NFL Midterms- AFC East

It’s time to give out the midterm grades for the AFC East, and the result is back to what it was in 2007: The emergence of the New England Patriots. Tom Brady is hitting his stride, and the Patriots are really starting to click on all cylinders. The New York Jets got off to a hot start at 3-0, with a win over the Patriots, but have lost four of the past five games, including two losses against Miami. The Dolphins are at 3-5, but two of those wins came against the Jets, and they are not playing them anymore this season. The Bills need some kind of offense to have some kind of decent run. All these teams are in the race for the playoffs, but the second half of the season will tell the rest of the story.

New England Patriots (6-2)- Grade: A; The Patriots are back. Tom Brady is back into the groove of where he was before his devastating knee injury a year ago, and they are handling opponents with ease. The way Bill Belichick has ran this team over the decade (with Spygate aside) has been amazing. Despite losing Richard Seymour in a trade to Oakland, the defense has not missed a beat. The Patriots are always able to get a good mix of young and old, and that balance really pays dividends.

New York Jets (4-4)- Grade: C+; The Jets got off to a great start, and Mark Sanchez was living the good life at 3-0, but he has since been knocked to reality, as the Jets have been 1-4 since that start. The Jets have good rhythm, as Braylon Edwards has taken advantage of his new start in a midseason trade from Cleveland. The defense needs to get back to that dominant unit that was phenomenal under Rex Ryan. Right now they just don’t have that same energy, but losing a key player in Kris Jenkins for the season is a huge blow. It’s gut check time for the Jets

Miami Dolphins (3-5)- Grade: C; The Fins have beat the Jets twice this season, and it has really only been the highlight of the season. There could be a case to say that they do have the toughest schedule in the NFL, but this was a team that had a 24-3 lead on the New Orleans Saints, and ended up losing in double digits. Games like that are unacceptable, no matter how great the team is. Joey Porter needs to get his team motivated in a different way instead of talking trash on his opponent before the game.

Buffalo Bills (3-5)- Grade: C-; The Bills have a C- because of the loss to the Cleveland Browns. They did come away with a huge road victory against the once-upon-a-time-ago favorite the Carolina Panthers. This team is anemic on offense, and Terrell Owens has disappointed after all the hope and hype was put on him when he came to the city. The brightest spot is on defense, and rookie Jairus Byrd has seven interceptions, which ties him for the NFL lead, and he is a great candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year. One question though: Where’s Aaron Maybin?

Coming up Next: The AFC West

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