Monday, July 31, 2006

How Situ Sees 'em - AFC East Edition

Here’s my rundown of the AFC East in the order that they finished last year. For my key additions, only those players who I feel will make a significant contribution are listed. As for key losses, they’re players the team should really miss.

New England Patriots
2005 Record: 10-6

Key additions:
Martin Gramatica, K
Eric Warfield, CB
Laurence Maroney, RB
Chad Jackson, WR

Key losses:
Tom Ashworth, T
Tim Dwight, WR
Christian Fauria, TE
David Givens, WR
Bethel Johnson, WR
Willie McGinest, LB
Adam Vinatieri, K

I really don’t want to like the Patriots. I have gotten tired of them as I’m sure many others have. Unfortunately having the best coach in the league always keeps the Pats in contention for the division. Belichick and his staff are the best evaluators of talent in the league not to mention the best at getting the most from sub-par players. The defense is still intact for the most part and they are getting Rodney Harrison back from injury. The front seven will get pressure even with the loss of Willie McGinest. The offense lost just about every receiver on their team. The one they kept, Deion Branch is still holding out as of this writing. None of the wideouts strike fear into any corner, but nonetheless they get the job done. Brady is arguably the best QB in the league. He has ice in his veins. Belichick will have this team prepared every week so they can potentially beat anyone on any given week.

Miami Dolphins
2005 Record: 9-7

Key additions:
Will Allen, CB
Deke Cooper, S
Daunte Culpepper, QB
Jason Allen, DB

Key losses:
Reggie Howard, CB
Tebucky Jones, S
Sam Madison, CB

Bo, you will love me for this, but Miami is a team that if things go right, potentially can be a favorite to represent the AFC in….Miami! That’s a big if, so for the Dolphins I do it a little differently and give you three reason why they will be championship contender and three reasons why they will be pretender.
3 reason they will be a contender:
1) Daunte Culpepper - Culpepper threw for 4717 yds and 39 td’s with a 110.9 QB rating. No I did not miss type that, those were really Culpepper’s numbers in ‘04. If he can get back to that form, then watch out. And here is why he will. Scott Linehan has departed from the Dolphins but Miami said that although he has moved on, his offense will stay. Hmm, let’s see where was Linehan before arriving in Miami? Oh yeah he spent 2004 in Minnesota with Culp.
2) Hot down the stretch last year - Miami finished the season as one of the league’s hottest teams winning their last six, beating New England and San Diego. If they can pick up where they left off, they could cause a stir.
3) Nick Saban - In only his second year in the league, Saban is already one of the top coaches in the league. Like Belichick mentioned above, Saban will have this team ready every week.

3 reasons they will be a pretender
1) Daunte Culpepper - many people think the questions surrounding Culpepper are solely in regards to his knee, but before he was injured last year he had already thrown 12 ints in only 7 games. Culpepper struggled big-time last season so who knows if the ‘Fins will get 2004 Culp of 2005 Culp. Huge difference.
2) Defense is questionable- heart and sole of the D, Thomas and Taylor will be 33 and 32 respectively at the start of the season. Also, it’s possible the ‘Fins will have 4 new starters in their secondary. Even if the players are individually capable, there is the issue of gelling as a unit.
3) Ronnie Brown - with Ricky out, Brown is being counted on to shoulder the workload. He has never done that, going back to Auburn where another Williams spelled Brown.
I think Culpepper will return to ‘04 form as he has some great weapons to help him out. I also think Brown is ready for the load and he has even added about 10 pounds to help him out. Look for the Dolphins to be play-off bound and possibly make a deep run.

Buffalo Bills
2005 Record: 5-11

Key additions:
Andre' Davis, WR
Craig Nall, QB
Peerless Price, WR
Tutan Reyes, G
Larry Tripplett, DT
Donte Whitner, DB
John McCargo, DT

Key losses:
Sam Adams, DT
Lawyer Milloy, S
Eric Moulds, WR

Bills were 29th in total defense last year and 31st in stopping the run last year. They actually had a pretty good draft on defense but they took DB’s with 3 of the first 4 picks. That won’t help the run defense much which killed them last year. Takeo is still not 100% from his blown-out achilles either. But as bad as the defense was, it looks great compared to this joke of an offense. The Bills lost Eric Moulds and replaced him with…Andre’ Davis? Lee Evans, Andre’ Davis, and Peerless Price are this teams top three wideouts. These three couldn’t be a number two for many teams. But if you think the wide-outs are bad, look at these three QB’s vying for the starting job: Craig Nall, Kelly Holcomb, and JP Losman. Willis McGahee is decent but can you say eight men in the box? Here is a free bonus tip: stay away from any Bill come fantasy time. Sorry Robbie Nelson, on the bright side, Buffalo is strong in the running for the first draft pick next year.

New York Jets
2005 Record: 4-12

Key additions:
Matt Chatham, LB
Tim Dwight, WR
Andre Dyson, CB
Patrick Ramsey, QB
Kimo von Oelhoffen, DE
D’Brickashaw Ferguson, OL
Nick Mangold, OL
Kellen Clemmons, QB
Leon Washington, RB

Key losses:
John Abraham, DE

This is a team that is rebuilding this year. Kellen Clemmons should win the starting QB job if not the beginning of the year at some point in the season. Curtis is dead as of this writing and even if he comes back during the season, this should be his final year. The Jets offense, while not as laughable as the Bills, lacks a playmaker. I do think the Jets were genius in taking Ferguson and Mangold with their first two picks, as they should both be quality starters in the league for years. The defense makes the switch to the 3-4 this year to try and get more pressure on opposing offenses. The switch may present a problem in that it takes out their best defensive player in Vilms. Vilma led the league in tackles last year but this year he will have to contend with lineman and won’t be able to run free. Vilma is undersized so banging heads with fat-butts doesn’t favor him. The Jets won’t make any noise this year, but they are on attempting to turn things around in the future.

In conclusion, this will be a close race for the division title. Look for both Miami and New England to make the playoffs and for Buffalo and New York to be in bottom six records in the league.

1) Miami Dolphins
2) New England Patriots
3) New York Jets
4) Buffalo Bills

Previous divisions by Situ: AFC West, AFC North


Blogger Phil Silva said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Phil Silva said...

you think so much people are small. you said, "vilma is undersized", well he is 6'1" 230. what is a "big" backer? here are mikes from the 2005 pro bowl.

James Farrior - 6'2" 240
Tedy Bruschi - 6'1" 245
Dan Morgan - 6'2" 240
J. Trotter - 6'1" 260

2006 PB

Al Wilson - 6'0" 240
John Vilma
Jeremiah Trotter
Lofa Tatupu - 5'11" 235

Farrior and Bruschi do pretty well in the 3-4, so Vilma shouldn't have trouble.

my first comment had 0 editing, so i killed it.

8:52 PM  
Blogger pete silva said...

1st ronnie brown will be fine. kid weighs 230 (he is big enough for you)

2nd the phins got division on lock cuz two words: DEKE COOPER

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Phil thank you for making my case. All mikes listed weigh 240-260. Vilms is 230. 10lbs makes a difference. And Vilms is clearly small cuz on the Bassment Mad lynx was taller than him.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Situ said...

Pete did you not read what I wrote? I said Ronnie Brown would be fine cuz he added bulk.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Situ said...

yeah Farrior is 6'2" 243 and Bruschi is 6'1" 247. Are you sure you want to keep arguing against yourself?

9:47 PM  
Blogger BSTRO said...

1st....Culpepper will do good...if he gets back to the 04 form not 05. 2nd the knee really wont be a MAJOR factor but somethin to look out for, goin through the same injury the knee will hurt from time to time but shouldnt play a factor on if he could start...3rd the defense led by aging starters might play a key role but with rod wright fillin up the a gap as a probable backup the front four shouldnt be too bad. 4. as pete said DEKE will be a threat to the secondary along with Will Allen....look for the dolphins to end up in the playoffs with first round bye...i said it now criticize

11:44 PM  
Blogger Situ said...

I secon bstro on the 'Fins in the play-offs with a first round bye

7:37 AM  
Blogger Situ said...

one more interesting twist to this season...look for the balance of power to shift this year to the NFC. This year their will be a 10-5 team left out of the play-offs in the NFC and head-to-head the NFC will have the better record over AFC.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Phil Silva said...

i dont beleive they will. nfc can get in a wilscard with 9-7. afc will miss playoffs at 10-6. mike is 4-3. pete watches 10-8.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Situ said...

what is a wilscard? I prolly start at mike in a 4-3, but Phil is 4'3"

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

STEVEN MASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5:47 PM  

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