Could The New England Patriots Be Forced To Play Second Fiddle In AFC East?

By Will Gellman
Tom Brady
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

With the Week 2 outcomes officially settled in the AFC East, both the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins are currently tied atop the division at 2-0.

Although it is still early, with the Dolphins’ statement win against the Indianapolis Colts today, coupled with the poor play of the Patriots to start the season, one may start to wonder; could the Patriots finish second in their division this year?

It is a fair question to ask if you examine the teams that the Patriots will encounter this season.

They will have to play tough teams like the New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, and Cincinatti Bengals just to name a few.

Given the way that the team has looked offensively to start the season, it is likely they could struggle to keep up with these offensive juggernauts on the scoreboard. If they have struggled to beat the mediocre teams they have faced so far, what will happen against these powerhouses?

If the Patriots were to lose those games, the division could come down to the head-to-head matchups within the AFC East.

With the Patriots set to play the Dolphins twice again this year, those two games could hold legitimate weight for the first time since 2008, the year Matt Cassel was the starting quarterback for the Patriots.

The Dolphins look like a pretty good football team early on. They have a decent running game in Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas, a legitimate receiving core in Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, and Brandon Gibson, an emerging quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, and a dynamic pass rush duo in Cameron Wake and Dion Jordan.

The Patriots had better pay special attention to the Dolphins this year. New England may not be as well equipped to beat Miami this year as they have been in years past, mainly because of the addition of Wallace, who has historically given them fits over the years. In any case, the division could come down to the season-series between the two teams.

Will Gellman is a New England Patriots’ Writer for  Follow him on Twitter @Will_Gellman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.



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