For the first time in the 2017 regular season, all four members of the AFC East were in action on Sunday. The Miami Dolphins have plenty of reasons to be happy after their thrilling victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, but let's now take some time to look at the other storylines that emerged over the weekend.
Final Result: Panthers win 9-3
If you were watching the NFL Redzone channel prior to the Dolphins game on Sunday - you wouldn't have seen much action from this contest. Both the Bills and Panthers featured offensive lines that couldn't get their footing in this one. Tyrod Taylor was sacked three times, forcing him to try to make plays outside of the pocket. Taylor wasn't the only one to struggle due to poor offensive line play, as LeSean McCoy had only nine yards to show for his 12 carries. Buffalo did have a chance to salvage a victory on their final possession, but rookie wide receiver Zay Jones let a potential game-winning catch slip through his fingers with only seconds left on the clock.
The Bills will walk away from this loss with a few positives, as their defense held strong against a Panthers offense that looked decent against the 49ers to open the season. Veteran safety Jordan Poyer has been impressive in his first two games - notching two sacks and an interception.
Final Result: Patriots win 36-20
The Patriots washed away their poor performance against the Cheifs with an impressive offensive showing against the Saints. With a limited group of recieving options available due to injury, Tom Brady returned to his partnership with tight end Rob Gronkowski. Before leaving with a groin injury late in the game, Gronkowski was able to cross the 100-yard recieving threshold - giving the Patriots a comfortable cushion in the second half.
New England's defense also made minor improvements after letting Alex Smith absolutely torch them to open the season. Rookie Deatrich Wise Jr. was able to consistently put pressure on Drew Brees, which helped disrupt New Orleans' timing. The Patriots still have a lot to prove on defense, but this victory was a step in the right direction for coach Bill Belichick's squad.
Final Result: Raiders win 45-20
The Jets joined the Dolphins on the west coast in Week 2, but that is where the similiarties end for the two AFC East rivals. After two Michael Crabtree touchdowns in the first half, New York found themselves in a hole that they would never climb out of. Oakland's Derek Carr went untouched in this contest, giving him plenty of time to pick apart a porous Jets secondary. If coach Todd Bowles is unable to ignite a fire under his defense prior to meeting the Dolphins, quarterback Jay Cutler could be in for a big day.
Despite being a blowout, New York can take a few positives away from this one. It looks like the addition of wide reciever Jermaine Kearse was a savvy move. The former Seahawk has emerged as quarterback Josh McCown's favorite target - resulting in two touchdown receptions on Sunday.
The slumping Jets will return home to face the Dolphins on Sunday. To get more insight from New York's perspective, visit Gang Green Nation.