I don't see a three team race. Nor do I see anyone in the AFC East that can compare to the Dolphins.
Sure, most of us dislike the Jets and Pats but I'm putting that aside here. I'm looking at the facts and they're telling me that the Dolphins have more talent, discipline, confidence and stability than the others. From every angle I look I see an AFC East championship and beyond.
The Pats have the "it" factor which is why I still look at them as stronger than the Jets. They've got Tom Brady and that's all that matters in the Pats-Jets comparison. They have a weak stable of RBs and a spotty D. The D should bounce back due to Belichick but they're in the middle of that process. They have some great young players on D and I actually think both the Fins and Pats D is going to be better than the Jets D this year. Moss and Brady are stuck in the middle of contract situations so I expect the offense to sputter. Moss believes the Pats will let him walk this year so it should be interesting to see how Moss reacts to that. Welker is the bright spot but not bright enough to overcome the Fins.
The way the media has hyped the Jets makes me feel like a crazy person. Sanchez was weak last year and his positive spin this offseason is due to a couple decent outings in the playoffs. Nothing impressive and in my opinion he didn't deliver on his draft status. They let a great RB walk and their O-line isn't stronger than it was last year. Their D was impressive last year but pressure is something that can be learned and defended with aggressive offense. I think lots of the Jets success last year was due to not having game film on them. The fact that we were able to still walk away with two wins tells me not to worry this year.With the Pats I see a team. With the Jets I see a team of individuals. Rex seemed to concern himself with too much last year that didn't matter. Things that would normally derail a season didn't take that effect on the Jets last year. They luckily overcame the media but only because they luckily got into the playoffs. Without that the Jets would have been killed this offseason and I doubt that Tannenbaum and Rex would have gotten extensions.
I give Henne the nod over Sanchez because he's got the attitude of a leader. He leads by example instead of Sanchez who has already broken some of Bill Parcells golden rules of being an NFL QB. A QB should be a leader among men, not a model among players. Just today I saw something that shouldn't concern Sanchez.
"This is my team," Sanchez said. "This is my offense. You need to own it. . . . When you walk in a room, people should know: That's the quarterback. That's our guy."
He shouldn't care what people think when he walks in a room. The difference is Henne respects his other QBs and doesn't need to put them down in order to pick himself up. Henne knows this team's best chance at winning is having as many capable QBs on this roster as possible and he knows that each of them need confidence in order to do the best they can. Saying what Sanchez said only discourages the other QBs on the team. That's an individual's perspective which is exactly the theme of the Jets.
The Dolphins might have some question marks but not as many as the Pats and Jets. Both have contract issues at key positions that could easily take away from their season. Brady is saying all the right things but Moss isn't. Moss has age catching up to him and Brady might not have the fire anymore that he once did. The Jets are playing a game with Revis that I think is all production but he's not the only one with a contract dispute. Bottom line for me with the Jets is I don't agree with their cockiness or their style in building this team. They were forced to derail plans to get better due to the Final 8 plan and ended up putting band-aids on broken legs like Jason Taylor and Ladainian Tomlinson.
Any question mark you can find on this Dolphins roster can also be found on either the Pats or Jets roster, plus some.
For me the talent is close but the continuity and mentality of the Dolphins is light years beyond the others. The coaching would also lean towards the Fins even with Belichick to compare with. The direction of Parcells and the loss of assistants to the Pats makes me lean towards the Fins. Our staff has mostly been in place since 2008 and the addition of Mike Nolan is very promising. The Jets on the other hand have a coach that I think was lucky to get away with his showing last year. At times I like his quotes and style and other times I think it's negative towards young players in the long term and veteran players in the short term.
Ownership is another aspect I'm looking at and that nod must go to Robert Kraft. I've admired Kraft's craft for some time now between his faith in Belichick early by sending the Jets picks for him to his ability to get a new stadium built. I've loved what Stephen Ross has done so far but Kraft's results over the long haul are close to his team's results over his time as owner which is not an easy feat to match. Ross seems to be similar to Kraft in the way they handle and present themselves as well as their confidence in the men they've hired. Woody Johnson, the owner of the Jets is a different story for me. I view Tannenbaum's moves to be desperate at times since they seem to disregard chemistry. His hiring of Rex was desperate and could have blown up if not for some favorable late match ups, help from other teams and a nice run in the playoffs, all of which amounted to restrictions in the offseason and more trading of picks. Granting extensions to those two further showed me that Woody Johnson is the one actually acting desperate which is further reason why I put zero concern into playing the Jets.
When I look at the short term I see a Fins team with more impact on offense compared to either the Pats or Jets. I'll assume the Pats get it together on offense but I still think Brandon Marshall is what puts us over the top. Belichick knows it and maybe he could have made some short term moves to get better but I think what he's doing is the equivalent to one of us knowing we're going to run a Madden franchise as long as the game will allow us. He's building for the ultimate which when he's done should provide our FIns with an epic yearly matchup going forward. I don't see the impact on offense from the Jets. On D I'll assume the Jets will be good but no where near as good as last year. I question their line and their pass rush now that the league has a year's worth of film to see how Rex uses them. Not only that but they couldn't beat us without Brandon Marshall so what happens now? The Pats have a young D but it's up and coming and it could click at any time although I think Belichick is taking his same good old time with them in rebuilding them as well as his offense.
Belichick is smart and he knows Parcells. He sees what Parcells is doing here and it seems to me like he's almost bowed out of the race this year or at least decided to give it a go without trading assets in the future. I respect that and like I said before I look forward to seeing the end product. Saying I'm concerned about the Pats in 2012 is an understatement.
Now Mike Tannenbaum knows Parcells too except he's not building with confidence. Maybe he would have been if he was given that extension sooner but the damage is done. Youth through picks has been traded for the short term as well as discipline. It's a hotshot style that I drastically disagree with. Confidence is great but cockiness will get you nowhere fast. I don't believe in salary cap guys running teams so letting Parcells' old account build the Jets isn't something I'm on board with. He's an extension of Terry Bradway who's still with the Jets as the previously fired GM who was running the show after Parcells left there. Process that, the same leadership has been running the Jets since Parcells left with no Super Bowl they even attended. That's poor on the part of ownership even if Tannenbaum has hit on a few picks.
The Dolphins are the best team in the AFC East, I'm 100% convinced. The Pats are getting respect due to Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and their track record. I'm fine with that. The Jets are getting respect because of four letters...ESPN. It's New York, it's ratings, it's Hard Knocks and it's a coach that manages to make his way onto Sportscenter even when there aren't practices or games going on. It's beneficial to hype the Jets for media and the fact that they needed to be hyped proves that the confidence isn't truly there for them. I look at the reaction of the media to the Jets and honestly feel like a crazy person. It's being ignored that LT was done last year and the Jets let Thomas Jones walk. Also that JT was done in the second half of last year and that history suggests he's about 2-3 years past the point that he could have an impact as a pass rusher. They let the leader of their offensive line walk. Sanchez wasn't good last year. Braylon Edwards has never been that good or consistent at this level. Santurdio is nothing to depend on and I'll take the view of the Steelers on a player any day. (except Big Ben of course, lol) Their defensive line is weak, their pass rush is old or limited, they have strong play at MLB and their CBs are strong because of Revis. Cromartie hasn't been what he was when he was a rookie and now I must call him 8-6-5 instead of 7-6-5 because he had another kid with one of his 6 baby mommas throughout 5 states. Their Safeties are young or limited and I'd have to give that nod to the Fins because of Bell.
In the end I don't see how the Fins aren't the overwhelming favorite but that's a good thing. Let ESPN hype the Jets and try to respect the Pats for what they've already proven. I think we'll overcome both on our way to dominance this year. I see teams with high power passing attacks as teams that could beat us which is why I also respect the Pats but I still don't think they'll have enough. The Colts are a team that still truly concerns me.
Now onto the team in the AFC East that I think could really turn some heads, the Bil....hahaha, I can't even finish typing it, hahaha.
So make sure you grasp onto every part of this season you possibly can because in the end it's going to be a special one.
This fanpost was written by one of The Phinsider's registered users.