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NFL 2016 season preview – AFC is up for grabs (Part 1)

New NFL season will start soon, and there will be a lot of excitement, especially in the AFC which this season is up for grabs.

AFC East

AFC East was ruled by New England Patriots for a long time, but that could change this season.

New England Patriots are having a big problem before the start of the new season. The best player of the franchise from Boston area, Tom Brady is suspended the first four games due to the now famous DeflateGate scandal. Burden will fall on young Jimmy Garoppolo, who had solid preseason. Jimmy will have a great help in Edelman, Amendola and Gronkowski, but also in Hogan and Bennett, who arrived this season. Bill Belichick can be satisfied with his defense, which puts pressure on the opposing OL despite Chandler Jones’ departure. However, what is worrying is the offensive line. Last year, the Patriots have the most different OL combinations, and after injuries of Sebastian Vollmer and Jonathan However, despite all the problems, the New England Patriots are one of the favorites not only to win the AFC East, but also to play in the Super Bowl.

New York Jets pose the greatest danger to the Patriots. Green Gang showed last season that they are making return to the top of the AFC. After much persuasion and negotiation, Ryan Fitzpatrick is back in the Big Apple. This is a big plus for the Jets, who are now getting the stability at quarterback. Brendon Marshall and Erik Dekker remained in the team, but Chris Ivory left the MetLife Stadium. Ivory’s absence will not be a big problem for the Jets, as they signed Matt Forte. Former Chicago Bear is still very good running back and his specialty is catching balls from backfield, which Fitzpatrick will certainly know how to use. When we talk about the Jets, we’re talking about a strong defense. Darrelle Revis is still the star of that part of the team, but the Jets expect much from the defensive line. Muhammad Wilkerson got a very big contract and now has a whole season to show that it was a good investment.

Miami Dolphins are still working on how to become relevant in the league. Team is now in Ryan Tannehill hands, and he will once again look at the direction of Jarvis Landry. However, Dolphins need someone else involved in order to make good result. That is why Arian Foster came to Florida. Running back, whose career marked by injuries, hopes to be able to experience a second youth in Miami. The main thing in the AFC East is to get to Tom Brady, so the defensive line that has Wake and Suh needed to became even stronger. Miami Dolphins signed Mary Williams, who wants to resurrect his career. It is certain that Williams will have the opportunity to get to the QB, but the question is does he still has enough fuel to be deadly as he was at the start of his career.

Buffalo Bills and Rex Ryan will base their game this season on a solid defense and ground game. Rex considered that he has the best defense in the league, but the truth is that defense had let him down several times last season. Big problem will pose Marcel Darius suspension. The biggest star of the Buffalo Bills defense could miss the first four games due to PED violation. Bills offense is different story. Tyrod Taylor will be the starting quarterback, and they are having great expectations for him. That will be a big problem, because Taylor has only one real option in the passing game, and that option is Sammy Watkins. Therefore, a large part of the burden would have to move to LeSean McCoy, one of the best running backs in the league. For the Buffalo Bills this is a very important season. They want the Super Bowl, but it is more realistic to come to implosion, which is often the case with teams led by Rex Ryan.

AFC South

AFC South guarantees a lot of excitement this season. All four teams put much work in signing good players and getting their rosters ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

Houston Texans hold the crown in the South. Franchise from Texas enters the new season with a new quarterback. Brock Osweiler is the biggest signing Texans made this preseason and he is the player who is expected to be a leader. Osweiler was part of the Super Bowl champions last season, and he was getting a chance to play when Peyton Manning was injured. Brock will have a great help in fantastic DeAndre Hopkins, who last season showed only part of his talent. However, the Texans are JJ Watt’s team, but fantastic defender is currently on the PUP list after he had a back surgery. He should be ready for Week 1. Expectations in Houston are getting bigger by the second, as they believe that they have the best team in the division and that they are the main favorites to win the AFC South.

Indianapolis Colts fail to find a winning formula. Andrew Luck is the best player this franchise and this summer he became the highest paid NFL player. It is certain that the player who lifted the franchise after the departure of Peyton Manning deserves that kind of money, but what it’s worth, if he cannot be on the field? Indianapolis offensive line is not among the best in the league, but the opposite. Luck will have to be quickly releasing the ball and large part of the burden will fall on running backs. Colts defense is very unpredictable, as one drive they can make turnovers, and then next give up a big play. Robert Mathis and Vontae Davis are leaders this group, but there is no a real talent beside them.

Tennessee Titans continue with the restructuring of the team. Markus Mariota will enter his second NFL season, and after a decent rookie season expectations have risen. Problem for Mariota can unstable wide receivers and the absence of real Number 1. Therefore, expect to see a lot from running backs, primarily from DeMarco Murray, who after a bad season in the City of Brotherly Love wants to return to the top. Tennessee Titans defense has only one real star. Brian Orakpo will be the leader of the defense, but next to him there is no player who could pose a great concern for the opposing offenses.

Jacksonville Jaguars have made a very harmonious roster and will represent a big problem every team that they oppose. However, the real problem for the Jacksonville is loser mentality that this franchise owns. Blake Bortles progress each season and from him much is expected. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, with Julius Thomas should be firing pin of Jaguars offense. Chris Ivory should also bring a lot to the offense. The defense has become one of the best in the League, at least on paper. Malik Jackson, defensive lineman who last year was part of the Denver Broncos, came to Florida. Prince Amukamara and Tashaun Gipson have brought the quality to the secondary.

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