By Matt Noonan
This particular division will most likely be a two-horse race between the Patriots and Jets. Expect the Dolphins to give both contenders some challenges along the way, but overall, this division belongs to both New England and New York.
1.) New England Patriots [12-4] – Hands down, they’re probably the best team in the conference despite some question marks on defense. Tom Brady is yet again coming off another career year, so expect his offense to flourish under his leadership and guidance. Would adding a Darren Sharper or Randy Moss help? Absolutely, but again, it’s the Patriots, so technically they don’t need the “big names” to win.
2.) New York Jets [10-6] – Once again, Rex Ryan has promised that his team will win the Super Bowl. OK, great, but can they actually deliver on their Joe Namath guarantee? Mark Sanchez needs to step-up this season, especially since the offense will only succeed if he’s comfortable in the pocket. Of course, they’re defense will carry them, but any injuries could derail their hopes of earning a third trip to the AFC Championship.
3.) Miami Dolphins [7-9] – Expect the Reggie Bush era to last roughly four-to-five weeks before an injury occurs. Also, who’s going to lead the Dolphins if Chad Henne gets hurt? Don’t expect the team from ’08 to resurface because the Dolphins need a few more pieces on offense and defense in order to become an elite contender in the NFL.
4.) Buffalo Bills [3-13] – If this were an English class, I’d compare the Bills to A.A Milne’s character of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Seriously, they’re not that good, but who knows, maybe quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick can muster a couple of wins.