Team acquires big-name player. Big headlines follow. The hype machine starts spinning. And the next thing you know, it's time to declare that team the one to beat.
Despite annual reminders that this is seldom the way things actually unfold in the NFL, it's happening again in some circles. Already, some are calling the New York Jets the favorite in the AFC East, and declaring that the New England Patriots are now playing second fiddle in their own division.