July 28, 2012

3-Way NFL Preview: AFC East

New England Patriots
W17L:  12-4  (2nd seed, loses to Pittsburgh in AFC Championship)
Forecaster:  12-4  (1st seed, defeats Green Bay in Super Bowl)
Random:  7-9

W17L's Take:  People are jumping on the Patriots bandwagon because they have a lot of good players, but I don't think they have enough great players to get them back to the Super Bowl.  Obviously Brady, Welker, and Gronkowski will be stellar, and the rest of the offense should perform well.  However, I think the Patriots' defensive deficiencies will hurt their record a little more than they did last year.

Forecaster's Take:  Why are the Patriots the favorite to win it all this year?  They score a lot, they make opposing offenses run a lot of plays, and they can make first downs by running or passing.

New York Jets
W17L:  7-9
Forecaster:  11-5  (5th seed, loses to New England in Divisional Round)
Random:  9-7  (4th seed, loses to Oakland in Divisional Round)

W17L's Take:  This Tebow/Sanchez thing cannot be good for this team, and neither of those two are to blame.  Both are classy and are willing to play the roles they've been asked to.  But you know that once Sanchez falters (and he will), fans will call for Tebow to start, then players on the team will start to take sides, and the whole season will start to go downhill.  This team was probably a 9-7 team to start with, but the QB controversy will cost them a couple of wins.

Forecaster's Take:  The Jets are projected to be the second best team in the AFC after New England.  Their lack of rushing prowess will force them to pass more (which will lead to a more efficient offense), they force defenses to make mistakes, and they make opponents run the ball a lot.

Buffalo Bills
W17L:  6-10
Forecaster:  6-10
Random:  6-10

W17L's Take:  I like Ryan Fitzpatrick.  I like Mario Williams.  I like Jairus Byrd.  The rest I don't know much about, but I haven't seen any reason to take this team seriously.

Forecaster's Take:  The Bills' main issue is the running game:  their own is too good and so is their opponents'.

Miami Dolphins
W17L:  4-12
Forecaster:  9-7
Random:  5-11

W17L's Take:  I don't know how this team will get anything done.  I'm looking at their roster and I don't see any great players outside of the offensive line.  They've got a new head coach.  Their QB could be Matt Moore, David Garrard, or Ryan Tannehill, neither of which is that great of an option.  Their only real weapon in Brandon Marshall is gone now.  I expect this team to be awful.

Forecaster's Take:  This team should be pretty good, mostly because of its excellent run defense and short offensive drives.

For an explanation of the Forecaster and Random projections, go here.  Teams are ranked by total wins over the three projections.

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