1. New England Patriots – The Pats have been in the news since they won the Super Bowl and it hasn’t been for a good reason. I believe everyone is now tired of the discussion of how inflated a football is supposed to be. If Goodell’s vendetta is allowed then NE will be without Brady for the first 4 games. That is a caveat to keep in mind that could make the Pats 1-2 before their bye (probably 2-1 with Brady) The Pats have an uncertain value with Garoppolo as the backup so that is an open question. They have solid C and Tackles (some issues at guard), They have Gronk, 2 decent WR and a mix of talent at RB. They have great Linebackers, an issue or two at the Line and lots of questions in the secondary. They still will score a ton and win a lot guaranteed in the last 12 games. If they get on a roll they could win 13 but if the 4 game ban is intact then they might struggle to win 10. I will say 11-5 and they win their division but don’t expect a Superbowl 50 run.
2. Buffalo Bills – The Bills have the longest streak of not making the post season and that could finally end in 2015. If Buffalo had a modicum of QB ability they could go deep into the playoffs. They have a bombastic new Head Coach in Sexy Rexy Ryan, they have LaSean McCoy at RB, Watkins and Woods at WR and Clay at TE. They even have an aged Percy Harvin to be a help around the edges. The QB mess is defined when you see that Matt Cassel is the best option they have. Yeah. Their O line is not a strength and needs to step up. Their D is beyond amazing. They have a front 4 that can dominate and get to the QB which means the Bills can use 7 in coverage every down. They have a great pass rush, a super rush D and young solid CBs. Good special teams too. The Bills schedule is one that has potential for success. If the Bills QB situation gels and they get a basic positive production there then this team could be 12-4. If the offense drags the team down then the D alone can make them 9-7. I think they win one of the AFC wild cards and finish 11-5.
3. Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins made two big offseason additions. Brought in Former Jet front office guru Tannenbaum (look at how good he did with the Jets?????????) and Suh, the goon. The Dolphin D had one strength – the D line and now Suh makes the front line better. Alas their linebackers are poor and their secondary is questionable too. Their kicking game for both FG and punts is not great. They have a good young QB, they drafted a decent WR and have Jarvis Landry. Their running game is based on a guy who has never had more than 19 carries in a game. Their schedule is a tough one. I see this team not making the playoffs and that should be the end for the GM and Coach. I think if the team’s offense struggles and the D doesn’t stop the pass they could be 5-11. If all breaks well for them then they could win 8 games. I think mid ground is more likely and I see them a poor 6-10.
4. New York Jets – The Jets had a lot of hope with the newly developed D and landing Brandon Marshall and a new Head Coach and GM and I don’t know what else. Then the preseason happened. Sheldon Richardson did everything he could have done to be suspended for a year (speeding 143 in a 55, turn out lights to avoid police, have a 12 year old in the back seat and have a loaded gun under the seat ((and the smell of marijuana)). He could have only done worse had he kidnapped the 12 year old. Then Geno got punched in the face and let the hijinx begin. They have no QB to speak of, their running game is nothing special, their WR is nothing special (especially with that kind of QB tossing to them) but their line is still strong. The D is lacking a vet on the line but they added much needed help to what was the worst secondary ever in the history of the NFL. This team will have a super year if they go 6-10. They could suffer a 2-14. I think they will stumble and fall apart until they end 3-13.
As always thoughts, arguments or agreements are appreciated!
MR N the BEARS Fan