Third in an eight-part series as Times NFL writer Sam Farmer analyzes the league by division. Today, the AFC East:
1Brett is a Jet. Was his comeback a mistake, or will he close out his storied career by reviving Gang Green? He’ll need some help, and the supporting cast is looking shaky so far. Running back Thomas Jones hasn’t done much, and star receiver Laveranues Coles is hurt. In its first three exhibition games, New York’s starting offense produced seven points in nine possessions.
2Those New England Patriots sure know how to throw up a smoke screen. Coming off an 18-1 season, they have looked pretty bad this summer. It doesn’t help that MVP Tom Brady is banged up. But the defense hasn’t pulled its weight, either. Then again, it’s the preseason.
3Can Bill Parcells work his magic in Miami, where the Dolphins are coming off a 15-loss debacle? They’ll be without their best defensive player, Jason Taylor, but now they at least have a quarterback in Chad Pennington. Or do they?
How they’ll finish
1. New England: How bad is Brady’s sore right foot? The season hinges on it.
2. Buffalo: The Bills are good enough to scare some teams but are a season away from the playoffs.
3. New York Jets: Favre makes New York a pick-'em team. As in, when he drops back to pass, how many times can an opposing defense pick ‘em?
4. Miami: The summer has been promising, but it will take more than one off-season to revive this franchise.