As the daily divisional debates continue on this Thursday evening, the topic tonight is the AFC East. This is a division that to many, has the most obvious winner: The Patriots. But it may be closer then many expect. While the Jets have gotten all the attention for their QB’s people forget about their defense, that has the ability to stop Tom Brady. So who will win the AFC East, the Patriots or Jets? Read below to find out.
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[one_half] By: Matt Smith
In fact, the Patriots are so far ahead of the competition in their division that it’s unlikely another team in the AFC East will make the playoffs.
The Patriots boast a dominant passing attack led by Tom Brady and the best tight end duo in the game, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. They also have two great receivers in Wes Welker and recently signed Brandon Lloyd. The run game also figures to be improved, with second-year backs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen figuring to be upgrades on departed BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Though the defense still isn’t good, Bill Belichick has to be encouraged that DE Chandler Jones and LB Dont’a Hightower – both first-round picks – have enjoyed strong camps.
Even with a poor pass defense, this team figures to clear double digit wins easily and win the division easily.
Probably the most viable contender to the Patriots are the Bills. The Bills made a big splash in free agency by signing DE Mario Williams to a six-year, $100 million dollar contract. He’s an instant upgrade over any of their defensive lineman.
The Bills have a young secondary headed by first-round cornerback Stephon Gilmore and stud safety Jairus Byrd, meaning the team should have at the very worst a solid defense.
They also have two capable running backs in Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller to go along with Stevie Johnson.
However, the Bills have a terrible offensive line and a game-managing quarterback that could hold this team back from a playoff berth.
The Bills figure to be better than they were last season, but in all likelihood will just miss out on a wild card berth.
While there’s a lot to like about the Jets’ always stingy defense, their offense is downright atrocious.
The Jets have an atrocious offensive line, little depth at wide receiver, a below-average running back in Shonn Greene and a terrible decision maker at quarterback in Mark Sanchez. Through three preseason games, the offense has managed nine points.
Only Dustin Keller saves the Jets from being weak at every unit on offense.
On the other hand, the Jets have a well above-average defense led by cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Draft picks Quinton Coples and Demario Davis have also caused internal excitement on the defensive end. The Jets’ defense might keep them close in games, but I’m not convinced they have enough firepower for a winning season.
Though many speculated that the Dolphins would sit No.8 overall pick Ryan Tannehill on the bench until at least mid-season, it turns out the Ryan Tannehill era is now.
Tannehill beat out incumbent starter Matt Moore for the Week 1 starting gig after looking good in his first few preseason games. David Garrard was in the driver’s seat for the job, but got injured and figures to be released with an injury settlement.
Unfortunately, Tannehill doesn’t figure to be helped much by his supporting cast.
Anthony Fasano isn’t a great pass-catching tight end, and draft pick Michael Egnew has failed to impress at the same position.
The Dolphins’ current No.1 receiver is the slow-footed Legedu Naanee, who’s best served as a blocking wide receiver and is not an actual threat to make an impact catching the ball.
The defense is also suspect, as their defense relies a lot on star DE Cameron Wake to generate loads of pressure.
[one_half_last] By: Nathan Palcowski
J.E.T.S…Jets!, Jets!, Jets! That’s right the New York Jets are going to win the AFC East. I actually will go even as far to say that the Jets win the AFC in general. The biggest threat to the Jets AFC East title run are the New England Patriots.
Though the Patriots have the easiest schedule in all NFL, they have had their struggles against the Jets in the past couple of years. Tom Brady has never played in greatest game against the Jets and that’s because the Jets defense is the best in the AFC. With all-star cornerback Darelle Revis ball-hawking the ball, Brady is cepatable to being picked off every play.
The one thing that the Patriots have all the tight ends of Aaron Hernadez and Rob Gronkowski. Those are the Patriots biggest weapons and that’s an advantage that they have over basically every team…except the Jets.
The Jets have the linebackers and secondary big enough and fast enough to compete with the tight end duo. Especially with Bart Scott manning the line backing zone and Revis and Antoinio Cromartie ball-hawking the secondary, who are yes, fast but physical as well. That bodes well for the Jets as they will be able to get physical with the tight ends.
And let’s just face the facts here, Tim Tebow is going to start for the New York Jets at some point this season. I’m not saying the Jets are going to be the best starting off, but once Tebow comes in, he is going to do the same thing he did in Denver and TebowMania will sweep New York. I know that the Patriots are Tebow’s kryptonite early in his career but I believe that Tebow has so much critism against him that he will prevail and beat the Patriots twice this year. It’s just the Tebow Mania! All he does is Win!!!!
Finally when looking at this division, I mean really the Miami Dolphins are just a mess and the Jets should have no problems sweeping them this year. The Buffalo Bills are an overrated team that may give some teams problems but not the Jets. Then the Patriots, the games will be tough but I think the Jets will pull through.