With Pre Season in full effect for the 2019 NFL season, Max Hillman recaps how the AFC East teams fared in the second week of the action. Detailing what we learned from this weeks games and also what to look out for in the upcoming weeks battles as the teams practice for another run at the coveted Lombardi trophy.
It was a fairly successful one for the franchises in the AFC East.
In terms of results, 3 of the 4, came away with the win. While many don’t pay much attention to Pre Season records, form demonstrated in Pre Season (if carried over to the regular season) could bode well for the 2019 season and beyond.
Jets of the AFC East Fly past the Falcons
– Jets 22 – 10 Falcons
It was an impressive result for the Jets, bouncing back after a loss in the week prior. While Sam Darnold didn’t do badly, going 5/7 for 46 yards, it was the backups that ended up holding the limelight. Luke Faulk had a 100% completion rate at 4/4 which resulted in 41 yards and a TD.
Furthermore, Ty Montgomery managed 5.1 yards per carry and drove one in for a TD. Meaning he may be a name to watch out for in 2019 in the Jets backfield that isn’t named Le’Veon. It wasn’t just the Offence that contributed to the comfortable Jets win however. The Jets D managed to get to the QB all game long, sacking him 5 times including one by standout star Jamal Adams. Even special teams did their job as the Jets carried two kick returns back for 30 yards each. An overall impressive performance means that the Jets carry momentum forwards that could prove useful if sustained as they attempt to break the Patriots choke-hold on the division.
Clash of the Titans
– Patriots 22 – 17 Titans
In a team with well known veterans Tom Brady (who didn’t play) and Brian Hoyer, it was the less familiar name of Jarrett Stidham which made the headlines. Stidham threw for 197 yards and a TD on a 74% completion rate, as well as rushing for a further 18. Is there a potential Brady backup challenger emerging? It will be interesting to see how he performs in the coming weeks. Rookies Jakobi Meyers (UDFA) and Chase Winovich also contributed. The former had a team high 6 receptions for 82 yards while the latter managed 4 tackles and a sack in limited snaps. Showing he has been ”studying the playbook”, as Tom Brady jokingly commented on his Instagram post.
Star K Gostkowski missed his only FG attempt of the game, possibly a situation to monitor as Kickers are getting more media attention than ever before (poor Cody Parkey).
Wade through the Panthers
– Bills 27 – 14 Panthers
The Bills played 3 QB’s for a pretty high number of snaps for a pre season game. QB1 Josh Allen had a formidable 102 yards on 9/11 attempts, while QB2 Matt Barkley starred yet again with 110 yards and a TD. However UDFA and feel good story from the University of Buffalo Tyree Jackson had a bad game with a 40% completion rate. Meaning he needs to improve quickly for any hope of a roster or practice squad position.
However if you wanted to check the Bills score it wouldn’t be the QB’s that popped up all over your socials, instead for the second week in a row it would be NFL UK’s seemingly new poster boy (and i’m all for it!) Christian Wade. Wade took in a reception for 48 yards and nearly another TD and yet again proved his worth to a Bills team who lacked in backfield options last season. So it will be a curious story to see if and how Wade is used in this season and the future.
The defence also played well for Buffalo, spearheaded by Kevin Johnson who picked off rookie Will Grier and took it to the house for 6. The QB situation with Jackson as well as Christian Wade are stories to look out for before the season begins in a few weeks.
Dolphins sunk by the Bucs
– Dolphins 14 – 16 Buccaneers
Josh Rosen started for Miami, playing well in the first half going 10/18 for 102 yards. However he did get sacked 3 times. The other member of the QB competition in Miami Ryan Fitzpatrick only threw 9 times, completing 3 for a tame 20 yards. But it was another QB who contributed most both to the 14 points that the Dolphins scored and the 16 they conceded. Jake Rudock, who threw for 72 yards, a TD, but also an INT. Rudock also completed a 2pt conversion to put the Dolphins ahead late into the 4th, but a 6 second remaining field goal for the Bucs meant that the Dolphins lost again. Albeit in a close game.
Despite there being some positives, there needs to be drastic improvement in order for Miami to be out of contention for the #1 pick next season.
Overall, the AFC East has many things to keep an eye on as a fan over the next few weeks. Josh Gordon is eligible to return for the Patriots and could provide talking points for next weeks action following his absence. With various QB battles emerging, the AFC East could be an exciting one all through the season. Get in touch @18hillman on twitter if you have any thoughts you want to share!
(image credits to patspulpit)