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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.

Comments

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Many of you that lack confidence in Philbin/Sherman are grossly underestimating what is involved with installing a new system while at the same time overhauling many key positions.

It may appear flawed to you, but stop for a minute and think just how many practices and games these guys have been through. For each thing you might not understand, for each thing that might seem like a flawed approach, there are 20 reasons behind it that the observer from afar has no idea of.


Let's not forget Belichek was a bum in Cleveland and fired. Pete Carrol was useless his first try in the NFL. Coughlin was on the hot seat twice in NY. I'll bet their fans said all the same things and worse.

Look at them now.

GENO SMITH STINKS....JUAN PIERRE'S TWIN BROTHER...AWFUL QB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mando..Couldn't said it better myself

I said it the day New England did what Miami did and let Welker walk... BIG MISTAKE...... Wes Welker was a one man wrecking crew against Miami. He PERSONALLY jabbed the knife in our chest more then I want to remember. Make no mistake... Tom Brady is a veteran and knows how to win... But I don't care HOW GOOD your QB is... if there isn't anyone to play catch with... then it's NOT CATCH... It's THROW....
Made that argument about Ryan Tannehill being without enough talent around him last year. At the end of this season the truth will be exposed concerning the MYTH that elite QB's can ALWAYS win with any WR's.... Not against today's well schemed defenses they can't.
This division is 100% up for grabs... And I think we are FINALLY seeing the beginning of the end of the "Great NE Patsy run"......

What I saw tonight was that the Jets played as everybody expected them to and the Pats looked vulnerable. The Pats definitely are not the offensive powerhouse they have been. But, I can't get too excited yet for the Phins until I see better than 20 yards rushing and less than 4 sacks per game. Until I see better results from the Phins, all I can conclude is that the AFC East is really the worst division in the NFL.

ROTFLMAO!

Michael Irvin just called Clyde Gates Edward Scissor Hands and said he would cut him.....RIGHT NOW......IN THE LOCKER ROOM!

Oooooooouch! Thems some HARSH words, but I have to admit, I agree Whole Heartedly.
=========================

Having said that, I also have to admit, I was totally fooled by Gates. I had him on my Mock Draft(one of the few times I was right in trying to guess who we would pick). But I also had him on my OWN Mock.

I thought he had all the skills and that they would transition into the NFL No Prob.

Oh well, can't win em all.

Fin4,

If you're still up, I answered a couple of your posts on the last blog.

It's a little early in the season to start counting out the Patriots which are 2-0. I hope you are right.

What I saw tonight was that the Jets played as everybody expected them to and the Pats looked vulnerable. The Pats definitely are not the offensive powerhouse they have been. But, I can't get too excited yet for the Phins until I see better than 20 yards rushing and less than 4 sacks per game. Until I see better results from the Phins, all I can conclude is that the AFC East is really the worst division in the NFL.

Posted by: swflafinfan | September 13, 2013 at 12:37 AM
------------------------
My thoughts exactly!

miami dolphins afc east champions 2013 playoffs baby!

Interesting to Sean Smith tweet praise to Gates on his apparent TD catch in the end zone. Only thing was i tweeted too soon. It wasn't a catch. What do Gates and Smith have in common? Stones hands. Neither one can hang onto the ball.

Fin4,

That totally got by me, but I believe you're absolutely right.......AGAIN ;)

Yeah, I think it's more than safe to say that the pats haven't really benefited or improved much this off season if at all.

Actually, I believe they've digressed or regressed or whatever cool word fits there. Seriously, I don't follow their moves as close as I do the Phins, but I pay some attention. I just assumed they had gotten better just like anyone else. I mean, the Great Bellicheat is in Full Control.

Where have they improved? I know they suffered some big losses. Then, even some of the key additions turned into losses.

Whether or not we've closed the gap on them remains to be seen. But I don't think they can make any substantial claims to having improved. On the contrary, thanks to your last post and some quick googling(LOL), I'm convinced that they've slipped, and more than just a notch or two.

Thanks Man, I'm feeling pretty good about that.

PS: You can say anything you want about Geno Smith. We can discuss him all you like. But really, the **MAIN THING** with Smith right now is that he's simply not ready for Prime Time.

Sometimes it's best to just throw a Kid out there and let him get his baptism under fire(Like we did Tannehill). But I don't think that's the case with Smith. I could be wrong, I'm no Guru and I haven't seen him play a ton. Having said that, I watched some college, some highlights, I read quite a bit about him and I watched tonight.

I just don't think he's ready to play at this level and I think THAT FACT can be laid squarely at Rex Ryan's Feet.

OK, you probably don't want to put anything anywhere NEAR Rex Ryan's feet. But you get the picture.

Phintastic,

I guess it's a Good Thing you're not a Fan of any teams that play in the AFC North.

Or are you..............?

The AFC North's combined record right now is 0-4. More of the same coming soon.

what was Brady spraying on his hands? stick-um?

Anything can happen in a football game,,,just because the jets and pats looke bad last night means nothing. The games must be played first. I dont believe the Dolphins are equal to the jets nor the Pats. It comes to to "want to" and I dont see "want to" in the Dolphins.

Yes, the decline of the Patriots is now in full bloom. The reputation of Brady and Belichick precedes them each and every season, even this season when they have two undrafted rookies starting at wide receiver. To see the frustration by Brady on the sideline is a delight to us Dolphin fans. It looks as if Belichick may have tried to outsmart common sense when assembling his receiving corps. And Amendola is reportedly out 2-6 weeks now with this groin injury. It's almost insulting the way national analysts would just predict that because its Brady and Belichick, it doesn't matter who they plug in the offense, it would just work. It will be interesting to see where the Patriots rank next week even with the win against the jets. The gap between the Patriots and the Dolphins is could be much closer than we all think.

GO DOLPHINS!

Hats off to Armando! Well done! Funny how average Brady looks with crap receivers, huh? Exactly what Tannehill had last year. Foolish to let Welker walk thinking you can replace him with Amendola. Ha! I only want the Jets to win when they play the Cheatriots. Slightly disappointed about tonight's result, but the Patsies are ripe for picking. This is the year the Fins reclaim their throne! Can ya tell I've been drinking?
Where's YG when we need him?

YG? You mean Daytona, lol

The Patriots will now know what it felt like to be a Dolphins fan during the Marino ERA.

What I mean is they haven't been able to consistently draft talent so know they must rely on HOF QB Tom Brady SOLELY to win games for them. The problem there lies in the fact that much of your salary cap goes to Tom and the weapons that protect your most valuable asset, the offensive line. I see this team being a perpetual 9-7 or 10-6 team without the talent to go far in the playoffs.

If we can get our running game going, we will indeed surpass them this year if Tannehill continues to play at a consistent level.

You know what? This is simple...If we cant beat the Patriots and the Jets as things stand right now...we never will.

It will prove once and for all
1 If Tanny is the QB we need. I think he is close but not there just yet
2 If Ireland has rebuilt properly or not
3 If Philbin can coach.

All 3 things

If we cant take them now we are not much ourselves and I bet Ross is looking hard at this.

Great article Armando!! And to quote Jerome Brown "WE THE BOSS!!"

I love this Dolphins team as it is currently constructed - except for the offensive line. If the O-line doesn't play better, it could sink the whole team.

Can you imagine what Tannehill would do if he had more than 2 seconds to throw the ball and a running game? He has been running for his life the last 2 years.

The NFL knew that Tom terrific and the Pats would be bad this year... So, they give them The Bills first up, the Jets on a short week, then Tampa on a 10 day break.

They make sure NE is 3 and 0 before they face a test, to keep them in the hunt.

By the time we play them, they'll be firing again.

Mark my words, the Pats win 11+ games this year.

That is all.

Posted by: BigAlfy | September 13, 2013 at 02:07 AM

Well said. I think when you look at these dynasty teams there is pattern to them.
The all start of with a top 10 defense and find their QBs before they become highly paid. This allows them to acquire offensive weapons with the rest of their dough to support their QB.

At some point a transition occurs where the defensive players that made them Superbowl Caliber begin to age, losing talent and costing more money. The QB earns the "franchise" label and also cost much more to keep. At the point it becomes the QB's team, surrounding him with the necessary talent becomes to expensive and the team becomes a perennial borderline playoff team. Never bad enough to warrant a radical makeover, but also never good enough to get back to the big game.

Mando
Your article expressed my sentiments also
Both of those teams looked pathetic
We should be able to beat both of them easily at least by 2 scores
I agree that we faced one of the top defenses when we played the Browns specially the cornerback that covered Wallace - he was a beast, and rarely gave Wallace any space - that is what we will face in the playoffs top defenses, - yet we prevailed
So........ I think we are almost there - we need to improve our running game and our 2 Tackles need to step it up. I wish we had our Tight end back, too bad we lost him for the season. We would've been a formidable opponent if he was still playing. Yes even without a great running game.
For Now I think that we will win the AFC East and maybe with a little luck go far into the playoffs, but we also need to look at each of our upcoming games one at a time - The Colts are also beatable - They lucked out and scored a field goal at the end of the game to win it, and did not face a defense like ours.
We will hold them below 17 points and we will win by at least 7 (if not more) in my humble opinion. We will run for over 100 yards also. Last week we faced a great defensive front 7 and I don't think the Colts defense ranks as a great defense.
Yes we are back..................

AFC East champs!

Posted by: chadpennington | September 13, 2013 at 02:48 AM

I think they will hard pressed to get more than 10 wins this season. This looks like the beginning of the end of a dynasty to me.

Posted by: dolphins #1 fan | September 13, 2013 at 02:57 AM

I agree, the Colts are very beatable. I hope we learned our lesson from last season against this team. Luck is very hard to bring down and keeps his eyes downfield to make big throws.

When our front 7 gets hands on him (and they certainly will!), the 1st guy who gets there needs to wrap him up high. Preferably around his throwing arm. The second guy to get to him needs to be the guy to go for his waist to complete the sack!

Who ever scores the most Sunday should win.

Absolutely lame that Brady and the Pats could play that ultra-mega-crappy and still get a dub!

WOW! Talk about two straight weeks of football God gift wraps.

Miami needs to clip Indy to stay abreast and pressure the Pats.

Cheers,

Posted by: Odins Bloatted Liver. | September 13, 2013 at 03:19 AM

Dats sum real deep shyatt yo!

Fake GM @2:12,

I don't like the fact that they have just 4 WR's! The Fins need more protection at that position to be considered contructed well.

Hell, they may want to sign WR Brandon Lloyd just so the Pats can't. The Pat's passing game is horribad right now.

Cheers,

Rob,

I think we can always line Thigpen up as a WR for a speed set and Clay/Egnew for a size advantage in goal line situation. I think the Dolphins have been smart about designing their offense in a way that can interchange parts to create matchup opportunities without much variance from their base sets.

I fell asleep in the 3d quarter ... lucky me, it seems.

I hate too much buildup to a game, but it sure feels like a lot rides on being able to beat Indy.

A lot can happen real fast in the east, we play NE and Buff one game each before Dec, then we play the wets twice and the other 2 once, could be a great chance to win the east in December, or a wild card. Bill

yes i would agree the best chance for the dolphins in years, so the question is can they take advantage of this opportunity

Tt

C'mon guys! The last game I remember beating the Pats was in '08 with the Wildcat. We must have won one since then, but I can't recall it. No matter how bad the Pats, Jests, or Bills are any given year, expect a hard-fought, close contest. Division opponents are usually tough. I agree, the Pats looked like sh.t against the Jests, but I bet our players won't provide them any bulletin-board material before our 1st matchup.

It is too bad we didn't get to play them last night we would have won, and what is up with the schedule makers, how come they always get an easy schedule especially the first part season every year, and then look at our schedule. I really believe we can beat them this year even if they get gronk and whatever his name is they will be just one good shot away from being hurt again.
All we got to do is get through the first 6 games with a decent record like 3-3 even, can't wait to play those chumps go Fins!!!!!

But Mando, Rob Gronkowski is coming back in a week or two and Danny Amendola will be back in two to six weeks.....oh, you already said that--but it is pretty shocking to see how much talent NE lost or is injured......Gronk, Hernandez, Welker, Amendola, Vereen.....even Woodhead, which I forgot (not great but pesky and effective when surrounded by the others)--zero deep threat and if you can just contain Edelman (which you can), you can hang.......and Brady gets another year older--there is no way that team beats DEN or BALT in crunch time--all encouraging for Fins fans

I just so tired of NE winning games they should of lost!! They ahold be no better than 1-1!! So aggravating!!

Surprized that nothing mentioned in your the post Mando, about Buffalo last week. The Pats struggled in that game and got Amendola hurt as well. Amendola for Welker,what a joke. Only the Fins and Pats are dumb enough to either trade(within our division) or not re-sign Wes Welker. Peyton Manning is the winner in that deal.

Look both teams looked bad last night for sure. Funny though, when Brady is out of sync with his receivers and can't connect on the few long balls attempted in the game, the media says they are out of sync. When THILL can't connect on three long ball attempts to Wallace in their first NFL game together the media and fans here call it a fiascoe.

I would say that we would all be 'counting our chickens before they hatch' if we try too dismiss the Pats. They are a good solid team who fiinds ways to win when they struggle to execute in games. They are 2-0. They beat two divisional rivals which is very hard to do no matter who they have at QB.

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled with the Fins this year. I see their potential to win the division but I really am not going to write off the 2-0 Pats just yet.

Too bad it's still five weeks before we play NE. I would have loved to play them earlier his year.

There's chum in these waters!

If Miami beats Indy, it will be an interesting season. If Indy beats Miami, then perhaps the AFC East will exhibit parity of the God-aweful kind.

By the way....I can recall a time when Marino started to decline. It was a sad, sad feeling knowing he wasn't THAT guy anymore.

I shall enjoy Brady's decline, even if he lingers about for a year or two.....

The Dolphins are a very good defensive team that will have to become more opportunistic and turnover short fields to the offense to help them put points on the board.
The Dolphins offensive line was at the very bottom of the NFL last week so dont expect a good running game anytime soon.
The front office let Bush walk in the offseason and spent a lot of money on receivers and a TE.The Dolphins will improve in pass offense as they already showed signs of that last week.

They must win the turnover battle and score more points off the turnovers they get, than the Colts.They must be very efficient in the Red Zone as far as getting a lot more TDs than FGs when they are there.
This is the formula that will help them have a winning record after they play their next 4 opponents and go into the bye week.
A strong opportunistic defense and a mistake free and efficient offense.I posted this long before the season started so please refrain from your arguements that is the way I see it.

mando,
good article, most the time when two divisional foes play each other, one of them walks away with a W, and even though the patriots did secure their win, they did nothing to suggest they are dominant, that being said, and if miami does get past the pats this year we will have ONE key hurdle to overcome and that is an answer for a frantic hurry-up offense such as chip kelly's, sure a team loaded with talent will be a huge test, but the likes of a team with a highly MOBILE QB should NOT be the threat that it once was given the SPEED of our front seven. as i see it, the MAIN deciding factor that will define this team is how we answer the HURRY-UP. how many times have you watched a game when a team down by a few scores goes to the hurry-up and ends up winning it, and how many times have we all said,"if they can do THAT in the 4th quarter, why don't we do THAT from the get-go"...well the EAGLES are doing just that, in-fact that is their game plan, and it WILL take our beloved DEFENSE out of the game, so maybe the pats aren't so scary anymore, but the HURRY-UP will remain this teams kryptonite.

1) unfortunately we play NE on weeks 8 & 13, with Amendola and Gronk back, and the youngsters will be improved.

2) let's stay humble and let's wait until we beat a decent team before talking division title.

No way you're gonna make me talk crap about the Patriots. First, because I don't believe they are as bad as they are looking now. That's a classy organization from top to bottom and they are not going to lay down for anybody. Second, because I am a very wise man and if you talk sh-t about them now, it's not wise. Nosir, it's not wise.

Picked the jets to win and while close no cigar.NE defense still not great and brady is getting angry already in week 2? That is only going to get worse and eventually will make brady start forcing things just to move the ball and thats when turnoverd happen.Just because gronk comes back means squat. He willhave rust to knockoff.

When the Pats acquired Wes Welker, I told all the Pats fans I know (living in NH, there are a lot) that Welker was the best WR pickup the Pats made that year -- better than Randy Moss. That year, the Pats set a record for most points scored and Brady and Moss set records for TD passes and TD receptions.

But Welker was the grease that made the whole offensive machine work. He was the guy who dissected defenses like Brady, found the open spots, caught the ball, and moved the sticks.

Well, now Welker's gone and with his departure, the Pats have lost the foundation for what was their game plans have been predicated on for the last 6 years.

The best part of this is that everyone now gets to see that the magic wasn't all in Tom Brady.

Its going to come down to our D. Much like Baltimore did many times.

Tanhill has to play smart accurate football. And we have to trust the leg of our young kicker.

Efficient football is going to be the name of our game. The line has to learn to do two things in the same season. Run block/And pass block. Looks like a reach this season maybe it comes together.

You cant win the East this year then something is really wrong when you have our D. Go Dolphins!!

Look people I am not trying to be a naysayer, but please remember we do not look
Ike a complete team either. Do we look better the jets or the pats YES, but are we better then the elite teams in the NFL, NO. Not yet we aren't, Taking the AFC East would be wonderful, but can we win in the playoffs, who knows. We still have needs, mainly on the offensive line. I would rather be able to say we beat an elite Patriots team then brag about beating the patsies or pasties or what ever that team in called in New England. The place where they can't even get their roads straight.

Don't jinx it Mando. I know my dolphins are capable of finding a way to lose to the vulnerable pats, probably on special team. don't have NFL net so didn't see the game, but I'm sure the Pats D will be waiting for an equally unimpressive dolphins offense. Just hoping we put the hurting/pressure on #12 and see what happens.

Armando,

I completely agree and was thinking the same thing this morning prior to reading your column.

I would love to know the odds of Miami and New England winning their division before the season got started and now. I bet their is a vast difference.

I agree with the article above BUT the Pats are still 2-0 after 2 weeks.

Brady ranting on the sidelines and yelling at his receivers reminded me of another HOF QB....Dan Marino.

It was Marino's temper that kept him from winning a Superbowl and now that Brady see his best years in the rear view mirror...we'll be seeing more of those sideline rages.

When anger takes over the mind...nothing else filters through and bad things happen.

I wasn't really impressed with Dobson during the draft process ... it amazed me Patriots people were making the Randy Moss comparisons (mostlikely because he's big and went to marshall). Yeah, he's big but he's a stiff with very average athleticism. Wonder how long before Josh Boyce. I liked Boyce, Ireland liked Boyce, heck even Belicheck liked Boyce enough to steal him from right under our noses. When does he get his chance?

Thompkins??? pff.. garbage.

For those people saying we shouldnt busting on the Patriots yet! Dont tell us what to do, us Dolphin fans have watched these B-holes run game on us for years and years! Last night the Patriots looked like pan fried dookie. Belicheck and Brady are good, but their smug confidence in themselves is biting them now. I have no problem with someone being confident, but the fact that they let Welker walk and surrounded Brady with exactly nothing!

Amendola - Come on pats, this is the epitome of an injury prone player, this is week 2 and already missing time.

thompkins - Arrested 3 times before he was 19? I am not saying people make mistakes, but after the Hernandez thing. You might wanna bring in higher character players.

Dobson- Is he that bad of a route runner? I mean really, he was the bane of Brady's existence last night.

Patriots RB situation is a mess

Patriots Defense - They had a bunch of sacks and some Ints. But all thee interceptions were on stupid throws. Stephen Hill and Clyde gates were open all night.

AS OF RIGHT NOW THE PATS SUCK and until we see anything different from them, they are a sucky team. We should all think of them as a bad team, they will get better, but by how much? Very low ceiling my friends! So as of today, F U Brady F U Belicheck, yall suck a fat one! Go Phins!!!!!

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