BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots enjoyed their bye week, sitting back and watching a pair of the AFC East teams implode on Sunday.
The New York Jets were the only victorious team in the division, beating the lowly Miami Dolphins 27-14 in London, likely ending Joe Philbin’s run as Miami’s head coach. Back in the states the Buffalo Bills were flagged for 17 penalties, two of which negated touchdowns, and dropped to 2-2 with a 24-10 home loss to the New York Giants.
“The other three teams [in the AFC East], for whatever reason from time to time, basically go psychotic on themselves,” Boomer Esiason of The NFL Today and WFAN told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Monday morning.
Esiason said the Dolphins have had back-to-back terrible weeks, with Sunday’s stinker following a 41-14 loss to the Bills in Miami in Week 3. They basically quit in the fourth quarter of that game, which Esiason called “embarrassing.”
“Right now the Dolphins are in the midst of imploding because they spent a lot of money in the offseason, maybe on the wrong guys, and those guys are not performing,” he noted. “Adversity doesn’t create character, it reveals it. Right now, the revelation in Miami is it’s a disaster and I don’t see it getting any better any time soon.”
Esiason is impressed with the 3-1 Jets so far and could see them making a run to the playoffs, but doesn’t think they’re on the level of the AFC elite.
“Their defense really looks good. Their offense, Ryan Fitzpatrick had a good game yesterday making some key runs for a first down. Chris Ivory is a tremendous running back that sets the tone, but he’s an injury waiting to happen. They can get to 10 wins, but Fitzpatrick is not going into New England or Denver or Cincinnati and going to win a playoff game for you,” said Boomer. “He’s a quality quarterback, but not the upper echelon.”
Esiason puts the 4-0 Bengals in that elite group in the AFC along with the 4-0 Denver Broncos and 3-0 Patriots. The Bengals handled the Chiefs on Sunday, 36-21, on 331 passing yards from Andy Dalton and three rushing touchdowns by Jeremy Hill.
While Esiason thinks the Bengals have taken that next step, he still doesn’t see them beating the Patriots in a playoff matchup.
“If you’re talking about the best teams in the league they’re in the Top 5, no question about it,” said Boomer. “If they have to go to New England and win a playoff game I don’t think they can get it done, because they’re defense isn’t good enough. Yesterday they had five sacks against Alex Smith, but that’s not Tom Brady back there.
“They’re a team coming into their own and Andy Dalton has looked fantastic,” he added. “Everyone is healthy and they look great, but I still don’t think they could beat the Patriots if they had to go to New England to do it.”