by Kennedy Ross
Cold Hard Football Facts' AFC East Overlord
Even though Willis McGahee killed two late-game drives for the Broncos. And even though the Patriots rushed for 251 yards against Denver, Manning lost to Brady as far as everyone is concerned.
The Bills defense let them down once again. And instead of losing a close game, the Miami Dolphins prevailed over the favored Bengals for an upset win.
Here are five things we learned about the AFC East in week 5:
1.Even Hall of Famers need help sometimes. (Patriots 31 - Broncos 21)
It truly is a team sport. It's mentioned very seldom but it is very true that quarterbacks get too much credit for wins, and too much blame for losses. Tom Brady didn't WIN this game. Peyton Manning didn't LOSE this game. The Patriots beat the Broncos, and those two guys did the interviews afterward.
Manning put up 345 yards, three touch downs, and a QB rating of 116.2. Brady was 23-for-31, 223 yards, only one touchdown and a QB rating of 104.6.
However, the Patriots ran buck wild all over the Broncos. New England running back Stevan Ridley galloped for 151 of the Patriots 251 yards on the ground. Very few teams manage to get a win when giving up that many yards on the ground.
Conversely, not only did the Broncos not help their quarterback by only producing 70 yards rushing, running back Willis McGahee killed two late game drives. He dropped a sure first down pass when it was fourth and three. The he fumbled on the New England 43 yard line. Both plays in the fourth quarter.
The record shows however that Brady is 9-4 against Manning. Who said being a Hall of Famer was easy?
2. The Bills need a refund on their defense. (49ers 45 - Bills 3)
Uh . . . you let Alex Smith throw for over 300 yards? Smith hasn't even thrown for 230 in any game all year, and you give up 303 yards to him. That is a sure sign that your defense needs a telethon instead of a play book.
When the Bills lose, they lose big. They have given up 48, 52, and 45 points in their three losses this year. That's an everage of 48 points. That's almost two touchdowns a quarter they're giving up.
Once again, over priced Defensive end Mario Williams came up a whole two tackles in this game. That makes 11 tackles in five games. Should we even mention the 1.5 sacks in the same time period? What exactly is he here for?
While we're asking questions, what happened to the Bills run game? They came in this week number one on our Offensive Hog Index. Doubt that will be the case next week after they put up only 89 yards on the ground. All was right with the world when C.J. Spiller was starting.
Yes, even though they have slipped a bit, the 49ers still have one of the best defenses in the league. But Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing 16-for-26, 126 yards and an interception, is slipping into Mark Sanchez territory. And you just don't want to go down that dead end road.
3. Miami actually survives a close one this time. (Dolphins 17 - Bengals 13)
Everyone within 100 miles of Disney World is probably breathing a sigh of relief after Miami came out on the happy side of a close game. The Dolphins sealed their win with a fourth quarter interception of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.
Miami was anchored in this game by their run defense which came in to this week at number two on our Defensive Hog Index. They held the Bengals to only 80 yards no the ground with no rushing touchdowns. This forced Dalton to throw the ball 43 times with two interceptions.
Miami running back Reggie Bush was cleared to play after having trouble with his hip this week during practice. He didn't have one of his better days, rushing for only 48 yards with an everage or 2.5 yards per carry. But he did run for a touchdown, so he day wans't all bad.
Rookie quartertback Ryan Tannehill had another solid game genrating a 92.3 QB rating. He seems to be maturing quickly due to the pressure packed nature of his last few games. This will serve him and the Dolphins well moving forward in the season.
4. Welker's not going anywhere soon.
The reports of New England wide receiver Wes Welker's demise was clearly premature. Welker is still Tom Brady's favorite toy. Welker caught 13 balls against the Broncos. The closest Patriot to Welker caught four.
In the five games played this year Welker racked up over 100 yards in three of the five games. And in one of the other two, he caught five balls for 95 yards.
He is clearly Tom Brady's bread and butter. Even when Welker calls Brady a tough Metrosexual, he just smiles and keeps throwing. That's the sign of a winner.
5. Now that the smoke has cleared . . .
. . . The rules say you can't hit a defenseless opposing receiver on the field. But if one of his fellow Broncos hit Willis McGahee in the head with a Gatorade bucket while he was kneeling on the sidelines watching the results of his bumbling handy work, I don't think they would have gotten flagged.
. . . It's clear what Mario Williams is doing now. He's trying to break the Guinness Book Of World Records for averaging the most amount of money per tackle. He's roughly at $10,000,000 per tackle now.
. . . Why did San Francisco pick up Randy Moss if they weren't going to use him. They should send him to the Jets. At least there it would make sense why he's not catching any balls.