September 4, 2009

AFC East preview

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

While a lot of people will tell you that last season in the AFC East shouldn’t count or should have an asterisk on it because Tom Brady only lasted less than a quarter of a game into the season. But, despite Patriots fans cries and woes, last season did happen and Miami ruled the division. This season should be different though as the male model himself is back to shake things up.

New England Patriots (Last season: 11-5)
The last time the Patriots were led by Tom Brady for an entire season, they were undefeated up until losing the Super Bowl to the Giants. It’ll be hard to top that but winning the division shouldn’t be too hard when you’re stacked at nearly every position. A common knock you’ll hear on Brady is that not many QBs come back strong from torn ACLs and knee injuries – Carson Palmer being a recent example. But Brady has had an entire calendar year to recover from his surgery while Palmer only had the off-season. Regardless, he’s not going to throw 500 TDs again, but he will be near the top of the league.
Predicted Record: 12-4.

Miami Dolphins (Last season: 11-5).
Last year the Dolphins rolled out the Wildcat and surprised everyone on their way to an 8-8 record. This year, almost every team will be rolling out a variation of the formation. Because they won’t be catching anyone by surprise, it’s hard to think they’ll be in a playoff spot again, but they still shouldn’t be counted out. After all, there is a lot of talent on the roster.
Predicted Record: 8-8.

Buffalo Bills (Last season: 7-9).
People will be quick to point out that the first season after Terrell Owens signs on as a free agent is invariably his and the team’s best. That was before T.O. turned 35 and before he joined the Buffalo Bills. What the Bills should have addressed during the off-season was their sub-par offensive line and the medical staff. There was no consistency in the Buffalo trenches while the team lost a ton of man games last season, especially on defence. Unless a lot of things come together, the Bills will have a hard fight to make .500.
Predicted Record: 7-9.

New York Jets (Last season: 9-7).
I believe that new head coach Rex Ryan will turn around this team and that Mark Sanchez will be a big part of that too… Just not this season. It will be a nice rebuilding year for the Jets and I can see the defence really coming into it’s own and becoming a solid unit by season’s end. Also, the potential of landing Brandon Marshall, as rumours are calling a possibility, could boost this team to the .500 mark.
Predicted Record: 6-10.

Now, for next week, we’ll get into the NFC leading up to the big kick-off on Thursday night featuring the Champs and the Titans.

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