The 2019 preseason concluded with yet another week of 3/4 AFC East teams eating Jameis Winston’s Ws. But the Patriots were the team letting down the division this week. As it is the least important pre season week due to almost all the starters not playing, only a brief recap is necessary. However the main Roster Changes will be highlighted to educate and consolidate the latest AFC East news before teams take the field at the weekend.
Dolphins 16 – 13 Saints and big Roster Changes in Miami
Miami had a decent week behind Jake Rudock’s 229 yards against a Saints defence consisting of low depth chart players (and players no longer on the roster). But in South Florida it was trade news which made the headlines. LT Laremy Tunsil and standout player from 2018 WR Kenny Stills were swapped with the Texans for a couple of first rounders and some NASA merchandise. While many were quick to clown on the Dolphins for giving up arguably their best 2 players, it does put them in a good position to rebuild as #TankForTua season begins, despite HC Brian Flores stating they have no intention of going for that #1 overall selection. The real losers from this trade are Miami QB’s Ryan Fitzpatrick (Starter) and Josh Rosen (Backup), who’s offensive line is now effectively non-existent. Especially Rosen who got lit up all season in Arizona last year. Overall, the Dolphins and their fanbase hope the moves made this off-season will help them get out the constant slump they’ve been in pretty much since the Marino days. A situation sure to be in the news all year and beyond.
Jets 6 – 0 Eagles
Interesting points from this game are hard to come by. Davis Webb threw for 2 picks and Trevor Siemian went 5/5, meaning Sam Darnold better stay healthy if the Jets want to win.
Elsewhere on the field, International Player Pathway’s Valentine Holmes had 5 catches for 55 yards and the Defence smothered the Eagles. Fans of New York rightly paid more attention to roster moves than the final pre season game. The Jets Roster Changes headlines included waiving this years 3rd round pick (and projected 1st rounder by some analysts) Jachai Polite, prompting many obvious puns surrounding the name of the now free agent. In other news, the aforementioned Aussie Valentine Holmes was designated in the exempt 11th spot on the Jets practice squad. Meaning he cant play this season but can travel with the team and continue to learn the game for the year before the Jets Re-Evaluate his situation next off-season. The Jets take on the AFC Easts Bills at home to kickoff the season in week 1.
Bills 27 – 23 Vikings and various Roster Changes
A fourth quarter comeback for Buffalo and (now ex-bill) Tyree Jackson resulted in one of the more entertaining final pre-season games. Jackson threw for 175 yards and TD, also rushing for a further TD, while Brit Christian Wade was unable to find his previous form with 5 carries for only 15 yards. Furthermore in the defence, Eddie Yarborough had a decent game which earned him a practice squad spot, and it was the Bills practice squad which was the main talking point this week. In amongst a few minor trades, Christian Wade was designated into the 11th exempt practice spot like Holmes with the Jets. While 3 players were claimed from the Bills on waivers after being cut, including WR Ray Ray McCloud (Carolina) and my official Instagram follower DB Ryan Lewis (Indianapolis). The Bills seem happy with their healthy 53 man roster as they prepare for a divisional game at MetLife against the Jets on Sunday.
Patriots 29 – 31 Giants
Jarrett Stidham won the Brady backup competition in New England with an impressive performance yet again. 225 yards and 2 TDs meant Stidham will be warming the Foxboro bench while ex-backup Brian Hoyer was cut. Hoyer’s unemployment was short lived however as he was signed to the Colts, looking to add depth to their QB position following Andrew Luck’s shock retirement.
However, despite a good QB performance and Demaryius Thomas showing he still has it, the Pats didn’t come away with the win. The AFC East, and let’s face it, the rest of the League are all hoping that this losing continues through the season. But Patriot skepticism has come around annually for years now, and every year we are proven wrong. Bill Belichick and Co probably didn’t lose much sleep over the defeat, instead making roster moves they deem worthy for a run at yet another Super Bowl. These Roster Changes included trading for C Russell Bodine from Buffalo, releasing and re-signing D.Thomas for roster slot reasons and placing first rounder N’Keal Harry on the IR. Other than that, not a lot exciting news came from New England, but we all know they probably don’t need exciting news to win the division for an 11th time.