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Monday, September 16, 2013
Is the AFC East stronger than expected?

By James Walker

The AFC East is 6-2 in the first two weeks of the regular season, and two division teams – the Miami Dolphins (2-0) and New England Patriots (2-0) -- are undefeated.

Should the rest of the NFL take notice?

Not much was expected of the AFC East entering the 2013 season. The Dolphins, Buffalo Bills (1-1) and New York Jets (1-1) failed to post winning records the past two seasons. That made the Patriots the runaway favorite and often led to the perception that the AFC East is a one-division team.

However, the AFC East is tied for the most wins (six) by division in the NFL. The AFC West also has six victories. In fact, the only two AFC East losses by the Bills and Jets have been against the Patriots within the division. Miami, Buffalo and New York are a combined 4-0 against teams outside its division. That includes victories over the Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers.

The AFC East hasn’t received much respect this offseason. Much of that was deserved based on past performance.

The only way to earn respect for the AFC East division is to win games. The Patriots, Dolphins, Bills and Jets have done a solid job early in the season.