Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

October 23, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with James Walker

James Walker
  (4:00 PM)

It's getting interesting in the AFC East. The pretenders and contenders are starting to show. Let's talk about it.

Mike The Cleaner (Garden City)

Aren't the Bills the only pretender in the AFC East right now?

James Walker
  (4:02 PM)

It's hard to say, Mike. I don't know if any of these teams are contenders with the exception of the Patriots. I only say that because they've been there before. It's not because they are playing at a championship level. The Dolphins, Jets and Bills are all in the same boat. They all have a lot to prove.

Tim (Long Island)

Shouldn't the Jets have passed on first or second down when they recovered McCourty's fumble? Running it played right into their hands.

James Walker
  (4:03 PM)

It's easy to play arm-chair two days after the fact. I think the Jets did what they thought would win the game. They were wrong.

Mike The Cleaner (Garden City)

Will the fins beat the jets this weekend

James Walker
  (4:04 PM)

You all should know the drill by now. I don't make game-by-game predictions until later in the week. I'm 18-5 and doing well. There's no point in making a prediction on Tuesday. Health in these games are key.

Brian (Secaucus, NJ)

The trade deadline is one week from today. Which AFC East team is most likely to made a trade?

James Walker
  (4:06 PM)

If I had to pick one team, it would be the Dolphins. They have the most trade capital. Miami has a veteran backup quarterback (Matt Moore) and tons of draft picks. They can make a trade for the right price.

cgc5783 (WB, NC)

I believe it was toward the end of the off-season you posted a "Bust-watch". Do you plan on putting out an update now that we are around the mid-season mark or later on toward the end of the year/next off-season?

James Walker
  (4:08 PM)

Yes, I've been keeping an eye on things and thinking when is a good time to update. Halfway through the season sounds like a good time. Look for it in the next week or so.

dolphinbill67 (atl)

can Miami's linebackers consistently cover Keller?

James Walker
  (4:10 PM)

I will take Miami's run defense against anyone. But the same rule doesn't apply for Miami's pass defense. The linebackers and safeties just don't cover well. I think the advantage in this matchup goes to Keller.

Jeff (NY, NY)

Huge game between the Jets & Fins this week. I agree with your assessment that the teams other then NE have a lot to prove, but look at the rest of the AFC this year. There are a lot of mediocre teams.

James Walker
  (4:12 PM)

At least one AFC wildcard spot is wide open. I think Pittsburgh grabs one wildcard if it can't catch the Ravens in the AFC North. From there, it's anybody's game.

Tony (RI)

NE's secondary struggled early last season as well but got it together going into the playoffs. Expecting the same thing this year?

James Walker
  (4:13 PM)

The secondary can't get much worse when it comes to allowing big plays. I think the Patriots will improve, but I'm not sure how much better this group can get.

Gary (Davie)

hey james should miami trade matt moore and thomas and see if then can get like a brandon flowers from the chiefs?

James Walker
  (4:15 PM)

Not going to happen, Gary. The Dolphins have a better chance of acquiring WR Dwayne Bowe.

Joe (Miami)

Hey Walker, the Dolphins are not only gonna prove you wrong and make the playoffs but they will also win the Superbowl this season. You can bank on it.

James Walker
  (4:16 PM)

If the Dolphins win the Super Bowl this year....Nevermind, I'm not even going to go there. It's not going to happen, Joe.

Sean (nyc)

if only the jets kept shotty, edwards and didn't trade for tebow, i think they'd be better off... just saying

James Walker
  (4:18 PM)

That's highly debatable, Sean.

Jeff (NY, NY)

Joe for homer of the week?

James Walker
  (4:21 PM)

Maybe. But I stopped doing the "Homer of the Week." Some people took offense to it. It's was just poking fun at people's statements. But we're a serious group sometimes in the AFC East blog.

fiftyinchvert (albuquerque)

If you had to decide at keeping starks or long in the offseason who do you keep

James Walker
  (4:23 PM)

If money is not an issue, you have to take the left tackle. Jake Long is not playing at the same level of a couple years ago. But you can do a lot worse at left tackle. But do you pay long $70-$80 million? That is the question.

James Walker
  (4:23 PM)

If Mario Williams is getting $100 million, Long can command at least $70 million in the open market to block him.

James Walker
  (4:24 PM)

The Dolphins have a lot of cap room coming off the books but also needs it to sign players like Long, Starks, Bush, Hartline and Smith.

John (CA)

Regarding the weekly Knee-Jerk Reactions post, do you and your colleagues come up with your own reactions and reality checks, or does a separate party give knee-jerk reactions for you to respond to?

James Walker
  (4:26 PM)

It's something we come up with on our own. We know the teams and the fans well.

Mario (NC)

Will the Dolphins make the playoffs if they win on Sunday?

James Walker
  (4:27 PM)

The Dolphins have a better chance to make the playoffs if they win on Sunday. It's a big game, but it's just one game.

Adam (SLC)

Reggie's yardage has gradually gone down hill, do you see him able to pick things up after the bye?

James Walker
  (4:28 PM)

Bush has been battling a knee injury, and I think this bye week will assist him a lot. Bush takes a lot of hits and probably won't be 100 percent the rest of the year. But he will be closer to it on Sunday, and the Jets have been awful stopping the run.

Neil (NYC)

Is there really a chance the Jets could rid themselves of Tebow?

James Walker
  (4:31 PM)

Jets owner Woody Johnson says it will be Tebow Time until at least 2014. Unless Tim Tebow asks out in the offseason, the Jets plan to honor his rookie contract.

eric (greenville)

has there been any more talk of miami trading for bowe or any other wr?

James Walker
  (4:34 PM)

It's been quiet on the Dolphins front. Nothing beyond general speculation. The deadline is Oct. 30 and we will update you if anything changes.

Sean [via mobile]

Do u think the dolphins have a better chance pickin up a stud receiver in the draft?

James Walker
  (4:35 PM)

The wide receiver class, from what I'm seeing, is not very deep next year. It's still early and some college players could develop. But it's not looking like a great position of strength.

Todd (Sarasota, FL)

Do you see Charles Clay for Miami becoming the player the coaches feel he should as the season progresses?

James Walker
  (4:36 PM)

Clay has taken a step back. He made plays more consistently as a rookie. I think the new West Coast system doesn't fit him as well. But Clay is a decent player.

Matt Sacramento CA [via mobile]

What do u think should be done to fix the Bills Defense?

James Walker
  (4:38 PM)

That's a tough question, because there's so many things that are going wrong. I think the coaching staff needs to let go of the fact that they can get pressure with four rushers. It hasn't worked. The defensive line is not nearly as good as advertised and Buffalo has to stop waiting for it to come around. The Bills need to blitz more to create more havoc. Blitzing can assist in run and pass defense. That's a starting point.

Sam (Winston-Salem, NC)

If you are Chan Gailey, do you fire some defensive coaches right now to try and save the season?

James Walker
  (4:39 PM)

If I'm Chan Gailey, I consider everything. But keep in mind that Gailey and Dave Wannstedt are good friends and Wannstedt was just promoted this year. Firing him after seven games would be tough for Gailey to do.

Milky (CA)

What do you think about the progress made with the Dolphins offense?

James Walker
  (4:41 PM)

I like the growth, Milky. There's still a lot to work on. But the Dolphins run the ball well most weeks and quarterback Ryan Tannehill is improving. I actually think Tannehill's ability to make all the throws is making his receivers look better than they are.

Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)

What is the Bills biggest issue right now?

James Walker
  (4:43 PM)

A defense that doesn't play hard and execute.

Brendan (New Jersey)

How big of an impact do you think Jabar Gafffney will have this weekend if he does play against the Jets?

James Walker
  (4:45 PM)

I haven't seen anything from Gaffney since he was cut by the Patriots. It depends on his healthy and ability to learn the offense. The fact that he hasn't seen the field yet mean those have been issues. The bye week is big for Gaffney.

sam (Siena college, NY)

Do you think tannehill could be like a Joe flacco or Matty ice and take his team to the playoffs?

James Walker
  (4:47 PM)

Too early to say, Sam. But Miami needs to give Tannehill some weapons like Roddy White, Julio Jones and Torrey Smith and find out. I like Tannehill's potential.

Brendan (New Jersey) [via mobile]

Who do you think is the better slot receiver? Davone Bess or Jeremy Kerley?

James Walker
  (4:48 PM)

Kerley is playing well, but I think Bess is better. He's done it longer.

Bum (Chesapeake, VA) [via mobile]

James, do you think the Dolphins can realistically contend for a playoff spot, say a wild card spot?

James Walker
  (4:49 PM)

Ask me next week and I may have an answer for you.

James Walker
  (4:50 PM)

Just kidding. The Dolphins have a good front seven on defense, a good running game and a growing quarterback. Those are all quality ingredients to make a push for the playoffs. However, the Dolphins have to beat teams like the Jets and Bills to have a shot. The AFC wild cards are wide open this year.

AJ (Niagara Falls)


James Walker
  (4:52 PM)

Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the biggest problem in Buffalo. So no I wouldn't bench Fitzpatrick.

ken (montreal)

is fitzpatrick the new romo, with is awful throws in clutch situations

James Walker
  (4:53 PM)

With that said, I think Bills fans would love to have Tony Romo.

Jeremy (GA)

The Bills can turn things around if...

James Walker
  (4:55 PM)

They beat the Texans and Patriots on the road in back-to-back weeks. I don't see it. Buffalo is probably heading for 3-6. That's why the game against lowly Tennessee was so important.

Alex (Westchester)

CJ Spiller - underused or appropriately used by the Bills?

James Walker
  (4:55 PM)

Definitely underused. When Spiller has the ball, good things usually happen. Why not keep going to that well?

Brunick1 (Boston)

What record do you see the Patriots finish with? Im thinking 11-5

James Walker
  (5:00 PM)

Patriots already have three losses. So I would say 11-5 or 10-6.

James Walker
  (5:01 PM)

Everyone, thanks for the questions. Remember to check out the AFC East blog and Twitter for the latest updates.