Many experts around the country have handed the AFC East over to the New England Patriots, this well before training camp even gets underway. It’s hard to argue with them, as New England jumped into the free-agent pond this last offseason and landed some pretty sizeable fish to an already talented roster. Baltimore sacker Adalius Thomas will make the Pats D even stronger, and Randy Moss catching passes from Tom Brady could give teams nightmares in 2007. But even with that, there are three other teams that would love to tip over the Pats apple cart and land a big upset in taking the division crown from them. Below we take a quick glance at how the AFC East will stack up this 2007 season.
New England 2007 Prediction: 12-4 – 50 regular season wins in the past four years, two Super Bowl titles, and a trip to the AFC Title game have made New England the class of the league. As if things for the Pats couldn’t get better, they snagged no less than 9 players in the offseason, losing just three. The big names to come aboard this already solid group include Thomas, Moss, wide out Donte’ Stallworth, and corner Tory James. How this team will be worse than last year is beyond me, and unless they totally get slammed by injuries and read too much into their own headlines, this team will be once again the class of the AFC East.
New York 2007 Prediction: 9-7 – The Jets rose from the dead last year in a season in which they stunned many by winning 10 games. Over the last five seasons, the Jets have always followed up good seasons with bad ones (9 wins in 02, 6 in 03, 10 wins in 04, 4 in 05), so this means this season they should be in the 5-6 range if history is right. I don’t buy it. While they are still a few players away from beating the Pats, this group got better with the trade for RB Thomas Jones and getting free agent Andre Wadsworth at defensive end. Chad Pennington should be solid again, and with Jones and starting wide outs Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery, the Jets should contend for a wild card.
Buffalo 2007 Prediction: 8-8 – Buffalo had a tough offseason, including the head scratching move to trade solid back Willis McGahee to the Ravens. They only picked up four players, but moved Darwin Walker to Chicago after he wouldn’t show up. Gone are McGahee, CB Nate Clements, LB Takeo Spikes, and OT Mike Gandy. Dick Jauron does have some talent on offense though, as J.P. Losman really looks like a QB that could have a breakout season. Lee Evans is coming off 8 yards shy of 1300 yards, and 1st round pick RB Marshawn Lynch from Cal can make plays. The defense is going to struggle though, but overall this team should at least be fun to watch week in and week out.
Miami 2007 Prediction 6-10 – Sorry Fin fans, struggles are going to continue for this team that many had picked to overtake the Pats last year in the AFC East. Miami lost a whopping 16 players to other teams this offseason, and picked up 8, and none of them are what you would consider in their prime players. Trent Green will try and play a full season at QB for Miami, and Joey Porter, who was voted as the most overrated player earlier this offseason by CBS Sportsline, comes aboard as well. The teams defense, even with Defensive Player of the Year Jason Taylor is aging, and the offense is going to need a huge season from Ronnie Brown to compete in this division. I just don’t see it. On the other hand, Ted Ginn Jr. could be ROY.