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My early perception, Patriots 3rd best in AFC East

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by furley, Jan 26, 2010.

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  1. furley

    furley Rookie

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    I preface this by saying that the Patriots have some very important decisions to make during this off-season. I almost feel as if this is all bad timing, everything is happening at once. Hence, I've my skepticism about the Patriots right now. What these teams do and don't do during the off-season as far as the draft and free agency, and how the strength of schedule for the regular season stack up. Will settle this... Well, my thoughts are...


    New York Jets (9-7)

    Offensive rank: Twentieth
    Defensive rank: First

    Conclusion of 2009 Season: Lost in AFC Conference Finals

    What needs to happen in 2010: Mark Sanchez having a sophomore leap a la Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan (got injured, statistics somewhat dropped off but wasn't awful). Continue to mature, must cut down on his turnovers. Will be the pre-season favored to win division, but overall offense must catchup to defense. Team finished the regular season ranked thirty-first in passing but did finish first in rushing. Meaning Shonn Greene doesn't have a sophomore slump and Thomas Jones continues to be solid. Dustin Keller establishes himself as a real threat in the passing game as fellow 2008 draftees John Carlson and Jermichael Finley are for their teams. Team needs to resign Braylon Edwards (who desires to return) and play-maker Leon Washington (rushing; special teams). Defensively, team finished the regular season ranked first in total defense. Won't lose anyone major from the defense to free agency. Can they improve on a first place ranking against the pass and eighth against the run? Probably... Should have a healthy Kris Jenkins returning. Not to mention, Pro Bowler Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Calvin Pace, Kerry Rhodes, Shaun Ellis (recently broke hand), Lito Sheppard and Bart Scott all return as well. Backup quarterback Kellen Clemens, fullback Tony Richardson and wide receiver David Clowney are free agents.

    Biggest concern: Quarterback
    Least concern: Defense; rushing


    Miami Dolphins (7-9)

    Offensive rank: Seventieth
    Defensive rank: Twenty-second

    Conclusion of 2009 Season: Didn't make the playoffs

    What needs to happen in 2010: Chad Henne builds on his 2009 season in which he became the starter for injured Chad Pennington. Ronnie Brown is healthy and ready to go before the start of the regular season and/or Ricky Williams picks up where he'd left off the last seven games of this season. Team needs to resign free agent wide receiver Davone Bess. Must make a concerted effort to acquire or sign one of these three possibly available wide receivers: Brandon Marshall, Vincent Jackson and Anquan Boldin. Acquiring Anquan Boldin from Arizona with the right offer of draft picks would go a long ways in helping Henne with his progression. After Bess, who's the odd man out among wide receivers Brian Hartline, Ted Ginn, Jr. and Greg Camarillo? If team doesn't resign Anthony Fasano, will second-year player John Nalbone be the answer at starting tight end? The hiring of Mike Nolan as the new defensive coordinator could prove to be one of the team's best off-season moves. Nolan will have young talent in Vontae Davis, Phillip Merling, Randy Starks, Sean Smith and Channing Crowder to work with. Far better than what he'd in players with Denver. However, they'll likely lose veteran defensive end Jason Taylor to free agency or retirement. So either Starks or Merling will be counted on to assume a larger role. Defensively, they'd finished the regular season ranked eightieth against the run, but were ranked twenty-fourth against the pass. So it'll be imperative that their secondary improves dramatically. Quarterback Chad Pennington will be a free agent so team will need to sign a backup quarter back. Pat White saw very few opportunities as a passer outside of playing the wildcat.

    Biggest concern: Defense; top wide receiver; offensive line; depth at quarterback
    Least concern: Rushing


    New England Patriots (10-6)

    Offensive rank: Third
    Defensive rank: Eleventh

    Conclusion of 2009 Season: Lost in AFC Wild Card game

    What needs to happen in 2010: Team more than adequately replace the lost of both their offensive and defensive coordinator. Pro Bowl wide receiver Wes Welker tore his MCL and ACL during the last game of the regular season. His indefinite return is a legitimate concern. Issues could arise for Tom Brady and the passing game if he's out longer than expected and Julian Edelman isn't up to task in his absence. Randy Moss will be playing in a contract year. Could be extra motivated to step up and attempt to silence his critics from this season. Namely, Darrelle Revis and Chris Gamble. Laurence Maroney has yet to prove he can be the running back the team had hoped for when he was selected ahead of fellow first round draftees DeAngelo Williams and Joseph Addai. With that said, Maroney isn't the longterm answer. Still, team did their best to establish a balanced offense rotating their running backs when healthy. Finished the regular season ranked third in passing and twelfth and rushing. Major decisions to make with Pro Bowl defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, kicker Stephen Gostkowski, Pro Bowl offensive lineman Logan Mankins, tight end Benjamin Watson, corner back Leigh Bodden, defensive end Jarvis Green and running back Kevin Faulk all free agents. Whether or not to resign Wilfork is the most important personnel decision the team will make this off-season. With little to no pass rush to think of, team will think long and hard about Julius Peppers who will be a free agent as well. Team finished the regular season ranked twelfth against the pass and thirteenth against the run. So they were able to maintain a bend but don't break defense. Intriguing young talent on defense in Jerod Mayo, Brandon Meriweather, Darius Butler and Patrick Chung. All will have something to prove.

    Biggest concern: Depth at wide receiver; top running back and tight end; depth at running back; pass rush
    Least concern: Passing


    Buffalo Bills (6-10)

    Offensive rank: Thirtieth
    Defensive rank: Nineteenth

    Conclusion of 2009 Season: Didn't make the playoffs

    What needs to happen in 2010: Establish an identity, who's the face of this franchise. Team lacks a star at all of the major skilled positions. Fred Jackson could help to change that by providing stability and play-making at the running back position. Shawn Nelson will need to establish himself as a reliable offensive threat at starting tight end. But who'll be throwing him the ball? Brian Brohm? The Bills will need to retool the wide receiver position with Terrell Owens, Lee Evans and Josh Reed all being free agents. Will James Hardy assert himself enough and join Nelson as another possible play-maker on offense? Could Roscoe Parrish have a bigger role? Because the Bills finished the regular season as the thirtieth (behind the Jets) worst passing team. But this team will remain in their division's basement and miss the playoffs unless major changes and a gradual turnaround doesn't happen real soon. Newly hired head coach, Chan Gailey, has a tall order ahead of him. Misery must love company since Detroit hasn't made the playoffs the past ten seasons either. Interestingly, Gailey inherits a team as their head coach and offensive coordinator with most of its young talent coming on defense. With key veteran Aaron Schobel possibly retiring, more will be expected from second-year player Aaron Maybin after a quiet rookie year where he didn't start a game. Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd, Paul Posluszny, Leodis McKelvin, Donte Whitner and Maybin lead the youth movement on defense for the Bills. Team finished the regular season ranked second against the pass but thirtieth against the run. That isn't good. A mainstay of the secondary, corner back Terrence McGee is a free agent.

    Biggest concern: Quarterback; offense; top wide receiver; wide receiver depth; offensive line; pass rush
    Least concern: Rushing
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  2. neuronet

    neuronet Rookie

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    #87 Jersey

    Wow, they are in 90th place? That is really, really bad. :eek:

    I largely agree with your assessments, except putting Miami above the Pats is a bit insane so I disagree with your rankings.

    Saying the Pats are strong in passing is a bit questionable. We have become predictable and lost most of our depth in the position. With the loss of Welker we have lost our most important complement to Moss. Our offensive line has become a joke, we can't seem to get a run going, or protect Brady long enough to throw the ball. People have figured out our 2007 game plan, the "blueprint" works, and we need drastic changes.

    All I know is BB/Kraft need to work some magic in the offseason this year, I am very worried the Patriots are sinking back into mediocrity. Seeing these teams in the playoffs, how much better they are playing than the Patriots this year, is really humbling. Last year I thought the Patriots belonged in the playoffs. This year they deserved to be eliminated in the first round the way they were playing, I have had no thoughts 'The patriots would be better' while watching other games, becauseI know it isn't true.

    Let's hope BB has the flexibility to see that 2007 is over, that he needs to radically adjust his strategy.
  3. rsd

    rsd Rookie

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    Sorry but any ranking that has the Dolphins ahead of the Patriots is ludicrous. I fully understand we split with them this year, but this isn't the first year that has happened in recent history by any means.
  4. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    How's 2017 looking?
  5. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    For whom??

    We won the division last season even though we are apparently as inept an outfit as ever existed. The .500 JETS who backed into the playoffs and in all fairness backed into the AFCC due to luck of the draw (two historically dynfunctional frauds winning their divisions) will certainly be Tubby's personal lock to win the division, the conference, it all. As they were this season...any time he didn't think they were out of it. Even though they have limited options this offseason and we have almost unlimited options (although Peppers won't be one of them...).

    I wish all the fans here with early perception would develop a little perspective before sharing their's with all of us.
  6. vyrago

    vyrago Rookie

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    "New England Patriots (10-6)

    Offensive rank: Third
    Defensive rank: Eleventh"

    So tell me again how N.E. is third...
  7. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    We're dooooooooooooooooomed!
  8. The Dynasty

    The Dynasty Rookie

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    We won the division this year, how are the Jets and Dolphins all of a sudden ahead of us?
  9. Russyracuse

    Russyracuse PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Is this a joke or what? C'mon third in the AFC East. I thought I worried about the Pats.

    Do you really think the Pats are not going ot make any moves this year? We will still win the division.
  10. Disco Volante

    Disco Volante Rookie

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    I'll tell you, people really take Tom ****ing Brady for granted.
  11. JFK

    JFK Rookie

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    We are the best in the AFC East.
    My prediction
  12. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Hmm ... This seems to indicate the Dolphins offense would get stopped by many college teams.
  13. The Dynasty

    The Dynasty Rookie

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    How do they get worse after this season?

    Do the Jets really scare you? Come on. If they didnt back into the playoffs like they did this argument wouldnt even be coming up. It is possible that Sanchez gets better, but still he wont ever be an elite NFL QB. He doesnt have any WR's to throw to.

    The Dolphins are a solid team, but the Pats are better. Henne is a decent NFL QB, but not the type that can go out there and win games for you, because the Dolphins lack WR's. The AFC East will be a competitive division, more so than the past few years but I still see the Pats ending up on top.
  14. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Because far too many posters live in a world where, apparently, the JEST and LOLphins are allowed to make all the offseason moves they want, but in 2010 the Patriots will be forced to use the exact same team as 2009, minus any departures, with no draft or ability to bring in free agents themselves.
  15. R_T26

    R_T26 Banned

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    The first post is funny, he mentions kris jenkins, lito sheppard, and kerry rhodes will be back.

    Jenkins is a 340 pound 35 year old coming off a major knee injury.

    Lito Sheppard wont be back and was constantly benched.

    Reports are surfacing that ryan told rhodes on monday he wont be back.

    I must of missed the jets dominating the nfl last year.
  16. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    the jets couldnt beat us with welker, and with Brady fully back from injury

    were still the class of the AFC East....

    we just arnt in the class of the AFC
  17. Amnorix

    Amnorix Rookie

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    *whew* Glad we squeaked by the Bills to avoid the AFCE cellar.
  18. PatsDeb

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    Well, third best in the AFC East at the end of January isn't so bad. It's next December 31st that I worry about. This year we were 1st in that category and I am expecting more of the same next year.
  19. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    I don't see the big deal here. Given that the Patriots wide receiver corps is sans Welker at the moment and no major moves outside of Pees moving on have occurred, ranking the Patriots below other teams in the division, particularly the Jets, certainly doesn't seem like it's anything people should be surprised by.
  20. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Dolphins are in far worse position than the Pats. They have 4-5 starters on defense in their mid-30s and both Jason Taylor and Joey Porter may have played their last games as Dolphins. They have no receivers to speak of. Their o-line is worse than the Pats. Their wild cat gimmick is running its course. Yes, Chad Henne is promising, but they need to rebuild their defense and get a receiving corp. While Ricky Williams isn't getting any younger.

    Besides, it is too early to be making predictions for next year. The Pats are in excellent position to be active in free agency while the Jets aren't. The Pats shore up several weaknesses and they are the clear favorites again.
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