It seems forever since we could have any question about the AFC East. The New England Patriots would dominate, the Buffalo Bills would stumble along, the Miami Dolphins would serve as a classic example of ineptness and the new York Jets would make big moves and still play second fiddle to the Giants. 2009 offers the slim possibility of change. Let’s not call it a wind of change, maybe just a breeze.
New England Patriots – For me the big question is whether Tom Brady comes back the same quarterback. Big Bill has done his usual good job of stocking draft choices and capable backups. But the Patriots have an aging secondary and linebacker group. Secondly, will the players welcome Brady back or fondly reminisce about Matt Cassell? Couldn’t they have done better in a trade? Stay tuned. The dominance of New England hangs in the balance.
Buffalo Bills – Buffalo somehow managed to pull off an exceedingly average season that still had many fans happy. Strange. Marshawn Lynch has proven a solid performer but Head Coach Dick Jauron is as colorless and unimaginitive as they come. Somehow this team needs to find an identity and roll with it. Trent Edwards should be listening to the siren call of leadership.
Miami Dolphins – Rebirth or fluke? That’s the big question on the minds of NFL fans as they anticipate the second year of the Bill Parcells era. Here’s the fly in the ointment. After going 1-15 you get a cake schedule. Go 11-5 and that changes. The Dolphins will have to play a much more formidable array of opponents and they won’t be catching anyone by surprise.
New York Jets – Hail the savior. This time it’s Mark Sanchez. The New York Jets have made the big splash and now they’ll have to live with it and that’s not gonna be easy in the fishbowl of the Big Apple. The battle is on but I really can’t see the Jets improving by leaps and bounds in 2009.