NFL

NFL Preview: AFC East

The Patriots look ready to dominate the East for the 10th year in a row, while the Bills and Jets are in stuck in tank mode as they wait for their rookie QBs to mature. Can the Dolphins compete now that Tannehill is back in the fold?

AFC EAST

2017 Standings

  1. New England 13-3
  2. Buffalo 9-7
  3. Miami 6-10
  4. New York 5-11

The Patriots dominated the East last year, once again behind mastermind of all things, Bill Belichick. Entering the 2018 season, they’ve lost their defensive coordinator, and barely held onto their offensive coordinator (thanks Mr. Kraft, we didn’t want that slug in Indy, anyway), and lost key pieces all over the field. The Bills ended a 68-year playoff drought. Then proceeded to get rid of their quarterback and start from scratch. The Dolphins basically tanked by bringing in Jay Cutler after Ryan Tannehill went down, but Jay had other plans as he led them to SIX wins. The J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets were bad, real bad (Mike Jackson). Now the fans are mad, real mad (Joe Jackson). Two rookie quarterbacks and the Ryan Tannehill project are looking to compete with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. I don’t think so.

New England Patriots

Key Addition: Eric Decker

You won’t see this guys name on any billboards around Foxboro, but his impact on an offense that lost Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola could be immense. In recent years in Denver and Tennessee he has always been reliable, and sure handed. Those two attributes can make him a star in the quick hit, short passing game the Patriots will employ. With Edelman staring down the barrel of a 4 game suspension and Malcolm Mitchell being released, the ability for Decker to gel quickly is going to be the difference between a sloppy start and the Patriot way we’ve come to expect. And while Decker may not be near the reality show hit that our friend Jay Cutler is, we’re sure that Big Dick Decker’s ratings in Foxboro will soar. Next man up.

Eye Test: 20/30

Slightly blurred vision in New England. Too many question marks. The loss of DC Matty Patricia (2 first names, can’t trust him anyway), Cooks, Amendola and a defense that has struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks since the departure of Chandler Jones could catch up to the Pats. This division, however, is absolutely terrible and Bill will find a way to win it, per usual.

Prediction: 12-4

New York Jets

Key Addition: Sam Darnold

Darnold may not even have a shot to play this year. The Jets have Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater to compete with Darnold and ultimately I see McCown starting the season as QB1 in New York. But given the opportunity, I like Darnold to have a couple really decent performances this year.

Eye Test: Near/Far-Sighted

Maybe they are only a couple of years away. Maybe they aren’t. It’s too close to call when you’ve got a lottery pick at QB. But if history is any indicator, the Jets will be decent this year and for a couple more years, and then the Jets gonna Jet. Low expectations will make this season a success in what I am calling the weakest division in football (including the SEC East).

Prediction: 7-9

Miami Dolphins

Key Addition: Frank Gore

Gore is the epitome of consistency and proved as much with his production in Indianapolis, although he did break his streak of 1000 yard seasons. Gore’s leadership and professionalism will be all the Dolphins need to crawl out of the cellar in the East

Eye Test: Nearly Blind

The Ryan Tannehill project has been underway since Joe Philbin let the world know how boring he was on Hard Knocks back in what seems like 2004.  Sure we’ll give them a pass for last year with Jay Cutler, but really? Tannehill isn’t going to pan out. Adam Gase is better than this. But he’s going to end up like Josh McDaniels and back in the OC chair before he knows it.

Prediction: 5-11

Buffalo Bills

Key Addition: Josh Allen

And Josh Allen isn’t even going to play! Maybe he entertains the throngs of Bills Mafia during pregame warmups with throws from goal line to goal line but that’s all I see him being good for this year. When the QB1 favorite heading into camp is the guy who threw 5 INT’s in THE FIRST HALF of his first start last year, I think we’ve tossed in the towel in Buffalo.

Eye Test: Blind for the moment but scheduled for LASIK a year from now

An obvious tank job in Buffalo has to have Shady McCoy contemplating beating the bricks off the front office in Buffalo. He’s entering the twilight of his career and the Bills are just tossing him around like a rag doll. He may have to get in the face of somebody other than his girlfriend to get himself out of Buffalo and onto a contending roster.

Prediction: 2-14

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