NFL 2012: AFC East Preview
By Matt Noonan
The AFC East may not be the flashiest division this season, but don’t underestimate Buffalo, New York or Miami. All three teams have challenged the Patriots over the past few seasons, and can certainly provide the unnecessary head ache to Patriots coaches, fans and players, especially when they least expect it.
However, New England shouldn’t have a problem winning this division, but keep your eyes on the Bills and Jets.
1.) New England Patriots (12-4) – Some analysts believe this team may mimic their record-breaking performance from 2007, while others think they’re a shoe-in for this year’s Super Bowl. In order for the Patriots to be successful, they’ll need rookies Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower to pressure opposing quarterbacks and provide all sorts of havoc.
2.) Buffalo Bills (9-7) – The Bills bolted out of the gate last season, but couldn’t maintain their momentum, as injuries and errors derailed their chances of a successful season. This year, Buffalo added Mario Williams and Mark Anderson to their defense, and drafted two potential studs in Cordy Glenn and Stephon Gilmore. The usual cast is back on offense – Ryan Fitzpatrick, Fred Jackson and Steve Johnson, but the main question from last year remains: Can they stay healthy? Also, can they be consistent, too?
3.) New York Jets (7-9) – No offense Jets fans, but your team is in complete disarray. New York didn’t locate the end zone until their fourth preseason game, and there’s still questions surrounding their offense and defense. Yet, probably one of the biggest sagas surrounding this team is when will Rex Ryan swap Tim Tebow for Mark Sanchez?
4.) Miami Dolphins (5-11) – There will be a lot of ups and downs this season for the Dolphins, but expect Miami to conclude their year with at least four or five wins.