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Does Brady suspension make Miami favorite to win AFC East?

Tom Brady has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season. Does that make the Miami Dolphins the favorite to win the AFC East?

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The NFL has announced a four-game suspension for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The Patriots themselves will also be fined $1 million and lose a 2016 first-round draft pick and a 2017 fourth-round pick, but those punishments will not impact them on the field in 2015. Losing your future Hall of Fame, and current Super Bowl MVP, quarterback will. How much will it hurt, though?

The Miami Dolphins are starting to pick up love in the media, including Football Outsiders today declaring them the "hot sleeper Super Bowl contender for 2015." They concluded their early predicitions for how the AFC East will fare in 2015 with the statement, "if Tom Brady were to be suspended for multiple games due to Deflategate, we would have to slightly favor the Dolphins as AFC East champions." Well, it is multiple games. Is it enough, though?

Miami has clearly worked to close the gap on the Patriots, with quarterback Ryan Tannehill continuing to develop, a completely revamped wide receiver corps, and a defensive line that should rank among the league's elite when the season is over. Now, with Brady out for four games, with contests against the Pittsburgh Steelers, at the Buffalo Bills, homne against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and at the Dallas Cowboys, could the Dolphins, who will look to get off to a fast start on the road against the Washington Redskins, at the Jaguars, home against the Bills, then a London contest against the New York Jets, surpass the perennial AFC East champions?

Let us know what you think by voting in the poll below and discuss in the comments.