2011 NFL Season: Predicting Each Game for Every Team in the AFC East

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IJune 17, 2011

2011 NFL Season: Predicting Each Game for Every Team in the AFC East

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    MIAMI - SEPTEMBER 26:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets throws against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    The AFC East is one of the best divisions in the NFL. Anchored by the New England Patriots—the perennial power—and the new powerhouse New York Jets, the division is used to sending two teams to the playoffs year in and year out. With the always competitive Miami Dolphins and the improving Buffalo Bills finishing off the stacked class of rivals, the division is known as one of the most competitive in the league.

    This season, each AFC team will play every team in the NFC East and AFC West, along with playing each other twice, depending on how they finished last season. Knowing this, here are my predictions for each team in the AFC East. 

Buffalo Bills

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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 26:  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14  of the Buffalo Bills hands off to Fred Jackson #22 in a match against the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Ima
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Week 1 @ Chiefs: Loss 27-17

    Week 2 vs Raiders: Loss 20-17

    Week 3 vs Patriots: Loss 34-20

    Week 4 @ Bengals: Win 27-23

    Week 5 vs Eagles: Loss 41-24

    Week 6 @ Giants: Loss 28-24

    Week 7 BYE

    Week 8 vs Redskins: Win 24-10

Buffalo Bills (continued)

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 02:  Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills runs down field against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on January 2, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
    Michael Heiman/Getty Images

    Week 9 vs Jets: Loss 26-24

    Week 10 @ Cowboys: Loss 24-21 

    Week 11 @ Dolphins: Win 31-14

    Week 12 @ Jets: Loss 33-17

    Week 13 vs Titans: Win 28-20

    Week 14 @ Chargers: Loss 34-20

    Week 15 vs Dolphins: Loss 27-21

    Week 16 vs Broncos: Win 38-34

    Week 17 @ Patriots: Loss 27-23

Buffalo Bills: Season Recap

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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 26:  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills readies to pass against the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    FINAL RECORD: 5-11

    The Bills fail to overcome a bad start to the season, as a string of tough opponents leads them to a 1-5 start, well behind the division leaders.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick emerges as a decent starting quarterback option in the NFL, and C.J. Spiller finally breaks through and shows us the talent he possesses.

    The Bills' first-round pick, Marcell Dareus, excels as a star defensive lineman in the league and becomes the young leader of the struggling Bills defense.

    Overall, some of the Bills make huge leaps forward, but the team is still years away from playoff contention. 

Miami Dolphins

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    MIAMI - DECEMBER 05: Quarterback Jake Delhomme #17 of the Cleveland Browns is hit by Cameron Wake #91 of the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Week 1 vs Patriots: Loss 30-10

    Week 2 vs Texans: Loss 28-17

    Week 3 @ Browns: Win 30-24

    Week 4 @ Chargers: Loss 28-23

    Week 5 BYE

    Week 6 @ Jets: Win 24-21 (OT)

    Week 7 @ Giants: Loss 23-14

    Week 8 vs Broncos: Win 20-14

Miami Dolphins (continued)

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Mike Pouncey, #15 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Week 9 @ Chiefs: Loss 13-10

    Week 10 vs Redskins: Win 24-21

    Week 11 vs Bills: Loss 31-14

    Week 12 @ Cowboys: Loss 23-21

    Week 13 vs Raiders: Win 17-13

    Week 14 vs Eagles: Loss 24-16

    Week 15 @ Bills: Win 27-21

    Week 16 @ Patriots: Loss 34-24

    Week 17 vs Jets: Loss 27-17

Miami Dolphins: Season Recap

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 12:  The Miami Dolphins offensive line against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 12, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    FINAL RECORD: 6-10

    The Dolphins remain a competitive team in the AFC East, but a tough schedule against many playoff-caliber teams takes its toll on their record.

    Their season is highlighted by huge wins over division rival Jets in Week 6 and the Raiders in Week 13.

    Mike Pouncey emerges as a solid center in the NFL, and Cameron Wake proves that last season's breakout performance was no fluke.

    All together, the Dolphins show that they are still a strong opponent for any team, but they are not yet ready to emerge as a playoff team in an extremely difficult division. 

New England Patriots

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots stands on the field during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Week 1 @ Dolphins: Win 30-10

    Week 2 vs Chargers: Win 28-24

    Week 3 @ Bills: Win 34-20

    Week 4 @ Raiders: Win 26-20

    Week 5 vs Jets: Win 34-17

    Week 6 vs Cowboys: Loss 27-24

    Week 7  BYE

    Week 8 @ Steelers: Win 26-17

New England Patriots (continued)

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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 26:  Danny Woodhead #39 of the New England Patriots runs against the Buffalo Bills  at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Week 9 vs Giants: Win 24-21

    Week 10 @ Jets: Loss 27-17

    Week 11 vs Chiefs: Win 30-20

    Week 12 @ Eagles: Loss 31-28

    Week 13 vs Colts: Loss 34-31

    Week 14 @ Redskins: Win 31-13

    Week 15 @ Broncos: Win 17-7

    Week 16 vs Dolphins: Win 34-24

    Week 17 vs Bills: Win 27-23

New England Patriots: Season Recap

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 02: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots is congratulated by teammate Jerod Mayo #51 after McCourty intercepted a pass by the Miami Dolphins on January 2, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/
    Elsa/Getty Images

    FINAL RECORD: 12-4

    Despite one of the most difficult schedules in the NFL, the Patriots still manage to finish 12-4. They head to yet another postseason as one of the favorites to take home the Lombardi Trophy.

    Tom Brady continues his illustrious career by contending for his third MVP. The Pats' ever improving defense shows flashes of brilliance, and the young tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez mix well with veteran receivers Deion Branch and Wes Welker.

    Overall, the Patriots have another dominating regular season that lands them as contenders for Super Bowl XLVI.

New York Jets

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets huddles with teammates against the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Week 1 vs Cowboys: Loss 21-17

    Week 2 vs Jaguars: Win 20-13

    Week 3 @ Raiders: Win 17-14

    Week 4 @ Ravens: Win 14-10

    Week 5 @ Patriots: Loss 34-17

    Week 6 vs Dolphins: Loss 24-21 (OT)

    Week 7 vs Chargers: Win 31-27

    Week 8  BYE

New York Jets (continued)

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Mark Sanchez #6, Tony Richardson #49 and LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets react to a play against the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxb
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Week 9 @ Bills: Win 26-24

    Week 10 vs Patriots: Win 27-17

    Week 11 @ Broncos: Win 17-13

    Week 12 vs Bills: Win 33-17

    Week 13 @ Redskins: Win 27-13

    Week 14 vs Chiefs: Win 20-16

    Week 15 @ Eagles: Win 27-24

    Week 16 vs Giants: Win 20-17

    Week 17 @ Dolphins: Win 27-17

New York Jets: Season Recap

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Mark Sanchez #6 and Shonn Greene #23 of the New York Jets reacts to a play against the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo
    Elsa/Getty Images

    FINAL RECORD: 13-3

    The New York Jets win their first division title since 2002, as they finish the regular season on a 10 game win-streak after starting the year at just 3-3.

    Despite facing the prospect of losing critical free agents, the Jets should still be players in the market and sign their necessary needs to take them to Super Bowl XLVI.

    Mark Sanchez finally emerges as an elite NFL quarterback, throwing for over 20 touchdowns.

    Shonn Greene, LT and newcomer Joe McKnight power a stable ground attack, and Gang Green's shutdown defense emerges as one of the league's best.

    Overall, the Jets claim home-field advantage throughout the postseason, something they have lacked in their prior runs in the last two seasons.