I stopped doing these for a while because of the way NC State decided to go ahead and lay a huge egg in their opener against South Carolina, therefore making it hard to think about football without sadness, pain, or both. But I'm back, and determined to get everything in before Thursday night. This probably means multiple entries tomorrow. Maybe even two tonight.
4. Buffalo - The Bills might be able to put it together and surprise people. Maybe we'll get enough "good T.O." to figure out what kind of quarterback they really have behind center. Maybe some of the underrated pieces that Buffalo has on defense will become something greater when they gel together. The problem is that there are too many maybes for a team coached by Dick Jauron.
3. Miami - Miami had a remarkable turnaround season last year and made us all talk about the possibilities of the "Wildcat" offense endlessly. I respect the talent they have, but I'm not convinced that a repeat performance is going to be lined up. Seriously, Pennington only gives you one good season at a time.
2. New York - I like the Jets more than I should. I like Thomas Jones, I like their receiving corps, and I like what Rex Ryan brings to their defense as head coach. None of these things are absolute and game-proven things to like as much as I do, but I see the Jets in the playoffs.
1. New England - This isn't a vote of confidence in the Patriots as much as a vote of no-confidence in my confidence in the Jets. Get that? Yes, Brady is back. Yes, they're coming off of an 11-5 season which could have easily been a playoff year with a mere handful of different things that didn't involve the guy taking the snaps. I just don't see the Patriots as the juggernaut people are touting them as. They'll start out strong, but it's an old and aching team; and that won't last into the winter. Especially given that they've lost a whopping 6 starters on the defensive side of the ball. I'm only picking them to win the East because the Jets are determined to start a rookie (thanks a lot Flacco and Ryan) at quarterback.