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Patriots play Jets and Dolphins win

If you watched the New England Patriots beat the New York Jets, 13-10, on Thursday night you know the Patriots are atop the AFC East with a 2-0 record.

And you also know that you're not impressed.

Simply, everyone expected the Jets to be a sub-par team struggling through the 2013 season with a rookie quarterback. And Geno Smith's three interceptions, 27.6 quarterback rating and numerous poor throws did nothing to change that expectation.

But did we all really, truly expect the Patriots to look so bad?

Did we expect the New England offense that has been something of a machine the past decade to seem so, so, putrid?

Consider that Tom Brady completed only 19 of 39 passes for 189 yards. It was the first game he was under 50 percent completion rate since 2009. But it wasn't so much his statistics that tell the story, rather the total inability of the Patriots to put a competent receiver on the field.

I mean, when Julian Edelman is your star, your personnel department (Bill Belichick) should be ashamed. And, indeed, Edelman led the Patriots with 13 receptions for 78 yards. Modest, at best. And yet, he was the offensive star for the Patriots.

Rookies Aaron Dobson (four drops) and Kenbrell Tompkins (two receptions on seven targets) have a lot of growing up to do. They've got much work to do to be merely average.

As I tweeted to my Twitter followers, when Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline said in the spring that Miami has the best wide receiver corps in the AFC East, he was absolutely right.

And this:

While both the Jets and the Patriots will likely do some growing and improving, neither seems scary. Neither seems impressive. The Dolphins look as good or better than both those teams right now.

The AFC East is wide open.

(Peanut Gallery: But Mando, Rob Gronkowski is coming back in a week or two and Danny Amendola will be back in two to six weeks, according to the NFL Network).

Yes, gallery, you are correct. But both of those players are walking injury reports. I would not be surprised if Amendola tweaked a hamstring while watching the game on his couch Thursday night.

Look, you know I'm a straight shooter. I tell you what I think even when it's not what you want to hear. So hear this: The Patriots are not elite anymore. Brady is still great. But he has no weapons right now.

The Patriots continue to have an oppotunistic defense and the offensive line still protects Brady quite well. But there is no running game to speak of, the defense still doesn't have a premier pass rusher, and again, Brady has no playmaker to throw the football to right now.

They can be had.

The Jets?

I will say the New York front seven seems solid. Their offensive line is solid.

But Smith is over his head right now. Their receiver corps counts on Clyde Gates (yes that Clyde Gates) to make plays and that's the same guy NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin said he'd cut on the spot right after this game. New York's special teams, so long a strength with assistant Mike Westhoff at the helm, also seems disorganized right now.

Yes, the Dolphins fan suddenly has to be encouraged.

Yes, the Dolphins look as good or better than either of these teams right now.