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Monday, August 26, 2013

2013 AFC East: The Good, The Bad & The UGLY

With the New England Patriots season starting in just under 2 weeks, it's a good time to preview the competition in the AFC East.

Here are the teams the Pats will need to go through to claim a fifth straight AFC East title:

THE GOOD: Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins
OLD FRIENDS: Ryan Tannehill, Brian Hartline, Cameron Wake
NEW FACES: Mike Wallace, Dustin Keller
KEY LOSSES: Jake Long, Sean Smith
RISING: Lamar Miller


  • Can Ryan Tannehill improve enough to lead the Dolphins to their first playoff appearance in 5 years? Can he get them their first win playoff win since December 2000?
  • Is Mike Wallace the playmaking deep threat that he was signed to be? 
  • With the loss of Dustin Keller (to a gruesome knee injury), who else will step up as a solid receiving target for Tannehill?

THE BAD: Buffalo Bills

Bills QB EJ Manuel
OLD FRIENDS: Stevie Johnson, Fred Jackson, Mario Williams
NEW FACES: E.J. ManuelKevin Kolb, Matt Leinart, Robert Woods
KEY LOSSES: Ryan Fitzpatrick
RISING: C.J. Spiller


  • With Kevin Kolb's concussions and E.J. Manuel's balky knee, is Matt Leinart now the favorite to start Week 1? 
    • UPDATE: Nope, it will be UDFA rookie Jeff Tuel. (WHO?)
  • Can gifted C.J. Spiller make the leap to elite RB status and put the Bills' offense on his back?
  • Is Syracuse grad & former coach Doug Marrone cut out to be a successful NFL head coach or is he there because he's a Cuse guy?

THE UGLY: New York Jets

Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez
OLD FRIENDS: Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, Nick Mangold
NEW FACES: Geno Smith
KEY LOSSES: Darrelle Revis
RISING: Bilal Powell


  • Whether it's Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith at QB, do they stand a chance with either guy under center?
  • How do they make up for the loss of shutdown corner and defensive stalwart Darrelle Revis?
  • If Jets get off to a slow start, does Rex Ryan make it to the end of the season?

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