AFC East Preview: Dolphins, Pats tied at the top

The Miami Dolphins took a nice step forward last week with their second straight road victory.  The Dolphins kept pace with the Patriots in what has been an interesting AFC East over the first 2 weeks.  There are no teams under .500 at this point in the season.  The AFC West and NFC West are the only other divisions in which this is the case.  By contrast, the AFC North and NFC East do not have a team over .500.  It’s early, but these early games can lead to big consequences later this season when tie breakers are in play.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

One thing that I took away from the Thursday night game between the Jets and the Pats is that the Pats might not be the offensive juggernaut that they have been in recent years.  Tom Brady’s receivers are just not reliable at this point.   Combine that, with the fact that the Dolphins just beat the Colts on the road and Dolphins fans have a reason to be excited.  The next 3 games against the Falcons, Saints, and Ravens will tell us a LOT about this Dolphins team.

The Jets are not a long term concern because of their offense, but their defense looks pretty good, especially their front 7.  The Bills, meanwhile, might not be a playoff team, but they might get to 6 or 7 wins.  The division might be a little more bunched together than in years past when the Patriots run out and win the division by 3-4 games.  Here’s a look at the week that was and the week ahead in the AFC East:

Patriots (2-0 overall, 2-0 division)

The Patriots have played the Jets and Bills and beaten them both.  Although, they did not blow either team and out and were in danger of losing both games.  With injuries to Shane Vereen, Amendola, and Gronkowski, the Pats are seriously missing some playmakers.  Tom Brady was visibly upset on Thursday night against the Jets.  His young, inexperienced receivers dropped a number of passes and their offense just never seemed right.  This week, the Patriots welcome in the Tampa Bay Bucs, who are playing very undisciplined football right now.  A late game penalty cost them the season opener against the Jets and then last week they committed a ton of penalties against the Saints.  The Pats should have smooth sailing to a 3-0 start.    (continued on page 2, CLICK HERE)

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