The red-hot AFC East race takes its show on the road this week, with New England, New York and Miami all traveling. The Patriots are riding high at 6-1 right now, and looking like geniuses for having dumped Randy Moss on Minnesota for a third-round pick. The offense isn't explosive, but it's got the same disciplined, rhythmic feel that their championship teams of 2003-04 had. And a contract dispute with offensive lineman Logan Mankins was resolved this week. Everything's looking good in Foxboro and they should win a road test at Cleveland. The Browns' only wins are against Cincinnati, who we now see is collapsing, and New Orleans, when Drew Brees imploded. As long as Brady doesn't do the same, the Pats are coming home from the Dawg Pound at 7-1.
Rex Ryan takes his team to Detroit to try and rebound from that bizarre 9-0 loss to Green Bay. The Lions are coming off an equally strange win over Washington, a game marked by special teams breakdowns on both sides and finally culminated when the 'Skins pulled Donovan McNabb. What it can't obscure is that Jim Schwartz has Detroit playing competitive football every week--for those inclined to follow such things, the Lions are the league's best against the Vegas spread, a measurement of how much public opinion and the betting markets underrate them. But against an angry Jets team, I think they lose this one a little more decisively.