Dec 30, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; The New England Patriots take on the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins 28-0. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
We’re all guilty of it. As soon as the NFL schedule is released, we all pull out our pencils and start putting W’s and L’s next to the games on our favorite team’s schedule.
This past week, I took the liberty of doing this for every team in the NFL and publishing the results on my own web site (KnowItAllFootball.com).
I went through each schedule and determined what was the absolute best and worst each team could expect from a win-loss standpoint. I got few colorful emails and tweets explaining that the best and worst are 16-0 and 0-16. True, but given the fact that so few teams have actually finished with those records, neither result is likely to happen to any NFL squad this season. The end result is a window of sorts, where fans of any team can expect their team’s win total to fall somewhere on the set scale of highs and lows in terms of what I’ve projected for them.
For Musket Fire, I’ve decided to share my predictions on the teams in the AFC East as well as go a little more in-depth in explaining how I got the numbers I did.
Without further ado, here are the best and worst case win-loss scenarios for each of the four teams in the AFC East based on their 2013 schedules.
BUFFALO BILLS — Best Case: 10-6, Worst Case: 4-12
A new coach, a new system and a new quarterback will make things interesting for the Bills to say the least. I’m not sure they’ve done enough in the offseason to steal a win from the Patriots, beat the Ravens, out-score the Saints, keep up with the Falcons or score enough to beat the Bengals. I think you can write those losses in with a sharpie, but it could always get a lot worse.
NEW YORK JETS — Best Case: 10-6, Worst Case: 4-12
Same results as Buffalo, different reasoning for the Jets. The Jets, until they show us otherwise, are a travelling circus of unpredictability. I’ve got them losing the same games as Buffalo no matter what, but if I had to wager, I’d guess the Jets finish with a worse overall record.
MIAMI DOLPHINS — Best Case: 11-5, Worst Case: 6-10
I like what Miami did in the offseason by adding Mike Wallace as a deep threat. He should open the middle of the field more for Tannehill and allow the other receivers to go one-on-one all day. I have them losing to the Ravens, Bengals, Falcons, Saints and one to the Pats. I can see them stealing one from New England under the right circumstances. If all goes well, I see no reason to expect Miami to finish worse than 2nd in the division.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS — Best Case: 15-1, Worst Case: 10-6
The Patriots will be right in the mix once again this season. Fans can’t expect to play Baltimore, Denver and Atlanta and walk away unblemished. I think they lose at least one of those and have the ability to win the rest of their games. That said, I can also see them dropping games to all three and losing to Houston, Miami once and either New Orleans or Cincinnati. It will take the worst case scenario for the Patriots to end up as anything but AFC East Champions.