AFC East: Over/under

Last week the AFC East blog ran a series of over/under totals for key players within the division.

Let’s take a look at the results from our community and examine the possibilities.

No. 1: Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller

Community vote: Over 1,500 yards

Thoughts: About 52 percent of AFC East readers felt Spiller was primed to rush for more than 1,500 yards this season. That is a huge number, but there are reasons for optimism. For starters, Buffalo hired a new head coach in Doug Marrone who will make Spiller the unquestioned starter. Former Bills coach Chan Gailey stayed loyal to aging running back Fred Jackson, 32, too long at the expense of Spiller, who had six games of nine carries or fewer in 2012. Expect Spiller to get 20 or more carries often this year. He rushed for 1,244 yards last season with limited opportunities. So Spiller could reach 1,500 rushing yards if he stays healthy.

No. 2: Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace

Community vote: Over 1,100 yards

Thoughts: About 66 percent of AFC East readers believe Wallace is primed for a bounce-back season after signing with the Dolphins in free agency. Wallace is joining forces with second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and the pair will aim to grow together in Miami. Wallace is an elite deep threat and one of the fastest players in the NFL. Wallace is going to get a lot of yards per catch and yards after the catch (YAC) due to big plays. Another key component is Wallace scores touchdowns -- he has 32 career TDs in four seasons.

No. 3: New England Patriots QB Tom Brady

Community vote: Under 4,300 yards

Thoughts: Our AFC East community has lost some confidence in Brady. After losing an immense amount of production with tight end Aaron Hernandez and receivers Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd, about 60 percent voted under 4,300 passing yards for Brady. Keep in mind, Brady threw for 4,827 yards in 2012. So the AFC East blog shaved more than 500 yards off the over/under total. Many fans still believe Brady won’t reach that number. The Patriots’ offense will be in trouble if Brady’s production has a significant drop off. A key will be the health of tight end Rob Gronkowski and new receiver Danny Amendola, who have both shown the inability to play all 16 games.

No. 4: Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill

Community vote: Over 23.5 touchdown passes

Thoughts: Optimism is running high in our community with Tannehill. About 62 percent of AFC East fans believe Tannehill will double his touchdown total in Year 2 by throwing for more than 23.5. Tannehill had just 12 passing touchdowns in 2012, but his lack of supporting cast received most of the blame. Miami spent a lot of money this offseason to sign Wallace, fellow receiver Brandon Gibson and tight end Dustin Keller. These are players who fit Tannehill, as well as Miami’s West Coast system.

No. 5: Bills DE Mario Williams

Community vote: Over 11.5 sacks

Thoughts: It was an up-and-down season for Williams in 2012, but he still had 10.5 sacks. About 61 percent of our community believes Williams will have a bigger year in 2013. Buffalo has a new defensive coordinator in Mike Pettine, who is expected to be very aggressive. This better suits Williams. However, the Bills also are expected to play some 3-4 alignments, where Williams could be standing up as an outside linebacker, which could take Williams out of his comfort zone.

No. 6: Dolphins DE Cameron Wake

Community vote: Over 14.5 sacks

Thoughts: Wake was on a tear in 2012. He made the Pro Bowl after registering 15 sacks, and about 64 percent of our AFC East community expects Wake to post similar numbers this season. Similar to Tannehill, Wake will have more assistance getting to the quarterback this year. The Dolphins drafted defensive end Dion Jordan No. 3 overall and added speed at linebacker with Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler. Wake won’t be alone this year on passing downs.

AFC East over/under: Tom Brady

June, 27, 2013
6/27/13
9:00
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With training camp just around the corner, the AFC East blog is providing over/under totals throughout the week for key players in the division. On Thursday, we take a look at New England Patriots quarterback and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, who will have a lot on his shoulders this season.

SportsNation

Will Patriots QB Tom Brady have over/under 4,300 passing yards?

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    41%
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    59%

Discuss (Total votes: 7,497)

The AFC East blog sets Brady's over/under total at 4,300 passing yards in 2013. Can the signal-caller, who turns 36 in August, reach that goal in New England?

Brady had a lot of change at wide receiver and major issues at tight end this offseason. New England led the NFL in total offense in 2012, but lost both starting wide receivers: Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. The Patriots are trying to replace them with the injury-prone Danny Amendola and a cast of rookies and average veterans. Tight end Rob Gronkowski (back, arm) is questionable for Week 1 and Aaron Hernandez was released this week after being charged with murder and facing five additional gun charges. Will all this uncertainty affect Brady's production?

Or will Brady continue to thrive regardless of his supporting cast? He’s done it before, and New England has the offensive scheme that can plug in other players. Brady threw for 4,827 yards last season. Is 4,300 yards a reasonable total for this one?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on Brady’s over/under total of 4,300 passing yards in 2013. You can also share your thoughts in the comments section below.
All this week, the AFC East blog provided over/under totals for each team in the division, and the results are in.

Let’s examine how our community projects each team to finish in the AFC East this year:

New York Jets

Over/under: 5

Community vote: Under

Analysis: I’m a little surprised how overwhelming this vote turned out in favor of the under. Yes, the Jets are rebuilding and got rid of most of their veteran talent. But 5-11 or worse is an awful season where a lot has to go wrong. I think a major point of pessimism comes from the quarterback position. A majority of Jets fans are done with Mark Sanchez, who led the NFL in turnovers the past two seasons. If he wins the starting job, it’s hard to picture the Jets surprising the NFL by having a winning record and getting to the playoffs. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith has potential but would most likely have an up and down first year in New York if he’s the starter. Either way, this is a tough spot for head coach Rex Ryan to be in during a must-win year.

Miami Dolphins

Over/under: 8

Community vote: Over

Analysis: There is a lot of optimism for the Dolphins, who are my sleeper pick for 2013. An overwhelming 78 percent as of Friday afternoon predict Miami will finish with a 9-7 record or better. It looks like I am not alone in foreseeing a good year for the Dolphins. Miami added talent at a lot of positions via the draft and free agency. Tight end Dustin Keller and receivers Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson adds to Miami’s passing offense, while first-round pick Dion Jordan, cornerback Brent Grimes and linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler should improve Miami’s already solid defense. If quarterback Ryan Tannehill improves in Year 2, which I think he will, the Dolphins could contend for a playoff spot in the AFC.

New England Patriots

Over/under: 11

Community vote: Under

Analysis: The Patriots have been the gold standard in the AFC East for the past dozen years. But this is the year many in our community think New England will take at least a slight step back. In our poll, about 60 percent as of Friday afternoon picked the Patriots to win fewer than 11 games. That does not mean New England can’t win 10 or 11, but that a little lower than the usually dominant season we have become accustom to. The Patriots led the NFL in total offense last season but probably can’t repeat that accomplishment this year. New England is starting over with an unproven cast of receivers and has injury questions at tight end. The Patriots’ defense has improved, and that will probably keep New England on top of the AFC East for another year.

Buffalo Bills

Over/under: 7

Community vote: Under

Analysis: This was the closest vote we had this week. By an extremely narrow margin, 51 percent of AFC East readers pick the Bills to win fewer than 7 games. Buffalo has talent at a lot of positions. The Bills’ biggest issues are finding a franchise quarterback and overcoming a losing mentality. Buffalo has the NFL's longest playoff drought of 13 years and counting. It will be up to new head coach Doug Marrone to change those losing ways. Getting good quarterback play would go a long way. The Bills have a three-way competition going between rookie EJ Manuel and veterans Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson.

AFC East over/under: Patriots

May, 30, 2013
5/30/13
5:00
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The AFC East blog continues its over/under series this week for each team in the division. Next up we have the reigning division champion New England Patriots.

SportsNation

Will the Patriots go over or under 11 1/2 victories?

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    43%
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    57%

Discuss (Total votes: 6,080)

Will the Patriots win more or fewer than 11 1/2 games in 2013? New England was 12-4 last year but had some roster turnover, particular on offense.

The Patriots remain the class of the AFC East but may have taken a step back offensively. They lost both starting receivers -- Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd -- and have replaced them with a mostly unproven cast. Starting Danny Amendola has injury concerns, and veterans Michael Jenkins, Donald Jones, Julian Edelman and Lavelle Hawkins will compete with rookies Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce for roles. New England also is hurting at tight end due to offseason surgeries for Rob Gronkowski (arm) and Aaron Hernandez (shoulder).

New England’s defense has improved. But it is enough to contend for another Super Bowl?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on the over/under for New England at 11 1/2 wins. You can also share your thoughts on the topic in the comment section below.
The AFC East blog continues its over/under series this week for each team in the division. We continue Thursday with the up-and-coming Miami Dolphins.

SportsNation

Will the Dolphins go over or under 8 1/2 victories?

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    79%
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    21%

Discuss (Total votes: 9,924)

Will the Dolphins, my sleeper pick for 2013, win more or less than 8 games this season? Expectations are high in Miami after the team spent a lot of money and resources in the draft and free agency. But Miami must also prove it can put together all the talent it has on paper.

Much of Miami’s success will come down to second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He has a lot of weapons around him this year, such as new receivers Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson as well as tight end Dustin Keller. Tannehill must avoid a sophomore slump in order for the Dolphins to make a playoff push.

Are the Dolphins good enough this year to finish with a winning record?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on the over/under for Miami at 8 wins. You can also share your thoughts on the topic in the comment section below.
The AFC East blog continues its over/under series this week for each team in the division. Next up we have the rebuilding New York Jets.

SportsNation

Will the Jets go over or under 5 1/2 victories?

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    36%
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    64%

Discuss (Total votes: 7,423)

Will the Jets win more or fewer than 5 games this year? New York finished 6-10 in 2012 and completely tore down its roster. The Jets released several veterans and traded star cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first year under new general manager John Idzik.

Quarterback questions still remain in New York. Embattled incumbent Mark Sanchez will battle rookie Geno Smith for the starting job. Jets head coach Rex Ryan also is in the hot seat after back-to-back losing seasons.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on the over/under for New York this year at 5 wins. You can also share your thoughts on the topic in the comment section below.
The rosters are pretty much set for the 2013 season. That means it’s time for some early predictions this week in the division.

SportsNation

Will the Bills go over or under 7 1/2 victories?

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    49%
  •  
    51%

Discuss (Total votes: 8,872)

Throughout the week, the AFC East blog will set an over/under for each team. We start Tuesday with the Buffalo Bills and an over/under of 7 victories. We provided the so there would be no ties.

Buffalo entered 2012 with playoff expectations but flopped with another 6-10 season. It resulted in former head coach Chan Gailey getting fired and the hire of rookie head coach Doug Marrone.

Can the Bills win more games than last year under Marrone? Buffalo's roster has talent, but there are still concerns at quarterback. Much of the team's success will hinge on Kevin Kolb, Tarvaris Jackson or rookie EJ Manuel stepping up.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on the over/under for Buffalo at 7 wins. You can also share your thoughts on the topic in the comment section below.

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