AFC East: Poll Friday


The New England Patriots have had an uncharacteristically chaotic offseason. They lost their leading receiver -- Wes Welker -- to an AFC rival. Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski's status is in question for Week 1 after multiple surgeries, and the team was forced to cut Aaron Hernandez after he was arrested and charged with murder and five additional gun charges.

SportsNation

How many wins will the Patriots get this season?

  •  
    6%
  •  
    47%
  •  
    41%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    2%

Discuss (Total votes: 8,466)

That brings us to our latest "Poll Friday" question: How many wins will the Patriots get in 2013?

Will the recent offseason events in New England impact the team’s bottom line? The Patriots have been the dominant team in the AFC East for the past dozen years.

I’ve said for weeks that this year’s Patriots are not a championship-caliber team. The offense is not as good as the previous two years, and there are still some holes on defense. But as long as quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are in New England, the Patriots have a chance.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on the 2013 win total for New England. You can also share your thoughts in the comments section below.
The New England Patriots have made tons of headlines in recent weeks -- and for mostly the wrong reasons. This month alone, New England signed quarterback Tim Tebow, Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski had back surgery and Aaron Hernandez is in legal trouble.

SportsNation

What's your level of concern for the Patriots?

  •  
    33%
  •  
    44%
  •  
    18%
  •  
    5%

Discuss (Total votes: 10,720)

That brings us to our latest “Poll Friday” question: What’s the level of concern for the Patriots? The reigning AFC East champs are having plenty of issues. Will it impact New England’s performance in the regular season?

Is New England’s ship sinking fast? The Patriots’ title window is closing and they need to win now. However, Gronkowski’s back and arm issues and Hernandez’s legal woes could make it tough. New England also made a lot of changes at wide receiver and could take a couple steps back offensively.

Is there moderate concern about the Patriots? New England has made it a habit to overcome distractions and focus on football. Adding Tebow-mania to the mix, in addition to issues at tight end, makes it tough.

Or will the Patriots be the same dominant team? New England was one game away from the Super Bowl last season and is trying to get back. Will the Patriots overcome offseason questions to win the Super Bowl in February at MetLife Stadium?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on your level of concern for the 2013 Patriots. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.
We have an interesting topic in this week’s "Poll Friday" blog in the AFC East.

So often we discuss which team will win the AFC East. But which team will finish last in 2013?

SportsNation

Who will finish in last place in the AFC East in 2013?

  •  
    14%
  •  
    2%
  •  
    80%
  •  
    4%

Discuss (Total votes: 13,657)

Will it be the New York Jets? The Jets are beginning a long and arduous rebuild under first-year general manager John Idzik. New York traded away its best player (Darrelle Revis) and still has many questions at quarterback. Will the Jets finish in last place during a must-win season for head coach Rex Ryan?

Or will the Buffalo Bills finish at the bottom? Buffalo was a major flop last season after signing big-name free agents last year such as defensive end Mario Williams. The Bills fired former head coach Chan Gailey and hired new coach Doug Marrone, as a result. With a new offense, a new defense, a new coach and a new quarterback, are major growing pains ahead for the Bills this season?

Could it be the Miami Dolphins? The Dolphins spent more than $204 million in total contracts and was a major winner in free agency. But spending money doesn’t always equal wins. Are the Dolphins, my sleeper pick for 2013, setting themselves up for a major disappointment and a last-place finish in the AFC East?

You can also vote the New England Patriots to finish last, although I think that would be silly considering their track record and consistency under quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick. Also feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
ESPN.com recently released its offseason NFL Power Rankings, and the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets were both projected to be bottom feeders. Neither team has a legitimate quarterback and both are experiencing changes throughout the organization.

SportsNation

Which team will win more games in 2013?

  •  
    76%
  •  
    24%

Discuss (Total votes: 11,052)

But which team will win more games in 2013: the Bills or Jets?

ESPN.com's NFL Power Ranking voted the Bills at No. 28 and the Jets at No. 31. Is this accurate?

The Jets recently went to back-to-back AFC title games under head coach Rex Ryan. However, many veterans from those teams were let go this offseason. Players like Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Shonn Greene, Mike Devito, Dustin Keller and Brandon Moore will not return. This leaves Ryan with a young roster and many holes. Can Ryan fool everyone and lead this team to a successful season in a must-win year?

Or will Buffalo erase the nasty stench from last year’s disappointing 6-10 season. The Bills were expected to compete for a playoff spot after spending a lot of money in free agency. However, big signings like defensive ends Mario Williams and Mike Anderson were disappointments. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick also flopped and was eventually released by the Bills. Now, the team is looking for a quarterback in this year’s draft to lead Buffalo to a successful season.

Using our SportsNation, vote on which AFC East team will be better next season between the Bills and Jets. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.
The New England Patriots completed a controversial swap of slot receivers this week. The defending AFC East champions let go of Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker and signed Danny Amendola to a five-year, $31 million contract.

SportsNation

How many games will WR Danny Amendola play next season?

  •  
    9%
  •  
    36%
  •  
    36%
  •  
    19%

Discuss (Total votes: 6,458)

Both receivers have talent. But the elephant in the room with this Welker-for-Amendola swap is Amendola’s huge durability questions.

The former St. Louis Rams receiver missed more games (20) the past two seasons than he’s played (12). Amendola has averaged 10.5 games played per season, which is concerning considering tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were also injured last year.

In our latest "Poll Friday" in the AFC East, we ask how many games will Amendola play for the Patriots this season? He's had a history of elbow, shoulder and foot injuries during his four year career.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on Amendola’s durability for New England next season. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Poll Friday: Can Jets run the table?

December, 14, 2012
12/14/12
9:14
AM ET
The New York Jets (6-7) have found themselves in the thick of the wild-card chase with just three weeks remaining. Our "Poll Friday" question zeroes in on New York’s playoff chances.

SportsNation

What will be the final record for the Jets?

  •  
    19%
  •  
    25%
  •  
    36%
  •  
    20%

Discuss (Total votes: 5,017)

Will the Jets, a team many left for dead, run the table? They have an easy schedule against three opponents with a combined record of 14-25. It starts Monday on the road against the Tennessee Titans (4-9). Then, New York will host the San Diego Chargers (5-8) and travel to face the Buffalo Bills (5-8).

These are all winnable games for the Jets. If New York can run the table, it could result in a playoff berth.

Can the Jets pull it off? Or will New York win just one or two of these games?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on how many games the Jets will win down the stretch this season. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Poll Friday: Who to blame for Jets?

November, 16, 2012
11/16/12
4:00
PM ET
The New York Jets are officially on "Implosion Watch" after several teammates anonymously ripped backup quarterback Tim Tebow this week. He was called "terrible" by one unnamed defensive starter -- and this is probably the tip of the iceberg.

SportsNation

Who should be blamed for the Jets' struggles?

  •  
    53%
  •  
    10%
  •  
    21%
  •  
    3%
  •  
    13%

Discuss (Total votes: 6,265)

But who is really to blame for the Jets' 3-6 start? I can think of plenty of reasons before pointing the finger at the backup quarterback.

Is it Jets head coach Rex Ryan? Eventually, all decisions pass by the desk of the head coach. Ryan's undying loyalty to quarterback Mark Sanchez has been baffling and his defense has taken major steps backward. Players lashing out also are signs that a coach is losing control of his locker room. Is Ryan the biggest reason for the Jets’ demise?

Or is it offensive coordinator Tony Sparano? The Jets' offense is ranked 30th in the NFL. Sparano has mishandled the Tebow situation and can’t get the offense going. New York was expected to be a physical group but often gets manhandled.

Do you blame Sanchez? The starting quarterback has regressed in his fourth season and has failed to raise the level of his play. Sanchez has not stepped up his game with Tebow behind him. He is on pace for a career-low completion percentage and is making game-changing turnovers.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on the biggest reason for the Jets’ struggles. You can also share your thoughts in the comments section below.
On Friday we re-assessed the expectations of the Miami Dolphins (2-3). Now, we're going to do the same with the Buffalo Bills (2-3) in our latest edition of "Poll Friday."

SportsNation

How many games will the Bills win in 2012?

  •  
    22%
  •  
    55%
  •  
    22%
  •  
    1%

Discuss (Total votes: 7,634)

Now that we've seen five games with the Bills, how many will they win in 2012? Buffalo is struggling, giving up 97 points in back-to-back losses to the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots. The Bills entered the season with a lot of preseason hype but haven't lived up to it.

The AFC East blog did this poll before the regular season, and a majority of readers voted the Bills to win 9-11 games and make the playoffs. Have those expectations changed?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on how many games Buffalo will win this season. You can also share your thoughts and predictions in the comment section below.

Poll Friday: AFC East underdog

October, 5, 2012
10/05/12
4:30
PM ET
Week 4 was dreadful for the AFC East. The division went 1-3.

Week 5 provides another opportunity to collect some wins, but it need a few upsets.

SportsNation

Which AFC East underdog is more likely to pull the upset?

  •  
    7%
  •  
    22%
  •  
    71%

Discuss (Total votes: 7,909)

The New England Patriots, who host the Denver Broncos, are the only AFC East team favored this week. So which AFC East underdog is most likely to win in Week 5: the Buffalo Bills (2-2), Miami Dolphins (1-3) or New York Jets (2-2)?

Will it be Buffalo? The Bills travel to the West Coast to face a physical San Francisco 49ers (3-1) team. It’s the same 49ers team that pounded the Jets, 34-0, last week. Can the Bills pull the upset?

What about the Dolphins? Miami has played tough football the past two weeks but lost a pair of overtime games. Is Sunday’s road game against the Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) the chance for Miami to get over the hump and into the win column?

Finally, we have the Jets. New York will host the undefeated Houston Texans (4-0), who might be the best team in the AFC right now. The Jets will try to win without Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis and No. 1 receiver Santonio Holmes, who are both out with season-ending injuries.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on which AFC East underdog is most likely to pull an upset in Week 5. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Poll Friday: Bills at Jets

August, 31, 2012
8/31/12
11:00
AM ET
I need a little help, AFC East community.

SportsNation

Who will win the Week 1 matchup between the Bills and Jets?

  •  
    20%
  •  
    57%
  •  
    10%
  •  
    13%

Discuss (Total votes: 5,758)

I’m debating whether to do weekly picks in the AFC East blog this season and will probably decide at the last minute. But if I do, the trickiest game of Week 1 is the divisional showdown between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. Take your pick.

The Bills are considered a playoff contender after a tremendous offseason that included the $100 million acquisition of stud defensive end Mario Williams. However, the Bills are still a team that must learn how to win and struggles within the division. Can they go on the road and beat the Jets in New York’s home opener?

Meanwhile, New York is a veteran team trying to prove it can make another playoff run. Last year was a disaster and resulted in an 8-8 season. The Jets swept the Bills last season and believe they still have Buffalo’s number. Will New York start the season 1-0?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on whether the Bills or Jets will prevail in Week 1 and by what margin. I will take this poll into account if I make picks next week. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.
The Miami Dolphins have plenty of unproven receivers, and it didn't make things easier now that the team cut six-time Pro Bowler Chad Johnson this week.

SportsNation

With Chad Johnson out, who will be Miami's No. 1 WR?

  •  
    4%
  •  
    22%
  •  
    19%
  •  
    42%
  •  
    13%

Discuss (Total votes: 3,590)

But someone has to step up in Miami's West Coast offense. Our "Poll Friday" question is, who will be the new No. 1 receiver for the Dolphins?

There are plenty of candidates who are not household names. Candidates such as Legedu Naanee, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Roberto Wallace and Julius Pruitt lead an unknown group.

The Dolphins are focusing on character. But their passing offense took a big hit by cutting Johnson, who was Miami's best receiver in training camp.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on who will be Miami’s leading receiver in 2012. You can also share your thoughts in the comments section below.
MIAMI -- We have another interesting "Poll Friday" question in the AFC East. The Miami Dolphins will begin their 2012 preseason tonight against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the AFC East blog will be live at Sun Life Stadium to take in all the action.

SportsNation

Who will win Miami's three-way QB competition?

  •  
    31%
  •  
    42%
  •  
    27%

Discuss (Total votes: 4,255)

Here's the big question: Who will win Miami's three-way quarterback race between David Garrard, Matt Moore and rookie Ryan Tannehill? The Dolphins will give all three players a chance to showcase their skills Friday night against the Buccaneers.

Will it be Garrard? He has looked the best in practice. But Garrard is the oldest of the three quarterbacks and coming off major back surgery. Garrard missed an entire year of football rehabbing and this will be Garrard's first game action since 2010. Will he do enough in the preseason to win the starting job?

Or can Moore reclaim his starting job? He is the incumbent who went 6-3 in his final nine starts. Moore hasn’t looked great in practice. But he’s more of a “gamer” who performs best when the lights are on. Will Moore step up again in the preseason to lead the Dolphins?

Finally, can Tannehill overcome a late arrival in camp to be Miami’s quarterback in Week 1? The first-round pick has the most natural talent of all three Miami quarterbacks. Tannehill just has to get used to the speed of the game. Will Miami’s quarterback of the future prove to be Miami’s quarterback of the present?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on who will win Miami's starting quarterback job for the regular season. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.
SportsNation

Will Patriots WR Wes Welker get a contract extension before Mondays deadline?

  •  
    32%
  •  
    68%

Discuss (Total votes: 3,831)

We have another hot topic for our "Poll Friday" question in the AFC East.

New England Patriots Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker has three days to work out a multi-year extension. Otherwise, he will play on a one-year franchise tag worth $9.5 million. Will Welker get a new contract?

Welker is looking for long-term security, but the Patriots seem hesitant. Welker is 31, and New England has to consider how much money it invests and if it will impact other young players such as tight end Aaron Hernandez.

But the two sides also have been talking, which is never a bad sign. Welker has been undervalued for years in New England and played at a bargain rate. Will the Patriots reward Welker with a big extension?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on whether or not Welker gets an extension before Monday’s deadline. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.
We have another interesting "Poll Friday" blog post. This one involves a colorful wide receiver whom we are all familiar with.

SportsNation

What kind of production will WR Chad Ochocinco have for the Dolphins?

  •  
    10%
  •  
    41%
  •  
    41%
  •  
    8%

Discuss (Total votes: 5,466)

The Miami Dolphins recently signed free-agent Chad Ochocinco after he was cut by the New England Patriots. The former Pro Bowl player was not a good fit in New England’s system and was released after one season.

Ochocinco, 34, is on his third team. Does he have anything left to offer the receiver-needy Dolphins? Ochocinco was a bench warmer in New England, but he has the potential to be Miami’s No. 1 receiver if he gets close to his old form. Will the signing be a boom (1,000 yards receiving) or bust (fewer than 300 yards) for Miami?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on what kind of production Ochocinco will have in 2012. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.
We have another interesting "Poll Friday" in the AFC East blog. This week we take a look at players who struggled in 2011 and are looking for bounce-back seasons.

SportsNation

Which AFC East player is most likely to bounce back in 2012?

  •  
    18%
  •  
    10%
  •  
    30%
  •  
    42%

Discuss (Total votes: 4,791)

Which player has the best chance to flourish in 2012: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Wayne Hunter, Shawne Merriman or Devin McCourty? All four players have expectations to improve.

Will it be Fitzpatrick? The Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback lost eight of his last nine starts in 2011. Fitzpatrick played with hurt ribs, but injuries are no longer an excuse. The Bills have playoff hopes and Fitzpatrick has to produce for a full season.

What about Hunter, the starting right tackle of the New York Jets? Hunter struggled mightily in pass protection and contributed to Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez being sacked a career-high 39 times. The Jets are giving Hunter another chance to protect Sanchez’s front side.

Merriman is an interesting case. He was a former Pro Bowler who looked dominant early in his career. But injuries, including a bad Achilles, have made Merriman a shell of his former self. Can “Lights Out” get back to his old form?

Finally, we have McCourty of the New England Patriots. The cornerback had a major sophomore slump and is looking to regain his great rookie form.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on which player is most likely to have a bounce-back season. You can also share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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