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)
Good afternoon, everyone. The AFC East is getting interesting. Let's chat about it.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Problem with Mark Sanchez over the Weekend He was absolutely Terrible?
James Walker (4:03 PM)
Sanchez didn't play his best, Chris. But the big issue is how much is him and how much is the lack of talent around him? Sanchez's leading WR Sunday was Clyde Gates, who was a Dolphins castoff. The problem I have with Sanchez is it's been four years. I think he is what he is at this point.
James I asked last week with no response how crazy it would be to see Indy and Miami go at this week with big playoff implications on the line...well, it's here. Thoughts and EARLY prediction (just do it for us)?
James Walker (4:04 PM)
Both teams are competing for a wild-card, Tommy. And there will be tiebreaker implications on the line. I think these two teams have a lot of similarities. Both are young with rookie QBs and rebuilding through the draft, which is the right way. Both teams are also ahead of schedule.
James Walker (4:05 PM)
As for predictions, you know the drill. I'm waiting until the end of the week. I have to see the injury reports this week, especially with Miami.
Where do you see buffalo going in the draft? Is a QB all but guaranteed?
James Walker (4:06 PM)
Nick, we're only halfway through the season. You want to talk draft already? The Bills have several well-definited weaknesses. But let's see how the rest of the season plays out.
The Jets had a pretty decent game against the Patriots. How did it all go wrong against Miami?
James Walker (4:08 PM)
I really think the Jets overlooked Miami. They beat the Dolphins earlier in the season and thought they could just trash talk during the week and show up, especially after playing well against New England. The Jets are not good enough to just show up. They need to bring their "A" game to have a chance against most teams. New York still hasn't learned that. But I think this game was humbling for the Jets.
Hey James, Any chance you don't take chalk with your picks at some point this year? You're spineless.
James Walker (4:11 PM)
I don't follow "chalks" and things like that. I simply cover the games and pick the teams I think is going to win. I'm 20-5 this season. So I'm doing well my way. Don't hate.
John [via mobile]
Do you see Jabnar Gaffney giving more spark to the offense as the season progresses?
James Walker (4:13 PM)
Good question, John. I liked what I saw from Gaffney. He made a nice catch in his first action this season. He also had a drop, so there's still some things to work on. But Miami doesn't need much. Gaffney just needs to make a play or two a game and let the other WRs and running game do the rest.
My Jets can't be this bad can they? playoff chances?
James Walker (4:15 PM)
The Jets are bad, Jay. You have to look at it objectively. The team is injured and has no depth. The defense isn't what it once was and the offense lacks an identity week-to-week. Don't plan for the playoffs, Jay. It's not happening this year.
Which team is getting the most out of their Rookie class, and which team is getting the least?
James Walker (4:18 PM)
I like what the Dolphins and Patriots are doing with their first-year players. I'm sure it's not a coincidence both teams are at the top of the division after hitting on their draft picks. Tannehill, Chandler Jones, Vernon, Denard, Hightower (when healthy), Martin...both teams' rookies are doing well.
How do you see Bills pull off a miracle in Houston, even if it was in Fantasy?
James Walker (4:20 PM)
I'm holding my official prediction until later in the week. But I'm sure you know where I'm leaning on this matchup. The Bills had a bye but so did Houston. No advantage there. This game may not be close.
Trent (San Diego)
Do you think Miami will pick up a #1 WR before the trade deadline?
James Walker (4:22 PM)
The only No. 1 receiver on the market is Dwayne Bowe. The Dolphins are doing well and I'm not sure they want to shake things up and risk changing the chemistry. They can't trade Matt Moore, because Ryan Tannehill is injured. So Miami would have to ship a high draft pick and mortgage the future. I don't see it.
James,I am extremely disappointed by the national coverage after Miami went into New York and dominated them in all three phases. It was all about how the Jets have failed and focused on Sanchez/Rex Ryan. When will Philbin, Wake, or Starks get some love from the media?
James Walker (4:23 PM)
Read the AFC East blog, Andrew. That's all you need.
What position do you think would be best for Tim Tebow to play?
James Walker (4:24 PM)
Right now: Running back.
You probably won't answer this, but are you ready to back off your early season statement that you made quite consistently that the "Dolphins will not make the playoffs?"
James Walker (4:27 PM)
Gary, where have you been? I run a full-accountability blog. I wrote about raising Miami's expectations weeks ago. After the game Sunday I wrote the Dolphins should starting thinking and shooting for the playoffs.
Joseph Wilson (jackson,ms)
DO you think the pats D is elite,or is the offense going to have to wn games
James Walker (4:28 PM)
The Patriots' D is not elite. Not even close. New England will have to outscore opponents and try to get enough stops on D. It worked well last week.
What do you make of Daniel Thomas getting more carries than Reggie Bush?
James Walker (4:29 PM)
It was just the flow of the game, Brian. Thomas runs harder between the tackles and Miami had the lead. Bush fumbled. It was that kind of game.
Do you think it's best to just put in Tebow at this point? Is Rex Ryan making a mistake by leaving Sanchez as the starter?
James Walker (4:31 PM)
It's tricky, Mike. Do I think Tim Tebow is the answer? No, I don't. But the Jets are going nowhere fast with Mark Sanchez, too. This is why coaches make a lot of money. That's for them to figure out. I don't think either QB is the long-term solution.
Matt Moore (Miami Fl)
Am I worth a first round draft pick?
James Walker (4:32 PM)
Get ready for the Colts, Matt. Your team may need you again.
How many more years can the Pats be the cream of the crop? are we done after Tom?
James Walker (4:36 PM)
As long as Tom Brady is healthy and productive, the Patriots are going to be the favorites. Brady is that good and I wonder if Patriots fans take him and the team's success for granted. Once he's gone, the Patriots could have QB struggles like every other team and will be inconsistent.
Josh (Durham, NC)
Miami needs to retain Matt Moore next year. Tannehill isn't exactly built like Ben Roethlisberger. I remember Kosar backing up Marino one year. It's not unheard of for teams to keep two starting caliber QBs.
James Walker (4:37 PM)
I think the decision is more about Matt Moore than it is the Dolphins. Miami would like to keep Moore and pay him backup QB money. But Moore is 7-3 in his last 10 games. He thinks he's a starter and it's smart for him to go to a place where he will have more of a chance to play. That place is not Miami.
Any chance Jake Long is traded? Or does Miami keep him for the long term?
James Walker (4:39 PM)
Miami is not trading Jake Long, Steve. The team hasn't made a decision yet on offseason moves but Long will be near the top of that discussion. It could come down to money. A one-year franchise tag also is a possibility.
I believe Chan Gailey is on a very warm seat right now. Do you see Chan getting jettisoned along with Wanny the DC this year?
James Walker (4:40 PM)
This is a big year for Chan indeed. If the season continues to go south, I don't think he will be back. He has nine games to turn Buffalo around.
Matt Moore (Fl)
Could I start in Buffalo?
James Walker (4:41 PM)
Matt, shouldn't you be studying film or something?
Kris G (Indy)
Is this Miami D for real? I like their tenacity. Should I buy in?
James Walker (4:42 PM)
Front seven is legit. The secondary is a bit inconsistent but getting better. Overall, it's a good group.
Whats your magical number for a WC spot for the Dolphins? 9 wins? 10 wins?
James Walker (4:43 PM)
Ten wins is always the safest number. I think any team with 10 wins gets in from the AFC this year. Nine is a possibility too. There aren't many good teams besides the division leaders.
Div. Winners: Pats, Texans, Ravens, BroncosWild Card: Steelers, Dolphins
James Walker (4:45 PM)
What if the Colts win this week, Dave? Just saying.
James, do you see Miami's run game stepping up this week against the Colts?
James Walker (4:46 PM)
The Colts are 27th against the run. They're not a real physical team. That's a good advantage for Miami.
James Walker (4:47 PM)
This Dolphins-Colts game could be a big tiebreaker.
Miami [via mobile]
Do you think the dolphins should rest tannehill and start moore this week ?
James Walker (4:48 PM)
If Tannehill is healthy, he should play. That will be the doctor's call.
Tim (Long Island)
Do you think Rex will "live and die" with Mark Sanchez?
James Walker (4:49 PM)
He's starting to do it now, Tim. I think his decision to stick with Sanchez from now on will start to reflect on his security if the Jets keep losing. Ryan is fine this year. But if Sanchez gets a fifth season as a starter, it's the QB and HC on the line.
Larry (Visalia Ca)
How much better do the Dolphins need to get to be mentioned in the same sentence as NE?
James Walker (4:51 PM)
Beat the Patriots next month and we will talk about it, Larry.
now or never for mario>?
James Walker (4:53 PM)
I don't know about that, Joe. Mario Williams is signed for multiple years. He will be in Buffalo for a while. Bills fans may have lost patience but not the team. This is a long-term commitment.
Larry (Visalia Ca)
At what point do we call the Mario trade an all time bust for the Bills?
James Walker (4:55 PM)
That's up to each person to decide, Larry. Mario's first half of the season has been a bust. Maybe the second half gets better. But he will be in Buffalo for the long-term.
Do the Dolphins re-sign Reggie Bush next year?
James Walker (4:57 PM)
The Dolphins have not made any decisions on next year's free agents. I think all options are possible.
James Walker (5:04 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for your time. Patriots and Jets fans, enjoy the bye. Dolphins and Bills fans, enjoy the games Sunday. Continue reading the AFC East blog for all the latest.