Good health didn't help the AFC East

Injuries are a tricky thing in the NFL. There is no rhyme or reason to it. You never know when they're coming, and they can happen in bunches or not much at all.

For the most part, the AFC East was fortunate with injuries in 2012. For example, no starting quarterback in the division missed a start due to injury. New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was benched for poor performance, and Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill suffered a quad and knee injury in Week 8 but started the following week against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Dallas Morning News kept an injury database for the entire season. It turns out the AFC East was the second-healthiest division in the NFL, with players missing 152 combined games. The NFC West was the healthiest division, with players missing 97 games.

Here is the breakdown of games missed for the AFC East:

  • Dolphins: 23

  • Patriots: 27

  • Jets: 47

  • Bills: 55

Every team but the Bills was in the top half of the league with the fewest games missed. Buffalo ranked 22nd.

However, good health did not translate into victories. The AFC East had just one team -- the Patriots (12-4) -- with a winning record. The division record overall was a meager 31-33.

It's clear that 2012 was not a health issue with the Bills (6-10), Jets (6-10) and Dolphins (7-9). It's more a talent issue with these teams. All three need to work harder in the offseason to add difference-makers who can win games.