MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ – The MTM Management has summoned me in an attempt to write a Sunday column in place of the recently retired Cheesy Bruin. Now I know how Cam Newton feels trying to replace Tommy Brady. It has been a few years since I have penned back-to-back columns, so I hope that my five followers will enjoy my Sunday Sauce. Now that you have the backstory, let’s get to my predictions for the AFC East along with some bonus Olympic commentary.
The AFC East is open-for-the taking after TB12 moved on to TB Florida. There will be a few surprises this season that will create some real drama for the teams striving to unseat the Chiefs. From the bottom to the top, here are my predictions for this years campaign.
4th Place. Miami Dolphins
This may evoke some debate, however the once proud porpoises have been floating in a cesspool of bad management decisions for decades. They are packed with fresh new draft picks and a few second city free agents to compliment an inexperienced quarterback. Tua Tagovailoa will have a familiar face to throw to in former Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle. The challenge that they face is NFL defenses are bigger and faster than the SEC Conference opponents. The smallish QB will have to read defenses better than he did in his rookie campaign. Will Fuller offers another over the top option if young Tua can throw defenses off with play action and pump fakes . Fuller can expect single coverage if Waddle lives up to his hype.
On defense, Byron Jones and Xavien Howard (if he is not traded) lead the defensive backfield to compliment Emmanuel Ogbah and Jerome Baker. While they are a very good defense, they will need to be even better than last year to enable this team to make a run.
3rd Place. The New York Jets
There is a quiet optimism among the long suffering fan base. Zach Wilson is the perfect poster boy for change. He comes from a BYU program known for adept gunslingers. Can this be the next coming of Steve Young and Jim McMahon or another Ty Detmer? Gang Green has a few weapons in its cache for the first year QB to fire into opposition defenses. Cory Davis joins Jamison Crowder, Keegan Cole, Braxton Berrios and Denzel Mims to offer Wilson the opportunity to show off his big arm. The running game will mirror many teams in the league utilizing a variety of backs. Tevin Coleman still has some life in his legs and if healthy, can assist the offense both on the ground and receiving. Ty Johnson looks like the second man up followed by Golden Domer Josh Adams, a bruising back who can bring it in goal line situations.
The most exciting addition is head coach Robert “The Shiek” Salah. His intensity is contagious and his staff is fresh and eager to prove that this team will make some waves. The defense will need to improve from last year. Carl Lawson and Sheldon Rankins will join Quinnen Williams, C.J. Mosely and Jarrad Davis in an improved front seven. Marcus Maye along with the aforementioned defenders look to prove that Gang Green is back. Sack Exchange 2.0?
2nd Place. New England Patriots
Dr. Evil – Bill Belichick – is fuming. He is not used to coming in second to anyone, especially Tommy Brady. Last season with the declining Cam Newton was a total disaster for an organization used to winning. The addition of multiple offensive weapons such as tight ends, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, along with wide out Nelson Agholor should allow the coaches to decide if Cam is busted or not. This Mac Jones may not sing but he apparently raps. He is the apple of coach Belichick’s eyes. Dreams of Jones defeating Brady are dancing in Bill’s head.
Defensive signings Kyle Van Noy , Montravius Adams and Matthew Judon lend testimony to the urgency the Patriots feel to get back in the hunt. We shall see.
1st Place- Buffalo Bills
This team is here to stay as long as Josh Allen is on the field. He has proven to be a legit top ten quarterback who drives defensive coordinators bonkers! His new toy last season, Stefon Diggs elevated the offense to new heights. They are as good as any QB/WR combo in the league. Adding Emmanuel Sanders, Matt Breida along with a capable backup QB Mitch Trubisky were solid moves. The running game led by Devin Singletary must produce more yards from scrimmage to allow Allen to throw more and run less. The defense of the Bills was solid last season and should be able to remain competitive this year. They will face better offenses this year due to the improvements made by the Jets, Patriots and Dolphins so they hope to stay healthy.
This may be one of the most competitive seasons for AFC East fans to enjoy.
Now to the Olympics.
Nobody cares. The only thing that I have watched is Judo.
Chime in if you must. Be sure to come back tomorrow for Ghana’s first Olympic former bobsled hopeful Junoir Blabber.