Three weeks are in the books and the AFC East, with the exception of the New York Jets, is looking like a competitive division. In this week’s NFL.com’s Power Rankings, the Bills and the Patriots are in the top 10, while the Miami Dolphins made one of the largest leaps in the league, moving up five spots. Meanwhile, the Jets deservedly hold the bottom spot.
New England Patriots 2–1:
After a tough loss to the blazing hot Seattle Seahawks, the Patriots took on the rising Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders came into this game starting the season 2 – 0. The Patriots garnered a conceiving 36-20 victory, moving to 2-0 against AFC clubs this season.
Cam Newton did not have a good game, a valid reasoning as to why the rest of the league should be concerned when facing off against New England. Newton went 17 of 28 for 162 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. However, the Patriots won the game on the legs of Sony Michel (9 carries for 117 yards) and a strong performance on defense.
Next up for the Patriots:
The Patriots have an even greater challenge this week, as they travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs at 4:25 p.m. EST Sunday. The Chiefs did not play a perfect game this Monday night and still made it look easy against the Baltimore Ravens and the league’s top defense going into that game. Kansas City also kept the reigning league MVP, Lamar Jackson, under control.
Bill Belichick and Andy Reid are the two most successful active head coaches. This game could be a playoff preview.
Buffalo Bills 3–0:
The Buffalo Bills continue to roll early on. Josh Allen is putting up numbers that will get him into the MVP conversation. The Bills beat the Los Angeles Rams 35-32 to remain perfect in a game that was far from perfect. There were a couple of controversial calls on both sides in this game, but the last one determined the contests. A pass interference call saved the Bills from squandering a 28-3 third-quarter lead.
Nevertheless, referees and questionable calls are part of the game and the Bills should get some credit for this win. Allen and Stefon Diggs came up with the big plays when it was needed to hold onto this win. Even though Diggs did not lead the Bills in receiving this game, Buffalo does not win this one without him.
Next up for the Bills:
The Bills have an opportunity to get some breathing room in the AFC East this week. The Patriots and Dolphins are taking on Super Bowl contenders and are not favored to win.
Buffalo will be taking on the Las Vegas Raiders at 4:25 p.m. EST Sunday. This game won’t be a cakewalk for the Bills though. The Raiders should be a tough matchup for Buffalo. The Bills have a lot of injuries at linebacker and the Raiders have a great tight end in Darren Waller along with running back Josh Jacobs that should be able to take advantage.
New York Jets 0–3:
After three weeks, the New York Jets have lost in three blowouts. The concerning trend for the Jets is that they’ve given up more points in each game. 27, 31, then losing 36-7 to the Indianapolis Colts last week. The Jets also have scored fewer points each game. 17, 13 and just 7 on Sunday.
The Jets are currently the definition of a team going in the wrong direction.
Next up for the Jets:
New York will kick off Week 4 in a Thursday night game against the 0-3 Denver Broncos. The Broncos lost Von Miller, their top player on defense to injury. They’re also without their starting quarterback Drew Lock for a few more games. Head coach Adam Gase needs to get this win to save his job. If the Jets drop to 0-4, this may be the last game he coaches this season.
Miami Dolphins 1–2:
Miami did everything right last Thursday in their win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Dolphins led wire to wire, ultimately winning 31-13, making it coach Brian Flores’ first double-digit win in history.
Ryan Fitzpatrick went 18 of 20 for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. Surprisingly, Fitzpatrick even caught one of his own passes in the win. Mike Gesicki has been lined up consistently as a wide receiver for the Dolphins, who lack depth at the position due to opt-outs and injuries. The move paid off for Gesicki, who caught a touchdown in the second quarter versus Jacksonville. He now has two touchdowns and 175 yards on the season, on pace to surpass his 2019 totals of five touchdowns and 570 yards.
Next up for the Dolphins:
The Dolphins needed to win against the Jaguars to avoid going 0-3 ahead of a game against the 3-0 Seahawks. All AFC East eyes will be on the Dolphins this week, as they’re the only AFC East team in the 1 p.m. EST Sunday spot.
Quarterback Russell Wilson is playing the best football of his career. The best deep-ball passer in the NFL has put those skills on display in each game this season.
Miami invested heavily in defense to be able to prevent big plays and be competitive in games like this. The Dolphins so far have been disappointing on defense with the exception of last week against Jacksonville. This week, the Dolphins will get to prove if the improved showing by the defense was because of the lesser opponent or just a slow start.
As good as the Seahawks offense has been, their defense has been just as bad. Seattle currently has the league’s worst defense. Gone are the days of the dreaded Legion of Boom. Miami has a chance in this game but will need another complete game on both sides of the ball.