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|Everyone's still chasing the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Many of the faces change every year in Miami Chargers Authentic Jerseys , Buffalo, New York 鈥?and even in Foxborough 鈥?but Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are constants in the division.
So are AFC East titles for the Patriots. They've won nine in a row, and 14 of the past 15. And, it certainly appears they're an excellent bet to add to that haul this season.
Not that Belichick is too comfortable with any of that.
"Each year is a new year, and each year has its own challenges," said the coach, whose 278 overall victories are third-most in NFL history. "Again, each year we all have to regain our 鈥?to the best we can 鈥?our ability to perform our jobs. That's what I'm trying to do. I think that's what all of the players, all of the coaches, we're all trying to do that."
The Patriots don't lack motivation.
After all, they're coming off a Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and had an interesting offseason. Brady sat out workouts, tight end Rob Gronkowski hinted at retirement and skipped voluntary workouts before rejoining his teammates, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was hired as Detroit's coach, and wide receiver Julian Edelman was suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancers.
Brady turned 41 on Aug. 3 and has shown no signs of slowing, although some wonder if this might be the year he finally regresses. Well, not those who are around the five-time Super Bowl champion.
"He's hands-down just remarkable, it's amazing," Gronkowski said. "At age 41 Youth Adrian Clayborn Jersey , I mean, there's coaches younger than us, younger than him on the roster. He looks younger than the coaches, he looks younger than everyone. The way he's moving, how just reliable he is at all times is just unbelievable and something to look up to."
Here are a few other things to know about the AFC East:
BRADY'S BUNCH: One of the biggest questions for New England heading into the season is who'll catch on in the passing game.
Gone are Danny Amendola, Brandin Cooks, Malcolm Mitchell and Kenny Britt, Eric Decker retired just a few weeks after joining the Patriots, Jordan Matthews was released early in camp and Edelman is out the first four games.
Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and newcomer Cordarrelle Patterson figure to be the primary options among wide receivers 鈥?unless the Patriots add someone before the start of the regular season.
Still, Gronkowski will once again be Brady's main man, and rookie running back Sony Michel could see lots of passes his way once he's healthy from a knee issue.
"You've got to go out there and show it on the practice field," Brady said, "so that we can all gain trust in each other."
RYAN'S HOPE: Ryan Tannehill is back under center for Miami after being sidelined since December 2016 because of two injuries to his left knee.
The Dolphins are banking on him having a big-time comeback, or at least be better than Jay Cutler was last season while filling in. But Tannehill's durability is a concern, and if he goes down again, Brock Osweiler and David Fales are the fallback options.
Some good news, though: The offensive line Lorenzo Alexander Jersey , anchored by veteran newcomer Josh Sitton, could be the best Tannehill has played behind. The Dolphins also added Amendola, Albert Wilson, Frank Gore and rookie Mike Gesicki at the skill positions, which should add some playmaking options 鈥?especially with DeVante Parker uncertain to be ready for the start of the season because of a broken finger.
"It's a lot of fun," Tannehill said. "With so many playmakers, it's just a matter of getting the ball in their hands and letting them go to work."
SLING IT AGAIN, SAM
The Jets traded up three spots to get to No. 3 in the draft, hoping to get a potential franchise quarterback. After Cleveland took Baker Mayfield and the Giants went with running back Saquon Barkley, Sam Darnold fell right into New York's lap 鈥?getting the guy it wanted all along.
The 21-year-old Darnold was given every opportunity to win the starting job in a three-way competition with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater, and the rookie did nothing but impress the coaching staff this summer. The former USC star is the future of the franchise 鈥?and that could mean right now.
"He's everything that you're looking for in a young quarterback," offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said, "as far as the ability to go out there and the game is not too big for him."
WHO'S IN THE HUDDLE?
The Bills traded Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland in the offseason, then traded up five spots to draft Josh Allen with the seventh pick.
The strong-armed former Wyoming star is raw and remains a work in progress, displayed in a shaky start against Cincinnati in the third preseason game. Playing behind a patchwork offensive line didn't help, but Buffalo might have to open the season with the rookie watching from the sideline.
Newcomer AJ McCarron and returning backup Nathan Peterman could be the starter when the Bills 鈥?who snapped a 17-year playoff drought 鈥?open at Baltimore on Sept. 9.
Whoever is under center will have LeSean McCoy in the backfield. Even at 30, he's expected to be a workhorse. A hip/groin injury limited him in the preseason, but he's expected to be ready for the Ravens. Also Cody Latimer Color Rush Jersey , an off-field issue regarding his ex-girlfriend being hurt in a home invasion in July, hasn't been much of a distraction.
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: Patriots, Dolphins, Jets, Bills.
AP Sports Writers Jimmy Golen, John Wawrow and Steven Wine contributed. Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and said the expansion Vegas Golden Knights sent a message, bouncing back with a 3-1 series-evening win over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference final. ”Every time we need a big game as a group, we show up,” Marchessault said. ”We showed the hockey world we earned the right to be here.”
Tomas Tatar scored 6:37 into the game for the Golden Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 30 saves.
Kyle Connor scored midway through the third period to pull Winnipeg within a goal. Marchessault restored the two-goal lead 1:28 later.
Connor Hellebuyck had 25 saves for the Jets.
After losing the series opener, Marchessault told reporters the team faced a must-win game.
”If you’re going to talk out there in the media that you have to be better, I think you need to lead by example,” he said. ”I tried to do that.”
Game 3 is Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
”I don’t think anybody is panicking,” Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba said. ”We like our road game. We like where it was in the Nashville series.”
Winnipeg won three times on the top-seeded Predators’ home ice, including Game 7 last week.
The expansion Golden Knights appeared to be rusty in the series opener and the Jets scored three goals early in a 4-2 win about 48 hours after advancing out of the second round.
It looked like they were going to pick up where they left off.
”They came out flying again with a lot of speed,” Fleury said.
Fleury, who helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win three Stanley Cups, made key stops early and got help from teammate and a post in the opening minutes to keep the puck out of his net.
”Fleury had to make three or four really good saves in the first seven minutes,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. ”We rebounded after that. We got that 2-0 lead and it was a different game for us. When teams are chasing the lead Andre Burakovsky Jersey , it’s tough for teams to battle back.”
Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele, who has postseason-high 12 goals , got the puck past Fleury in the opening moments of the game and Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt cleared it from the crease .
Vegas generated offense by making plays without the puck, forcing turnovers to set up goals.
”We were on them,” Golden Knights forward Erik Haula said. ”That’s our game. We’re a fast team. I think we showed that.”
After the Jets failed to control the puck out of a corner in their end, Tatar ended up stuffing the puck in the net after hitting the side of the net with a shot.
Connor was pressured into turning over the puck near center ice late in the opening period and Reilly Smith set up Marchessault, his former Florida Panthers teammate, at the blue line and he scored on a breakaway backhander.
”There was about 57 minutes of that game that was pretty good for us,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. ”Three minutes of it got away from us.
The Jets closed the scoreless second period and started the third on the power play and still couldn’t get the puck past Fleury.
Winnipeg kept up the pressure on by relentlessly forechecking and drew another penalty early in the third. Connor took advantage, squeezing a shot between Fleury and the post from the bottom of the left circle 7:17 into the third.
That whipped the white-clad fans into a frenzy – triggering jeers of ”Fleu-ry! Fleu-ry!” – and were quickly quieted by another Marchessault backhander that beat Hellebuyck.
The Jets pulled their goaltender to add another skater over the last couple minutes of the game, but Fleury didn’t let the puck get past him again.
NOTES: Vegas put Tatar and Tomas Nosek in place of David Perron and Oscar Lindberg. Gallant said Perron was not a healthy scratch. ”He wasn’t feeling well,” Gallant said. ”I think he’ll be fine.” … The Jets have not lost consecutive games this postseason. … Vegas acquired Tatar from the Detroit Red Wings at the trade deadline for a first-round pick and he played in just his fifth game of this postseason and scored his first goal. ”What a luxury to be able to put Tomas Tatar into a game in the playoffs,” Schmidt said. ”The guy has been an incredible player in this league and proved it for many years.”
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