Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Last year, the AFC East ended up like this:
New England: 10-6
New York: 9-7
Not much separated the teams at the top. The Bills 6 wins were an aberration, no team that loses 6-3 to the Browns can ever really be a winner. Two of these teams went out and made some major improvements. The other two...not so much.
New England Patriots
Good: The Patriots will still have one of the best passing games in the NFL. Tom Brady is still one of the best at his position. Randy Moss is still one of the best at his position. Wes Welker is the best slot WR in the NFL. The O-line only gave up 18 sacks in 2009 and as long as they stay intact, that shouldn't change.
Bad: The Patriots defense is slipping and they know it. They went out and drafted three defensive players in the first round, and also grabbed a couple free agent defensive ends. Gerrard Warren is expected to come in and play DE in the 3-4 system, something he has never done before. And behind him, rookie Brandon Spikes is likely going to come in at ILB along side Jerod Mayo and rookie Jermaine Cunningham will get a lot of playing time at OLB. Plus, Vince Wilfork just got paid. Lets see how much Albert Haynesworth he has in him.
Ugly: The Patriots have always been known as the best TEAM in the NFL. They may not have the best players, but the coaching staff and players just get it. There seems to be a bit of a chasm now between the players and the front office. Tom Brady feels like his willingness to take less money is being used against him and his teammates. Teammate Logan Mankins agrees and is still holding out after being offered over $7 mil a year.
The Patriots have lost the mental edge they had on the rest of the NFL. The screws may come lose this year.
New York Jets
Good: Defense. Rex Ryan is the fucking man. He's one of the best defensive minds in the game, his players love playing for him, and he brings constant pressure no matter what the situation is. Hard to see any weakness on that side of the ball. This years defense won't look any different from last years...except maybe better.
Bad: Is Sanchez ready to lead his team to a playoff run instead of having to be carried? I don't think so. He really did play well in the playoffs last year, can't take that away from him. But there was no pressure. He goes out and throws 4 picks; oh well, that's what rookie QB's do. This year, the Jets are a real contender. Nobody is going to be surprised. With Thomas Jones leaving town, Sanchez needs to step up immediately and I don't think he can.
Ugly: Antonio Cromartie's parenting skills and ability to use a rubber. For fuck's sake, 7 kids in five different states? There is no doubt that Antonio Cromartie's got hoes, in different area codes.
If the Sanchise can live up to the hype then the Jets are the favorites to come out of the AFC. He can't, but the Jets still might do it despite him.
Good: They dumped Ted Ginn Jr. and brought in Brandon Marshall. I don't think you can possibly make a bigger improvement at the WR position. Chad Henne has a real WR to throw to this year and I think you will see marked improvement in his game. The running game is going to be just as good as last year and the defense will be even better.
Bad: I don't think Chad Henne is bad, but if there is one weak link on this team it is definitely the quarterback position. Henne will be the full time starter for the first time and he has all the tools to be an above average to great starting quarterback...but there is a reason Chad Pennington was getting the starts before he got injured.
Ugly: I hated the pick of Jared Odrick in the first round. They could have used some help at DB, maybe went after Nate Allen instead. When is the last time a draft pick from Penn State panned out? I'll wait.
The Dolphins look solid all around. If the defense can reach its potential then they can win this division. If they can't, they may be sitting in the exact same spot as they were last year.
Good: They have three solid options at running back. Fred Jackson is going to be the every down back, Spiller will get reps on third downs and certain situational carries, and Lynch can grind out the short yardage. Yeah, that's about all there is to say.
Bad: There offensive line is probably the worst to ever be assembled. The have a couple guys coming back from serious injuries, but even at 100% they still shouldn't be starting in the NFL. It's bad enough when you have the worst depth in the league at the quarterback position, but having then take snaps behind the worst O-line is a recipe for disaster. No way the starting QB makes it through the entire season.
Ugly: Anything and everything about Buffalo. Just move to Toronto already. Maybe they will let you join the CFL.
If they get more than six wins I will suck commenter Daniel's balls while singing the Fuckeye's fight song. Speaking of, congratulations to Daniel and his lovely lady. They got engaged this past weekend and I'm just glad he found another girl to love him other than his mom.
Divisional Fantasy Breakout: Shonn Greene seems like an obvious pick here, and I think he will breakout, but I'm looking at another running back in the division. Laurence Maroney. He has burnt fantasy owners for years, but last year he actually put together a decent season. The other three RB's on the roster will be a combined age of 100 years old when the season starts. Maroney is getting at least 13 TD's and should chew up some yardage late in games.
Greenbacks: The last two years the Bills and Dolphins have covered in only ten home games combined, that's 10 out of 32 for the mental defects. That's horrible. However, they have combined to cover 22 games on the road the last two years, 22 out of 32. Very impressive. Just something to think about when these two teams show up on your betting card.
Leave your thoughts and ill-informed opinions in the comments. Or just talk about how the Toledo Rockets just agreed on a home and home with the Miami Hurricanes to begin in 2015.