It has been a weird year for the AFC East. Everything that was supposed to happen didn’t happen and everything that was not supposed to happen did happen. It has led to many hearts being broken and many people being happy happy happy.
First let us start with the reigning division champs the Patriots. Many expected them to win the division again but they expected them to not be playing this well. The offense lost a majority of its weapons and replaced them with young guys who are experiencing growing pains. Brady looks to be struggling and not clicking with his weapons. The loss of Welker was supposed to be hard to replace, yet Julian Edelman is doing a fine job of it. The return of Gronk has opened up another part of their offense and maybe in a few weeks they might be the Patriots of old. The big shocker is the defense which has exceeded all expectations and looks to be good enough to get the Patriots in the playoffs and then some. Many expected the Patriots to be good, but not THIS good on the defensive side of the ball.
Now to the Dolphins who were the “Offseason Champs” when they invested a large amount of money on talent in the free agent market. They also traded up to #3 in the draft to get Dion Jordan to complement Wake. Letting go of Bush was going to be no big deal, they have Lamar Miller who went to the U so he must be good. With all these weapons Tannehill was supposed to be taking the next step to greatness. While Tannehill has improved, the offensive line was not addressed and the offense is paying for it. Tannehill is running for life and getting sacked, and the running game is having trouble doing anything to help the passing game. The defense has had its troubles but for the most part it has kept the team in games. A team that was supposed to compete lost to the Buffalo Bills last week who was starting a QB from Duke. The Achilles heel of this team looks to be Mike Sherman whose playcalling may make a team that could win a WC, instead be watching Heat games in January.
Now to the two shockers and we will start with the Jets. A team which the media thought was in disarray, that was the worst team in the NFL not named the Jaguars, was going to do so bad that they would be the laughingstock of New York. However they are 4-3 and are coming off an overtime win against the Pats. Rookie QB Geno Smith is an obvious upgrade over Mark Sanchez and the offense has some life. The defense looks to be its usual elite self and a team that was supposed to be clowning for Clowney, may just make the playoffs. The Jets are great and it is the Giants who are the laughingstock.
Now to the Bills, a team who used their 1st pick on a great FSU QB named EJ Manuel. They were supposed to be terrible this year and Mel Kiper was hoping they would tank for Teddy. However this team also has some fight in it and while 3-4, have been in every game they have played in. With backup QB Thad Lewis who is the 2nd leading passer in ACC history, the Bills have upset the Dolphins and are going on a warpath until EJ Manuel returns. All of this with New York’s version of Jeff Bowden calling the plays. This team which was supposed to stink is still in the thick of the playoff race, a shocker for everyone.
In conclusion, what this season has shown is the media yet again does not know what it is talking about. It also shows that games are won on the field, not on paper. Finally, what this means is nothing is set in stone and maybe just maybe, the unexpected will happen
Written by ArcherNoles