This past week in the NFL featured two AFC East division match-ups as the Buffalo Bills played host to the Miami Dolphins while the New York Jets had a date with the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. The Bills struggled early but were able to come away with a 31-21 victory while the Patriots steam-rolled the Jets 33-0. This week on the AFC East Roundup we discuss those players who are trending upwards and those going in the opposite direction after Week 7.
Stock Up: Tre’Davious White
Bills fans know that cornerback Tre’Davious White is one of the best defensive backs in the game, but the national media doesn’t give him nearly as much attention as he deserves. On Sunday against the Dolphins he was a force to be reckoned with. He was thrown at five times with only one of those resulting in a completion. However, after the completion he was able to force a fumble on the play. Also, he had a big-time interception near the goal line that gave the Bills momentum in the second half. Everyone loves Tre in Buffalo and he always plays his heart out. What’s more—he’s currently tied for second in the league with three interceptions.
Stock Down: Sam Darnold
Darnold was heading into the Monday night showdown against the Patriots as the reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Week and many people thought he’d be able to make the game interesting after missing the first match-up earlier this season. Alas, we were mistaken. Darnold finished 11/32 for under a 100 yards and an interception. He wasn’t sharp through the entire game—in what appeared to be a complete 180 from his performance against the Dallas Cowboys. Granted, it was against New England’s defense but New York expected the offense to at least get some points on the board instead of being shut out at home.
Stock Up: Tom Brady
It’s weird to even write that Tom Brady’s stock is up but it needed to be said after a dismal performance against Buffalo a couple weeks ago. Since that game, Brady has been his usual self and carving up defenses with a questionable receiving core beyond Julian Edelman. Against the Jets, Brady was an efficient 31-45 for 245 yards and a touchdown. With the defense doing their job every game, if Brady remains even simply his normal efficient self, the team will be in a good shape to play in their fourth straight Super Bowl.
Stock Uncertain: Ryan Fitzpatrick
The legend that is Ryan Fitzpatrick is always hard to judge because you get the good and bad. Against the Bills he had the offense cruising with a 14-9 lead coming out after halftime, but on the opening drive of the third quarter he made a game-changing play. Near the goal line he decided to throw at Tre’Davious White for the first time in the game. White intercepted the intended pass that became a possible 14-point swing as the Bills drove down the field for a touchdown. Fitzpatrick should continue to be a good quarterback in the league but, unfortunately, he often seems to throw an ill-advised interception or two at the worst moments.