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What if you were told that the New England Patriots would have the highest point differential in the division after three weeks? No surprises. What if you were then told that they were in a share of last place with the Miami Dolphins, under .500 for the first time in almost a decade? Somehow, all of this is true. Whether blamed on the replacement officials, injuries to key offensive starters, or Tom Brady’s broken nose, the Patriots are 1-2. After a disappointing 31-30 loss to Baltimore, the Patriots need to go back to the drawing board before a divisional showdown next week.
For the second straight week, the Buffalo Bills took it to an overmatched squad, defeating the Browns in a hostile Cleveland environment by a final score of 24-14. After a week one debacle against the Jets, the Bills have quietly put together an impressive couple of weeks. However, the victory was bittersweet; C.J. Spiller, the offensive juggernaut of the early season, went down with a sprained shoulder. The injury doesn’t seem to be severe, but with starting running back Fred Jackson already nursing an ankle injury, the Bills’ backfield may become an issue.
This week’s divisional matchup saw the New York Jets narrowly edge the Miami Dolphins 23-20 in an overtime contest. Both teams looked offensively challenged and undisciplined. The Jets capitalized on a missed Miami field goal in overtime. In fact, the Jets had an overtime field goal of their own blocked, but Nick Folk was given a second chance and booted the game winner because Miami head coach Joe Philbin called a timeout on the previous play.
Adding insult to injury, Miami lost Reggie Bush to a sprained knee ligament. There was no structural damage, so the Dolphins will have their greatest offensive threat back this season. The same optimism could not be felt by Jets fans. All-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis suffered a torn ACL and is likely out for the season. At 2-1, the Jets have reason to believe they will be fine, but Revis is the most important player on the team, and Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson will have a lot of ground to cover without Revis out there.
Next week, Miami travels to Arizona to take on the undefeated Cardinals, the Jets host the 49ers at Metlife Stadium, and Buffalo and New England match up in a divisional showdown.
Image Courtesy of New England Patriots