AFC East wide open for Dolphins?


This could be a rare year in the AFC East -- the type that could help a traditionally up-and-down team like the Miami Dolphins.

Three division teams are 2-2 and the New York Jets are 1-3 at the quarter mark of a season. It's early, but the AFC East is filled with inconsistent teams, inconsistent quarterback play and plenty of glaring flaws.

I've covered the AFC East since 2011 and this may be the worst brand of September football I've seen across the board from all four teams. The biggest surprise the reigning division champion New England Patriots (2-2), who look as bad as the Dolphins (2-2) or Buffalo Bills (2-2) on a given week due to questionable quarterback play from Tom Brady. (When was the last time those words were said?)

Without Brady being Brady, the AFC East is wide open.

It wouldn't be surprising if it only takes 9-10 wins to take the division if Brady, who has a (79.1) passer rating after four games, continues to be just as inconsistent as Ryan Tannehill (81.2) and Geno Smith (75.1) this year. The Bills have already had enough of their starting quarterback and benched EJ Manuel in favor of backup Kyle Orton. Who knows how that switch will work?

Based on their history, you have to assume Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick have the potential to eventually figure it out. But the ceiling for the 2014 Patriots simply is not as high as it's been in recent years.

The Dolphins already have a home win over New England. The worst Miami can do is split this year with its biggest nemesis. That means Miami must take care of business against the Jets and Bills to remain in the hunt for its first AFC East title since 2008.