This division has been one of the weaker divisions in football over the past decade, being dominated by one team the past 15 years. Will that change this year?
Miami Dolphins: As much I want this team to be good their terribly inefficient play and awful coaching staff will continue to plague this team. The Dolphins arguably have the worst O-line in the NFL; a guy in Mike Wallace who’s getting paid like an elite WR when he can’t help but drop the ball; and a QB in Tannehill that has to fight on every single play just so he doesn’t get sacked. Too many things can go wrong on each passing play offensively.
They upgraded the RB position with Knowshon Moreno but up until last year he was known as “No-show Moreno” so I’m not sure he’ll make that huge of a difference when Peyton is no longer at QB. In the end the Miami Dolphins will end their season at 5-11 and last in the division.
New York Jets:
This one is hard, because of the simple fact that we don’t know if Geno Smith will keep his job this whole season. I believe Vick would give them a much better chance to win games but I’m going forward with my prediction based off of who the starters are now. Geno is a turnover machine and this defense can be lethal one week and allow 40 the next. Rex Ryan knows how to build a defense, but without anybody leading them in the locker room they’ve become very inconsistent. Chris Johnson is a HUGE upgrade over their former starting RB. Their WRs are still weak. Hopefully, Eric Decker can give them a spark in the receiving game.
I can’t see this team overcoming how comfortable Geno seems to be with giving the ball away to the other team. They’ll finish this year going 7-9. They’ll give teams in their division trouble just like they always have for the past few years but they will miss the playoffs for the 3rd year in a row.
I could not believe all of the under the radar hype this team got. They just lost their best defensive player, Jairus Byrd, to the Saints and I was expecting them to plummet even worse than they’ve been over the past couple of years. EJ Manuel seems like he can’t help but stare down his WR the entire play which I’m expecting to translate into turnovers when the regular season starts. They do have a rookie who I believe will make a lot of noise in Sammy Watkins. He is the real deal which will help out EJ because Sammy is going to be one of those WRs who will just go up and get the ball wherever it is. They have solid RBs in Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller. And this defense will not be as bad as I once thought it to be. But with all of that I don’t think it’s enough to put them over the top because I believe EJ just isn’t the future of this team. The Buffalo Bills will end their regular season at 7-9 and 2nd in their division.
New England Patriots:
Now was this really a surprise to anyone? The Patriots have dominated this division so long it’s tradition nowadays is to just go ahead and name them the division champs. Tom Brady will continue to be Tom Brady. We saw last year he can continue to find a way to win with his best WR being a former QB in college (Julian Edleman). And now he potentially has Gronk back who when healthy is without a doubt the best TE in the league. They have all their guys back on their defense who were out last year with Jerrod Mayo and Vince Wilfork.
Not only that, but they also made a nice move in the free agency picking up former Jets/Bucs cornerback Darrell Revis, a guy who I believe when healthy is the best lockdown corner in the league. The Patriots will finish their season 12-4 not only reaching the playoffs but also getting a first round bye.
AFC South Preview (http://wp.me/p33YLP-iM)
AFC West Preview AFC West Preview
AFC North Preview: