Answering the Biggest Question Marks in the AFC East

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer IMay 18, 2012

Quarterback: A problem for some teams, not much for others.
Quarterback: A problem for some teams, not much for others.Al Bello/Getty Images

Bleacher Report NFL everyman Matt Miller asks some great questions for each AFC East team in a recent NFL Draft 365 video. Instead of just waiting until the regular season to find out, we'll at least try to give some predictions.

Previewing the questions, it's abundantly clear that the Patriots are fortunate to have had steady quarterback play for as long as they have.

With varying degrees of controversy for each situation, and for varying reasons at that, the other three teams in the division all face significant question marks at the position. But what exactly does each team have to sort out over the course of the season?

Buffalo Bills: Which Ryan Fitzpatrick Will the Bills Get?

This is a topic we've looked at several times this offseason already; Fitzpatrick simply has never played a consistent season's worth of football.

The Bills' success as a team could ride largely on Fitzpatrick's individual success, and it's really anyone's guess what will happen at this point. Last season's struggles have been pinned on injuries: Fitzpatrick, the offensive line and running back Fred Jackson. The precedent that has been set, though, is that the struggles were for only those reasons, which would mean this season, there are no excuses.

One thing is for certain: the situation is primed for him to have the first successful 16-game season of his career, with the pieces in place on offense and defense for him to thrive.


Miami Dolphins: Who Will Start at Quarterback?

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24:    Matt Moore #8 of the Miami Dolphins throws during a game against the New England Patriots in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

This is one I tried to answer awhile ago, but it's one that will likely have to wait until training camp for a real answer. Garrard has the most quality starting experience, Moore has the equity he earned from leading the Dolphins to a 6-3 record down the stretch (6-6 overall in 2011), and of course Tannehill is the future of the franchise.

Joe Philbin left the door open to Tannehill starting, but the team is simply not set up for him to succeed in 2012. For that reason, I think the quarterback battle should come down to Moore and Garrard.

While Garrard has been statistically superior, the better fit in the West Coast offense should be the one who ultimately is awarded the starting job.


New England Patriots: What Will the Wide Receiving Corps Look Like?

In response to the uncertainty of Wes Welker's future beyond 2012 with the Patriots, the name of the game has been volume for the Patriots at wide receiver this offseason, with four big-name additions in Donte Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney, Brandon Lloyd and Anthony Gonzalez.

The way the Patriots are addressing the issue is by creating one big competition that includes 11 solid wide receivers, many of whom have proven themselves at the NFL level. Adding the above names to a list that includes Deion Branch, Chad Ochocinco and Julian Edelman gives the Patriots a lot of options as they look to answer that question mark.

With so many receivers that have experience in Josh McDaniels' offense, the Patriots should be more than okay at receiver.


New York Jets: Can the Jets Get Consistent Play from Mark Sanchez?

Where's the love?
Where's the love?Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Mark Sanchez can run wild on Tebowmania if he can just stay consistent for 16 games, but to this point in his career, he's yet to do so. His career game log goes up and down the board in terms of his efficiency.

Mainly, it's when he turns into a turnover machine that he's at his worst and most harmful to the Jets. He turned the ball over nine times in the final three games of 2011, all losses. If he can eliminate the turnovers and play more like the quarterback we've seen in the playoffs, he'll be great. The problem is getting him to play like that for a full 16 games.

The Jets attempted to help him out by adding Stephen Hill, a receiver with all the physical tools you could ask for, and none of the NFL route-running experience. The receiver group is boom-or-bust for the Jets, and much of his struggles stemmed from poor protection. 

But regardless, he'll need to play consistently well in 2012, because for the first time in his career, he has a legitimate quarterback nipping at his heels on the depth chart if he doesn't.