Reversal of fortune

It's only three weeks into the season, so there's no need or reason to start drawing too many conclusions, but the AFC East sure is looking different that a lot of people were anticipating, isn't it? And it's not just the Dolphins and their surprising -- at least, to most experts -- 2-1 start.

Before the start of the regular season, it was thought that the Jets seriously could challenge New England for the AFC East title and that the Bills could be another playoff team if only first-year starting quarterback J.P. Losman could manage the offense.

Well, look what has happened around the division.

The Jets, who weren't looking that impressive to begin with, lost not one but two quarterbacks on Sunday when both Chad Pennington and Jay Fiedler went down. Pennington definitely is done for the year, and there is a possibility that Fiedler is done as well.

That leaves the Jets with third-stringer Brooks Bollinger to start Sunday's game at Baltimore. Bollinger, a marginal prospect coming out of Wisconsin, has attempted exactly nine passes in two years in the NFL.

His backup Sunday will be none other than Vinny Testaverde, the ageless one.

You can look for Testaverde to become the start, although that probably won't happen for a couple of weeks.

Regardless, the Jets are in big trouble.

So is Buffalo.

Their defense, so good against the run last season, got run over by Carnell Williams two weeks ago and Atlanta last Sunday. Seems the Bills underestimated how badly they would miss departed D-tackle Pat Williams.

The injury to Pro Bowl linebacker Takeo Spikes, out for the season with an Achilles injury, isn't going to help.

On offense, Losman so far has been only slightly better than dreadful. There's only so much Willis McGahee can do for this offense.

Even New England hasn't escaped the injury bug, losing safety Rodney Harrison in Sunday's victory at Pittsburgh.

Perhaps the best safety in the league, Harrison was one of the Patriots leaders and they will sorely miss him.

The offensive line also could be without left tackle Matt Light, who sustained a broken bone in his leg. There's no definitive word on how long he'll be out, but it could be a while.

So the Patriots perhaps might be vulnerable after all, their comeback victory at Pittsburgh and all.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins haven't taken those kind of hits early in the season. Not only that, they'll get Ricky Williams after their next game and he'll only make the offense better.

Look, we're not saying the developments of last weekend suddenly make the Dolphins contenders in the AFC East. But the division suddenly doesn't look nearly as formidable as it once did.

And who's to say the Dolphins can't continue to surprise. As we see it, they're not that far behind the Jets and Bills after you factor in the injuries.

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