In this 8 part series I will be compiling my thoughts and predictions for each division in the NFL as they embark on their 2015 seasons. This article will focus solely on the AFC East, the home of the current SuperBowl Champs, the New England Patriots. Let’s begin.
When the confetti fell last February and the Pats were living on cloud 9, a horrible storm was brewing inside the metaphorical cumulus. “DeflateGate” as it is widely known, was the catalyst in a downward spiral of a summer. Knowing Tom Brady and potentially Bill Belichick could be in trouble, names started dropping from the roster, some on their own accord. Revis made his rapid return to The Jets, surprise breakout star Kyle Arrington was released along with veteran Brandon Spikes, to mention a few. Not much was brought in to replace these missing links to success for the team, that mixed with Tom Brady sitting the first four games is a disaster in the making for these defending champions. However, the last Patriots team to play more than back to back games without #12 was the 2008 squad that went 11-5 without their leader playing the entire season. A good omen perhaps?
A few weeks back an article was published stating that brain trust from Harvard University have placed the Seahawks and The Miami Dolphins as this years final. Though I can see the accuracy of this prediction based solely on the defensive juggernauts they have in the backfield. The truth is that Ryan Tannehill just can’t win those crucial games. He’s the Matt Ryan of the AFC. Outstanding in regular season match ups, posting earth shattering numbers more than not. Therefore, the pressure on the Miami offense equipped with Tannehill’s arm, fail to gain any traction resulting in them being outside looking in come playoff time. The key factor in if the Dolphin’s sink or swim, will be the addition of heavily scrutinized, Ndamukong Suh. After setting sails to the sunny beaches of Florida, it’s truly time to see if Suh is the terror on the field he can be, without the cheap shots and dirty plays. Some believe this is the Dolphin’s best chance to win a few playoff games in a very long time.
Back in 2013, a gigantic news story broke out of The Jets locker room. The all star Darrelle Revis, was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and all fingers pointed to loud mouth Rex Ryan as the ultimate reason for his departure. Heated words were thrown from both camps and everyone believed the bridge back to MetLife was not only burnt but engulfed in flames. Albeit when word broke of Revis returning to his rookie team, shock was not a word that crossed many minds. With no more Rex at the helm, it was a clean slate for Darrelle. Two other superstar athletes that signed contracts with the Football Jets were Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. If Geno Smith can prove doubters wrong and not lose his starting gig yet again, the targets he had to choose from are plenty. He will have a solid defense behind him so the proverbial ball is in Mr.Smiths court.
Four. The most hated number in Bills history. Four times has Buffalo made it to the big dance, only to be rejected like a high school senior. Forget the fact that team led by Jim Kelly did it in four consecutive years, some clubs haven’t even experienced a Super Bowl date. For the first time in years, this lowly bitter cold franchise will attempt to bring home the first Lombardi trophy for the city, stomping out the history of losses in the finals. Ranked in the top 3 defenses in the league, Buffalo has the secondary to do some serious damage. Their second week will be the most important game of the season as they look to expose a Brady-less squad against New England. Although the questions still surround their offense, LeSean McCoy and Percy Harvin are enormous additions to a feeble offensive attack.
Final predictions are as follows: