AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Spikes

Sunday’s Week 6 slate includes several intra-conference games featuring AFC teams, but perhaps none of them will be more interesting than the Patriots visiting Buffalo to face the Bills. New England has dominated the AFC East for more than a decade, but both teams head into this weekend with 3-2 records, and the Pats have looked surprisingly shaky so far this season. While Buffalo enters the matchup as a three-point underdog, a home victory would bode well for the club’s chances of earning a playoff berth.

Here’s more from around the AFC, including a couple notes on a former Patriot who will face his old team this weekend:

  • The Browns have a tough decision looming at quarterback, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Pending free agent Brian Hoyer is playing well enough to force the Browns to give him serious consideration for the starting job in 2015, which would mean keeping Johnny Manziel on the bench. If Hoyer leads the Browns to their first playoff appearance since 1999, then Florio feels it would be impossible to let him go. Yesterday, our own Luke Adams asked you to weigh in on the Browns’ QB situation. Roughly 58% of you predicted that Hoyer would be the starter in 2015.
  • The Ravens had to cut Bobby Rainey a year ago due to a numbers crunch but they wish they could have retained him on the practice squad, writes Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. “We like Bobby, it was unfortunate that we lost him,” said head coach John Harbaugh. “We really wanted him to be here to be a part of what we were doing, but he was claimed and we had to make a move there. The rest is history. He’s put a bunch of yards up.”
  • Former Patriots center Dan Koppen told CSNNE that he doesn’t think much of former New England linebacker Brandon Spikes as a locker room guy. “I think Brandon Spikes is a good football player,” Koppen said of Spikes, who left for the Bills in the offseason. “I think he’s a good run defender. I just don’t think he’s a good teammate.
  • Spikes, meanwhile, spoke to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald about the end of his time with the Patriots, expressing that he believes his IR placement at the end of last season was Bill Belichick‘s way of suspending him. Still, Spikes didn’t totally rule out the possibility of returning to New England at some point in his career, if the opportunity arises.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

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