NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-2)
Offense/Defense Rankings:No. 3* *(28 Rush, 1 Pass) & No. 16 (13 Rush, 11 Pass)
Turnover Department: No. 6 (5)
The Skinny: The Patriots remain an elite team, but they are not a machine. Sunday proved as much as a 4-7 Eagles club went into Gillette Stadium and handed the Patriots their second consecutive loss. For a second straight contest, the Patriots squandered a double-digit lead and the Eagles combined to score 21 points on defense and special teams. Tom Brady was sacked four times as he played without both WR Julian Edelman and TE Rob Gronkowski. Suddenly the Patriots are tied atop the AFC with both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Denver Broncos.
They Said It: Boston Herald columnist Ron Borges wrote today about the Pats landscape has changed:
"What once seemed a march to Super Bowl 50, now looks like a long hard slog, at least until reinforcements arrive, if they ever do, in the person of their real receivers — Edelman and Gronkowski," Borges penned. "In the interim, the Pats have become like nearly everyone else in the NFL each Sunday. They're in a weekly dogfight with only the slimmest margin for error."
Up Next: @ Houston (6-6)
NEW YORK JETS (7-5)
Offense/Defense Rankings: No. 10 (14 Rush, 15 Pass) & No. 5 (1 Rush, 18 Pass)
Turnovers: T7 (4)
The Skinny: The Jets completed their 10th comeback win from a 10-point deficit or larger in the fourth quarter, celebrating a 23-20 OT triumph over the Giants when Josh Brown's 48-yard field goal sailed left. Brandon Marshall (12-131) and Eric Decker (8-101) became the first Jets tandem to surpass 100 yards receiving in the same game since 1986 and Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 72% of his passes for 390 yards and no interceptions. The Jets defense shut the Giants out in the second half and overtime and racked up three sacks of Eli Manning. First-year head coach Todd Bowles has positioned his team to get on a late-season roll.
They Said It: "For us to come from behind, it shows some grit," Bowles said. "During the season, that's the mark of a good team, so we finally got to that point. I'm just happy it was today."
"It seems like all of our losses were in games like this where we fell behind," added Marshall. "We really needed a win like this. You would like to come out [and] start fast, and we didn't. But the truth of the matter is it's hard to do that every week. And it showed that this team has a lot of fight, a lot of pride and is willing to get the job done by any means."
Up Next: vs. Tennessee (3-9)
BUFFALO BILLS (6-6)
Offense/Defense Rankings: No. 17 (4 Rush, 29 Pass) & No. 20 (14 Rush, 23 Pass)
Turnover Department: T7 (4)
The Skinny: The Bills bolstered their postseason hopes with much-needed 30-21 win over the Houston Texans. First-year starter Tyrod Taylor has rebounded from a poor performance against the Patriots with 7 total TDs the past two weeks, accounting for 4 TDs against a tough Texans defense. Taylor is now completing 64.9% of his passes with 17 TD and just 4 INT.
They Said It: LeSean McCoy, who returns to Philadelphia this week, posted his third 100-yard rushing effort of the season against the Texans.
"It starts with the guys up front. Running the ball hard," he said. "You making plays 30-yard gash, 20-yard gash, 10-yard gash as the defense steps up you know you take a shot with one of the best wide receivers I think in this game with Sammy [Watkins]. You get match-up problems with [Charles] Clay. So it is so many different things."
Up Next: @ Philadelphia (5-7)
MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-7)
Offense/Defense Rankings: No. 29 (24 Rush, 22 Pass) & No. 30 (30 Rush, 22 Pass)
Turnover Department: 24 (-3)
The Skinny: The Dolphins somehow found a way to top the Ravens despite totaling eight first downs and having Ryan Tannehill pass for 86 yards. Staying committed to the run, Lamar Miller rushed 20 times for 113 yards. But the 'Fins won with defense as DE Derrick Shelby returned an interception for a score and S Reshad Jones added another theft while Olivier Vernon racked up 2.5 sacks in the victory.
They Said It: "This is an old-fashioned NFL win right here," said LB Kelvin Sheppard. "These are the ones that show the true character and reveal of the true character of the men will go into battle with and to see all 53 guys, 46 that dress, all connected no matter what went wrong in the game, everybody fighting, having each other's backs speaks a lot."
Up Next: vs. NY Giants (5-7)