Friday, September 11, 2009

2009 NFL Preview--AFC East

New England Patriots (12-4): Was last year a simple setback, or have we witnessed the end of a dynasty. The loss of Brady last year might indicate the latter, but the return of everyone's favorite supermodel impregnating quarterback also comes with an agin team that lost a number of leaders on defense and just sent one of their best defenders to Oakland (poor, poor Richard Seymour) in the hope of gaining future glory. Randy Moss and Wes Welker are both getting older, the rushing game is poor as always, and all we're left with is the return of Brady. They'll win the division this year, but the Grim Reaper may be knocking at the door. They have to answer it sometime.

Miami Dolphins (9-7): Miami will take a step back this year. Not because they're necessarily a worse team; I think they're better, but because last season's bounceback was as anomalous as the previous year's disaster. Now they'll come back to where they belong: a better than average team with a fair shot at another playoff birth. Pennington remains efficient and, though many teams have drafted players and installed formations for a Wildcat option, the Dolphins' draft of Pat White will keep them ahead of the curve. The defense is somewhat solid without much big name talent and a few big holes. This and their lack of credible receivers are the two big causes for concern.

Buffalo Bills (7-9): Two weeks ago, I would have picked Buffalo as second in the division, but the firing of their OC is huge cause for worry. Edwards has struggled in his career and, though he is running in a comfortable no-huddle offense with one of the best receiving tandems in the game, this team may be a mess. Luckily, this is TO's last stop. He's getting older and knows he isn't the number one option for Edwards. He must recognize these things and, if he does, he should be an excellent addition for the remainder of his career. For whatever problems face the offense, such as oft-suspended Marshawn Lynch, I like the defensive unit quite a lot. Their success is going to depend on the offense not forcing them on the field for the whole game but, if they can stay fresh, they might have a decent shot.

New York Jets (5-11): Mark Sanchez has fail written all over his stupid Trojan face. When a team carries a draft policy of taking the best-looking player available, you know they have problems. I know they want another Joe Namath, but as Tony Romo can tell you: magazine covers do not translate into playoff wins. Second-rate offensive and defensive units make for a fourth-rate teeam. Possibly the most overrated group in the NFL.