1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Offense: QB Tom Brady is without a doubt one of the best QBs in the game. With a nearly non-existent running game in 2005, Brady was called on to carry the load – and he responded with a big year. Brady threw for 4,110 yards and 26 TDs with a 92.3 QB rating. The Pats drafted RB Laurence Maroney as insurance for the aging Dillon. The receiving corps is suspect except for former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch. David Givens left for Tennessee, leaving the Pats without a solid #2 WR. They drafted Chad Jackson to compete with Reche Caldwell. Look for more production from the TE position, where Ben Watson is poised for a breakout season. Daniel Graham is another viable option from the TE position. Brady spreads the ball around very well and makes his teammates better. As long as he stays healthy, the offense will continue to produce.

Defense: This isn’t the same defense that led the Pats to three Super Bowl titles, but it also isn’t the same unit that looked awful at times last season. This defense is aging and lacks the depth at LB it once had. But Bill Belichick is a defensive guru who won’t allow this unit to slip too far, injuries not withstanding. DE Richard Seymour leads a solid d-line. Rosevelt Colvin is a quality substitute for the departed Willie McGinest. Tedy Bruschi returned from a stroke to lead the LB corps. The front seven is sound, but the secondary needs to stay healthy in 2006. Rodney Harrison returns from injury and veterans SS Tebucky Jones and CB Eric Warfield were brought in. This defense will return to elite status as long as the injury bug doesn’t pay another visit.

Special Teams: Kicker Adam Vinatieri left for Indianapolis and the Pats may regret lettingufabet ทางเข้าบอลสเต็ป him test the free-agent market. They signed former Bucs kicker Martin Gramatica, but you can expect to see other kickers competing for the job. This will almost certainly come back to haunt them in close games.

Prediction: If Brady and the secondary stay healthy, New England will once again win the AFC East. But they better look over their shoulders because Miami is closing the gap.

2. MIAMI DOLPHINS

Offense: The arrival of QB Daunte Culpepper has fueled optimism in Miami. Joey