The Jets are seen as the team to beat in the AFC East. With a second year quarterback. With their best defensive player unhappy. I don’t know about you, but I am sticking with what’s tried and true. The Patriots are a perennial playoff team. They will be until Tom Brady decides to hang ‘em up. And oh by the way, the Patriots still have one of the best offenses in the league. They were third in total yards per game and in the top 10 in points per game, as they usually are.
Slot magician Wes Welker will be back this year and hopefully 100% healthy. His absence was a big reason why the Pats flamed out against the Ravens in the playoffs last year. Randy Moss is still there. He can still play. Ben Watson is a viable option at tight end as well. The Pats never were a run-heavy team with Brady at quarterback, and I don’t suspect that will change this year. Laurence Maroney will again get the bulk of the carries with a myriad of others pitching in such as Fred Taylor, Sammie Morris, and others.
Defense is where the Patriots fall flat. At least, that’s how they fell flat against the Ravens last year. This year looks to be even tougher, as the veteran corner of the group in Leigh Bodden has been placed on the injured reserve list for the year. As a result, they will have the youngest secondary in the league. That could spell trouble. The offense will definitely have to make up for the shortcomings of the defense. Still, as bad as the defense supposedly was last year, they still only allowed 17.8 points per game, the fifth lowest in the league.
It should be an interesting AFC East this year. I think the Patriots hold on to their division crown, narrowly escaping the Jets with an 11-5 record.