Today I will preview the AFC East, aka “Patriots Palace”.
(In predicted order of finish)
New England Patriots (11-5)
So yeah, the Patriots will be without Tom Brady the first four games of the season. And yes, one of those games will be at Arizona.
However, last I checked they are still coached by Bill Bellicheat. Therefore, New England will still be in good hands by the time Brady returns. They should start no worse than 2-2.
Remember when Brady got hurt many moons ago Week 1 vs. the Chiefs? What was the Patriots’ record at the end of that season? 11-5, with the immortal Matt Cassel at QB. Jimmy Garoppolo can’t be any worse than Cassel.
Buffalo Bills (9-7)
While the Bills appear to be more stable with Tyrod Taylor, the question is the talent around him sans LeSean McCoy.
Sammy Watkins is nice, but is he fully healthy? More so, is he committed to the Bills? However, regardless of Watkins’ commitment, the Bills lead the league in rushing and I think the combo of McCoy and Taylor should keep the train moving.
The only question marks are the following: the defense and the Ryan brothers.
Defense is supposed to be head coach Rex Ryan’s specialty, but the same unit that overachieved before his arrival tanked last season. The unit only had 21 sacks last season (21!). And now that Rob Ryan is in the fold, you know there will be distraction, after distraction, after distraction.
And that’s too bad, because the Bills are a very talented squad.
New York Jets (8-8)
The Jets are a perplexing bunch.
They inexplicably played hardball with Ryan Fitzpatrick after he led the team to the doorsteps of the playoffs. Brandon Marshall inexplicably made a bet with Antonio Brown as to which receiver will have the better season (really dude?).
I think this season will once again hinge on the offense. Defensively, the Jets are as good as anyone. I just think the offense will drag down the team – again.
As much as I want head coach Todd Bowles to succeed, I think Fitzpatrick ending this season similar to last year: lots of turnovers and disappointment.
Miami Dolphins (6-10)
Outside of the Browns, this has to be the most dysfunctional squad in the league.
Overpaid stars underachieving (Ndamukong Suh, QB Ryan Tannehill). Players wives cussing out the quarterback (Brent Grimes’ wife). Said quarterback talking junk to practice squad players for intercepting his passes in practice. A coach who was obviously in over his head. An inept general manager fired after only TWO seasons. And an owner who craves all sorts of attention.
Lots to love about these Dolphins. Too bad that awesomely renovated stadium of theirs will be wasted on another underachieving season.