Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The Big Question: Most pressure at QB?
By Tim Graham
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Which AFC East quarterback has the most pressure to produce in 2010?
We have little idea who the Buffalo Bills' quarterback will be this year, and since the division already is shaping up as a three-team race and they haven't been to the playoffs in a decade, we probably can argue that whoever gets the Bills' job won't be under much pressure to win.
Expectations are high for the other three teams, who all have experienced success in the past couple years. The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins have won the division. The New York Jets reached the AFC Championship Game. Not reaching the playoffs in 2010 would be a failure.
New York's Mark Sanchez and Miami's Chad Henne are entering their second seasons as starters and have solid supporting casts. They both operate behind high-caliber offensive lines, have quality running backs and at least one dynamic receiver.
Sanchez has the better receiving corps, including tight end Dustin Keller, but Henne has the best single receiver on either team. Brandon Marshall will change Miami's offense.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, meanwhile, might not seem like a quarterback under a lot of pressure. But he's leading an offense that played a putrid final game and can't have a lot of time left together. He and Randy Moss are 33 this season. Running backs Kevin Faulk and Fred Taylor will be 34 and Sammy Morris 33. Last year's starting O-line returns intact, and four-fifths are in their 30s.
Brady also will have to prove his success hasn't become too reliant on Wes Welker if the slot receiver has trouble returning from his reattached knee.
Who is most expected to win this year? Who will come through?