The New England Patriots are still the beast of the AFC East until dethroned.  Can anyone challenge and unseat the Foxboro club?  Here is a 2013 AFC East preview:

Player to watch:  It is easy to say Tom Brady.   But let's take C.J. Spiller.  The guy plays in Buffalo and averaged 6.0 yards per carry and had over 1,700 total yards from scrimmage last season for the Bills.  And this without a quarterback or great receivers or a solid offensive line.  The Clemson product is exciting and legit.  The Bills would probably benefit if they gave the ball to Spiller until he puked, as offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said in preseason.

Don't buy into the....Miami Dolphins.  The new logo breaks tradition but looks cool. Can the money the Fish spent be even cooler?  Time will tell.  The key guy for them is Mike Wallace stretching the field.  The offensive line is still below average and the pass rush is brutal outside of linebacker Cameron Wake. That bodes poorly in the pass-happy NFL we know now.  Plus, they are a have-not franchise in the league because they don't have a franchise QB.

Punchless Patriots?  Tom Brady and Bill Belichick still exist and this division is weak to be kind.  New England lost a lot in the receiving corps, especially Wes Welker to Denver and Aaron Hernandez to jail.  So, look to the defense finally in New England. This unit has a lot of potential and youthful energy with Brandon Spikes, Chandler Jones, Jerod Mayo and Dont'a Hightower.  Vince Wilfork is the veteran leader.

M-E-S-S, Mess, Mess, Mess for the Jets, Jets, Jets.  QB controversy.  Rex Ryan. Coach vs. GM in the front office.  The Jets are all drama and show but cannot win football games.  2013 is going to be a long year for Gang Green.  They have no offensive play makers either after concentrating on defense in the draft.

Projected records:  Patriots:  11-5.  Dolphins:  8-8.  Bills:  7-9.  Jets:  6-10.

Who do you think wins the AFC East?  Vote here:

By:  Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike," M-F 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.  Follow him on Twitter at



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