Can Another AFC East Team Challenge The Patriots?
On this weeks ‘NH Blitz’ with Tom Rowe and I, we discussed how we think each of the divisions in the AFC would play out. While there was some debate over the other three divisions, when we got to the AFC East a familiar pattern broke out. The check mark automatically went into the Patriots column. The Patriots have won the division every year since 2009 and only twice in the Tom Brady era have they not taken the crown. Could it happen this year?
The New York Jets finished last year 10-6 and seem to have the best shot at unseating the Patriots as they have a veteran team with a good coach. The main question for the Jets is at quarterback, where Ryan Fitzpatrick and the team still have not come to terms on a contract. The Jets shouldn’t overspend for Fitzpatrick as they are bidding against themselves. The Jets have great playmakers in Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Matt Forte, but the lack of a true quarterback could hinder their progress. For the Patriots, if Tom Brady is suspended the first four game, they must do their best in the two division games against Miami and Buffalo to continue their dominance.
It’s Just OTAs.
It's just OTAS.
— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) May 28, 2016
New Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett tweeted that it is just OTAs and he’s right. Football is such a popular sport, that it is reported on all year long. One thing we all need to remember is that OTAs success doesn’t always lead to NFL success. We have seen it the last few years as players like Zac Sudfield and Scott Chandler have shined, only to fizzle out come regular season. The opposite is true as well, as two years ago Malcolm Butler made his bones in a tryout at OTAs and then made the team with a strong preseason performance.
Will Dion Lewis Be The Same?
Last year at this time no one thought Dion Lewis was going to do much of anything on the football field for the Patriots. When the regular season started Lewis became a top ten NFL back with his ability to run and catch the ball. He transformed the Patriots offense into an unstoppable force. After he tore up his knee, the Patriots lost some of their offensive fire powers. With Lewis’s reliance on quick cutting and speed bursts, the question must be asked, can he bounce back? We have seen Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker come back from ACL injuries to post solid seasons. Each player, however, did not look back to their old self until mid-way through the season. Perhaps the best bet for the Patriots is to start Lewis on the physically unable to perform list and have him healthy for the stretch run.
LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S ‘New Hampshire Blitz’ HERE: