The AFC East has been a one trick pony for the last couple of years, with Belichick and the Brady bunch essentially winning, well, everything. But are times a changing? This article will take some seriously critical looks at teams from a top rated talent evalulator   (I play A LOT of Madden) and will let you know some questions on offense and defense. I’ve laid it out by how I think the teams will finish in the standings. I’m not getting into projected wins/losses because I’m not that smart…anyway enjoy:

The winners of the division last year, were the Patriots, and they are heavy favorites again this year (when Mark Sanchez is in your division it’s not a huge compliment). However, Wes Welker, as we all know, left one Hall of Fame quarterback for another Hall of Fame quarterback (what a situation to be in) this offseason. The Patriots quickly signed Danny Amendola to replace Welker as the short, speedy, white slot receiver. But will Amendola be up to par with Welker? Amendola has a history with injuries, including a clavicle injury that was nigh on life threatening, but when healthy this dude catches stuff like Spider Man. According to teammate Aaron Hernandez, through the first couple days of practice, Amendola “looks good” which honestly isn’t that hard to do when Tom Brady is tossing you the ball.

Somethings never changed (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

But what about the secondary? After re-signing Aqib Talib, and bringing in Adrian Wilson, the secondary just gets more solid. This means they  can slide McCourty over to free safety and let Wilson play the run. Through the start of camp, Kyle Arrington has been taking snaps opposite of Talib with the first team, but Ras-I Dowling and Alfonzo Dennard are both capable, of playing on the outside, meaning Arrington may move in to the slot. Again, expect another solid showing from New England.

I predict that their real competition will come from Dolphins (yeah, told ya it’s weak) choosing to start Ryan Tannehill right from the beginning, and the decision paid off moderately well. Tannehill threw for over 3,000 yards and tossed 12 touchdowns. But also 13 interceptions, which isn’t bad considering most of his wide receivers wouldn’t start for Alabama. Theoretically, that issue has been fixed. The Dolphins landed speedster (and homophobe) Mike Wallace on a massive deal this offseason, perhaps finally giving Tannehill “that guy”. Although they lost Reggie Bush, rookie Mark Gillislee has been impressing everyone and drawing some pretty lofty comparisons. If the line holds up and these new offensive weapons pan out, Tannehill will have a chance to improve.

Derppppppp (via)

The ‘Fins have upgraded and retooled their defense as well, and now have what appears to be two prime edge rushers to attack Brady (Sanchez’s offensive line will do the job against the Jets). Cam Wake has already proven to be a force, but 1st round draft pick Dion Jordan is where the key lies. Jordan is   6’6 and weighs 248 pounds, so yeah, he’s a superfreak. Using his size and speed he should be able to give Brady problems. I mean, remember when the Giants d-line terrorized Tom in the SuperBowl, that’s what the ‘Fins want, and might have. But the d-line is only half the battle. The secondary is the other important part, after seeing Sean Smith leave for KC, Miami had a hole, and they filled it with Brent Grimes who, according to Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel was “one of the three players who stood out to me.” However, I just don’t think the linebacker core is going to be good enough to hang with the receivers and tight ends that opponents like the Patriots will be able to roll out.

The Bills will be the next team fighting for scraps. After signing Mario Williams last year, they thought they had solved the issues. However, just because you go to Harvard doesn’t mean you can play quarterback. The running game should be there for the Bills, if Fred Jackson stays healthy and C.J. Spiller keeps rolling from last year, the Bills have two possible thousand yard rushers in their stable. But the question is who the hell is taking snaps under center? Kevin Kolb has been consistently bad and E.J. Manuel was the surprise of the draft. However, it would appear that Manuel is proving to be a quick study which puts the Bills in essentially the same position the Dolphins were in last year, except with a worse quarterback. Do they start Kolb and let Manuel develop or do they throw Manuel to the wolves?

You can’t teach size (Rick Stewart/Getty Images North America)

Defensively the Bills are trying something new. Rather than being strictly 3-4 or 4-3, it appears they’re going to hybridize it. According to defensive coordinator is planning on being a ”We are a multiple front, attacking, pressure-style defense.” (via) With this defensive you gotta look at the d-line, because a lot of the stress is put on them. Superfreak Mario Williams has played both a 4-3 and a 3-4, plus he’s a superfreak, so you know he’ll be solid. Jerry Hughes played standing up a lot last year in Indy and Mark Anderson is a Belichick product, meaning he’s played standing up and with a hand on the ground. Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams have both shown ability to play some 3-technique and also straight up nose tackle. So if thats solid, next we look at the linebackers. Manny Lawson has played some 3-4, but lacks at 4-3 coverage and the other two (Kiko Alonso and Nigel Bradham) are both relative unknowns at the NFL level. If the defense plays well, the Bills could have a shot at upsetting the Dolphins and moving to second in the division.

And lastly, the New York Jets. Honestly, I don’t even know where to start. I know I said I wasn’t making predictions on wins and losses, but honestly if this team won only 4 games I wouldn’t be surprised. Here’s a quick look at their depth chart (minus David Garrard who retired) and man doesn’t that look rough. The real question is who’s going to play quarterback. The only popular thing that Mark Sanchez has done in recent memory is the infamous butt fumble. He might actually be the worst starting quarterback ever, like, I don’t even think I’d want him to play on my intramural flag football team. I always gave him the benefit of the doubt, until he looked like my 5 year old cousin against the Arizona Cardinals last year, WOOF. But will they start the strong armed Geno Smith? If the choice is Smith, all you can do is hope they don’t rush him like they did to Marky Mark, who reportedly tried cramming as many plays as he could into his brain, which is apparently quite small. Smith has the arm cannon and the legs, but it’s going to take some brains too.

It will never, ever, ever, ever get better than this (via)

Defensively, the Jets are…well they’re the Jets. Clearly lacking on that depth chart is a certain island, Revis Island that is. Darrelle Revis was of course traded to the Bucs this offseason. That leaves Antonio Cromartie and Dee Milliner and Kyle Wilson to man the corners. Cromartie has proven to be a good option, Milliner is still a rookie so who knows and Wilson, well, I think I remember Wilson getting burned…a lot. The linebacking core, minus David Harris is relatively inexperienced and the d-line won’t be much help. All in all the Jets are lookin at a tough season, and will probably be the butt of everyone’s jokes (also a butt might stop Mark Sanchez)

That’s how I project (emphasis on project) the AFC to shape up in terms of standings. I’m not getting into wins and losses because someone will get hurt, stuff will get messed up and I’ll look like a total squid. As always, tell me how I didn’t rate your favorite team that well, I look forward to it.

-El Perro Grande

Advertisements