Overreacting Just Like Everyone Else
Well nothing of note is happening, so I figure it’s time to put on my fan hat and tell you what I really think the division looks like right now. We’ll start with the worst and work our way up to the best just like usual:
In last place, we find the New York Jets. The Jets have gone through a major overhaul this offseason and seriously upgraded their defense with the addition of Revis, and new head coach Todd Bowles. I don’t care, they’re still the Jets and as long as Woody Johnson is the owner they are going to find a way to be terrible. For example, the Jets brought in oft-troubled wide receiver Brandon Marshal, who on the surface is an incredibly talented player, but has proven time and time again throughout his career that if you pair him with a bad QB, he’s going to get pissed and tell the media exactly what he thinks of said QB. Not a good sign for young Geno Smith (or Marcus Mariota, or whatever other clown QB the Jets bring in). Good luck in Jersey Revis, your island may be the only place on that team not consumed by the tire fire.
In next to last place, splashing happily in the shallows are the Miami Dolphins. The Fins, like the Jets, added a terrible force to their defense this offseason; and like the Jets; do not scare me in the least. As long as the Dolphins have a management structure that resembles a connect the dots art project from my kids’ preschool and have Clueless Joe Philbin steering the ship, the Fins will continue to defy all logic by adding incredibly talented players to an already semi-talented roster and still finish 7-9. I know, I know, “But the Fins’ defensive line is going too murder Brady!” Sure they will…assuming Suh isn’t suspended for being an idiot or Wake isn’t on the bench sucking oxygen. And let’s not forget that building a team that is 100% geared towards beating only the Pats seems to have worked out so well in the recent past (for every team in the division). This looks like a bad year for the Fins, they are most likely going to lose out on the offseason title and they will more than likely run out of meaningful games right around Canadian Thanksgiving, oh well at least it’s warm in the winter.
The Buffalo Bills and new head coach Rex Ryan find themselves comfortably seated in second place. The Bills have made some curious moves this offseason; like trading a young, legendary, inexpensive linebacker for a soft, expensive running back with attitude problems; but the thought of Rex orchestrating that front seven scares me a little. If the secondary can hold up for just a couple of counts, opposing QBs are going to be sore. I can see the Bills making a push for the playoffs this year, but Rex’s “offensiphobia” may lead to a couple of 7-6 losses that keep them on the outside looking in. One other thing that should keep Bison fans on edge is that tweet from Jerry Hughes last week; marriage has wreaked havoc on far more accomplished athletes’ careers, just look at Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, etc…
Now the Pats… Yup, they are still going to win the division. But that’s about it and really only by default. Brady is still the QB and Belichick is still the HC, so they will win 11-12 games, lock up the AFC East bay December 13th and even possibly secure a bye in the playoffs. But having no secondary always kills them in the playoffs when they have to play teams that don’t come from the AFC East. This looks like it will be another wasted season where in 10 years when we look longingly back at the “glory days” and say, “Why didn’t the Pats try and maximize the number of championships they could have won with Brady?” The playoffs and more than like a trip to the conference championship game would be a real nice season to the other teams in this division, but when you have the best QB and the best coach of all time at the same time, nothing short of the Super Bowl should be considered acceptable. I hope the Kraft family enjoys watching their soccer team play in front of 3,500 people while they hemorrhage cash, because the money that they waste on that toy could have been far better spent building the second greatest dynasty of all time in any sport (the Celtics run of 11 titles in 13 years will never be matched by anyone, ever).