We're approaching the halfway point of the 2015-16 season and the battle for AFC East supremacy is in full swing. The Dolphins may be on the uptick, the Bills are starting to trend down and the Jets and Patriots are set to square off for first place this week.
Let's hit it!
1. Patriots - They got some push back from the Colts on Sunday night, and that's not a bad thing. The Pats have very rarely been tested this season, so watching them face a little adversity was fun and it can only benefit them going forward. Had it not been for Julian Edelman mishandling a ball that resulted in a Mike Adams pick-six, the Patriots would have won more handily. The loss of Dont'a Hightower was evident, as the Colts were able to effectively run the football with Frank Gore. The defense tightened up in the second half, though, and Tom Brady was once again masterful. They'll need as many healthy bodies as possible this weekend when they go up against the Jets.
2. Jets - Once again, the Jets beat a team that really isn't that good. They were tied at 13 with the Redskins going into halftime, and then came out and put on a show against them in the second half. The Jets defense has been one of the best in the league at forcing turnovers, and they intercepted Kirk Cousins twice. They may not get so lucky this week with Brady, but it wouldn't be surprising if the defense was able to get at least one against him. Chris Ivory had another monster game, rushing for 146 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, so New York will look to him to shoulder the load again this week.
3. Dolphins - For now, the Dolphins are out of the cellar. Yes, they're 2-3. Yes, they beat the Titans last week. But they actually looked like a football team. Lamar Miller looked like he actually knew what he was doing, and the defense looked like they knew they had to keep Tennessee out of the end zone and forced four turnovers. Are they going to beat the Texans this week? If they play like they did last week, then the answer is yes. Maybe it was the coaching after all.
4. Bills - They're starting to look like a dumpster fire. Granted, Tyrod Taylor missed this game and E.J. Manuel started, but it might not have mattered. Cincinnati is hot and played very well against a Bills defense that didn't play up to its capabilities. They gave up 112 yards on the ground between Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. Andy Dalton was perfect once again, throwing for 243 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. It didn't help that defensive tackle Kyle Williams left the game with an injury, as did wide receiver Sammy Watkins. There are also rumors going around that some Bills players aren't liking the defensive schemes Rex Ryan is putting together. The positive for Buffalo is that they got LeSean McCoy going, which they're going to need to do if they want to have success moving forward.
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