How I See It: AFC East Stock Watch


Steve Johnson, Bills receiver: A player can't fall much harder than Johnson did Sunday. He was riding a wave of national media attention for his breakout season and three-touchdown performance in Week 11. Against the Steelers, he dropped five passes, including a perfectly thrown 40-yarder in the end zone in overtime.

Brandon Tate, Patriots receiver: He's not getting on the field as much as he used to and dropped his best opportunity to make a play Thursday against the Lions. Tate, since scoring his first receiving touchdown against the Vikings in Week 8 to outperform Randy Moss, has three catches for 62 yards, and no receptions in his past two games.

Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, Dolphins cornerbacks: Head coach Tony Sparano will not say what team rules they violated, but both were removed from the starting lineup Sunday in Oakland. They came off the sideline to play well, however.

Mark Sanchez, Jets quarterback: Maybe he doesn't belong on the list, but I did bang the drum last week for him to receive MVP consideration. He had a ho-hum game for the first time in a long while. He did not throw for 300 yards or multiple touchdowns or conduct a winning drive in overtime. His 166 yards were his lowest output since Week 4.


Chad Henne, Dolphins quarterback: According to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel report, Henne's season was all but over when he injured his left knee in Week 10. Turns out, he missed one game, and returned Sunday for one of his best pro performances. He completed 57 percent of his throws for 307 yards and two touchdowns with one interception to beat the Raiders.

Brad Smith, Jets Swiss army knife: Smith took an end around 53 yards for a touchdown then returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown, sprinting the final 40 yards or so without his left shoe on. He also had one reception for 23 yards.

Kyle Williams, Bills nose tackle: His Pro Bowl-caliber season continued with two sacks against the Steelers. Williams, who's more penetrator than run-stopper, created havoc along the Steelers' offensive line and drew multiple penalties.

Devin McCourty, Patriots cornerback: The rookie picked off two Lions passes in the second half, giving him five for the season. His third-quarter interception prevented the Lions from taking a two-score lead. His fourth-quarter interception kept the Lions from getting back into the game.