Special Edition: NFL Preview: AFC East
1. New England Patriots Projected: 14-2
New England had a strong 2010 and added two big names in defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. They return Tom Brady who gets a different long ball option now that Randy Moss is gone in Ochocinco. The backfield is underrated and has former Jets wide out Danny Woodhead. The small, speedy Woodhead is an electric game changer. BenJarvis Green-Ellis isn't a flashy name but he is an effective, gritty player. Along with Haynesworth the Pats defensive line added ends Shaun Ellis and Andre Carter. Ellis is still dangerous but Carter will likely be past his prime. The rest of the defense is headed by linebacker Jerod Mayo and young cornerback Devin McCourty. He's an all-star caliber threat who quarterbacks would be stupid to pass too.
2. New York Jets Projected: 11-5
The Jets are creating one of the games best teams as Mark Sanchez enters his third year and the Jets enter their third season of contention. Sanchez is hoping to take more of a role and has the options to do it but the ground game is still the preferred option. LaDanian Tomlinson was better than expected in his first year in New York. He has lost a lot of speed but is still a threat in the red zone and good at finding lanes. Santonio Holmes was brought back this season and the Jets made sure to bring in Plaxico Burress. Burress will help more down near the end zone and will likely be Sanchez's security blanket. The offensive line is head by Nick Mangold who is likely the best center in the league. On defense New York is lethal especially at linebacker where Bart Scott and David Harris roam. Antonio Cromartie, Darrelle Revis, Kyle Wilson and Eric Smith lead the secondary.
3. Miami Dolphins Projected: 6-10
The Dolphins faltered to the point last year where they decided to fire coach Tony Sparano and start a somewhat of a rebuilding process. It is yet to be known who will start at at quarterback. Chad Henne looks like the favorite but former Panther Matt Moore and rookie Pat Devlin will get looks. They have a top notch target to throw too in Brandon Marshall. The Dolphins decided not to retain Ronnie Brown but instead signed Reggie Bush. The loss of power back Ricky Williams will hurt more than you might think. The offensive line is under appreciated with tackle Jake Long heading it. The defense is stocked with talent but is still weak in some areas. The D-Line is weak as Miami will be leaning on Jared Odrick, Phillip Merling and Kendall Langford. Karlos Dansby was as good as hoped in his first year with the squad. The secondary isn't strong but Vontae Davis and Yeremiah Bell are bright spots.
4. Buffalo Bills Projected: 4-12
Buffalo looks a little different going into the 2011 season but is met with the same problems: bad quarterback play and a mediocre defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick, second year Levi Brown, Tyler Thigpen, rookie Josh Nesbitt and wide receiver-quarterback hybrid Bard Smith will battle for the QB slot. The backfield is strong and is the number one option led by Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. The Bills were pleasently surprised by Steve Johnson who showed great hands and consistentcy. Lee Evans is back also to give the Bills an option. The defensive line is led by Dwan Edwards and Torell Troup. Buffalo drafted Marcell Dareus to buff up the line even more. Nick Barnett joins the team from the Packers. He is pychical and smart. Shawne Merriman is still a valued pass rusher and Aaron Maybin is hoping to live up to his potential. Jairus Byrd is a difference maker in the secondary. Aaron Williams will do things as a rookie.