By Derek and Ryan of The Sportmeisters
With the NFL season fast approaching, Sportmeisters Derek and Ryan break out the crystal ball and forsee the future of all 32 NFL teams. Today, Derek and Ryan look at the AFC East, and discuss how they got to their respective decisions. What follows is a transcript of that discussion.
- New England Patriots: 12-4
- Miami Dolphins: 6-10
- New York Jets: 4-12
- Buffalo Bills: 2-14
- New England Patriots: 14-2
- New York Jets: 7-9
- Buffalo Bills: 7-9
- Miami Dolphins: 4-12
Derek: Ryan, with Tom Brady leading the way again, it’s really hard to not root against the New England Patriots.
Ryan: Derek, the AFC East is faced with a BRUTAL schedule this year, taking on the AFC North and the NFC South. According to ESPN, all four teams place in the top 10 of strength of schedule, so it leaves little wonder why neither of us expect success following New England.
Derek: Let’s look first at the Patriots, the only team we expect to have a winning season in the east, as well as our predicted division winner. New England’s toughest matchups, are to Peyton Manning’s Colts and Drew Brees’s Saints, as their defense may not be able to stop those dynamic offenses.
Ryan: I’ll agree there, to a point. Even with a healthy Tom Brady, this is not the team of 2007. I think the Baltimore Raven defense could make the upset, and the Houston Texans take them in a Week 17 playoff resting matchup.
Derek: Hey, wait a minute. I’m not saying they couldn’t run the table again. My two games that I have them losing will go down to the wire, as all three teams will have great Offenses with questionable Defenses. Those two games will be the only real challenge for the returning Brady and that monster Offense.
Ryan: Ok, so you’re predicting ANOTHER 16-0 season? You did this last year too, you know?
Derek: No, I’m not saying that, but there is potential there.
Ryan: Ok, well, the rest of the division isn’t looking at the playoffs based off our predictions, but let’s look nonetheless. Derek, the Dolphins take your bottom spot, while I have them in second. Thoughts?
Derek: Ryan, it’s simple. Miami had an incredible season in 2008, but that comes to an end this year with a much tougher schedule.
They won’t be able to compete with New England with Brady back and will lose other divisional games against the Jets and Bills, as well as the obvious losses to Indianapolis, San Diego, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh. That will push them back to the bottom of the division, but at least they will get a high draft pick next year.
Ryan: Well, I have them taking both games against New York, but yes, it’s a much different year for the Dolphins, and with the Wildcat losing it’s charm, they will need a few more tricks up their sleeve.
Derek: Ryan, let’s move on to the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!!
Ryan: Derek, our big discrepancy here is the Dolphins and Bills, but I also think Houston, and their defense, messes with the rookie Mark Sanchez on opening day.
Derek: The Jets will have a good Defense under new Head Coach Rex Ryan, but the inexperience at QB will cost them key divisional matchups against Miami, Buffalo, and obviously New England, as well as losses vs. Atlanta, New Orleans, Indianapolis, and Carolina.
Ryan: Finally, let’s look at the T.O. show in Buffalo.
Derek: The addition of TO helps the Bills, and should lead to victories over the Jets, Dolphins, and Jaguars, but even he can’t help them beat New Orleans, Carolina, Houston, and Tennessee and that’s why they will be on the outside looking in on the playoffs, yet again.
Ryan: Fantasy Football players will want T.O. and Lee Evans, because Buffalo will be throwing a lot in the second half to make up big deficits. There only wins are coming against Tampa Bay and the Jets in Toronto.
Derek: Going up north for the victory will work for Buffalo, but I can’t see them falling that far south in the standings.
Ryan: We shall see.