The Patriots play in a very tough division with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins but they are still the favorite in NFL preseason lines to win the AFC East.
2010 NFL preseason betting odds list New England at even money to win the AFC East with the Jets the second choice at 6-5. The Miami Dolphins are contenders as well at 4-1 while Buffalo is a hopeless long shot. The Patriots play an interesting preseason opening game as they host the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints on August 12th. A week later they travel to Atlanta for a game against the Falcons that can be seen on Fox television. They host the St. Louis Rams in Week 3 while they travel to the New York Giants in Week 4.
The Patriots are coming off a 10-6 season which was a disappointment. New England didn’t win the division and had to play Baltimore in the Wild Card round. They were routed by the Ravens and many flaws were exposed. The New England offense was not overwhelming and quarterback Tom Brady actually made mistakes. The defense was poor for much of the season and defensive coordinator Dean Pees was let go.
The Patriots still have Brady and head coach Bill Belichick so they will get respect in NFL preseason lines. New England also has wide receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker who are a great tandem. Welker is coming off an injury but he is healing faster than expected. The team also added veteran Torry Holt. The running game is questionable but somehow the Patriots get the job done with Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris.
The New England defense is not what it once was. Vince Wilfork is still a force in the middle and Jerod Mayo is a very good linebacker. The Patriots are hoping that second round pick Brandon Spikes can make a difference right away. The secondary is average and doesn’t make enough big plays. The Patriots do have a great kicker in Stephen Gostkowski although Belichick doesn’t use him nearly enough as he believes he can always make a first done.