
Straight Cash Homie (Rand, WV)
James, I'm a big Sanchez supporter. How much of the JEts ineptitude is his fault considering he has no running game and practice squad caliber targets to throw to (with no Kellar and Holmes)?
James Walker (4:42 PM)
I hear this a lot from Sanchez fans. Yes, Keller has been out and he doesn't have a running game. But I said in the preseason that this is a no-excuse year for Sanchez. I've been hearing excuses for four years. It's time for him to show he's a franchise QB or not. I'm not listening to excuses this season.
Brian (New Jersey)
If Holmes is out for the season, where do the Jets look in Free Agency for a new WR?
James Walker (4:45 PM)
If Holmes can't come back for an extended period, the Jets have to sign someone. There's no stud WRs just sitting on the street. The Jets may have to take a chance on aging options like Plax, Chad Johnson or Terrell Owens.
Could the dolphins surprise some teams and be at least a playoff contender by the end of the year?
James Walker (4:48 PM)
Dolphins fans, I've been saying all year this isn't about the playoffs. The Dolphins don't have enough talent to make the postseason. But the goal is to develop Tannehill, rebuild and play competitive on most weeks. Miami is doing that. Don't expect too much from this team.
Brendan (New Jersey)
Do you think Sean Smith is going to get a contract extension with the Dolphins after Sunday's performance?
James Walker (4:49 PM)
The Dolphins are going to have a lot of contracts coming up. I think Long and Starks should be at the top of the list. Guys like Smith and Bush will come down to money.
Tim (East Aurora, NY)
How long will it take for Dave to figure out the bills cannot get the pressure they NEED with just a four man rush? Has he ever heard of blitzing linebackers? I am no coach but an intelligent fan at the most just throwing something out there because what we saw last week was the saddest display of defense in 30 minutes i have ever seen. Besides the Baylor WVU game lol.
James Walker (4:52 PM)
This is what Buffalo has been playing on all season. The Bills liked the matchup of their D-line against any O-line in the league. But the group hasn't performed up to expectations every game and it's hurting Buffalo.
Sorry, but even as a Dolphins fan, I don't think that Long deserves what he is going to want. Can't stay healthy and is having an 'off year'. I think all the injuries are catching up to him. Why would YOU commit major money, long term if you were Miami?
James Walker (4:53 PM)
That's a good question, Matt. I haven't seen the same Jake Long for two years. But he still has big-name recognition. Long has played through some injuries, so you have to provide some credit for that. However, can you make him the highest-paid lineman after the past two years? Tough call.
Afternoon James! think the Bills have much of a chance @SF this wk? thx
James Walker (4:56 PM)
Every team has a chance, John. The Bills need to get tougher. Coach Chan Gailey called them out, and it will be interesting to see how they respond.
Jets should take a look at WR Nannee
James Walker (4:57 PM)
I think that's a bad idea, Bret. Jets just signed Clyde Gates. How many Dolphins cast-offs do they need?
Although I love Fred Jackson, if the Bills lose a couple more games, would they consider trading Fred Jackson to a contender for a draft pick? It would give him a chance to win and free up Spiller to run unopposed. I am sure the Green Bay Packers would love Fred Jackson.
James Walker (4:58 PM)
The Bills need depth at RB. That's one of the foremost positions to suffer injuries. As you can see in Buffalo, both RBs are hurt. You don't trade away that kind of depth during the season.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for your questions. Be sure to check out the AFC East blog for constant updates throughout the division.
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