NFL Season Predictions Part 6: AFC East

Dennis Biray
 


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As training camp has emerged creating a vast set of emotions of both hope for rookies and redundant routines for veterans, it is never to early to began the rampant speculations surrounding the issue of how the teams will look in the standings come season end. Through my knowledge of the sport and teams, as well as careful analysis of recent off-season acquisitions and losses, I have come up with a forecast of how I expect each team to finish in its respective division. Continuing with the AFC, this update will focus on the possibly surprising AFC East.

Coming in as potentially the newest dynasty in the NFL, the Patriots have lost a lot of the team's great depth and character in recent years. With the losses this year amounting to Adam Vinatieri, David Givens, and Willie McGinest, the situation in New England may not look as bright for another Super Bowl victory. Nevertheless, the Patriots still have an excellent core at offense led by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. With these two warriors on calling the shots, I still have faith in this team regardless of who else is playing along side them. With a potential hold out from Deon Branch, there is some concern regarding the air threat, but again with all the intangibles that the Patriots provide, until the team actually fails to amaze me, I will not stop believing in such a system.

The Miami Dolphins seem to be everyone's favorites this year. Miami added an all star in Daunte Culpepper, won the last six games of the regular season, and have a competent coach in Nick Saban. Along with an excellent defense, you must think I am crazy to think that Miami will finish below 500 this season. While at the end of the season such a conviction may be the case, I believe a lot has to go right with this team in order for a winning record. In respect to Daunte Culpepper, I believe he only achieved such a highly regarded status because of Randy Moss. If you look at last season, during the games he played, he had almost double the amount of interceptions to touchdowns and a terrible passer rating. You may argue that the receiver core for the Vikings was terrible, but why did Brad Johnson not have too much of a problem when he lead the team to a 500 record? Along with such a serious injury, and a receiving core only slightly better that Minnesota's, I actually think Culpepper will have a worse season passing wise relative to the Dolphin's quarterback last season. Ronnie Brown will also be feeling the pressure without Ricky Williams to back him up, and again while the defense and Saban are strong, I do not think this team will make the playoffs.

The Buffalo Bills are your average sub par team that you see in the bottom half of the league every season. Sure occasionally the team will surprise a few viewers such as two seasons ago, but when looking particularly at what this season holds for Buffalo, I do not see much promise. While Kelly Holcomb is a decent quarterback, I like him more as a backup then starter, and with the loss of Eric Moulds, I don't think he is going to have a better season with only Lee Evans as a valuable threat. The Bills do have Willis McGahee as a nice running back, but like a lot of Buffalo's defensive players, he is suspect to injury, and my guess is that he will be on the Injury Reserved by the end of the season. As I really want to give the fans of Buffalo some optimism, I would suggest looking at the Sabres next season, as this team will be the only winning one in western New York this winter.

The last team to provide some competition for this division would be the New York Jets. I bet you probably are laughing now reading that I wrote competition in relation to the Jets, but to be honest I think that this team has the potential to be even better than the Dolphins. Before you close your browser window and disregard everything I have ever said, know that I think the Jets have fundamentally one of the worst teams player wise in the NFL. For some reason however, I do have some faith in this team to be the luckiest team this season. With a new coaching staff which proves to provide vigilance in terms of hard physical training, and the return of the “egg" of a quarterback, I think the Jets will be the surprise team of the NFL relying on luck and intangibles. Remember, just two years ago the Jets were one kick away from making the AFC Championship Game.

Final AFC East Season Standings (*demonstrates making the playoffs):
1. *New England Patriots: 12-4
2. New York Jets: 7-9
3. Miami Dolphins: 7-9
4. Buffalo Bills: 1-15

Dennis Biray presents advice on all kinds of topics ranging from finance and investing to fitness to sports. For more information email him at dbiray@gmail.com , or to view other articles written by him visit http://www.biraynetworks.co.nr/

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