September 27, 2011 Leave a comment
Let’s talk a look at who’s stock is going up and who’s stocking is trending downward, both as a group and individually, in the AFC East.
- Buffalo Bills (3-0, 1-0 AFCE) The Bills started the season 3-0 with a huge upset victory over the Patriots to get out in front early in the AFC East. They travel to Cincinnati to face a team that they’ve beaten 10 times in a row to go for their fourth win of the year. After Cincy they’ve got two tough games against NFC East opponents but a confident young team can only get more confident with wins and they are prime for one this week. Arrow pointing up.
- New England Patriots (2-1, 1-1 AFCE) The Pats suffered a disappointing loss in Buffalo this week and have to turn around and travel across the country to Oakland to face a tough Oakland team. This is a big game for the Pats because they can defeat an opponent that the Jets lost to last week, setting them up at 3-1 going into a big AFC East showdown with the Jets. It’s tough to bet on Brady losing two in a row. Arrow pointing up.
- New York Jets (2-1, 0-0 AFCE) The Jets looked awful defensively against the Raiders in Oakland and their offense made another comeback attempt after a slow start. I’ve said it before, their offense needs to show consistency throughout the entire game because good offensive teams like Oakland will make them pay. They face a tough Baltimore team on Sunday Night Football before they travel to Foxboro to face off against the Pats. They need to get their defense sorted quickly if they want to avoid getting in an early hole. Arrow staying neutral.
- Miami Dolphins (0-3, 0-1 AFCE) The Dolphins look like a mess, they made a 4th quarter comeback look way too easy for the Browns last week. Sparano is clearly a lame duck head coach and we’ll see how that affects the coming weeks for Miami. They travel all the way to San Diego this week to play the Chargers before heading into the bye and a loss could spell the end of the Tony Sparano era in Miami. Arrow pointing down.
Here are the players on each team whose stock is up and down, respectively, after this week’s game.
- Stock Rising – CB Leodis McKelvin – McKelvin bounced back from a brutal showing against the Oakland Raiders by having a superb game against future Hall of Famer Tom Brady. He picked Brady off once and was glued to Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco most of the day.
- Stock Falling – OLB Shawne Merriman – Merriman had one pressure this week but still has yet to get to the quarterback this year. The Bills have had a disappointing pass rush thus far and Merriman is the leader.
New England Patriots
- Stock Rising – TE Rob Gronkowski – Gronkowski is a machine, he catches everything. The throw to his back shoulder is too easy and almost indefensible. I fear that his effectiveness could diminish once Aaron Hernandez returns to the lineup but until then he is the key cog in the Pats offense.
- Stock Falling – WR Chad Ochocinco – We’ve heard all of the name calling. Ochostinko, Ocho dropo. Clearly he is not getting something. If he can’t pick up the offense fast we may be calling him “OchoGalloway” in a few weeks.
New York Jets
- Stock Rising – WR Plaxico Burress – Burress had an off week last week but he returned with a monster second half to help the comeback attempt by the Raiders. It looks like the two years in jail didn’t hurt him too much.
- Stock Falling – CB Antonio Cromartie – Cromartie was burned, he got called for penalty after penalty, and he suffered a bruised lung. Insult and injury. He’s not exactly making Jets fans forget about the pursuit of Nnamdi Asumugha.
- Stock Rising – RB Daniel Thomas – Daniel Thomas was the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal performance by the Dolphins offense. He had his second 100 yard performance in as many games, his first two as an active player in the NFL.
- Stock Falling – RB Reggie Bush – With the rise of Thomas Reggie Bush has reverted back to his old self, which is to say a guy that can contribute in many ways but when he’s off, which is he often, he disappears.