Is the Bills defense that bad and the Jets offense that good?
The Bills play at the Chiefs. Kansas City’s a team with some weapons on offense, so the Bills need to stop the bleeding in a stadium filled with KC red. They’ve got Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis to contend with along with Dwayne Bowe, Tony Moeaki, and Dexter McCluster to look out for too, so it’ll be a test. The Chiefs put up 24 against a veteran Falcons defense, so that’s a good standard for the Bills to measure themselves against.
The Jets, however, play at the Steelers. Pittsburgh is coming off a very tough loss in Denver for the second consecutive ball game and will be playing in their home opener. This game will really test the mettle of Sanchez & Co. and will most certainly expose any weaknesses they may have been able to trowel-over against the Bills last week. The Steel Curtain’s mastermind, Dick LeBeau, won’t let them get away with much at all, so the Jets should earn everything they get. CB Darrelle Revis suffered what Rex Ryan called “a mild concussion” in their victory, so he may or may not be on the field to cover Mike Wallace.
Are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for real?
They go to New York and visit the Giants, and I wouldn’t want to be a player on that team this week in practice. I suspect Rookie David Wilson is undergoing some good-enough-natured hazing regarding holding on to the football, for one thing. The whole team on both sides looked bad but they’re a veteran team with just the right mix of a few young players. WIlson’s counterpart for the Bucs, Doug Martin, is off to an impressive start. While the Giants have had trouble with stopping the run in recent games (of course, back to 2011), the Bucs face a very hostile road environment. The Panthers haven’t had a good reputation against the run, although they got a boatload of talent at LB after the draft and getting players back from injured 2011 campaigns.
It should provide an adequate answer one way or another. The Giants ARE the defending Super Bowl champions, after all.
Who is the worst team in the AFC?
The Oakland Raiders travel to south Florida to face off against the Miami Dolphins, a blowout loser in Houston last Sunday. The Raiders lost to the Chargers last night, 22-14, but that score was deceptively close. The Raiders scored a late TD when the Chargers were just concerned about letting the clock unwind and the Chargers’ offense was stalled several times inside the 20 and Nate Kaeding had 5 FGs – 3 of which were from 23, 28, and 19 yards. Two others came off of THREE different botched Raiders’ special teams plays. Blocked punts, bad snaps…the Raiders may be worse on special teams than the Panthers are. Oh, they’ve got probably the best kicker/punter duo in Janikowski and Lechler, but they gotta have some blocking.
The Dolphins went into Houston with a rookie QB starting and knowing they were overmatched from the start. They played hard but lack talent at WR so Ryan Tannehill really doesn’t have much help other than his NFL top-ten group of RBs but they can’t get much done if there’s no passing threat. As long as they keep the current roster of WRs, there won’t be a passing threat other than Reggie Bush’s catch-and-run ability.
I think Oakland has things a bit more “together” on offense than the Dolphins do, but they really don’t have a whole lot on defense other than Richard Seymour and Rolando McClain. Miami has the edge there, and 3rd-year pro OLB Koa Misi finally started showing some ability as he led the team in tackles last week with 10.
Whoever loses this game will probably grab that early mantle of the AFC’s worst for now.