AFC East: Which Teams Will Reach 10 Wins in 2012?

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2012

There may be a shift in power for the AFC East in 2012.

Yes, the New England Patriots are likely to be the top team in the division, easily topping 10 wins in the coming year.

What else can you think with a Tom Brady-led offense that actually found a way to add another huge potential weapon in Brandon Lloyd? Lloyd joins Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in an offense that was among the best in the league last season.

The defense also improved, and if they can shut down opposing offenses a little more effectively than in 2011, this will be a tough team to beat.

The shift we're talking about could come from the Buffalo Bills, a team that made some big changes on the defense with the addition of Mario Williams to an already better than expected 2011 unit. Williams will be a game changer for this unit, no doubt.

Ryan Fitzpatrick should have a bounce-back season, and getting Fred Jackson back healthy will help pull defenses off guys like Steve Johnson.

This is a team that can very much challenge the status quo, especially the New York Jets' normal position as the second best team in the division.

The Jets have question marks along the offensive line, but if they can overcome them—and Santonio Holmes stays happy—this could be a very effective offense. Shonn Greene just started to scratch the surface of his talent, and the new offense promises to be more ground-and-pound than throw-and-go.

When they do need to throw, expect Mark Sanchez to have a better 2012, especially with new target Stephen Hill joining Holmes and second-year player Jeremy Kerley.

The defense had an off year but will bounce back, adding Quinton Coples to an already dangerous defensive line.

Expect the Jets to hold off the Bills and top 10 wins. It should be interesting to see those two teams battle it out, though.

One team that looks like it will have a very long year is the Miami Dolphins. Matt Moore is, at best, a decent quarterback and David Garrard didn't play football in 2011. Rookie Ryan Tannehill is supposed to be the future, but he is very raw.

Whomever takes the quarterback spot will be behind a questionable offensive line, throwing to average wide receivers.

On top of that, the defense is not fantastic and there is a good chance that Miami will be playing from, behind a lot.

Under 10 wins? Definitely. Just hope they aren't under eight or worse.