NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8-0)
Offense/Defense Rankings:No. 3 (26 Rush, 3 Pass) & No. 8 (3 Rush, 17 Pass)
Turnover Department: T2 ( 7)
The Skinny: Despite being* held* to a season-low 27 points against the Redskins, the Patriots cruised to another victory. LeGarrette Blount rushed for 129 yards as the Patriots featured a balance attack with 37 rush plays and 39 pass plays. Injuries continue to mount though as both LT Sebastian Vollmer (head) and RB Dion Lewis (knee) didn't finish the contest.
They Said It: Tim Healy, a Boston Globe correspondent, says the improved Pats defense continually stymied Washington on Sunday.
"Combined with the Dolphins' 15 rushing yards in Week 8, Patriots opponents have picked up 52 rushing yards — fewer than 2 per carry — the past two games. Even with a couple of injuries and a few early-season depth question marks, it seems to be coming together in recent weeks for defensive coordinator Matt Patricia's crew."
Up Next: @ NY Giants (5-4)
NEW YORK JETS (5-3)
Offense/Defense Rankings: No. 11 (14 Rush, 17 Pass) & No. 4 (1 Rush, 15 Pass)
Turnovers: T2 ( 7)
The Skinny: Six sacks, four takeaways and perfection in the Red Zone was enough to get the Jets back on the winning track. While their 28-23 win wasn't always pretty, the Green & White got a much needed victory before Thursday's divisional clash vs. the Bills.
They Said It: Veteran Brandon Marshall, who is playing through toe and ankle injuries, made a trifecta of critical plays late against the Jags to ensure the win.
"I think at this point in the season everyone is a little banged up," he said. "Everyone thinks that we have to be consistent when healthy to play in this league, but it's really, can you still make plays banged up? Because 95 percent of the guys, at this point in the season, are banged up. Everybody's hurting right now."
Up Next: vs. Buffalo (4-4)
BUFFALO BILLS (4-4)
Offense/Defense Rankings: No. 20 (2 Rush, 29 Pass) & No. 16 (6 Rush, 24 Pass
Turnover Department: T13 ( 1)
The Skinny: While the Bills defense attempts to find itself, the Bills offense got right in a big way during B-Lo's 33-17 trouncing of the Dolphins. For the first time ever, the Bills had two 100-yard rushers (LeSean McCoy & Karlos Williams) and a 100-yard receiver (Sammy Watkins).
They Said It:The Bills have yet to win back-to-back games this year. And our friend Vic Carucci wrote about how they responded to a must-win situation.
"We've had some ups and downs," center Eric Wood said. "A lot of injuries, a lot of penalties, a lot of stuff that has worked against us. And coming off the bye, as a team and as a group, Rex hammered it home: We've got nine weeks to really make the most of this, and really walk in" to work "and sell out on the game plan each week. And we're getting healthier, so we really could make a run at it. But you've got to get one before you make a run."
Up Next: @ NY Jets (5-3)
MIAMI DOLPHINS (3-5)
Offense/Defense Rankings: No. 13 (19 Rush, 13 Pass) & No. 25 (31 Rush, 14 Pass)
Turnover Department: T24 (-4)
The Skinny: After getting back to .500, the Dolphins have fallen back with consecutive losses to the Patriots and the Bills. A bright spot in their latest defeat was the play of RBs Lamar Miller (141 total yards) and rookie Jay Ajayi (5 carries, 41 yards).
They Said It: ;Dolphins.com columnist Andy Cohen looks at the major hole the Dolphins have put themselves in at the midway point of their regular season.
"It is one thing to be 3-5 at the midway point of the season, but the real sobering statistic that won't go away is a 0-4 record in the AFC East," Cohen said. "That has put the Dolphins in the most menacing of holes. Yes, there is still time with eight games left. But time is now a precious commodity and these Dolphins had better find some answers in a hurry.