Blake's AFC East Preview

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Nov 13, 2011; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) scores a touchdown against New York Jets defensive back Donald Strickland (30) during the game at Met Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Farrell/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

For the last decade this has been the division ran and owned by the New England Patriots. Since Tom Brady became the starting QB the Patriots have been virtuously in that division and the AFC in general. However there are some young teams that have started to acquire talent to combat the Patriots. The Bills have built a very good team that should give the Patriots fit, as well as the J-E-T-S who have been perennially tough for the Pats. The Dolphins are a young team with a very good defense, they will go as far as their offense does. So let us look at each team and break it down a little more.

1st New England Patriots- 12-4
The Patriots should once again be the favorite as long as Tom Brady is the QB and Bill Belichick is still the coach. Honestly if those were the only two people I knew associated with the Patriots I’d still have them winning the division.

However that isn’t the case. The offense is ran through their pair of ultra talented TE’s in Aaron Hernandez and touchdown catching machine Rob Gronkowski. Let’s not forget about Wes Welker now. Even though the offense ran through the two TE’s Welker still had 122 catches for 1569 yards and 9 TD’s. They also brought Brandon Lloyd over via free agency. Their running game while not great, is effective when needed.

Their defense however was not as good, giving up the 2nd most yards in the league. They did however add some very talented players to it via the draft. Chandler Jones will add a very good pass rush, while Dont’a Hightower will add versatility and talents to the LB’er position. They also drafted Alfonzo Dennard in the 7th round who was at one time thought to be a 1st round talent but fell due to character concerns.

Their special teams are also pretty good. Mesko had the 3rd highest punt net average in the league while Gostkowski was 28-33 in FG attempts.

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