Wednesday, June 27, 2007

NFL Questions: AFC East

As we approach the NFL preseason, only a month away, each team is faced with major questions - but what is the major question faced by each team? The Angry Fan takes a look, starting with the AFC East.

Buffalo Bills - Can Anthony Thomas emerge as an every down back? Even in his best seasons in Chicago, the A-Train, the knock against Thomas was durability. Last season was the first time in Thomas' career that he played in 16 games, but he started only two. If Thomas is unable to fill the void created by the departure of Willis McGahee via trade, it will be a very long season for JP Losman, or whoever else is under center for the course of the year.

Miami Dolphins - What are they thinking in Miami? It's hard to fathom what is going on in Miami as the Dolphins are beginning to look more and more like the East Coast version of the Raiders. Sure, hiring Cam Cameron seemed like a good idea, but what about their other moves - they draft a glorified return man with ankle problems with their first pick, they trade their leading receiver to the division rival Patriots, they add a linebacker that might face league discipline for an off season assault, and they try to rectify last season's quarterback fiasco by replacing a rehabbing Duante Culpepper, with a fragile Trent Green who never seemed to be the same player when he returned from his concussion last season.

New England Patriots - Can Brady and the receivers gel by the first game of the season? With games against the Jets, Chargers, and Bengals over the first four weeks of the season, the Patriots defense will best be served by having an offense that can run the opposing defenses ragged. If the new receiving corps develops chemistry faster than last year's group, this team could easily head into Indianapolis with an 8-0 record. If it takes them some time to come together, the record could easily be 6-2 with those losses happening during the first four weeks of the season.

New York Jets - Can the Jets build off of last season? First year head coach Eric Mangini worked miracles in getting this team to play as greater than the sum of its parts, but can he work that magic again? The key will be whether or not they can get two straight healthy seasons out of quarterback Chad Pennington. If they can't, then the offense falls on the shoulders of the untested Kellen Clemens.

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