It was a wild start to the NFL season in Week 1 with all four teams in the AFC East putting on a show. Football games are so tight that games usually come down to one or two plays. Sometimes though, the game can even come down to a couple of inches. That was especially the case within the division this past week.
The Miami Dolphins got off to a thrilling start with a 36-34 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. It was the Tyreek Hill show as the receiver caught 11 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Their game of inches came on the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw a beautiful four-yard touchdown pass to Hill that was just inches above the defender’s shoulder pads. If that pass was an inch off to the right or the left then it would have bounced off the defender, leaving Miami with a 4th & Goal situation. Instead, it’s party time in South Beach with the Dolphins getting the job done.
On the other side of an inch making the difference we have the New England Patriots. The Patriots found themselves trailing the Philadelphia Eagles the whole game, but there seemed to be hope when the team forced a turnover on downs with just under a minute to go in regulation. During that drive it appeared that quarterback Mac Jones found rookie receiver Kayshon Boutte on fourth down to extend the drive into the red zone. Instead, Boutte was just inches away from getting his second foot in bounds, which resulted in the pass being incomplete and New England turning it over. The final score ended up being 25-20 in favor of the reigning NFC Champions.
Lastly we have the Monday Night Football game where the New York Jets were able to knock off the Buffalo Bills 22-16 in a heart-racing game to start the season. The game of inches came on a Tyler Bass 50-yard field goal attempt to force overtime. The kick just hit the post in the perfect spot where it was able to redirect through the cross bar. If that kick was an inch off then the ball wouldn’t have gone through the upright. Buffalo was able to force overtime with that kick but then gave up a walk-off punt return touchdown. Josh Allen was effective in the dink-and-dump passing game, but when he got greedy it resulted in three interceptions on the night.