AFC East: 2008 betting preview

AFC East: 2008 betting preview

AFC East: 2008 betting preview
By MARC LAWRENCE

After assaulting the league for most of the season in 2007, the Patriots showed life without a hidden camera just isn’t the same fun and games it used to be.  But, alas, back for more and angrier than ever, Bill Belichick’s bunch will be out to prove they are not the Super Bowl losers they became at season’s end last year.

Is anybody in the AFC East capable of stepping up and thwarting off another Patriot missile attack in 2008?   

Here is my take of teams in the AFC EAST DIVISION for 2008. Coming up next: the AFC NORTH DIVISION.

BUFFALO BILLS - Team Theme – THE REST OF THE STORY

Back-to-back 7-9 seasons in Dick Jauron’s first two years with the Bills don’t accurately tell the story. The 2006 Buffalo squad dropped five of its first seven games before closing out on a positive note.  In 2007, once again the Bills started slow out of the gate, losing four of their first games. Two of the losses occurred on the final play of the game. To their credit, the Bills responded with aplomb, rallying to win six of its eleven remaining games. The addition of big WR James Hardy (2nd round steal) through the draft gives the Bills an end zone threat and opens the running lanes for RB Marshawn Lynch. Meanwhile, Trent Edwards figures to stave off J.P. Losman for starting QB honors as Lynch and Edwards look for breakout seasons in 2008. As Paul Harvey would say, “And now you know the rest of the story.” 

PLAY ON: vs. Cleveland (11/17) - *KEY


MIAMI DOLPHINS -Team Theme – TUNA CASSEROLE 

When the Dolphins secured the services of Bill Parcells as general manager and executive vice president of operations last fall, it was a step in the right direction for a floundering program. It marked the fourth time in the last five years the team has changed coaches and GMs. The Big Tuna inherits a 1-15 team knowing his recipe for success will likely take a while. Amazingly we found that, of the seven previous 1-15 teams, six of them had a .500 or better record within the next two seasons. Three of them played in conference championship games within three years while two advanced to the Super Bowl. A rock-solid draft, coupled with strong offseason free agent signings, gives the Tuna the necessary starting ingredients. The question is how soon before the dish comes out of the oven?

PLAY ON: vs. St. Louis (11/30)


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -Team Theme – AND ONE

If you look up the word dilemma in the dictionary you’ll find: “a situation in which somebody must choose one of two or more unsatisfactory alternatives.”  You’ll also find pictures of Bill Belichick and the playbook. That’s because the Patriots coach is likely super-pissed about last year’s 18-AND ONE record after his team fell 35 seconds short of going 19-0 in SBXLII.  It leaves the Playbook scratching its head wondering what to do - either hop on board the Belichick revenge train or pay heed to the famous “Super Bowl Loser’s Jinx” that annually follows teams around like a hungry dog the next year (see the 2007 Chicago Bears). With a schedule as soft as Charmin (the league’s easiest) and knowing the Pats’ last home playoff loss came during the Jimmy Carter administration, rest assured Belichick would settle for another AND ONE season this year if it makes him a Super Bowl winner.

PLAY AGAINST: vs. San Diego (10/12)


[b]NEW YORK JETS - Team Theme – CRASH LANDING[/b]

Like most teams in the NFL, the Jets learned the hard way that when you make the NFL playoffs with ‘inside-out’ stats, as New York did in 2006, you are often times in for a major letdown the following year. True to form, the Flyboys took a nosedive last season when they closed out 4-12 for the campaign sending head coach Eric Mangini back to the drawing board. He reached out to the free agent market in hopes of a quick fix when he inked Damien Woody and Alan Faneca to bolster the offensive line. It’s a starting point, but the fact of the matter is either Kellen Clemens or Chad Pennington (like acid reflux, he keeps coming back) will need to step up and deliver a career year if the Jets entertain any hopes of completing a reversal of fortune. Don’t hold your breath.

PLAY AGAINST: vs. New England (9/14)

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