I'm guessing this article from a few days ago will not be too popular in these parts from CBS' Clark Judge.
There's a perception out there that this season belongs to the New York Jets, and you can see why: They made it to the AFC Championship Game the past two seasons, including the 2009 season where they made it with a rookie head coach and rookie quarterback. Plus, they beat mighty New England in Foxborough in the 2010 playoffs. One problem: They still didn't win their division either year, and I can tell you why in two words: Tom Brady. As long as he's in the lineup, opponents are in deep kimchi. Since Brady took over as the Patriots starter, they won the AFC East eight of the nine years he's been healthy. The lone exception was 2002 when they tied Miami and the Jets for the top spot but lost the tiebreaker to New York. So Brady's a problem. A big problem. And as long as he's upright the competition can sit down. Everyone plays for second.
It's been a while since I poked holes in really poor analysis so here goes. What happened in the past is irrelevant. Herm Edwards' 2003 Jets team is irrelevant to the discussion. So are Eric Mangini's 2007 Jets who were up against the 18-1 Pats that year. The Lakers won the last two NBA Championships before this year. Did that make them a lock to win it again this year? All that will matter are the teams that take the field in 2011, and we do not even know what they will look like yet. Brady's great. The Pats will probably have a great shot to win the division. They might even be the favorites. A sure thing, though? It's an indefensibly dumb thing to say.
This kind of thinking is why expert predictions are so far off in the NFL every year. Almost every analyst predicts the standings to look almost identical to the year before. They never seem to get how much things change from year to year.
While we are at it, Judge also guarantees a New England sweep of the Bills if Brady is healthy. I know the Pats will probably have one of the best teams in the league again and be way better than the Bills. I get they have dominated Buffalo over the past decade, but really? There's no chance for an upset in one of two divisional games. How long has Judge been watching football?
Have at it in the comments section. Judge has earned it.