As with every season, there are a lot of new storylines heading into the regular season. Lots of coaching changes. Lots of first-time NFL coaches (Jay Gruden, Mike Zimmer, Mike Pettine). Hideous new uniforms (thank you very little, Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
This season I will do bi-divisional previews from both conferences, starting with the AFC and NFC East. Now, without further ado…
- New England Patriots (12-4)
- New York Jets (8-8)
- Miami Dolphins (8-8)
- Buffalo Bills (7-9)
Analysis: The Patriots are clearly the class out of what has to be one of the three most putrid divisions in football. The Pats have the best offense, the best defense, and easily the best QB in Tom Brady in the division. Hell the Patriots could moonwalk their way into a division title.
The Jets continue to be hilarious to me offensively. Do they REALLY think Geno Smith gives them a better chance to win the Michael Vick? If Smith is the answer at QB for New York, then what the hell is the question. It’s too bad the above-average Jets defense will be asking themselves that same question all season.
Both the Dolphins and the Bills figure to bring up the rear in the division. Miami is a complete cluster-fuck right now. They already have offensive line issues, no running game to speak of, and a wide receiver who is clearly not earning his contract in Mike Wallace. Miami also has chemistry issues in the locker room, as illustrated by the “Bully-gate” scandal last season.
Well, the Bills are trying to get better, though they suck too at the moment. At least they have a stud to build on for the future in Sammy Watkins.
- Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
- Washington Redskins (9-7)
- Dallas Cowboys (7-9)
- New York Giants (5-11)
Analysis: This division should easily come down between the Eagles and Redskins. Philly’s offense had everyone buzzing last season, and should only be “scary better” in its second season under head coach Chip Kelly. Though teams have had a full offseason to game-plan for QB Nick Foles, he is proving to be the real deal and excels in Kelly’s system.
The Redskins should compete in this division, even though QB Robert Griffin III has struggled so far this preseason. I believe in new head coach Jay Gruden. If he got Andy Dalton to play well in Cincinnati (playoff games notwithstanding), then Gruden should work wonders with RG3. And, there is that fellow named DeSean Jackson who is now part of the fold. Plus the defense is a lot healthier and should make amends for last season.
The Cowboys and Giants are atrocious. Eli Manning should be put on notice after last season’s debacle (and poor showing this preseason), and Tony Romo should go on strike for having to carry the load for a bad team. Speaking of Dallas, I’m just waiting for fans to run Jerry Jones’ ass out of town.