NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-0)
Offense/Defense Rankings: No. 2 (31 Rush, 2 Pass) & No. 15 (19 Rush, 18 Pass)
Turnover Department: T4 (+5)
The Skinny:Tom Brady did it again, playing masterful football in the final stanza of the Patriots' 30-23 win over the Jets. In a near perfect fourth quarter, Brady completed 14 of 17 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns. While the Patriots went away from the run game on offense, they loaded up in the box on defense and held the Jets to just 3.1 yards per rush. The previous two times the Patriots started 6-0? They represented the AFC in the Super Bowl following the 2004 and '07 campaigns.
They Said It:The Patriots dropped a handful of balls Sunday and WR Brandon LaFell, who made his 2015 debut against the Jets, sounds ready to make amends.
"Tom threw some good balls, I should have caught them," LaFell told the Boston Globe. "I just have to get back to it. We have a short week. Dust the cobwebs off and come back out here and play."
Up Next: vs. Miami (3-3) *Thursday Night
NEW YORK JETS (4-2)
Offense/Defense Rankings: No. 8 (3 Rush, 16 Pass) & No. 2 (1 Rush, 4 Pass)
Turnovers: T6 (+4)
The Skinny:The Jets fought the good fight, but they ultimately came up short in New England. A defense that entered Week 7 with 15 takeaways failed to turn a team over for the first time in 2015. Chris Ivory, who battled hamstring tightness after the first play from scrimmage, was limited to just 41 yards on 17 attempts. Eric Decker was outstanding in defeat, hauling in six passes for 94 yards and the Green & White converted 57% (8 of 14) on third downs. In a game where points were needed though, the Jets finished 2 of 4 in the Red Zone.
They Said It:Ben Volin, Patriots beat writer for the Boston Globe, delivered a must read analysis following the Jets-Pats most recent affair. Below is an excerpt, but it is imperative you click on that link.
"The Jets' run defense was so good that the Patriots didn't bother testing it," Volin wrote. "The Jets' defense was so good that it was able to dictate the matchups to the Patriots' offense, not the other way around, by forcing Rob Gronkowski to stay in and help pick up the blitz.
Todd Bowles's blitz patterns had Tom Brady so confused that Brady was keeping Gronkowski in as a sixth blocker when the Jets were rushing only three defenders.
And the Jets' offense was good enough that it still put up 23 points even with the Patriots shutting down its top two options, Chris Ivory and Brandon Marshall."
Up Next:@ Oakland (3-3)
MIAMI DOLPHINS (3-3)
Offense/Defense Rankings: No. 10 (14 Rush, 13 Pass) & No. 21 (30 Rush, 14 Pass)
Turnover Department: T19 (-1)
The Skinny: The Dolphins are swimming quite comfortably under interim head coach Dan Campbell, having won consecutive games while averaging 41 points a contest. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill posted video game numbers in Miami's 44-26 trouncing of Houston, completing 18 of 19 for 282 yards and 4 TDs. Running back Lamar Miller had 236 yards from scrimmage in a half and Cameron Wake added a pair of sacks.
They Said It:Taking a big step up in competition, the Dolphins have an opportunity to make a statement Thursday at Gillette Stadium. But Campbell will have his troops ready as the 'Fins start a three game road stretch - @NE, @ BUF and @PHI. Andy Cohen, columnist for Dolphins.com, breaks down what's working for Miami including a game-breaking wideout.
"A thought about wide receiver Jarvis Landry. The general consensus is that he isn't quite as talented or explosive as his former LSU teammate and best friend Odell Beckham Jr. Well, it may just be time to re-think that. I know Beckham is a unique athlete.. I know some of his catches are already legendary. But after seeing some of the plays Landry has made this season, particularly Sunday against Houston, I would now rate him in the same category as Beckham. I know those are powerful words, but Landry is one powerful player."
Up Next:@ New England (6-0) *Thursday Night
BUFFALO BILLS (3-4)
Offense/Defense Rankings:No. 25 (11 Rush, 27 Pass) & No. 11 (5 Rush, 20 Pass)
Turnover Department: T16 (0)
The Skinny: E.J. Manuel put the Bills in a monster 27-3 hole in London with multiple turnovers, but the Bills rallied to take an 31-27 improbable lead over the Jaguars. But the defense surrendered a late touchdown and the Bills go into the bye on a two-game losing streak.
They Said It:Every team deals with injuries, but the Bills have lost a lot of key players early. QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Sammy Watkins, RB LeSean McCoy, RB Karlos Williams, DT Kyle Williams, RT Seantrel Henderson, RG John Miller, CB Leodis McKelvin (short-term injured reserve) and S Aaron Williams (short-term injured reserve) all have missed valuable stretches. Bills Insider Chris Brown says this is a team in need of a rest.
"I know injuries are part of the game, but there are so many on this team," said RB LeSean McCoy. "We've got to get some guys back and play a game with full weapons. You come into this league and you pick the players you want. You go into the game with a game plan, but you don't have your guys. We'd like to have everybody back and get a full, realistic look."
Up Next: Bye