Denver, CO. At roughly the quarter way point of this NFL regular season, teams are beginning to see what who are, and what their chances are as they head into the meat of the 2012 grind. Divisions are also starting to take shape, as just like any other year, there are teams that have surprised and others that have disappointed. In the AFC East, three teams are tied atop the division at 2-2, while the Dolphins are just a game back at 1-3. While this currently has the appearance of a very tight and hotly contested group of four teams, it is anything but this. The AFC East is quite possibly the worst division in all of the NFL, as three of the teams that reside here are done for 2012.
Where do we begin? Let’s start with the drama queens themselves, the New York Jets. The Jets are a respectable 2-2, however, they are a mess. The loss to the 49ers 34-0 is a sign of things to come, I am afraid. Revis Island is out for the year, Santonio Holmes looks to be out for some time, and Mark Sanchez is just awful right now. The running game has been brutal, and the team suddenly looks lost and inept. With so few weapons on offense now, the time for Timmy to come in may be a reality very soon. It actually makes sense to do this, as his style of play could provide some much-needed energy into a dull offense. This squad has all the makings of one that may very well go on quite a slide for the rest of the year. Even finishing 8-8 seems overly optimistic for the Jets, and there is a general feeling that their house of cards is about to come crashing down.
The Buffalo Bills are one of the most enigmatic teams in the entire NFL. Who are they from week to week? Heck if I know. One thing is for sure though. The Bills are consistently inconsistent, and relying on them to be a playoff contender into December would be foolish based on how they have looked so far. It all starts with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who at times looks very good. Then the next thing you know, he is throwing the ball into heavy coverage and getting intercepted. The offense has some nice weaponry, but until the QB figures out how stop making mistakes, this team cannot be taken seriously. The defense is better with Mario Williams this year, but giving up 52 points this past week at home has to raise some eyebrows. Buffalo will win several more games this year, but again, they are not a serious contender quite yet.
The team with really no expectations is the Miami Dolphins. 2012 would be a successful year if they see some nice progression and improvement from their rookie QB, Ryan Tannehill. They have shown some nice fight during the first part of the year, and have lost 2 very close games to the Jets and Cardinals in the process. Anything more than 5 or 6 wins would be surprising this year, as they just don’t have the overall talent to be a playoff contender. Reggie Bush does continue to show that he may very well be the RB that the Dolphins can rely upon for years to come. If Tannehill can continue to get better, Miami could potentially have a bright future, although it will still be several years from now.
The AFC East is, and has been for years now, all about the New England Patriots. They are just 2-2 right now, but the division is theirs and they will win it in 2012 with ease. Because of the many flaws that the other three teams have who they are competing with, the Patriots will dominate the rest of the way and should have the division wrapped up by around Thanksgiving. Quite honestly, a final record of 9-7 will probably win the East this year. But knowing New England and how they do things, they will more than likely finish with 12 or 13 wins and be one of the favorites once again to end up in the final game in early February.