AFC East Week 7 Preview
Three of the four teams in the AFC East have the opportunity to take the outright lead this week, as all four clubs are amazingly tied atop the division standings at 3-3. The Dolphins are on a roll, having won their last two, but they are the one squad with the week off. The Bills and Jets are both coming off wins, while the Patriots suffered an agonizing late-game defeat at the hands of the Seahawks in week six. The Jets will look to recreate the offense they had a week ago in a 35-9 win over the Colts and hand the Pats a second straight loss in a huge divisional showdown between the two teams. Who will grab the East lead? We will find out today after the conclusion these games:
New York Jets 3-3 at New England Patriots 3-3
The Jets and Patriots rivalry is always fun to watch, but this week the stakes are raised that much more with both teams tied for the lead in the AFC East. The Jets are 3-0 against East foes this season, but they’ve experienced well-known struggles against the Pats.
The Patriots will bring their high-powered offense to this contest that has scored at least 20 points in five of its six games this season. In recent years the Patriots have relied heavily on Tom Brady and the passing game, but this year New England has a strong running game as well, ranked fourth best in the NFL with an average of 152.3 yards per game.
Even without star CB Derrelle Revis, the Jets have been one of the NFL’s best against the pass, holding opponents to just 209.3 yards per game, but the bad news is that they are giving up 150..5 yards per game on the ground, good (or bad) for 28th in the league.
The Jets have been more inconsistent that the Patriots this season and with New England at home, the Pats are a solid favorite today. However the 11-point spread seems much too high considering this is a rivalry game and that both teams are coming in tied for first in the division. Look for the Pats to win, but the Jets to cover +11 on the road.
Tennessee Titans 2-4 at Buffalo Bills 3-3
I covered this matchup in my AFC South Week 7 Preview this week as well and here is the breakdown:
Both teams in this matchup are coming off week six wins and seem to be finding offensive rhythms. The Titans, who are the worst rushing team in the league coming into this game, are finally seeing Chris Johnson find some running room as he put 91 yards against a tough Steeler defense last week. Matt Hasselbeck was also effective in the passing game, completing 25 of 44 throws for 290 yards while substituting for an injured Jake Locker.
The Bills have had success on the ground all year, ranking fifth in the league, but have been plagued with turnovers. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has already thrown eight interceptions on the season.
The offenses for each of these squads may be starting to click, but the defenses for both teams are among the worst in the league, with each giving up over 420 yards of total offense per game. The Bills are the worst against the run, so the Titans Chris Johnson may find a resurgence to old form this week. However with this being a pretty even matchup and since it should be high-scoring I like the Bills at home to cover -4 points.