Once again it looks like the team everyone loves to hate, the New England Patriots, are primed for another season as the champions of the AFC EAST. The winner of the last Super Bowl thanks to a bad decision by Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll to pass for the game winning touchdown from the one yard line rather than having Marshawn Lynch bull rush it through for a score, appears to be the cream of the crop in this division.
Their big, lopsided victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars is just another indication that the Patriots have a take no prisoners philosophy no matter whom they play on Sunday.
The Patriots scored on all nine of their possessions and Tom Brady completed 33 passes on 42 attempts for 358 yards. Among those stats is Brady’s 400th regular season touchdown pass of his NFL career. He joined Payton Manning, Brett Favre, and Dan Marino as the only NFL quarterbacks to accomplish the feat.
It was just another walk in the park for the Patriots as Rob Gronkowski caught four passes for 101 yards, Julian Edelman caught eight passes for 85 yards, and Stephen Gostkowski added three field goals and set the NFL record for the most consecutive extra points.
The Patriots had the game in such total control that they played an undrafted rookie who was cut six times in two season, Peyton Thompson, at safety and Nick Marshall, the former QB for Auburn who also was not drafted, at corner in the fourth quarter.
Jaguars’ QB Blake Bortles completed 17 passes in 33 attempts for 242 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Receiver Allen Robinson caught nine passes for 68 yards. However, the Jaguars running game were nearly non-existent as they were able to collect only 57 yards on 20 attempts.
Still, with all those problems, perhaps the worst was that the Jaguars committed seven penalties for a total of 114 yards. Included in that stat were back-to-back pass interference calls in the third quarter. The first cost the Jaguars 52 yards and the second voided an interception that included an 82-yard return. The result was that the Patriots ended up with the ball at the Jaguars one-yard line. PATRIOTS 51 JAGUARS 17
It is possible that the Buffalo Bills will provide the only competition to the Patriots for the division title. However, the Bills only loss so far was to the Patriots.
In week three the Bills opponent was the Miami Dolphins. It did not appear that the Dolphins put up much resistance.
The Bills offense was balanced as it achieved a total of 429 yards. QB Tyrod Taylor contributed 277 yards and three touchdowns in his first NFL road start. Former Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy scored his first touchdown as a Bill, his 55th touchdown of his NFL career. Bills rookie running back Karlos Williams collected 110 yards on 12 carries and scored a touchdown on a 41-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Many former Dolphins players contributed to the Bills victory. Tight end Charles Clay, who the Bills signed as a free agent after playing for the Dolphins for four years, contributed a 25-yard touchdown reception. In addition, Bills receiver Chris Hogan, who is also a former Dolphin, contributed a 38-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill was intercepted three times in the first half and finished with a QB rating of 59.7. The Bills defense pressured him throughout the game and he was hit repeatedly. The bad play of the Dolphins O-line was blamed on the loss of left tackle Branden Albert, who did not play due to a right hamstring injury. BILLS 41 DOLPHINS 14
The New York Jets were required to play a desperate team looking for its first victory in the Philadelphia Eagles. If the Eagles are going to make a run in the NFC East, they absolutely can’t start 0-3. Perhaps the NFL team that schedules games didn’t give the Jets any favors here. Still, the Eagles record against the Jets prior to the game was 9-0.
A Darren Sproles punt return of 89-yards for a score and a rush of 1-yard for another score along with a defense that took the ball away from the Jets four times sparked the Eagles win.
Jets’ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is competent, but does he have the skills to take a team to the playoffs let alone a Super Bowl? He threw touchdown passes to Brandon Marshall and Jeremy Kerley that gave the Jets a chance. However, he also turned the ball over to the Bills on three interceptions. The last one to Walter Thurmond with 3:28 remaining in the game is what closed the deal for the Bills.
The game was exciting as the Jets shut down the Eagles in the second half, meaning that all the Eagles points were scored in the first half. Moreover, the Jets had their opportunities. For example, with 7:23 left in the game the Jets recovered a fumble. However, three plays later, then gave the ball right back to the Eagles on an interception. In addition, Nick Folk kicked a 53-yard field goal for the Jets with 2:34 remaining. However, the Jets failed to recover the on-side kick.
New Eagles QB Sam Bradford completed 14 passes on 28 attempts for 118 yards and Fitzpatrick completed 35 passes in 58 attempts for 283 yards. EAGLES 24 JETS 17
AFC EAST STANDINGS
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 3-0
NEW YORK JETS 2-1
BUFFALO BILLS 2-1
MIAMI DOLPHINS 1-2
AFC EAST SCHEDULE
JETS vs. DOLPHINS (LONDON, ENGLAND) SUNDAY, OCT. 4, 2015
GIANTS @ BILLS SUNDAY, OCT. 4, 2015
Courtesy of CBS Sports