AFC Week 4 Hot Takes

AFC East

Buffalo Bills: I’m not convinced the Bills didn’t benefit from a Patriot’s letdown game. New England was unsure who would even start at quarterback all week and it was clear that Jacoby Brissett wasn’t close to 100%. All that being said, credit to Rex for having his defense ready to go regardless and to Tyrod Taylor having another good game. The Bills’ schedule the next three weeks is relatively tame before running into a Brady-led Patriots team, the Bengals, and a rejuvenated Seattle. Enjoy the fun times while they last. – Jordan Curet

Miami Dolphins: On the Dolphins opening drive Thursday night, Ryan Tannehill confidently stepped up in the pocket and hit wideout Kenny Stills for a 74 yard touchdown putting the Dolphins up 7-3. Outside of that throw, Tannehill was 14 for 24 for 115 yards and zero touchdowns. That stat line is a microcosm of Tannehill’s career to this point and the final nail in the coffin for the 2016 Miami Dolphins. – Randy Haines

New England Patriots: Well that was sad. It’s pretty rough not scoring a single point against the Buffalo Bills. It was the first time the Patriots were shut out at home since Bill Belichick has been head coach. While not a whole lot went right for the Pats Sunday, it should be no big deal in the grand scheme of things. They survived Tom Brady’s suspension by going 3-1 and are in pole position to win the AFC East (and probably the AFC) once again. Time for Brady to stop sunbathing, put some pants on, and wreak havoc on the rest of the NFL. It’s go time! – Nick Bair

New York Jets: Three more Fitzy interceptions this week and one more ugly Jets loss. The Jets travel to Pittsburgh in Week 5 where it looks as if their season will officially come to an end. How hard is Ryan Fitzpatrick kicking himself right now for turning down a multi-year offer from the Jets this past offseason? At this rate he will be back at Harvard next fall teaching a course called “I Blew It 101”. A class on how you should never turn down guaranteed money that you didn’t deserve in the first place. – RH

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens: If you play with fire, you will eventually get burned. The Ravens won their first three games in an uneven fashion, relying on a few lucky breaks and the dominance of the defense. Well the defense was not quite as good this week against one of the best offensive attacks in the league, and the Raiders took advantage of the Ravens in ways that the Bills, Browns, and Jaguars could not. It was great to see the rushing attack finally breakout on the back of Terrance West this week, and the offense as a whole played their best game of the year. This is a game the Ravens should have won, but 3-1 is a good start to the year and they will look to rebound against their I-95 rivals from Washington this Sunday. – NB

Cincinnati Bengals: That was the game the Bengals needed. A fairly easy win where they didn’t even play their best football as they failed to score touchdowns on multiple red zone drives. The Bengals schedule sets up nicely for them to get back into the playoff race as they play Dallas, Cleveland and Washington in 3 of their next 4 games. Now a trip to Foxborough is mixed in those 4 games, but we are staying positive on this take. The Bengals are back! Also A.J. Green is still really freaking good in case you had forgotten. – RH

Cleveland Browns: Fun fact, four teams had a chance to get Terrelle Pryor besides Cleveland and that kid may well be the real deal. He is, in the interim, at least easing the letdown of Josh Gordon’s failure to return to the field and the Browns have been able to consistently put up points. As long as you’re trying to lose, might as well be entertaining too. – JC

Pittsburgh Steelers: After last week’s blunder, everyone needed to calm down. That was a good team who just played a clunker of a game. On Sunday night, the real Steelers’ team showed up and they were absolutely dominant against a good Chiefs team. Ben Roethlisberger looked like the best QB in the league, Le’veon Bell was BACK, and Antonio Brown did Antonio Brown things. Why did Kansas City leave AB in single man coverage? Not so smart KC. Godspeed to Darrelle Revis next week if he has to cover him. – NB

AFC South

Houston Texans: If I told Texans fans they were going to have a game where JJ Watt did not play and Deandre Hopkins would be held to four yards on one catch, but they would still win by 7 I guarantee you they would take it in a heartbeat. There is still something off about this team however. They’re 3-1 and the other 3 teams in their division are all 1-3 yet the division does not feel finished as maybe it should. The next three games for Houston are against Minnesota, Indy and Denver. If that “off” feeling is for real it is sure to show it’s face during this upcoming stretch. – RH

Indianapolis Colts: I am a Chuck Pagano apologist and usually take the stance that Ryan Grigson is to blame for Andrew Luck’s repetitive injuries due to the fact that he has failed to surround their star QB with a good line and better talent. I’ll still die on that hill, but while Luck is still trying to single-handedly drag his team to wins, the defense is getting worse. The Allen Hurns touchdown was the epitome of bad tackling and worse coverage down field. This team is depressing in so many ways. – JC

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags are on the board! Jacksonville got their first win of the year at home…in London. I have to say it was really nice waking up Sunday morning and already having football to watch, even if Andrew Luck’s garbage time touchdowns infuriated me. Blake Bortles is still not very good, but it was nice to see him get an early passing touchdown and first quarter lead. Despite poor clock management, the Jaguars did enough to win and put Gus Bradley back on the plane home as the team heads into a bye week. – NB

Tennessee Titans: Another hard fought game for the Titans, but sadly another tough loss. DeMarco Murray has played really well and the offensive line looks really good blocking for him. Mariota has been fairly disappointing this season, but the Titans have played one of the toughest schedules so far (Vikings, Raiders, and Texans already). The schedule gets much easier in the next few weeks (Dolphins, Browns, Colts, Jaguars, Chargers), so we will see if they can take advantage and get some wins. – NB

AFC West

Denver Broncos: Denver once again relied on their defense to get them in good field position on several occasions, kicked a lot of field goals, and enjoyed playing the turnover-prone Jameis Winston. Sure, why not keep the good times rolling? Despite Trevor Siemian going down in the first half, Paxton Lynch jumped right in seamlessly. There was also a weather-related game delay, which should tell you how Mother Nature feels about the Broncos’ winning streak. – JC

Kansas City Chiefs: This is not the start the Chiefs were looking for. Yes they’re 2-2, but those two wins were two of the least impressive wins you’ll see all year and the two playoff contenders KC has played have beaten them by a combined 36 points. Meanwhile Denver is not slowing down and the Raiders appear to have officially arrived. A Week 5 bye could be exactly what this team needs to get back on track. – RH

Oakland Raiders: Now THAT is the type of game that the Raiders need to win to get the playoffs this year. A tough team on the road in a back and forth game. They weren’t perfect by any means, but they did enough to win and that is what good teams do in the NFL. Michael Crabtree had a fabulous games and Amari Cooper fantasy owners are probably cursing his name this morning. Their potent offense should keep rolling in Week 5 against a porous San Diego defense. – NB

San Diego Chargers: I feel like I say this every week, but the Chargers really do invent new ways to lose football games. This game will go down in Saints history as the “John Kuhn game”. Just let that sink in for a minute Chargers fans, your team actually let this happen. San Diego’s next four games are at Oakland, home for Denver, at Atlanta, then at Denver. That looks like four more losses and a lot more heartbreak for San Diego. – RH

-Nick Bair, Jordan Curet, and Randy Haines

Photo Credit: AP


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s