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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Revisiting AFC East over/under projections

By James Walker

Earlier this week, I provided my predictions for the AFC East in 2012. I have the New England Patriots walking away with another division crown, the Buffalo Bills finishing second, the New York Jets third and the Miami Dolphins last.

But we also provided over/under predictions for our AFC East community. Here is how things turned out:

Dolphins

2012 projection: 6.5 wins

Community vote: Under

Thoughts: About two-thirds of voters took the under. I’ve been saying for a while that I don’t see Miami winning more than six games this year. The Dolphins simply don’t have enough offense to keep up in a pass-heavy league. They are also trading and giving away talent in return for a clean locker room. It appears most of our AFC East community agrees after seeing the product on the field. Miami is winless this preseason and hasn't showed much optimism that it can surpass last year's 6-10 record. This team is in total rebuild mode.

Jets

2012 projection: 8.5 wins

Community vote: Under

Thoughts: I was surprised by the overwhelming amount of “under” votes. More than 70 percent of AFC East readers picked under 8.5 wins, which would amount to the second consecutive non-winning season in New York. The Jets were just in the AFC title game after the 2009 and 2010 season. Why can’t last season’s 8-8 record be an aberration? The general feeling among our community is New York is a team on decline. I think it’s a tough call and really comes down to the performance of the offense and quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.

Bills

2012 projection: 8.5 wins

Community vote: Over

Thoughts: I was just as surprised by the approximate 7-of-10 people who voted for the “over” with Buffalo. Expectations have skyrocketed for the Bills in a short time. They were considered a sleeper when I first picked them to do damage this year. Now, it seems a majority of our community expects a playoff berth for the Bills, as evident by our poll. It’s going to be a close race for second place between the Bills and Jets. I think Buffalo has a more balanced team. But the Bills must prove they can win in the AFC East. Buffalo has a great measuring stick right away again the Jets.

Patriots

2012 projection: 12.5 wins

Community vote: Under

Thoughts: This was the closest vote of the four teams. The vote was nearly split in the middle. This is a high number but the Patriots have the talent and easy schedule to do it. The problem is New England must stay healthy for 16 games, and injuries are the most unpredictable part of football. As long as quarterback Tom Brady is healthy and upright, the Patriots have a strong chance. At the very least, New England will win the AFC East and have one or more home playoff games.