Nick L's AFC East Preview Picks and Predictions
In a division that has been primarily ruled by the New England Patriots can another team step up and claim the AFC East crown?
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
4. New York Jets
The New York Jets had a tough season last year, with a lot of injuries and some crazy controversy at the quarterback position. This season seems like it is not going to be a lot better. The Jets lost a number of key players this offseason, including pro bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, starting offensive linemen Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore. The Jets added quarterback Geno Smith in the draft this season, unfortunately head coach Rex Ryan seems very intent on starting butt-fumbling Mark Sanchez and not giving the other quarterbacks on the roster a chance to start. In a make or break season for Rex Ryan, the Jets are going to compete, but won’t be able to keep up with the other teams in the NFL. Final projected record for the New York Jets (4-12).
3. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills had some surprising players last season, but still ended the season at (6-10). This season they are hoping for much more. The Buffalo Bills lost a few decent players this year, but added some great talent. They lost the starting quarterback from last season, Ryan Fitzpatrick, but drafted his hopeful replacement in E.J. Manuel. They also helped star wide receiver Stevie Johnson by drafting receiver Robert Woods to line up across from Johnson. With a potentially great defense and a great running back duo in CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson, the Bills are going to keep up with some good teams this year. Projected final record for the Buffalo Bills (9-7).
2. Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins had a decent season last year with rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill and some good defensive play. They ended last season with a (7-9) record. This season, the Miami Dolphins will be a top contender in this division. The Miami Dolphins lost some very great players in the offseason, but they did an amazing job filling those holes. They lost, debatably, the best offensive tackle in the league in Jake Long, along with key defensive players Karlos Dansby and cornerback Sean Smith. The Dolphins added talent to both sides of the ball, starting with Mike Wallace, the pro bowl receiver from the Pittsburgh Steelers, tight end Dustin Keller, and outside linebacker Dion Jordan in the draft. The Dolphins will be a strong team with a few minor things to fix. The Dolphins final projected record (10-6).
1. New England Patriots
The Patriots last year were stellar as usual, ending the season with a (12-4) record. This season will be much harder. After losing three of Tom Brady’s top four targets, the Patriots seem vulnerable. It will be a tough season for Belichick and co. With the Aaron Hernandez controversy surrounding the team like a dark cloud, and the departures of wide receivers Wes Welker and safety Patrick Chung, the Patriots, as always, were quick to reload. The Patriots picked up wide out Danny Amendola, who will have big shoes to fill as previous wide receiver Wes Welker caught 672 passes since 2007. They drafted wide receiver Aaron Dobson, who will try to be Tom Brady’s new favorite target, and outside linebacker Jamie Collins, who will be a role player in an already impressive defense. The Patriots are one of the best coached teams in the NFL and Belichick will keep it that way, with one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, this team is always a threat. Final projected record for the Pats (11-5).