Preseason Takeaways: AFC East Week 1
By Paul Mainwaring
Offensive weapons highlight Week 1 in the AFC East
Week 1 of the Preseason was an intriguing one for the AFC East teams
For the New England Patriots and the New York Jets some players shined. In Miami there was cause for concern for one of last seasons starters, and in Buffalo one side of the ball showed its strength.
1. Bills Defense Dominates
The Colts were missing Andrew Luck and a couple of other significant starters, but the Bills defense was excellent. They held the Colts to just two first downs and 44 yards in their first seven drives, as well as having the QB’s under constant duress. I think everyone understands that if the Bills are to push for the playoffs Josh Allen must improve. However having a top-10 defense will definitely help too.
2. Another Weapon for Darnold
Yes it was only one drive, but Sam Darnold to Jamison Crowder has real potential. Crowder moved to the Jets in the offseason after 4 years in Washington. He struggled with injuries in his final year in Washington, but prior to that he had been a constant weapon for Kirk Cousins after being drafted with the 105th pick in the 2015 draft. To allow Darnold to progress a solid guy in the slot will be a must. If Crowder stays healthy he is the perfect player for that position.
3. The Pats might have found another gem
Just when you thought the Pats would be struggling for skills players here comes Jakobi Meyers. Meyers caught 6 passes for 69 yards and 2 TD’s, in the Pats win over the Lions. Although it wasn’t Brady who was throwing the ball, the fact that Meyers was open, and thrown to a lot can only be good news for the Undrafted rookie from NC State. Of course, most of the focus this offseason has been on N’Keal Harry, but adding Meyers may mean another season, with an embarrassment of riches for the Super Bowl Champs.
4. Running back battle in Miami
If you thought that the only RB in Miami was Kenyon Drake, the game against the Falcons may have shocked you. Drake split time in the first few series with Kalen Ballage, and Ballage was the more impressive. Fantasy Experts had highlighted Ballage as a sleeper and it seems they their hype could be justified. Although neither was spectacular, Ballage definitely showed more burst and at 6’1″ he is a more prototypical size. If you are short of RB help in your fantasy team maybe you should look to pick up Ballage on the waiver wire.
5. NFLUK have a new hero
You thought I would do a review of the AFC East for a UK based website without mentioning Christian Wade? Let’s just use a Tweet and a Meme to highlight what I mean.
A former UKEndzone writer, Paul has been dragged out of an enforced retirement to give his thoughts on the NFL and anything else he can slide past the editorial team.
Paul is most famous (infamous?) as Mainz one half of Waxing Lyrical. alongside his Partner in Crime Neil Dutts Dutton.
Find him @Mainzey7 where all manner of sports are on the menu.
Image credit: USA Today