Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 AFC East Predictions

1. New England Patriots (13-3): The biggest offseason signing by the New England Patriots is clearly the addition of cornerbak Darrelle Revis. Revis made a name for himself on the New York Jets, when he made three All-Pro teams and was considered to be the best cornerback in the league. Revis suffered an off-year last season coming off of ACL surgery, and he then signed a one-year deal with the Pats who are looking to replace Aqib Talib. Revis is bound to improve in 2014, and may even return to his original form as the league's best cornerback. The Pats signed Seahawks corner Brandon Browner right before the Revis signing, yet he will be forced to miss the first four games of the season; however, once he returns, the Patriots may have the best cornerback-duo in the league. The Pats also drafted an injury-prone defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who tore his ACL twice in two years, but clearly is a talented defensive prospect. On offense, star quarterback Tom Brady will look to avoid a slow start like last season due to his relatively inexperienced receiving corp, but if tight end Rob Gronkowski manages to play for the majority of the season, the Patriots could have the best record in the AFC.

2. New York Jets (9-7): The New York Jets signed three big names on offense in the offseason, which could drastically help or hurt this team. Four-time Pro-Bowler Michael Vick is an incredible talent with great arm strength and the ability to run the ball. Although the Jets signed him, he is second behind Geno Smith on the depth chart, which may change after training camp. The Jets also added speedy running back Chris Johnson, as well as wide receiver Eric Decker to improve the entire offense. The Jets defensive line is young and talented, consisting of Defensive Rookie of the Year Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Damon Harrison (deemed "Sons of Anarchy"). The Jets managed to finish 8-8 last season, and with even more talent on this roster, they can make a run at a spot in the playoffs. I believe if Michael Vick manages to start in more than 12 games, the Jets will make the postseason.

3. Buffalo Bills (8-8): In my opinion, the Buffalo Bills managed to sign the best prospect from this past NFL Draft in wide receiver Sammy Watkins, which will surely help second-year quarterback EJ Manuel. Manuel's first season was less than stellar, seeing how he threw just 11 touchdowns with 9 interceptions. Buffalo's receiving corp has a lot of young talent, with guys like Watkins, Robert Woods, and Mike Williams from Tampa Bay, yet they also have a running back duo of CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson to take some pressure off of Manuel. On defense, defensive end Mario Williams has played all 32 games within the past two seasons, as he has obtained 23.5 sacks while on the Bills. Williams is one of the main reasons why the Bills ranked second in the league in sacks last season, enough to keep this defense afloat. Hopefully, the pass rush can continue their dominance into 2014, enough to give Buffalo a shot at the postseason.

4. Miami Dolphins (6-10): 2014 will likely be Ryan Tannehill's last season as a starter in Miami if the Dolphins' record fails to improve. While the Dolphins managed to reach a .500 record for the first time since 2009, the Dolphins added some pressure on Tannehill by signing Matt Moore from the Carolina Panthers. Wide receiver Mike Wallace is the clear star of this offense, even though he had the lowest touchdown total of his career, and also failed to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards. Miami's pass rush managed to do relatively well thanks to All-Pro defensive end Cameron Wake, as well as Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Randy Starks. Thanks to recent acquisitions, the Dolphins may have one of the best cornerback duos in the league thanks to Brent Grimes on one side, and now, Cortland Finnegan out of St. Louis on the other. The Dolphins do not have enough talent or experience on this roster though, especially on offense, to contend for a spot in the playoffs. 

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