The 2008 NFL season is history now. And with that goes the easier schedule that the AFC East teams faced. They had a cake walk seeing they played both the AFC and NFC West divisions. Out of those eight teams only one the Arizona Cardinals, had a winning record. I can say this there will be no love for the AFC East in 2009!
Next season will be a whole new ballgame so to speak. The AFC East will have a tougher time with the better teams in the league on tap for them. Since they play both the AFC/NFC South divisions next season. Who produced a total of four play-off teams (Carolina, Atlanta, Tennessee, and Indianapolis) this past year.
See the New England Patriots are pretty much use to playing the cream of the crop. Over the past few years since they have been near or on the top each season. And this coming season will be no exception. The Patriots will have the third toughest schedule in 2009.
But for the Miami Dolphins who went from worst to first in the East. What’s their reward? They take the top honors as they have the league’s worst and hardest schedule on tap for them. A nice little challenge that will be for them. As for the Bills and the Jets, they are just along for the ride. Since they both had horrible years, and unfortuanetly for them they play in the East along with the Dolphins and Patriots.
NFL team rankings for toughest 2009 schedule:
- 1st – Miami Dolphins – 152-104-0 Win % .594
- 3rd – New England Patriots – 151-105-0 Win % .590
- 6th – Buffalo Bills – 146-110-0 Win % .570
- 7th – New York Jets – 145-110-1 Won % .568
Just imagine the East winner only having a record of 10-6 or even 9-7 next season. That’s a far cry from the 11-5 record the Dolphins had this year. There’s also a potential chance of only sending one team to the postseason in 2009. Just like they did this past year. Since getting a wild-card berth at 10-6 or 9-7 in the AFC might be out of the question.
No matter what happens we can expect another down to the wire race to capture the AFC East. Unless quarterback Tom Brady returns from his injury to play the entire season. In that case it’s over before it starts, as the Patriots will be back on top. On their way to another Super Bowl victory.