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AFC East Roundup: Stars and duds

Who did and didn’t show up to start the season.

The start of regular-season NFL football has come and gone with each team in the AFC East having big expectations. However, only one team came away happy and that was the Miami Dolphins after defeating the New England Patriots. The Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets each had disappointing losses against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Carolina Panthers, respectively. For this edition of the AFC East Roundup we look at the stars and duds from Week 1 of the 2021 season.

For the Bills, the biggest dud has to be the offense as a whole. With a high-powered offense that came in with even bigger expectations than last season, they were only able to score one touchdown. Granted, they were playing a difficult Steelers defense but the offensive line did the team no favors, never allowing Josh Allen to get comfortable in the pocket. The defensive line on the other hand was a bright spot, getting a lot more pressure on the opposing quarterback than they did last season.

Onto the New York Jets, where Elijah Moore didn’t have the start he was expecting to his NFL career. The second-round receiver only had one catch on the afternoon that went for negative yardage. He had two drops in the first half and didn’t seem comfortable throughout the game. Corey Davis, one of the team’s prime free-agent signings this past offseason had himself a debut, catching five passes for 97 yards and a couple of touchdowns. With Zach Wilson also having a productive game under center, this Jets offense could cause some problems during the season.

The fantasy dud of the week according to a lot of disgruntled coaches on social media goes to Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki. Gesicki had a lot of moments last season that many considered picking him as one of the top tight ends in fantasy after Travis Kelce and George Kittle. Gesicki responded to the hype by putting up a goose egg in Week 1, where he had zero catches—which translates to zero yards with zero fantasy points. For Miami’s star, after getting his restructured contract, Xavien Howard responded kindly by causing the game-winning fumble that clinched Miami’s victory.

Mac Jones put up a great performance that came up just short for the Patriots, but he showed why the team has faith in their rookie quarterback. Jones completed just under 75 percent of his passes for 281 yards and a touchdown. He was sharp and decisive in his first start of what the team surely hopes is a long and productive career.