Old School Patriots vs. Youthful Jets: Battle For AFC East Supremacy
As we draw ever so close to the anticipated first week of NFL action, the AFC East Division race between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets should be a dandy.
If you're asking how in the world Tom Brady tore apart defenses last season, you're probably not alone. After suffering a season ending knee injury in 2008, Brady was back in action in 2009 and crushed his opponents with 4,398 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also rushed for 44 yards and one touchdown. With Randy Moss and Wes Welker to throw to, Brady should continue to lead the Patriots dynasty to 10+ win season. He enters his 11th year in the league in 2010.
Randy Moss continues to amaze the fans in Boston and Foxboro. The 12-year veteran had 83 receptions for 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns. The only thing that can stop Moss is a season ending injury. He will be a beast in 2010.
Welker hasn't been in the league as long as his teammates, entering his seventh season. Last year, Welker continued his star-like performance with 123 receptions for 1,348 yards and four touchdowns. He is a key piece to the Patriots offense and he should continue to dominate in 2010.
J-E-T-, Oh No! Sanchez took a solid hit during last week's preseason game against the Panthers and he will have to wear a knee brace for possibly, the remainder of his career. Sanchez wasn't the most consistent quarterback, but for a rookie, he had a standout performance. He passed for 2,444 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.
If the knee injury doesn't impede his progress, he should be able to pass for 3,000+ yards this season. Jets fans should be wary of the injury and how it could be an impact.
There is a lot of hype surrounding the second year running back. He rushed for 540 yards and two touchdowns. He did an excellent job of showcasing his skills, and the numbers may not tell the story. He is expected to be a breakout this season, so long as LaDainian Tomlinson doesn't steal the starting job.
The Jets have one older player worth mentioning. Long time number one running back LaDainian Tomlinson has had a lot of wear and tear over the years and age may be slowing him down. The 31-year-old Tomlinson has received praise from Jets coaches and is said to be competing with Greene for the starting job. It will be interesting to see if L.T. can return to being his former self. He rushed for 730 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.
What can possibly limit Santonio Holmes usually outstanding production? Let's see, a four game suspension and having to compete with Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards. Holmes hauled in 79 receptions for 1,248 yards and five touchdowns last season.
Cotchery's numbers have declined slightly as of late, but he still has a lot of value. He caught 57 passes for 821 yards and three touchdowns last season.
Edwards is one of the biggest mysteries at the wide receiver position. Will he tear defenses apart or lay an egg? This is not a simple question to answer.
Will he catch hard passes and not the easy ones? This may be a simpler question to answer, but it's still a mystery.
The sixth year man out of Michigan caught 45 passes for 680 yards and four touchdowns. With five years under his belt and the comfort of the Jets offense, he could post much better numbers this season. The only thing standing in the way could be Sanchez's injury.
The experienced Patriots should have the advantage in the 2010 season. They also have a better offense than the Jets . There is also the big question of the Mark Sanchez injury. The suspension to Holmes and the inconsistent play of Braylon Edwards will make it difficult to keep up with the Pats. At least the Jets never fail on defense.