(CBS New York) – The Buffalo Bills entered the season as the favorites in the AFC East, thanks to a stellar season, AFC Championship appearances, and a shining young star quarterback. The Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and New York Jets faced a lot of uncertainty. Questions are still ongoing in the eighth week. And good answers, at least for Dolphins and Jets, don’t seem imminent.
The Bills return from Week 7 to take on the Dolphins in disarray. The Patriots are looking for some confirmation of their lead in Los Angeles against the Charger. The Jets hope to avoid another blast against the Cincinnati Bengals.
CBS New York sports presenter Steve Overmere takes a look at the three games played in East Asia in Week 8.
All times mentioned are oriental.
Miami Dolphins @Buffalo Bills, Sunday October 31 @1:00pm on CBS
The Bills and Dolphins are two teams that go in very different directions. The first sign of that difference came in Week Two, when Buffalo hit Miami, 35-0. Since then, the Bills have remained impressive, with teams closing in on their way to a 4-2 record and topping the division. The Dolphins continued to flounder, losing six players in a row and sinking into the AFC’s eastern vault.
“The Miami team now looks like a dissatisfied team,” Overmere noted. “You have a quarterback who literally came out and said he didn’t think the team, the franchisee, believed in him. And why not? This is obviously a Miami team trying to trade off Deshaun Watson. And that really cuts the legs off the bottom half back, when everyone on the roster knows that’s The team is trying to bring in a better midfielder for you.”
Tagovailoa, like the rest of the team, has had a difficult season. He broke his ribs in their first loss to the Bills, making way for Jacoby Brissett’s support. He was less than his full strength when he came back in mid-October, but he fell down then he didn’t win Jacksonville Jaguars Then the Atlanta Falcons. He’s averaged over 300-yard losses over the past two weeks to suspect defenses.
“Let’s be honest, Tua wasn’t that special,” Overmere emphasized. “But he threw four touchdowns in the last game. He showed sparks. This will probably be his last chance before the trading deadline clearly to try and prove his worth. And this was the man who was the number five overall pick in the 2020 draft. Tua was supposed to be him. The franchise is for Miami. And it didn’t go well. He’s constantly harassed by any team, any defensive line putting pressure on him.”
The buffalo defense certainly won’t just give a breather. This unit allows for 270.2 yards and 16.3 points per game. Their passing defense is solid, and they command their share of turnovers. And their offense is among the best in the NFL in laying yards and points.
“The Bills and Josh Allen and what they’re doing on the offensive side,” Overmayr confirmed. “That combination that the Bills bring to the table week in and week out, both on the offensive side, and when you look at their DVOA ratings, how strong they are on the defensive side are. It seems like a no-brainer that the Bills would ever walk away from this.”
New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday October 31 @ 4:05pm on CBS
The Patriots are coming off an impressive offensive display in Week 7. Rising quarterback Mac Jones led them to 54 points in a big win over the Jets. He went 24-36 for 307 yards and two touchdowns, based on what became a solid rookie season. Damian Harris ran back for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 14 buggies. This was the second straight game for 100 yards.
“I think there are a lot of people who were inspired by what the McJones and the Patriots did against the airplanes,” Overmeyer said. “But again, it was against aircraft. They will not have the same quality of defense this coming week against chargers.”
The Charger allowed only 201.8 passes per game in six games, fourth in the league. This rugged passing game was aided by a strong passing rush led by outside full-back Joey Bossa. On the other side of the ball, Justin Herbert continues to impress, building on last season’s Rookie of the Year campaign. The offense averages 282.8 yards per game, with players Keenan Allen and Mike Williams being the main recipients. Austin Eckler, who was a producer on the running game, is another off-court target.
The Chargers come from Goodbye, which was preceded by an ugly loss for the Ravens in Baltimore. “There is always a bit of a question mark when a young midfielder and a young team led by a young woman come from farewell,” Overmayer said. “How are they going to respond? Because we saw last week, Robert Saleh of the New York Jets came out of goodbye, and the team was basically completely idle. So are the chargers in their best week of theirs better than the Patriots? Surely they are. Coming out of the week of goodbye gives you a little bit of a bit more. Hesitation, especially when you see that the Patriots’ losses this year have been very narrow losses for very good teams.”
According to Overmyer, “When you really look at this and smash what the Chargers can do on the offensive side, even if it’s a disappointment game for Herbert, he still has Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. They can still run the ball. It’s this charging team that I feel Its a head over the Patriots. And you can see that if you look at the betting lines. You can see how much they are favorites in this game. Which is why I think it’s going to be a really big challenge for Bill Belichick to be able to beat the Charger this week.”
Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets, Sunday, October 31 @ 1:00 p.m. on CBS
In past seasons, when both the Bengals and the Jets (to put it mildly) were rebuilding, this wasn’t among the best matches of the week. But the Bengal team has clearly made a turn. Joe Burrow’s promising rookie season ended on a reserve with a torn ACL and MCL. But he continued to grow into his second year, and Ja’Marr Chase’s addition of fifth on the wide receiver certainly helped. Joe Mixon remains a threat off the field.
If the playoffs begin this week, the Bengals, 5-2, would be the top seed in the AFC. Aside from the offensive improvement, the defense also took a step forward. It is one of the few teams to allow less than 100 yards per game, and one of a smaller group to allow less than 20 points per game. None of this bodes well for aircraft.
“Bengals are obviously 10 times better than planes,” Overmeyer said. The Jets are one of the worst teams in the NFL. Furthermore, they don’t even have rookie quarterback and Zach Wilson. Mike White will be the Jets quarterback this week, which you might think would be a good thing if they could run the ball. But planes can’t even run the ball. They have the lowest average yards per carry in the entire NFL. So they don’t even help the young midfielder get over what’s happening again. The jets seem to have no way of moving the ball. And defensively, they have a curved defense but don’t break. But last week, they broke. They broke the 550-yard and 54-point tone for the McJones and the New England Patriots.”
Burrow is ahead of Jones in his development and has more weapons at his disposal. “What’s going to happen now with Joe Burrow, who just got off a 400-yard pass game and Ja’Marr Chase had 200 yards?” asked Overmere. “Let’s not forget their grit, the tight end. The Jets give up a ton of yards in the seam to the tight end. They have a very inexperienced sub. They obviously play 1.0 defense. They don’t have an advanced defensive system at the moment, because they have a lot of young players in this. Defensive back field.
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According to Overmyer, “This could be quite a blast.”