NFL

AFC East Round-up

12/5/12 in NFL   |   Mia781   |   953 respect

Here’s a brief look at those who’ve risen above or fallen below their previous standing.
 
Falling
 
1.Mark Sanchez, New York Jets quarterback: After four seasons of leading the New York Jets with inconsistent results, Mark Sanchez was finally benched by coach Rex Ryan in the third-quarter against the Arizona. The following day Rex Ryan (who’d sworn allegiance to his starting quarterback over the offseason) warned the situation to be "in the red right now," after Mark Sanchez was picked three times in Sunday’s game. And so entered a three-day grueling wait for Mark Sanchez to see if his starting job was safe as Rex Ryan looked at other available options.
 
Mark Sanchez’ career with the New York Jets was never in jeopardy considering the team owes him $8.5 million in guaranteed money. However, the quarterback claimed Rex Ryan’s message was “well received” after he was given another start against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday.
 
2.Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins quarterback: Although Miami Ryan Tannehill made a remarkable start, teams have adjusted to the Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback’s strength and weaknesses midway through the season. Since, the former Miami Dolphins 8th overall pick has been inconsistent at best. Ryan Tannehill had another poor outing against the New England Patriots on Sunday, completing 13-of-29 passes for 186 yards (averaging 6.41 per pass attempt). The 24-year-old’s inaccuracy took points off the board for the Miami Dolphins as Ryan Tannehill ended the game on two deep misses to Brian Hartline who was open on the pass.
 
3.AFC East wild-card chances: It was a bad week for all wild-card hopefuls in the division. All the teams ahead won on last-minute twists with hardly enough games to take a chance on. The Indianapolis Colts (8-4) are safely far ahead of the competition, which leaves just one wild-card spots. The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) and Cincinnati Bengals (7-5) are the most likely to battle it out for the AFC wild card (but this combination won’t work). The Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins all at 5-7 require at least one more win to stand in the competition.
 
Rising
 
1.Greg McElroy, New York Jets quarterback: Nobody was expecting an explosive game from Greg McElroy but his 7-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals was like a breath of fresh air for a struggling New York Jets offense. Greg McElroy completed 5-of-7 passes for 29 yards and a touchdown in his first game of the season. However, Greg McElroy made enough of an impact that his name too popped up in the New York Jets’ quarterback jumble earlier this week.
 
2.Buffalo Bills running game: The Buffalo Bills are gradually focusing more on their run game, a pleasant turnaround from their wide-open offense identity. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, the Buffalo Bills two notable running backs played up the offense’s new found capabilities with a combined 186 rushing yards and one touchdown record in the team’s 34-18 win over Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
 
3.New England Patriots’ playoffs seeding: The New England Patriots’ performance this weekend didn’t produce any gems, but it was enough to the team their 10th divisional title over 12 years. It also raised the New England Patriots’ from overall No.3 to No.2 seeds, which is crucial when it comes to the first-round bye. The New England Patriots (9-3) are currently tied with Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos at the spot, but the Patriots boast a better conference record. The New England Patriots are clear in the playoffs if they keep it up in December.
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