AFC East: Week 7 Preview and Point Spreads

Every team in this division is 3-3. Not enough can be said about how weird that is. The New England Patriots, still considered a contender to make the Super Bowl, has the same record through six weeks as the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. Football is weird, and never more so than this season. The Dolphins have a bye this week, so maybe the picture will come into a focus a little bit more in the AFC East, though the Jets and Patriots big clash could muck everything up all over again.

Let’s take a look at the Week 7 lines in the AFC East and make some predictions.

Tennessee Titans (+3) at Buffalo Bills, Sunday, 1:00 p.m. EST

The Bills won an ugly game against the Cardinals on Sunday by doing what it does best, and should always do: run the ball, run the ball and then run the ball some more. All too often early in the season, the Bills turned the ball over to wildly inconsistent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and asked him to make plays and win the game. That ain’t his style; in the best of times, Fitzpatrick is an Alex Smith-type QB who can make throws off play action and manage the game, but you don’t exactly want him winging it downfield 30-40 times a game like he was earlier this year. The Bills are at their best when C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are pounding the ball.

Despite their big win against the Steelers last Thursday night, the Titans are having an awful season, and their defensive unit is one of the worst in football. I would expect the Bills to stampede them with their rushing attack this week and get everyone talking about them as a sleeper again. The 2012 Buffalo Bills will get your hopes up with this game; I thin they’ll run away in a blowout. Take the Bills at -3.

New York Jets (+11) at New England Patriots, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST

This line is crazy high, and for no good reason. The Patriots got embarrassed by the Seahawks on Sunday, and now they’re 11 pointt favorites? It’s almost like Vegas is just doubling down on the Pats at this point, daring them to cover this insane spread. The Jets, meanwhile, beat up on the Indianapolis Colts, a team who upset the Packers the week before, the same Packers that just whooped the Houston Texans, arguably the best team in football. Huh? Yeah, it’s a crazy year.

The Jets offensive is truly abysmal, so I understand this point spread from that perspective. They literally don’t have NFL-caliber wide receivers, and even in the victory over the Colts Mark Sanchez threw for less than 100 yards. Less than 90, in fact. The Jets biggest strength is running the ball, and the Pats are actually decent against the run. However, their secondary is atrocious, so this is a matter of weakness going against weakness in the Jets dismal receivers and the Pats equally grim D-backs.

I don’t think there’s any way the Jets don’t cover this spread. They’re scrappy, at the very least: they didn’t allow themselves to get blown out by the Texans a week ago, and they’re an infinitely better team than the Pats are at this point. I mean, both of these teams are inexplicably 3-3. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Pats win this one, but 11 points? To a team that just lost to the Seahawks and exhibited some of the worst game-ending clock management  in the league this season? Yeah, no thanks. The Jets may stink, and Mark Sanchez may stink, but they are proud. I think the Jets lose by a touchdown.

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