Week One An Indication Of Top Dog In The East

Is opening weekend an indication of how the AFC East division will shake out? Shane Leketa takes a look and shares his thoughts on what it all means.

Entering the 2010 NFL season, there were a lot of questions to be answered. The {Patriots were one of the teams that needed a good long look in action before an accurate prediction could be made for their coming season.

Week One was full of answers, for me.

First of all, it is going to be a fun ride in the AFC East this year. The battle between the rival New York Jets and the New England Patriots will make headlines both times the two face off this year. The Miami Dolphins will be another fun team to watch now that Pat White has departed and Bill Parcells handed the reins to the next guy in line. The Buffalo Bills showed that they too are not just some team to chalk up as an easy win this season.

First, let's look at the New England Patriots. It seemed that the boys from Foxboro came into week one looking to send a statement to the rest of the league. All the media talked about before the game was how the defense was suspect and young. We heard that they were inexperienced and lacked maturity in the secondary. Then they faced a formidable opponent's receiving corps in Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco and were successful in executing a scheme that made the Bengals resort to going against the grain of not using their running game. The Patriots have something to prove this season after an offseason filled with J-E-T-S talk. They will surprise some people this year.

Next up, the New York Jets. The offseason reports on them were filled with quotes like "We are the Miami Heat of football" and terms thrown around like "Super Bowl favorite" and "unstoppable." After week one, we can see that the Jets are a very talented and efficient defense that will give opponents fits in the secondary. But the loss of DT Kris Jenkins will play havoc on a defense that is reliant on stopping the run and penetrating the offensive line to pressure the quarterback.

The Jets' offense is a real question mark. Will Mark Sanchez play to not make mistakes or will he be the talented quarterback and run the offense like most think that he is capable of? Will Ladanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene be able to fill the void left by Thomas Jones (now in KC) and Leon Washington (now in Seattle)? The Jets have a lot of questions still to be answered.

The Patriots and the Jets will be first and second in the AFC East as long as they stay healthy this season.

Every year in the AFC East, the rivalries run deep between all four teams in the division and this year will not be any different. Aside from the perceived level of talent on the rosters, these teams will play hard, tough, smash-mouth football. Similar to the battle the Jets had against the Ravens in Week One.

The Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills will bring a lot of variety to the division, with the wildcat offense in Miami and the downhill running game in Buffalo. But these two teams do not compare to the Patriots and Jets when the talent across the rosters are compared.

Be sure to mark the calendars when AFC East teams meet, because despite what the oddsmakers say, those games will be no cakewalk. Still, even in a tough game, the Patriots and Jets should come out on top.

Week one already told us a lot about the teams in the AFC East division. I can't wait until 1pm this Sunday for the Jets/Patriots game to find out who is top dog.


Shane Leketa is a long time Patriots fan who bleeds red white and blue. Leketa runs the site @MyPatsSpace


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