NFL Insider - AFC East Preview
Tom Brady is back for the New England Patriots. That’s the big news regarding the AFC East Division this year.
That, and the fact that the New York Jets have a new coach, a new quarterback, and a tougher schedule. T.O.? Yes, he’s part of the AFC East as well this year.
All of this leads to the question - - can the Miami Dolphins repeat as AFC East Champions?
Let’s take a look at the AFC East Division:
1. New England Patriots -450 - - The AFC East appears to be a rock solid, tough division, but in reality the Patriots are just too good to bet against in this division. New England has all of the requisite parts to win the division: a healthy Tom Brady, a solid offensive line, and improving defense with second year linebacker Jerrod Mayo and the best coaching staff in the NFL. There are some holes on this team but those probably won’t be exposed until the playoffs. The Patriots are almost a lock to win this division.
2. Miami Dolphins +800 - - The Dolphins have a tougher schedule and there is some debate in gambling circles as to whether or not they will have the same success in 2009 that they did in 2008, but this team should at least finish second in the AFC East. Under the steady hand of Bill Parcells, this team is solid at running back, with two good guys in Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, and at quarterback, with Chad Pennington. Their defense is still good. They get solid leadership from the coaching staff. They aren’t the Patriots but they’re better than the Bills and the Jets.
3. Buffalo Bills +900 - - The Bills are the longest shot on the board, but in reality they should be able to finish ahead of the New York Jets. Buffalo is solid in both the quarterback and running back position with Trent Edwards and Marshawn Lynch and now Edwards gets to throw to both T.O. and Lee Evans. The defense should be better now that cornerback Leodis McKelvin has a year in the league. This team is solid but not great. They could be fighting for a wildcard spot, but a division championship appears out of reach for the Buffalo Bills.
4. New York Jets +800 - - If Mark Sanchez starts, one thing is for sure. He’ll be playing behind a very good offensive line. After that? Well, there’s not much after that. Running back Thomas Jones is a year older and the wide receivers aren’t going to help Sanchez very much. There are some nice players on the defense, but Vernon Gholston, their #1 pick from last year, is already considered a bust and Calvin Pace just wasn’t as effective of a free agent pick-up last year as some might have expected. Then, of course, there’s the fact that this is Rex Ryan’s first year as a head coach. Oh, did I mention that unbelievably tough schedule?
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