Early projections for AFC East

ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando wrote an interesting blog this week comparing early over/under projections in Vegas with his own projections. I figured it would be a good idea to do the same in the AFC East.

Here are the projections:

Keep in mind that it's only May, and things can change. But there are several things that are interesting to note.

  • For starters, Vegas projects that the Jets, Dolphins and Bills will improve from 2011. New York finished 8-8, while Miami and Buffalo were 6-10. The early over/under scenarios suggest a more competitive division with all three teams making good moves in the offseason.

  • It's also interesting to note that the Bills, my sleeper pick in 2012, are picked to finish last once again. I'm not surprised. Buffalo hasn't reached the playoffs in 13 years. There's a lot of reason and history to doubt the Bills. But I think both the Bills and Jets both have the potential to make a playoff push and finish second in the AFC East. As it stands right now, Miami is my pick for last place in the division.

  • The Jets are the hardest team to gauge. They've never had a losing season under Rex Ryan, and I can see 2012 being the year it happens. But I also could see this being a bounce-back season for the Jets if they focus. I feel I have a pretty good read on how the Patriots, Bills and Dolphins will do this year. But the Jets are tricky and truly a wild card in the division that can be boom or bust.

No matter how it plays out, I think 2012 will be a more competitive year in the AFC East. The Patriots are clearly projected at the top. But after that things should get interesting.