AFC Week 6 Hot Takes

AFC East

Buffalo Bills: The Bills absolutely dominated the 49ers this past week, which could have easily been a let down game. Instead, they aren’t shooting themselves in the foot (a typical Rex Ryan coached football team value) and may have put the early season uncertainly behind them. That makes two wins against good teams  (Patriots, Cardinals) and two against bad teams (Rams, 49ers).  If they take care of business against the Dolphins, the rematch with the Patriots looms with the division potentially on the line. No one saw that coming. – Jordan Curet

Miami Dolphins: Whoa! Did not see that one coming. I questioned last week whether or not Miami was the worst team in the league and although they may still be in the bottom eight or so teams they did established that when things are going right they can hang with most teams. This coming week will also go down as the week in fantasy football where someone spends half of their free agent budget on Jay Ajayi only for him to come nowhere close to the production he put up on Sunday again this season. Reason #907828 why fantasy football is the worst and yet we will never give up on it. – Randy Haines

New England Patriots: Now that Tom Brady is back, the Patriots are rolling on all cylinders. Gronk finally got into the endzone and the offense put up 35 points overall. The Bengals were a good playoff team last year too, but it looks the Pats have distanced themselves from the competition. They catch a break this week too (like they needed one), and will face the Steelers without Big Ben. – Nick Bair

New York Jets: We finally had a Geno Sighting! Even though it was only six pass attempts (and one interception) it was nice to finally not see Ryan Fitzpatrick out there embarrassing the game of football more with every off target pass and poor decision. The Jets are now 1-5, their season is over. Put one of the kids out there and see what they’ve got. – RH

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens: How many weeks in a row can the Ravens give away a close game? This week, we can blame the depleted defense as they allowed Odell Beckham to walk into the endzone on two long TDs, including the game winner. The offense was better under Marty Mornhinweg (minus all of the penalties), but was still stopped on the final drive as Flacco kept forcing the ball into windows that weren’t there. They get a second chance for a win in MetLife Stadium next week, as they once again play in Jersey against the Jets this time. – NB

Cincinnati Bengals: This should’ve been a close game, but Marvin Lewis happened. Settling for field goals in the red zone once again along with not going for it on fourth and short around mid-field when the game was still close. The Bengals may have caught a break with Big Ben’s injury, but it might might not matter. Sunday was the reminder that this team can hang with anyone however in the end their head coach will hold them back. – RH

Cleveland Browns: Theory: they are making sure to suck so as not to take attention away from the Indians. Regardless, this is just a bad team. And not that they were trying to be good, but it doesn’t help that even Terrelle Pryor is hurt now. Anyway, I doubt anyone is Cleveland even cares or is watching with the Indians rolling through October Baseball. – JC

Pittsburgh Steelers: OOOF. The Steelers had their second huge clunker of the year losing to the hapless Dolphins. The defense came into Sunday playing well, but will leave Miami shaking their heads after letting Jay Ajayi run for over 200 yards (not a misprint!). To add injury to insult, their all pro QB Ben Roethlisberger tore his meniscus and will be out indefinitely. And to add more insult to the injury, they play New England this week. Pittsburgh might have had the worst day in the league Sunday.  – NB

AFC South

Houston Texans: It wasn’t pretty, but the Texans will take it. Houston also needed that win even more than they may have anticipated now that the red hot Tennessee Titans are on their tail. Brock Osweiler has shown flashes similar to the ones he showed in Denver last year, but has yet to put together a complete game and I’m starting to doubt if he ever will. A strong showing in his return to Denver in Week 7 is as good a spot as any to prove his doubters wrong. – RH

Indianapolis Colts: Can the NFL please find a way to flex games early in the season? I understand conceptually Colts/Texans may have seemed compelling but that was mostly painful. Luck continues to be the most sympathetic character in the league, always under fire and a sack in overtime killed the Colts possession, allowing Houston to win off a field goal. This team should not be this bad, but here they are, last in the AFC South and seemingly there to stay until someone remembers to block for their franchise QB. – JC

Jacksonville Jaguars: Remind me next offseason that the Jags will always be the Jags. This team had a huge hype train coming into the year and looked like they might be the surprise team in the AFC. SURPRISE! Blake Bortles is terrible. SURPRISE! They still have no run game. SURPRISE! Gus Bradley still has his job. These three things will need to change sooner than later for this franchise to have any future hope. – NB

Tennessee Titans: Mariota Mania is back. I know it was just the Browns, but the Titans got another big win Sunday and are not completely out of the AFC South race at this point. If they can win the next two games at home against intra divisional opponents (Indy and Jax), they will be in a good position to challenge Houston come November and December. – NB

AFC West

Denver Broncos: San Diego finally ran out of creative ways to lose and Denver happened to be on the receiving end. Even with Trevor Siemian back under center, the Broncos offense looked punchless and the defense a little tired. Maybe Gary Kubiak missing the game for health-related reasons affected their play, but there is cause for concern when the team was forced to throw 50 (!) times against the now 2-4 Chargers. They’ll get another shot at Rivers in two weeks, expect that to be a bloodbath. – JC

Kansas City Chiefs: Death, taxes and Andy Reid winning off a bye week. That’s all you can really count on this crazy world. Kansas City absolutely dominated in the second half against Oakland and put themselves right back in the race out west. Converting three red zone trips into touchdowns will need to continue for this team next week as they host New Orleans where points will be a necessity. – RH

Oakland Raiders: Oakland continues to handle success poorly this year. They have had a few letdown games after big wins this year, but in hindsight losses to the Falcons and Chiefs don’t look too bad (except that they are at home). The Raiders are still in good position to make a playoff push, but they will need to avoid dud games like this if they ware going to make it there. – NB

San Diego Chargers: In all the madness of how the Chargers kept finding ways to lose, I for one failed to realize that this is actually a solid football team despite all the late game heartbreak. With extra rest, I expect them to hang close in Atlanta this weekend. – RH

-Nick Bair, Jordan Curet, and Randy Haines

Photo Credit: SI

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