2013 NFL Preseason Predictions: AFC East (Trifone)
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Here are my preseason predictions for the AFC East:
1. New England Patriots: 10-6
I expect the Patriots to take something of a step back. I’m not giving them a lock to go 6-0 in the division, and they have some tough games that include @ Atlanta, @ Cincinnati, vs. New Orleans, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Carolina, vs. Denver, @ Houston, and @ Baltimore. While I have full confidence in Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the Patriots offense may struggle more than in years past. I still like them to win the division, but at least going into the season, I wouldn’t consider New England a true threat to win it all.
2. Miami Dolphins: 9-7
The addition of Mike Wallace should help Miami more than the loss of Reggie Bush. Although Bush adds a dynamic presence, Lamar Miller should be able to step in and carry the workload. The success of the Dolphins is clearly going to be determined largely by how well Ryan Tannehill does in his sophomore season.
3. New York Jets: 7-9
Surprisingly, I am higher on the Jets than most this year after absolutely hating them going into last season. The difference really is just about expectations. Last year, the Jets were not a playoff team, and that seemed clear to me from the start.
This year, everyone expects this team to be atrocious. I expect the defense to be solid, even after losing Darrelle Revis to the Buccaneers. I also expect Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith to have some marginal success. Tebow is gone, and to me, much of the pressure is off the Jets quarterback. If Sanchez throws for 120 yards and has three picks, no one will be surprised at all. And if Geno comes in and struggles, I think that the consensus will be to give him so time. I also think the Jets will be reasonably successful at using Rex Ryan's “us against the world” mentality.
With the AFC weaker than it’s been in recent years, I was tempted to make a bold prediction and call the Jets a playoff team. But then I chickened out.
4. Buffalo Bills: 4-12
I don’t have a lot to say about the Bills this year. I like C.J. Spiller a lot, though …
All of our contributors will make their division and Super Bowl picks and we will track those on this centralized predictions page.