Chat with Tim Graham
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com AFC East blogger Tim Graham will drop in to chat about all the latest news from the NFL.
Graham joined ESPN.com in 2008 after covering the Miami Dolphins for the Palm Beach Post. He previously spent eight years at the Buffalo News, where he was an award-winning NHL and boxing writer. The Baldwin-Wallace College grad also has worked for the Las Vegas Sun and Boston Herald.
Send your questions for Graham now and join him on Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
Tim Graham (2:54 PM)
Good afternoon from the Niagara Frontier. I feel like starting early, and you can't stop me.
I know the AFC is a three team race but which of the 3 do you think are actual contenders; Who will make the playoff from the AFC east?
Tim Graham (2:56 PM)
All three have enough talent and their share of flaws. My picks all along have been the Jets and Patriots. One week isn't enough to move me off that prediction, but I'm not too prideful to change my opinion as more information comes in.
Steve (Rochester NY)
Hi Tim. What are your thoughts on Brain Hartline's recent lack of production. At first I was excited when he was promoted to the Dolphins' No. 2 WR spot, but now I fear the dreaded "sophomore slump"
Tim Graham (2:58 PM)
For him to make a play, the Dolphins have to throw it to him. He was targeted three times against the Bills, who own a very good pass defense. I wouldn't give up on him yet. But I still think they'll regret trading Greg Camarillo.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
What should we expect defensively from Miami on Sunday to stop AP and Favre?
Tim Graham (3:00 PM)
I'm not convinced that'll happen. The Dolphins were able to load up against the Bills because Trent Edwards doesn't stretch the field and Lee Evans is their only obvious threat. Against the Vikings, they'll have a tough time defending the run and the pass. I don't like this matchup for Miami at all.
Will (Tim Graham'sSubconscious)
Whats worse, Tom Brady's hair cut or the jets offense?
Tim Graham (3:01 PM)
Brady's haircut. And I don't like the Jets' offense.
Why didnt Gailey run the ball more? Is that going to change this week and going forward?
Tim Graham (3:03 PM)
Gailey is regretting that approach, too. I think the Dolphins' pass defense was too tempting. I think you'll see a much different strategy Sunday in Green Bay.
Hey Tim. Long time follower, first time caller. Think the Fins have a chance against Grandpa Favre this week? Personally I still don't think he's 100% up to speed, particularly without a target in the backfield he fully trusts.
Tim Graham (3:04 PM)
Miami's best chance against Minnesota is taking away the run and making Favre beat them with his weakened receiving corps. He still seems to be discovering his receivers with Sidney Rice sidelined.
cmon Tim don't the dolphins have some chance in Minn
Tim Graham (3:05 PM)
O Sweet (Tallahassee)
Why are the Dolphins so undervalued this week? The Vikings have less weapons than we did last year.
Tim Graham (3:06 PM)
Who is Miami's Jared Allen?
Josh (San Jose, CA)
Hey Tim, thanks for the chat. I was wondering why the Bills are taking so much heat for not trading Marshawn Lynch. I personally think he's a pretty good running back, and the position is obviously one of the few strengths of the team. What are your thoughts on the situation? Thanks.
Tim Graham (3:09 PM)
I agree with you, Josh. He's a talented running back with a team-friendly salary. He received his bonus money already and he's under contract for two more years. He's worth more than a third- or fourth-round draft pick. The only reason to unload him for that is if you just want him off the team. You don't improve by shipping him for a mid-round pick.
Jim (Palo Alto)
If Buddy and Chandler made Trent Edwards eat bags of fried pork rinds (a la Graham) would he play better?
Tim Graham (3:09 PM)
Doubtful. But I would be interested to see if he ran a drawl play.
Did Tom Brady not get the memo that AFC east quarterbacks are not allowed to throw more than 10 yards downfield?
Tim Graham (3:10 PM)
I have a feeling you'll see more passes at or behind the line of scrimmage this week for Wes Welker.
this may be wishful thinking, but can the lack of a real offensive showing for the dolphins be attributed to them sort of mailing it in against the bills? the only took a couple of chances the whole game but were still able to control things pretty well. the game was not as close as the score indicated. I felt like the coaching staff was still keeping their cards hidden somewhat once they saw buffalo couldn't do anything against them
Tim Graham (3:12 PM)
Both Karlos Dansby and Vontae Davis told me after the game they didn't reveal much more defensively than they did in the preseason. We'll see if they spring any surprises on Minnesota.
Tim.. I hate to do this to you.. but I can not decide what is a better match up. Shiancoe vs the Dolphins D or Gronk vs the Jets do. Do the Jets have anyone that is going to be able to match up against him?
Tim Graham (3:13 PM)
Rookie tight ends are a tough start, especially when a team has two and throws to both. The safe bet would be Shiancoe.
Steve (New York)
I know Farve's wide receivers are iffy right now, but it's still Farve...do you like the Dolphins chances if they commit to stopping Adrian Peterson and take their chances with Farve and his limited bunch, or is that just as dangerous?
Tim Graham (3:15 PM)
That's quite dangerous. Miami's cornerbacks are shaky. As senesational as Vontae Davis can be, he does get beat badly sometimes. The right side is flimsy when Jason Allen beats out last year's starter Sean Smith, who was one of the most abused cornerbacks in the league last year.
What are the chances that you are tired of answering questions that start with "what are the chances?"
Tim Graham (3:15 PM)
Who is Miami's Jared Allen? Who cares? Jake Long neutralizes Jared Allen anyway. You think Bryant McKinnie can stop Cameron Wake? Come on man.
Tim Graham (3:16 PM)
Right ... I'm sure when Tony Sparano handed out the game plan this week, Jared Allen wasn't even mentioned.
If Jason Allen looks good all year can I still make jokes about how he sucks? My fandom has been turned on its head.
Tim Graham (3:16 PM)
Absolutely. He has a few lost years to make up for.
I just let all my facebook friends know that you answered my question...I think your hating on the Dolphins a little though
Tim Graham (3:17 PM)
And I think you're sensitive. I'm picking them to lose a football game this week, not rooting for them to be visited by a plague.
how many points will shonn greene rack up this week in a ppr league?
Tim Graham (3:18 PM)
Don't count on receptions. The guy can't catch.
Tim.. I think the losing of Odrick is huge, even considering him as a rookie. He helped set that edge so well last week. How big do you beleive the loss of him is agianst a team led by AP?
Tim Graham (3:19 PM)
That's a serious loss. Jared Odrick was on my preseason All-AFC East team. But he's supposed to be out for only a couple weeks.
If the Dolphins get the plague this week, will that take them out of contention?
Tim Graham (3:20 PM)
Plague of locusts? Probably not. Plague of darkness? That would be tough to overcome.
ZEKE (San Jose)
Miami's wildcat isn't the gadget play it is for everyone else, and it has worked pretty well. Ar teams figuring out how to defend it better? Do they use it more, less or about the same this season?
Tim Graham (3:22 PM)
As with many aspects of the 2010 season, one week is way too early to predict. There might be teams out there who are going to rely on it but haven't unveiled it yet.
Mike (Dirty Jersey)
If the Jets lose this week with another miserable offensive performance and the Dolphins pull out a 'W' will you admit the Dolphins are more of a playoff contender than the Jets?
Tim Graham (3:24 PM)
Depends on how it happens. If the Dolphins win 12-10 and the Jets lose 38-35 on the final play, probably not. I judge teams on more than wins and losses. How they win or lose is important.
Who do you think will win between the Pats and the Jets?
Tim Graham (3:25 PM)
I have the Patriots in a relatively low-scoring game.
Why is everyone looking as it being a dissappointment that Miami WON in BUFFALO where they seem to struggle alot anyways. Not only that its the first game and brandon marshall had 8 catches after not really being there for all of camp
Tim Graham (3:26 PM)
The Dolphins were the superior team Sunday and couldn't put the Bills away. That has to be a concern. And let's not pretend that playing in Buffalo in Week 1 is the same as December. When the Dolphins struggle in Buffalo, the weather usually plays a role.
I know the Bills have a snowball's chance, but say they somehow pull off a win this week against GB. How would you expect them to do it?
Tim Graham (3:27 PM)
Pass defense frustrates Aaron Rodgers ... defense or special teams either scores or sets up two touchdowns.
Maybe you posted it before, but I didnt get that AFC east prediction? Whos winning the Div? Whos going to the post season? I think Pats take it, Henne sucks so MIA is out. Jets just miss it 8-8/9-7, then could use a better qb.
Tim Graham (3:29 PM)
I'm not averse to adjusting after seeing a couple more weekends of action, but my preseason picks were 1. Jets, 2. Patriots, 3. Dolphins, 4. Bills. The difference between Nos. 1 and 3 are slight.
Nick (San Fran)
Your week 1 confidence in the Jets making the playoffs: then, your week 2 confidence in the Jets making the playoffs:
Tim Graham (3:29 PM)
My confidence in them started to wane in preseason, when I saw Mark Sanchez look no better than he did as a rookie.
Taiwanese Sports News Agency (YUM YUM (Taiwan))
Jets 56 Pats 3, Sanchez throws for 500 yards, 6 TDs
Tim Graham (3:30 PM)
That might give me something to write about.
Which team in the AFC East has the brightest future over the next 5 years?
Tim Graham (3:32 PM)
The Jets have the most young star power, but the Dolphins are a young team, too. I think it will come down to which team ends up with the better quarterback.
This is relatively easy to say in hindsight, but did you get the feeling while watching 'Hard Knocks' that the Jets coaching staff treated Mark Sanchez like a child? (i.e. talking about what a prankster he was as opposed to what a bad quarterback he was).
Tim Graham (3:34 PM)
Folks, having some technical difficulty. Give me a few seconds to refresh the chat.
Tim Graham (3:36 PM)
In regard to Jim's question ... No hindsight needed. I thought Sanchez acted immaturely as I watched the show and wrote about it. One scene that stuck out to me was QB coach Matt Cavanaugh talking to Sanchez about being more of a leader. Sanchez barely paid any attention to him and kept rummaging around in a duffel bag. And trying to get free 59-cent dipping sauce from Pizza Hut?
Justin (New Jersey)
DO u think that the patriots could regain their elite status?
Tim Graham (3:36 PM)
Not sure they lost it. As long as Bill Belichick is the coach and Tom Brady is the quarterback, they're a marquee franchise.
Ed (Panama City)
Need a new nickname for Sanchez...Captain checkdowns already taken by Trent Edwards.....Maybe Sargent Swing Pass...just sayin
Wow just as a follow up, you think going 0-2 losing in the division at home and still slotted to take the AFC East.... I dont think Sanchez is the answer, I really just dont see the ability there. I also scanned his game log, low accuracy and no gun for an arm. You gotta have one of the two.
Tim Graham (3:39 PM)
Follow along, Kunal. I said the Jets were my preseason pick to win the division and I'd re-evaluate after a few games. Every team has played one game. If the Jets go to 0-2, then everybody still has played only two games. I'm not going to pick a new AFC East champ every week.
Is the Patriots' defense better than most had anticipated? It's only one week, to be sure, but they looked pretty good against the Bengals.
Tim Graham (3:41 PM)
Still too early to tell. A lot of people believe the Bengals got too cute with wacky offensive formations and ended up confusing themselves. That said, I don't know if we'll have a true sense of the Patriots' defense after this game either.
What are your thoughts on vontae davis? i barely heard his name during sunday's broadcast which is fantastic for a CB. He played lights out in the preseason as well. Could Miami have found something special in him?
Tim Graham (3:42 PM)
Davis has been solid, which is what you'd expect from a first-round draft choice. I never viewed him as some diamond in the rough.
Ok just to clarify. You like the dolphins by 3 tds this sunday against the vikes?
Tim Graham (3:43 PM)
Bills fan (Pergatory)
Jim Kelly is making the rounds saying he has an ownership group in place. This (as far as I know) is the first time he has gone out and said this as fact. Is there any chance you could get an interview and nail him down?
Tim Graham (3:45 PM)
Jack Kemp's death was a serious setback for that group. I'd be curious to know more about Kelly's plan, but I've heard other interviews where he didn't seem to have anything in place other than wishful thinking.
Tim Graham (3:46 PM)
A few more questions and then I have to get back to the blog.
Any thoughts on D. Bell's play at left tackle? I thought he looked decent for missing most of training camp.
Tim Graham (3:47 PM)
I would agree with you. Seemed decent to me. No glaring mistakes. The Dansby sack wasn't his fault.
What's the story with Sean Smith? How could he have regressed THAT much?
Tim Graham (3:48 PM)
He lost his confidence. Smith came into his rookie season with off-the-charts swagger. He got humbled along the way.
Thomas (State College)
Tim, LeBatt or Molson?
Tim Graham (3:48 PM)
Labatt all the way.
Do you have set hours for your job or do you basically work round the clock?
Tim Graham (3:49 PM)
If I'm awake, I'm working.
True or False Tim, Antonio Cromartie has more kids than Jets points scored Monday night
Tim Graham (3:49 PM)
Tim Graham (3:50 PM)
... but barely.
Paul (Norwich, CT)
who wins the battle of words.... Namath or Edwards?!?
Tim Graham (3:51 PM)
That's not a wise competition for Edwards to jump into.
Tim Graham (3:52 PM)
Thanks for stopping by, everybody. We'll do it against next week. Enjoy the games.