September 2, 2013 in Sports

2013 NFL Preview: AFC East

 

New England Patriots

NEW FACES

WR Danny Amendola, RB LaGarrette Blount, WR Josh Boyce, LB Jamie Collins, WR Aaron Dobson, DT Tommy Kelly, TE Zach Sudfeld, OL Will Svitek, WR Kenbrell Thompkins.

KEY LOSSES

TE Aaron Hernandez, WR Brandon Lloyd, DT Kyle Love, WR Wes Welker, RB Danny Woodhead.

STRENGTHS

QB, DL, LB.

WEAKNESSES

DB, WR.

EXPECTATIONS

Patriots handled rough offseason well. They cut Hernandez day he was arrested on murder charge and replaced top two WRs Welker and Lloyd with Amendola and rookies. Should win weak AFC East for 10th time in 11 seasons. Defense should improve with veteran Kelly and greater depth. WRs a question mark and TE Rob Gronkowski probably will miss start of season following back surgery.

Miami Dolphins

NEW FACES

WR Mike Wallace, DE Dion Jordan, CB Brent Grimes, LB Dannell Ellerbe, LB Philip Wheeler, WR Brandon Gibson, T Tyson Clabo, PK Caleb Sturgis.

KEY LOSSES

T Jake Long, RB Reggie Bush, LB Karlos Dansby, LB Kevin Burnett, CB Sean Smith, WR Davone Bess, TE Anthony Fasano, K Dan Carpenter.

STRENGTHS

DE, DT, WR.

WEAKNESSES

OL, TE, RB, CB.

EXPECTATIONS

Following free-agent spending spree, new starters projected at 11 positions. That’s a lot of change, and it might take a while for coach Joe Philbin to work out kinks, especially on offense. 1972 Dolphins made recent trip to White House, but invitation to 2013 team seems farfetched. Instead, look for season-long flirtation with .500. Early schedule daunting, and December surge may be needed to end franchise’s streak of four consecutive losing seasons.

New York Jets

NEW FACES

QB Geno Smith, RB Chris Ivory, CB Dee Milliner, TE Kellen Winslow Jr., S Dawan Landry, LB Antwan Barnes, DT Antonio Garay, G Willie Colon, DL Sheldon Richardson.

KEY LOSSES

CB Darrelle Revis, S LaRon Landry, RB Shonn Greene, DL Mike DeVito, QB Tim Tebow, RB-KR Joe McKnight, TE Dustin Keller, WR Braylon Edwards, LB Bart Scott, NT Sione Po’uha, G Brandon Moore, G Matt Slauson, S Yeremiah Bell, LB Bryan Thomas.

STRENGTHS

DL, LB.

WEAKNESSES

QB, WR.

EXPECTATIONS

Not very high, especially since team enters final week before regular season not knowing if Smith is ready enough to start or Mark Sanchez’s shoulder is healthy enough. Coach Rex Ryan squarely on hot seat as team faces third straight season without playoffs.

Buffalo Bills

NEW FACES

QB EJ Manuel, QB Jeff Tuel, LB Manny Lawson, LB Jerry Hughes, LB Kiko Alonso, WR Robert Woods, WR Marquise Goodwin, DT Alan Branch, K Dustin Hopkins.

KEY LOSSES

LG Andy Levitre, LB Nick Barnett, LB Shawne Merriman, S George Wilson, CB Terrence McGee, DE Chris Kelsay, WR David Nelson, WR Donald Jones, K Rian Lindell.

STRENGTHS

RB, DL.

WEAKNESSES

QB, OL, LB, DB.

EXPECTATIONS

Far too many changes at far too many key positions on and off field – from GM (Doug Whaley) down to place-kicker – to expect Bills to end longest active playoff drought at 13. QB already an issue with veteran Kolb out for year and rookie Manuel questionable to start season. Hope for team without winning record since 2004 is to begin showing signs of improvement under new coach Doug Marrone.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email