It looks like the only way the Patriots lose this division is if they go 0-4 without Tom Brady during his Deflategate suspension.
That’s not going to happen.
The Patriots have the Cardinals, Texans, Dolphins and Bills to start the season, so New England should be at least .500 by the time Brady returns for the Browns game.
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New England has a serious lack of talent along the offensive line, and zero depth there.
The defense remains strong with Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins at linebacker and Malcolm Butler locking down the outside cornerback spot.
There’s no reason the Patriots can’t win the East for the 14th time in the Brady-Belichick era.
Best player ever: 12 Tom Brady
The Dolphins have too much talent to be as bad as they were last season.
Miami finished 6-10 despite being stacked on defense. Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh will dominate any offensive line, and the Dolphins added Mario Williams in the offseason. Good luck, offenses.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill took a clear step back last season despite having Jarvis Landry to throw to. Miami got Arian Foster, and if he can stay healthy, there’s no reason to believe he can’t get 1,000 yards on the ground.
Miami also strengthened its offensive line with Laremy Tunsil at left guard, and the Dolphins still have one of the best centers in the league in Mike Pouncey.
Best player ever: 13 Dan Marino
Is it a surprise that wherever Rex Ryan goes, conflict and controversy follow?
Marcel Dareus will go to rehab, and there’s no telling when he’ll be back. First-round pick Shaq Lawson had shoulder surgery and won’t be ready for Week 1.
Second-round pick Reggie Ragland tore his ACL and is out for the season. The Bills will probably start rookie Aldophus Washington at defensive end.
The Bills don’t have a kind early schedule. They will travel to Baltimore, host the Jets, then have a date with the Cardinals before going to New England in the first four games.
The good news they still have Sammy Watkins at receiver, and they locked up quarterback Tyrod Taylor with a new contract.
Right now, though, the good doesn’t outweigh the bad.
Best player ever: 78 Bruce Smith
New York Jets
The Jets just missed the playoffs last year, and they were sure to miss them this season before they came to their senses and re-signed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Trusty left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson hung up his cleats during the offseason, but the Jets replaced him with Ryan Clady. Fitzpatrick has Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker to throw to, and Matt Forte is one of the most versatile backs in the league.
The Jets have a great defensive line with Leonard Williams and Sheldon Richardson, and their backend boasts hard-hitting safety Calvin Pryor and cornerback Darrelle Revis.
If Fitzpatrick stays healthy, this can be another 10-win season for New York.
Best player ever: 12 Joe Namath