Today was a big day for the AFC East with big wins from the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills. Both wins came in dramatic fashion, particularly that of the Bills who beat the Panthers 24-23 by virtue of a penalty. While trailing by 6 points, EJ Manuel led the Bills on a comeback that would have come to a halt after he was picked off by Colin Jones, if it weren’t for a pass interference penalty by former Defensive Rookie of the Year, Luke Kuechly. The penalty put the Bills at the Panthers’ 11-yard line and after a Manuel rush for 9 yards, the Bills were at the 2-yard line with only 2 seconds left. A perfect throw to a wide-open Steve Johnson in the endzone on a pick play put away the game for Buffalo. Manuel finished the game by going 27/39 with a TD and a pick, but more importantly they got the win.
In Indianapolis, the connection between Mike Wallace and Ryan Tannehill seemed to strengthen in the Dolphins’ 24-20 win over the Colts. Wallace corralled 9 receptions for 115 yards and a TD to lead the team in receptions, only a week after his quiet first game as a Dolphin. His performance against the Browns last week was so weak (1 reception for 15 yards) he pouted to reporters and insisted they talk to his coach about the game plan, not him. Although the connection between the young quarterback and veteran receiver is significant, it pales to the fact that the Miami defense was able to hold Andrew Luck and the Colts to only 3 points after halftime on their home turf.
Wins from both clubs draw the AFC East teams very close with the Dolphins and Patriots sitting at 2-0, while the Bills and Jets are 1-1. The Patriots win the tie-breaker over the Dolphins because both of their wins came against division opponents. It is worth noting that the Dolphins have yet to play a game at home this season, with both big wins coming on the road. That momentum may be enough to help push them past the visiting Atlanta Falcons next week in their home opener.