AFC East: Week 5 Preview and Point SpreadsBy Lucas M.
Heading into last week’s action, there were serious doubts about all four AFC East teams. Were the Bills for real? Were the Patriots good? Was Ryan Tannehill even a quarterback? All of these questions were resoundingly answered. The Patriots started sluggishly against the Bills, but came back in the second half to absolutely destroy them to the tune of 52-28. Meanwhile, the Jets got stomped and shut out by the 49ers, who seemingly mocked the Jets wildcat aspirations by doing it themselves with Colin Kaepernick factoring heavily into their game-calling.
Oh, and Ryan Tannehill? He may not have gotten the hype of an RGIII or an Andrew Luck, but he showed against the Cardinals that he might have a legitimate future in the NFL: he threw for over 400 yards against one of the best defenses in the league. Truly, anything goes in the AFC East. Let’s get to the Week 5 action.
Miami Dolphins (+3) at Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, 1:00 p.m. EST
Neither one of these teams are really as bad as initially thought at the start of the season. Miami has a downright nasty defense, and the Bengals offense is explosive. I think Miami is going to be in a lot of games this year, but I don’t think this is one of them. AJ Green is emerging as one of the top young playmakers in the game (on ESPN’s MVP tracker, he’s currently ranked seventh, no small feat for a wide receiver) and Andy Dalton has masterfully facilitated the offense so far this season. Miami is a team built around defense and running the ball. In other words, their offense was not assembled to play catch-up against explosive teams like the Bengals. Take Cincinnati at -3 here.
Denver Broncos (+7) at New England Patriots, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST
Do you think this matchup is going to get any hype? Manning and Brady are together again, their rivalry from Peyton’s Colts days renewed. Both teams have a tremendous amount to prove, as both have looked more than vulnerable over the past several weeks. Manning’s arm strength is still a huge question mark, though the Broncos offense has been designed to put him in positions to succeed. The big matchup here, however, is going to be the Patriots’ offensive line versus the Broncos pass rush. This is the ultimate case of a team’s most glaring weakness going up against a team’s greatest strength. Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil could make Tom Brady’s life truly miserable in this game. Oh, and the Patriots also have no defense.
I anticipate a shootout in this game, and I think Manning wins this game. At the very least, I think this one comes down to a field goal. Take the Broncos at +7.
Buffalo Bills (+10) at San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST
Man, what a joke. Right when the Bills have you convinced they’ve figured it out, they go out and drop a stinkbomb like they did last week against the Pats. The Bills’ main strength is their running game, though their two backs are still coming back from serious injuries and the 49ers main strength is run defense. Even though the line seems a bit too high, I like the 49ers at -10 here.
Houston Texans (-9) at New York Jets, Monday, 8:30 p.m. EST
God, this line could not be high enough. Have you seen the Jets play? They got shutout last week by the 49ers, and I see that becoming more of a trend than an exception to their offensive output. They simply have no one to score, and the loss of Santonio Holmes for the season certainly isn’t going to help that. Take the Texans, minus whatever.