AFC East Division Preview
The New England Patriots have won the AFC East in six of the last seven seasons. Can they hold off improving New York and Miami to add another crown to their total?
To be truly fair to the Patriots the only time they didn't win the AFC East in the last seven years was when Tom Brady was lost for the season in the first game. As long as Brady remains on the field for all 16 games this season the Pats should be frontrunners in the division again, and the oddsmakers at Bovada agree after setting them as a +120 favorite. Last season was actually an average one stats-wise for Brady. However, that should have been expected since he was coming off major knee surgery. Even with another year having passed since he went under the knife Brady likely won't toss 50 touchdown passes again, but he should be better than the version of himself that threw 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season.
ADVERTISEMENT: MANY EXPERTS FEEL THE PATRIOTS ARE DOOMED TO A SUB-.500 SEASON, BUT THE PUBLIC STILL LOVES THEM - THAT MEANS GOOD ODDS BETTING AGAINST THE PATS AND EVEN BETTER BONUSES WHEN YOU SIGN UP TODAY AT Bovada!
Brady's receiving corps is again stacked and led by still-speedy veteran Randy Moss. One concern is Wes Welker, who has made a miraculously-fast recovery from knee surgery. If the knee does keep Welker from performing up to his peak look for Julian Edelman to carry some of the load. On the ground the Pats could end up using a committee at running back with Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, and Sammy Morris all in line for some work. New York Jets (+140) The Jets are considered many experts' dark horse pick for the Super Bowl this year. If they get there or not could depend on Mark Sanchez. As a rookie last season Sanchez led the Jets to a 9-7 record and a playoff berth. Don't forget that Matt Ryan did the same as a rookie before slumping in his sophomore season. Sanchez has struggled in the preseason and a sophomore slump could doom him as well. Making things even tougher on Sanchez is that he won't start the season with his full complement of receivers. New acquisition Santonio Holmes is suspended for the first four games, leaving the starting duties in the hands of Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery. The Jets have even more adversity on defense thanks to the ongoing holdout of star cornerback Darrelle Revis. It's rumored that Revis will sign before Week 1, but that should be taken with a grain of salt since most Revis rumors have proven to be bogus so far. If Revis does return for the opener the Jets have one of the best corner tandems with Revis and Antonio Cromartie.
Miami Dolphins (+300) The days of the Wildcat formation in Miami may be over. With the signing of Brandon Marshall the Dolphins are expected to go for a more balanced attack which could lead to a breakout season for QB Chad Henne. Henne has a dominant receiver in Marshall and two reliable running backs in Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, if Brown can bounce back from a foot injury. If either Davone Bess or Brian Hartline can step up to complement Marshall the Dolphins should have a potent offense without having to rely on the trickery of the Wildcat. Buffalo Bills (+2500) The Bills haven't made the playoffs since 1999. Don't expect that to change this season. Buffalo will start either Trent Edwards or Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB this season, but neither is a great option. C.J. Spiller could add some much-needed flair to the offense and he should get the opportunity to show what he can do early on with both Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson hurt. The Bills' weak offensive line could make it tough to find running room for whoever ends up getting the carries. Check out the latest odds to win AFC East now at Bovada.