AFC East

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

2004 RECORD: 14-2

SUPER ODDS: 7-2; OVER/UNDER: 11 1/2

SUN SAYS: Forget the departures on defence and on the sidelines, the Pats remain the team to beat. As long as QB Tom Brady remains upright, they are still the class of the AFC East and need only to worry about Indy to repeat as conference champs. Losses of LBs Tedy Bruschi and Ted Johnson will hurt, but defence is still a force with leaders such as Rodney Harrison, Willie McGinest and Richard Seymour.

NEW YORK JETS

2004 RECORD: 10-6

SUPER ODDS: 18-1; OVER/UNDER: 9

SUN SAYS: Big off-season move was to open up the offence by getting new coordinator Mike Heimerdinger and wide receiver Laveranues Coles. None of that will matter if QB Chad Pennington doesn't prove he is among the top half in the league at the position. CB Ty Law will help fill a hole on the defence's weakest link but it's tough to build up a big record in this division.

BUFFALO BILLS

2004 RECORD: 9-7

SUPER ODDS: 25-1; OVER/UNDER: 8

SUN SAYS: Expect J.P. Losman to struggle at times, especially early. The key then, will be whether the defence and RB Willis McGahee can shoulder the load until Losman feels comfortable enough to run the offence with authority. Bills learned the hard way a year ago how an 0-4 start can destroy a well-meant season early so they'll have to take advantage of relative lightweights Houston, Tampa Bay, New Orleans and Miami in the first five weeks.

MIAMI DOLPHINS

2004 RECORD: 4-12

SUPER ODDS: 60-1; OVER/UNDER: 6

SUN SAYS: It will take more than the tough love of coach Nick Saban to have the Fish avoid being the Least of the East. RB Ricky Williams is back (sort of). He'll miss the first four games and given his rep, who can trust him much behond that. Saban, a contemporary of the Pats' Bill Belichick will make the Fish better. But not for a while.


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