The State of the AFCE

The State of the AFCE
Luciano 11
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All four teams have played their first game, some fans are excited; some others found it more appropriate to knock the others; some even tried to make intelligent points as the result of these four games. In the end, its all talk, because not much matters, other than players that needs to be evaluated, are evaluated. Defenses do not plan, offenses do not do the norm, head coaches do what they want to see. Hell, in Tennessee, fans even got to call two plays.


In Rex’s World it has all been about patching wounds, attach sticks to broken limbs, and pray and hope that the devastation ends before final destruction. Rex is in a very weird situation, year two of his contract, and shouldn’t be on the hot seat, but…


Last season Rex didn’t match the accomplishments of much maligned Doug Marrone. That was mostly due to the defense not resembling the one Schwartz left behind. Rex arrived on his white horse, carrying his reputation of defensive guru, yet it failed.


With no money to spend on free agents, the draft for the Bills was all about giving Rex “his” players. Then the unthinkable, both top picks, both LBs (area where the team absolutely sucked last year) are injured. One was drafted knowing that his shoulder would need surgery, that process was moved up by a year. The second didn’t even need to get hit to fall apart. All in all, this puts Rex in a very bad situation. Signing his Twin-Defensive-Guru only makes it harder. I do not see the Pegulas removing Rex from his job, but if the defense takes another step backwards, then there will be too big of an outcry to ignore……………This camp is more about Rex fixing Rex than anything else.


In Gase-The-Saviour’s World the primary concern is offense, but should it be? Ever since the Dolphins have drafted Ryan Tannehill, the concern has been to make sure he had weapons and a OC that could get the most out of him. All failed miserably, the team turned for help to someone considered a quarterback guru, and he was even named head coach.


Adam Gase has had pow-wows with Matthew Stafford, Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler, Ryan Tannehill should be easy. For some strange reason management and even Miami fans, think that the offense is the root of all their issues. It has been poor, but Gase will ultimately be successful or fail because of the defensive side of the ball.


I guess the signing of Suh put everyone’s mind at ease, but lets look closer. This is a team that has not stopped the run well, and they signed Suh, Mario and a few other members of the local auspice to rush the passer, along with returning grandpa Wake. Who exactly will stop the run? Or will they just rush the passer and the runner? The linebackers have been a revolving door for a few years, and none seem to specialize in stopping the run (teams have been running at will). There is an All-Pro at SS, Reshad Jones, the rest of the cast is below par, at best. This defense is going to make or break Gase’s debut as HC, and it may become his downfall.


In the North East, Belichick’s World is in a turmoil never seen before, starting a season without Tom has not happened since Mo Lewis assassinated Bledsoe.


Belichick has dealt with Tom’s absence before, also the last time the team did not win the division. In that case, Tom was injured as the season started, there was no preparation. This time unknown back-up Jimmy Garoppolo, has time to get ready.


All the court battles, delays, name calling, buckets of tears have finally led to the end of this deflating ordeal, and old man Tom Brady will get to rest his body for four weeks. But to me, the head coach’s dilemma is not going to be the QB, but the offensive line. The Patriots are still the favorites to win the division, even with a 4 game handicap, but keeping Jimmy unbroken will not be easy. The Broncos exposed the weak aged offensive line, and Tom nearly got turned into chopped meat by Von Miller. Facing the Cardinals, Texans, Bills and Dolphins, four teams that can get to the QB will not be easy on the young QB. If Belichick wants to save his season, and not find himself playing a rookie, he better fix the line.


Down in New Jersey, Bowles’ World appears quiet, but is it? The entire focus by the media has been on Geno; do they keep him or cut him? Does the team really keep four QBs?


Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starter, last year he did break a thumb, but missed little action. Historically he breaks down, and the need for an experienced backup is greater than carrying an extra ST player. Yes, they have to keep four, because it would be stupid to give up on Petty (the future backup to Hack). Todd Bowles has a far bigger problem to handle, the running game.


The departure of Chris “Always-Broken” Ivory remains a factor. The team did sign Old Man Forte to handle some of that load, and returning Bilal Powell should help. The problem, besides Forte’s health, which doesn’t concern me as much (Powell is a clone), is who gets those tough yards in between the tackles, the ones that earned Ivory a big contract in Jacksonville. Acquiring Khiry Robinson was a barely mentioned bit of news, but one that may make Todd Bowles look good in his second season. Khiry is a younger version of Ivory (funny even Ivory came to the Jets from the Saints), but just like Ivory, he can’t stay healthy. If this young man can be counted on for those short yards, then Todd Bowles may enjoy his first playoff appearance.

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