AFC East Preview: Early, but important games for AFC East teams

At one point on Opening Weekend, it looked like the Miami Dolphins could finish the day tied with the Bills atop the AFC East after 1 game.  That would have been surprising, of course, but the Jets and Patriots both rallied from 4th quarter deficits to pull out victories.  So what we have after week 1 is a 3 way tie atop the AFC East.  Each week, we’ll continue to monitor the Dolphins and their AFC East rivals, until the division is decided.  I always find myself looking around the schedule to see where the other AFC East teams are playing, so I thought it would be good to set up a regular posts on Wednesdays to chronicle the previous week and the week ahead, in the AFC East.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The Patriots are the heavy favorite to repeat (again) as AFC East Champs, but the Dolphins could push them, if things break right.  By the end of the season, I expect the Bills and Jets to be battling for 3rd place in the division.  But in the NFL, you never know.  Maybe the Patriots take a step back and 10 wins will be enough to win the division?  We’ll see, it’s still only week 2, so let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

New England Patriots (1-0 overall, 1-0 division)

In week 1, the Patriots traveled to Buffalo and got all they could handle from a surprising Bills team.  The Patriots jumped out to an early lead and the game looked like it was going to be a blowout, but the Bills rallied to take a 21-20 lead.  The Patriots, in true Patriot fashion, marched down the field and kicked the game winning field goal in the game’s final minute.

This week, the Patriots head home and will welcome in the Jets on Thursday night.  The Patriots will still be without Rob Gronkowski and we learned on Tuesday they will be without RB Shane Vareen for a while.  Danny Amendola is also expected to miss the game due to an injury.  Are the Pats banged up enough to lose to the lowly Jets?  I don’t think so, but that’s exactly what I’ll be rooting for!

New York Jets (1-0 overall, 0-0 division)

The Jets got lucky……..but they managed to pick up an ugly home win against the Tampa Bay Bucs.  The Jets defense, which was solid all day, allowed the Bucs to march down the field to take a 17-15 lead in the game’s final minutes.  When the Jets got the ball back, rookie Geno Smith guided them to mid-field, when the Bucs made a costly (stupid) mistake.  With a personal foul penalty on the final play from scrimmage, the Bucs allowed the Jets to kick a 48 yard field goal in the final minute of the game, to pull out the win.

As mentioned above, the Jets head to New England this week to take on a banged up Patriots team.  The Jets are not a good football team, but they would shock the world if they managed to beat the Patriots and improved to 2-0.  I still see the Jets finishing the season with less than 6 wins, so I don’t see them as a threat in the long run.  (continued on page 2, CLICK HERE)

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