Friday, August 10, 2012

Preseason: Players to Watch (AFC East)

New England Patriots: RB Stevan Ridley: Though it has been the Patriots passing game catching all of the headlines, the truth is, the most important question for New England is, "How will running back Steven Ridley perform in 2012?" Ridley is a second year rusher out of LSU, and shall be replacing Benjarvus Green-Ellis, who is now playing for Cincinnati. Especially among Pats fans, Ridley has high expectations going into 2012. He may be small, and not quite the fastest running back out there (40 yard dash time of 4.67), but Ridley managed a yards per carry of 5.1 last season, a positive sign for any rookie. If Ridley looks like he is in tip-top shape this preseason, watch out for the Patriots running game.

Stevan Ridley
Buffalo Bills: RB Fred Jackson: Fred Jackson was on the tear of his life in 2011, on track to get 1,590 rushing yards and close to 10 touchdowns. However, in Week 11, Jackson suffered a fractured fibula and missed the rest of the regular season. Now, we will see if Jackson has fully recovered, or if back-up rusher CJ Spiller deserves to split the carries. Personally, I believe Buffalo should trade away Jackson and start Spiller, but this organization may be pretty attached to their top-dog.

Miami Dolphins: QB Matt Moore: Sadly, quarterback David Garrard will have to under go surgery in order to repair an undisclosed knee injury. This means Matt Moore will most likely start in the Week 1 game against Houston. Until then, Moore will have to "officially" earn the spot over rookie Ryan Tannehill. Moore's performance in 2011 started off slowly, but really got going towards the end of the regular season. Unless there is some sort of meltdown from Moore and extraordinary heroics from Tannehill, last year's starter will once again be named top quarterback.

New York Jets: QB Tim Tebow: TEBOW TEBOW TEBOW. That is all we have heard about this off-season, especially for those who watch ESPN. Now, it is time for this quarterback to live up to the hype. If I could put the entire New York team as a player to watch, I would (especially Rex Ryan), but "The Bachelor" is truly the player everyone will be eyeing. It will be interesting to see just how the Jets will use Tim Tebow in their game plan, and we might be able to get a sneak peak in several preseason games.

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