How does the AFC East shape up going into the 2013 season? Let's take a quick look.
The AFC East is New England's division, whether we like it or not. I would absolutely love to see a team other than the Patiots claim the title, but I simply don't see that happening this year. Too many teams in transition, too many question marks. Let's take a quick look at what's in store this year in the AFC East. You can check out our previous previews here: NFC North, NFC South, NFC East, AFC West, AFC North. - New England Patriots Offseason drama or not, who can beat the Patriots? TE Rob Gronkowski will be back at some stage -- it could be as early as Week 2 -- and Tom Brady will continue to throw the ball to wide receivers no-one has ever heard of and turn them into stars. RB Stevan Ridley will carry the ball well, and Shane Vereen will continue to be a dangerous third-down back. The defense should manage to hold its own. After a poor performance in 2012 the Patriots got the majority of their defensive unit back this season, but have also made some key additions and look to be taking a positive step forward. Make no mistake, it will be up to Brady and his offence to win games. Buffalo Bills The Bills are a bit of an enigma this year. They could be really good or really bad and most of it will depend on their quarterback, whether it is first-round pick E.J. Manuel or undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel. Much will depend on Manuel's health going into the season. Still, they have explosive RB C.J. Spiller, who should provide them with plenty of chances to put points on the board. Their defense last year was ordinary, and with S Jairus Byrd hurt they might find it difficult to improve upon their 2012 efforts (it's unlikely he'll play in Week 1). However, new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine could turn things around in Buffalo after being the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets from 2009-12. Miami Dolphins Unfortunately for the Dolphins, an offseason spending frenzy is not enough to win this this division. WR Mike Wallace should help out in the passing game, but without a standout running back, the Dolphins are putting a lot of pressure on QB Ryan Tannehill. It looks like Lamar Miller will be the starting running back, but we've yet to see how he holds up to a full season's work. A solid defense should help out, but in this division a great defense is needed. The drafting of pass-rusher Dion Jordan looks to have given the Dolphins another fantastic weapon on the edge, and he stood out in the preseason. New York Jets If relegation occurred in the NFL these guys would be sweating right about now. The Jets have four quarterbacks on their roster at the time of writing: Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Brady Quinn and Matt Simms. If Sanchez wasn't injured all four of them would have a legitimate chance of starting, and I don't think anyone would be surprised by the eventual pick. The Jets went and drafted defensive players this year, and like it has always been under Rex Ryan, it's the defensive unit that should be the strength of this team. Unfortunately, losing their best player on that defense, CB Darrell Revis, could spell disaster for the Jets this season. Putting ever-more pressure on their coach on the hot seat. - Quick Prediction Here's how I believe this division will end in 2013. Patriots 11-5 Bills 8-8 Dolphins 8-8 Jets 1-15 What do you think? Will the AFC East be another cakewalk for the Patriots?