Dec 30, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) after the game at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins 28-0. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

AFC East: Over/Under 1.5 Playoff Teams


For the final month leading up to the regular season, I will be featuring two “Over/Under” pieces per week. I’ll take a New England Patriots or AFC East topic and give you my opinion of whether we will see more (over) or less (under) than the number provided.

In piece number 4 in my 8-part “Over/Under” series, we look at the AFC East and their playoff implications. In the last 6 seasons, the AFC East has only taken 2 Wild card spots. Will there be more than one team representing the East in this years playoffs?

 

(Previous Over/Under Pieces: -Tom Brady Passing Yards - Patriots Defensive Yards Allowed - Pats Rookie WR Touchdowns)

 

AFC East: Over or Under 1.5 Playoff Teams

OVER

The AFC East is never one of the top divisions in the NFL. Divisions like the AFC North, NFC East, and NFC North have tow or three teams with legitimate playoff aspirations every season. Its rare to see two teams come from the AFC East, but I think it will happen this year.

The Patriots are still the leaders of the division, and I think they will take yet another AFC East title. Even with the major changes on offense, they are still capable of moving the ball effectively. The run game will be Brady’s best friend, and should help to open up some of the younger wide receivers.

Once Rob Gronkowski returns from the PUP list, all will be well in the land of Belichick. The jury is still out on New England’s defense, but it can’t be much worse than recent seasons. I believe they have added the proper personnel to have a breakout season, and may finally find success in their pass defense.

The Miami Dolphins have been one of the hottest teams this offseason, spending plenty of cash on top-notch free agents.

Mike Wallace and Dustin Keller could be the missing pieces for a Dolphins offense that played decently last season. Lamar Miller continues to impress, and could outperform a lot of expectations this season. Reggie Bush has only had one 1,000 yard rushing season, so Miller has a big chance to improve Miami’s run game.

One of the questions heading into the 2013 season is Miami’s offensive line. Jake Long is with St. Louis, so the weight of Ryan Tannehill’s blindside falls on Jonathan Martin. If the offensive line can hold up, then Tannehill should be in for a big year. Mike Wallace is a nice upgrade from Davone Bess, and Brian Hartline was a must-sign this offseason. Miami now has the best receivers in the AFC East.

Defensively, the Fins should be in good shape this season. Cameron Wake is one of the premier edge-rushers in the entire NFL. I would label him the best pass rusher in the AFC East. Adding Brent Grimes and Dannell Ellerbe was great for Miami. The Dolphins were pretty bad in pass coverage last year. Any improvement on defense might be what the Dolphins need to take the next step and make the playoffs. I think the Miami Dolphins will go 9-7 (at best 10-6) and take the final Wild Card spot.

I believe there will be two AFC East playoff teams this season.


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Tags: AFC East Featured Miami Dolphins New England Patriots NFL Free Agency NFL Offseason NFL Playoffs Over/Under Popular

  • Johnny

    Sounds good to me… Like I said before.. It ALL COMES DOWN TO THE O-LINE!!!
    Well, mostly Martin at LT.. In which I really don’t like him there.. He is a weaker Tackle who gave up 47 hurries last year.. Only benched 225, 20 Reps!! Need to work on strength/ physicality and quickness with his feet and first punch.. Remember he was plan C after Miami “tried” to resign Long and “tried” to work out a trade for Albert..
    Other then QB.. LT / Oline is the most important position on a NFL Football team..
    Like the article!!
    Phins Up!!!! BIM!!!

    • AndrewGibbs

      Thanks I appreciate that.
      You hit it right on the head, the O line will make or break the season for the Dolphins. All the talent is there on the roster, and Tannehill is very capable if he can stay protected.

  • http://sbpra.com/paulvsuffriti Paul V. Suffriti

    If Miami has the right chemistry with all the added players, they could contend for a playoff spot this year. I see them with a 9-7 record competing for the sixth playoff spot. Some teams look good on paper, but the game still has to be played on the field.

  • baud

    If the Fins can beat the Texans, even in a preseason game, then I will be convinced. I just hope the Texans don’t beat us up so bad we can’t play the regular season.

    • AndrewGibbs

      Well, Tannehill and Wallace looked pretty good… The Keller news is the real headline though… Out for the season. Big spot to fill for Miami, I’m curious to see how they handle that.

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