By: Alex Kamel
New England Patriots
How will the defense perform with Matt Patricia out the door?
There’s no questions about the Patriots’ offense and there never will be as long as TB12 is under center. Although they lost WR Danny Amendola and RB Dion Lewis, they can pull a couple of fans out of Gillette Stadium to replace them and not skip a beat. The defense on the other hand has just lost long time defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who left to take the head coaching job for the Detroit Lions. I have always thought about Patricia’s defense as bend but don’t break, because although they were not dominant, they always did their job of protecting the end zone at all costs. Although there will not be an official defensive coordinator, linebacker coach, Brian Flores will call the defensive plays and will be challenged to improve a defense that was put to shame by back up QB/Super Bowl MVP Nicky Foles and the Eagles.
Will Josh Allen prove to be more than just a quarterback with a strong arm?
The Bills have been trying to force out Tyrod Taylor since early last season. They finally had a chance to bench him in week 11, but Nathan Peterman choked his chance by throwing 5 interceptions in the first half against the Chargers.
With Tyrod Taylor sent to the sad pit of misery that is the Cleveland Browns, the Bills traded up in the draft for strong armed, Josh Allen.
We’ve seen plenty of quarterbacks taken just because of their strong arm that has turned out terribly. Jamarcus Russell, Blaine Gabbert, Paxton Lynch, and maybe even Famous Jameis at this point. The most recent example of a quarterback with the same attributes that has actually found success is the man himself, Carson Wentz. The Bills are taking a risk on Josh Allen, but it will pay huge dividends if he is anything similar to what the Eagles were able to get two years ago in the draft.
New York Jets
Will Sam Darnold be the Jets savior?
This time is different. He’s the one. Every Jet fan felt rejuvenated after the team selected Sam Darnold out of USC with the #2 overall pick.
Brady’s career is soon coming to an end and that means their stronghold on the division is up for grabs. The Jets are coming off of a 5-11 season, where they surprisingly exceeded expectations. Although it is still a losing record, it does not reflect their season as they have had hard fought games each and every week, including wins over three playoff teams (Chiefs Jaguars, and Bills). Their defense kept them in most of their games and just needed that one important piece of the puzzle to turn them into a legitimate threat. It is all up to Darnold and the coaching staff to fire up that offense to complement the hard nose grinders on the other side of the ball. Darnold seems like a promising prospect, but let’s never forget the last USC QB the Jets drafted...
Is this Ryan Tannehill’s last chance?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the Dolphins got played on draft night when the Cardinals traded up to draft Josh Rosen with the 10th pick while the Dolphins had the 11th. I also would have loved to see Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen in the same division, but the Cardinals unapologetically STOLE Rosen right in front of the Dolphins that night.
With that being said the Dolphins are saying that they are confident in their quarterback Ryan Tannehill to start the season after he has missed the last 20 games with a left knee injury.
Safety T.J. McDonald has said that he has shown tremendous leadership during OTA’s and training camp “He looks real good right now. His leadership is also great on and off the field.” Right Guard Jesse Davis also added, " He's been a great leader, gets us all together, get us on the same page. I think it's going to be awesome to work with him."
Even though he is receiving high praise in training camp, it’s only training camp. Tannehill has been nothing but average, a very basic 8-8 kind of quarterback. The kind of average that gets Jim Fisher all hot. If he can’t step it up this year then he will have to find another team to be average for.
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