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NFL Preview: AFC East

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Aug 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) has his throw hurried by Detroit Lions defensive end Willie Young (79) during 1st half at Ford Field Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Reasons for Optimism:

Tom Brady – I don’t have to explain anything here. Just enjoy the numbers: 3-Time Super Bowl winner, 5 Super Bowl appearances,  44,806 yards (9th all-time), 334 TDs (5th all-time), 96.6 passer rating (3rd all-time), 63.7% completion percentage (9th all-time), 26 4th Quarter comebacks (T-9th all-time; 3 in the playoffs), 37 game winning drives (5th all-time; 6 in the playoffs), single season TD record holder (50), .777 career winning percentage (136-39), 0 losing seasons, 8 of 11 seasons of 11+ wins, 10 of 11 seasons with 10+ wins and 8 Pro Bowls…and for most of his career, he never had a true #1 WR.

Bill Belichick – Spy Gate or no Spy Gate, he is clearly the best coach of his time, maybe of all-time. A career winning percentage of .649 and a .726 winning percentage in NE. 5 Super Bowl appearances, 3 Super Bowl wins. With Brady and Belichick, the Patriots enter every game with the advantage.

Revamped Running Attack – Who would’ve thunk it, the Patriots had a running game in 2012 to complement the passing attack. The emergence of Steven Ridley (1,263 yards) in 2012 made the NE offense even more dangerous. With the losses in the passing game, the Patriots run game will be very important in 2013.

Turnovers – 1st in the NFL in Turnover Differential (+25) and 2nd in the NFL with 41 turnovers.

They Play in the AFC East – This division is bad and despite the Patriots losses in 2012, I don’t see anyone even challenging them for the division. The Patriots should have the division locked up by week 10.

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