10 Burning Questions: AFC East

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10 Burning Questions: AFC East
FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2012 file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacts after a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass for the AFC East champs in 46 consecutive games. If he does it Sunday, he'll match Johnny Unitas and move seven behind Drew Brees' NFL record.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski waves as he leaves the field in a cart after being injured in the third quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JUNE 18: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leads running drills at a mini-camp near Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
New York Jets players loosen up during NFL football training minicamp Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New England Patriots middle linebacker Brandon Spikes faces reporters in the team's locker room at Gillette Stadium following NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. The Patriots host the Houston Texans on Sunday in ab AFC divisional playoff game. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New York Jets safety Calvin Pryor (25) watches during NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan throws the ball during NFL football pro day, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel passes against the Carolina Panthers in the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
New York Jets NFL football quarterback Geno Smith speaks to the media Thursday, May 22, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith stretches during an NFL football organized team activity, Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) smiles as he walks the field following the Jets 20-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins during an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in East Rutherford. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith looks on after being pulled during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick looks on during an NFL football organized team activity, Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
FILE - In this Dec. 29, 2013, file photo, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick tosses a football before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. Vick is the new No. 1 for the New York Jets. The veteran quarterback initially chose earlier this week to wear No. 8 with his new team, but announced on Twitter on Friday, May 2, 2014, that he was going with jersey No. 1. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
FILE - In a Dec. 22, 2013 file photo, Philadelphia Eagles' Michael Vick warms up before the first half of an NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chicago Bears, in Philadelphia. The New York Jets signed quarterback Michael Vick and released Mark Sanchez on Friday, March 21, 2014. Vick was a free agent after spending the last five seasons with the Phialdelphia Eagles. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
New York Jets quarterbacks Tajh Boyd (3), Geno Smith (7), Michael Vick (1) and Matt Simms (5) work out during an NFL football organized team activity, Wednesday, June 4, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
New York Jets running back Chris Johnson (21) runs with the ball during NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New York Jets NFL football running back Chris Johnson speaks to the media Thursday, May 22, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Calvin Pryor, who was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round earlier this month, talks to reporters about his wisdom teeth, which have been bothering him and kept him from putting on a helmet during an NFL football organized team activity, Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Calvin Pryor, left, who was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round earlier this month, protects as Brandon Dixon makes a catch during an NFL football organized team activity, Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Calvin Pryor, who was drafted by the New York Jets with the 18th pick in the first round of the NFL football draft the night before, waits for instructions after a news conference, Friday, May 9, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Calvin Pryor, who was drafted by the New York Jets with the 18th pick in the first round of the NFL football draft the night before, holds up a team jersey before talking to the press, Friday, May 9, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
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By SAM SPIEGELMAN
XN Sports

The New England Patriots have owned the AFC East for the last decade, but the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills all made splashes over the offseason to try and make their push toward taking the division.

Last season we saw Tom Brady regress a bit, forcing many to wonder how much more the future Hall of Famer has left in the tank. The Jets added Eric Decker, the top wide receiver in free agency. The Bills traded up in the draft to nab Sammy Watkins, arguably the best wide receiver available in this class. And Miami - they hired Bill Lazor away from the Philadelphia Eagles to try and give Ryan Tannehill an even greater chance to succeed in his third season.

Here are the top 10 burning questions for the AFC East entering 2014:

1. Will Brady be Brady?

Brady's lack of offensive weapons last season led to a dud of a season, one in which he recorded his lowest touchdown total since 2006. The Pats are counting on Danny Amendola to remain healthy, Rob Gronkowski to be back in the mix, plus Kenbrell Thompkins or Aaron Dobson to step up.

2. Does Darrelle Revis return to the island?

It could be the robbery of the offseason, but Revis landing in New England made Pats fans quickly forget about losing Aqib Talib. Revis did not return to form right away last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but reportedly feels 100 percent healthy.

Patriots' Strengths And Concerns

3. Will Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel take a step forward?

Both Smith and Manuel received new weapons this offseason, and both second-year signal-callers are going to be expected to make major strides in 2014. Smith was wildly inconsistent as a rookie, but has been getting first-team reps over Michael Vick. Manuel is coming off injury, but has a boatload of offensive talent to work with.

4. Is this the Patriots' division to lose?

New England has taken the division title 10 of the last 11 years, but if the rest of the pack improves faster than anticipated, could they legitimately be a threat to the Patriots? The Jets will be stout on defense; offense is question. Miami appears on the cusp. Buffalo is young. But can someone surprise?

5. Does CJ2K bounce back?

The Jets lured the former 2,000-yard running back out of Tennessee to create a thunder-lightning tandem much like the team used to have with LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene. What does Chris Johnson have left in the tank?

6. The Lazor Effect

Bill Lazor left Philly to be the Dolphins offensive coordinator, and he'll be charged with helping Tannehill progress in Year 3. His major task: getting Lamar Miller and Mike Wallace more involved.

7. Brandon Spikes vs. New England

The linebacker was exiled from Foxborough in dramatic fashion and finds himself with a familiar foe. Spikes has called out Bill Belichick and wants revenge, but this almost never actually works out.

8. Miller time?

Lamar Miller was expected to make a big leap from a rookie to his sophomore campaigns, but all indications are that this offseason has been his best to date. Will Miami finally give Tannehill a running game to lean on?

9. What to expect out of Gronk

Injuries have plagued Gronk each of the past two seasons, and not coincidentally it has hurt the Pats offense. Gronk is reportedly getting back to full strength. He needs to prove he can stay on the field.

10. Better D: New York or New England?

Not only did the Pats add Revis to their secondary, but Brandon Browner. Plus Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo are healthy, and last year we saw Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins continue to get better. The Jets are still stout up front, and added Calvin Pryor in the first round to join last year's first-rounder Dee Milliner. Both of these units have the potential to be top-five caliber in the league.


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