NFL2014 Crystal Schnoz Predictions – AFC East

3 notes before we get to the predictions:

1. NFL predictions are so hard to nail because of injuries, parity, and random bounces of the ball. That’s why this is so fun.

2. FO = Football Outsiders. I reference them and their phenomenal stats a lot. Their almanac is fantastic, go buy it.

3. Share your predictions in the comments so we can come back in January and marvel at how much smarter I am than you. Bring it!


#1 – New England Patriots

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) This division sucks. Forget SpyGate, the reason the Patriots have been an NFL Dynasty is because they play with the dregs of the league. More Like AAA-FC, am I right?

2) The Pats had the #1 offense on first down last year. (The Broncos were 2nd, of course.) On third down, however? They were 23rd (FO).

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) When Bill Belicheck gets tickled, he throws up.

2) Tom Brady names all of his mirrors after colors/plants. (Bathroom Mirror: “Purple Sycamore”, Car Rear View Mirror: “Black Ivy”, Oven Window Reflection: “Violet Wheat”)

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: a coffee grinder.

Celebrity Fans: Mark Walhberg, Steven Tyler, and Bill Simmons

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: Bill Belicheck snaps and strangles all of his players with his hoodie before holding a press conference where he gives one-word answers to every question and then disappears because he’s a wizard.

Schnoz Prediction: 12-4

Why: Because Brady is still Brady (for now), because the rest of the division can’t get their act together, and because adding Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis to their secondary gives Coach Grumpy more toys to get creative on defense than he has had in a long time. As for the offense, just imagine what might happen if Gronk stays healthy and Kenbrell Thompkins steps up as a playmaker this year. Sorry folks, same old story here.

#2 – Miami Dolphins

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) Their new O.C., Bill Lazor, was Chip Kelly’s QB coach for the Eagles last season. (He’s also worked under Dan Reeves, Joe Gibbs, and Mike Holmgren.)

2) Speaking of QBs, Ryan Tannehill was sacked 58 times last year, the most in the league.

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) Head Coach Joe Philbin thinks “thumb drives” are a new line of Hot Wheels cars. No one has the heart to correct him.

2) The dolphin in Miami’s logo is named Heather McDumps.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: a new stick of deodorant

Celebrity Fans: Johnny Depp, Darius Rucker, and Fergie

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: Hurricane Fido forms in the Atlantic next week and blows through town while the team is practicing. Why is the team practicing in a hurricane? Because Coach Philbin thought it was a good idea. And it was a good idea, until the scoreboard blew over and somehow landed on every single player on the roster, killing everyone.

Schnoz Prediction: 9-7

Why: Mostly because I have no faith in the Jets or Bills putting together a winning season. But if you’re looking for some hope here, start with Lazor, who is installing pieces of the Chip Kelly offense to keep Tannehill on his back less and on the scoreboard more. If Lazor is as advertised and Tannehill has the talent that many in the league think he has, they will improve on last year’s 8-8 finish and be in the playoff hunt come December. (Can’t believe I just typed that.)

#3 – New York Jets

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) The Jets were outscored by 97 points in 2013, the worst scoring differential of a team that didn’t have a losing record (8-8) in NFL history.

2) New WR Eric Decker had 87 catches last year in Denver, more than twice as many as the Jets leading receiver in 2013 (J. Kerley – 43).

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) C Nick Mangold has always thought Kelly Kapowski was overrated. His Saved By the Bell Power Rankings go 1. Spano, 2. Turtle, 3. Stacey Carosi, 4. Tori Scott, 5. Violet Anne Bickerstaff, 6. Kapowski, 7. Miss Bliss.

2) If you put a permanent crease in the spine of one of Muhammed Wilkerson’s paperbacks, he will break your leg in two places.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: Dandelions

Celebrity Fans: Denzel Washington, Ray Romano, and Adam Sandler

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: The entire Jets team decides to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, so GM John Idzik rents a helicopter to drop ice on all of them simultaneously to save time. When questioned as to whether or not this will give his players a headache, he decides to throw in painkillers as well. Unfortunately, the helicopter pilot is hard of hearing and instead of dropping “fifteen pounds of ice and Advil from a hundred feet” he drops “fifty pounds of ice and anvils from nine hundred feet.” Everyone dies.

Schnoz Prediction: 7-9

Why: The Jets have the toughest projected schedule of anyone in this division (10th toughest in the league per FO). To make matters worse, this team might have one of the league’s worst secondaries, something Rex Ryan defenses need to thrive. The Geno Smith/Mike Vick battle has all the makings of a NY Media Circus, which the Jets inflicted on themselves by signing a backup who doesn’t think he’s a backup. Grab some peanuts and don’t step in the elephant crap, this circus might be fun to watch.

#4 – Buffalo Bills

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) The Bills have their third D.C. in as many years. Mike Pettine left to run the Browns, so Jim “Only Soft Handshakes Allowed” Schwartz is the new guy in Buffalo.

2) No Toronto game this year. Yay! (But there will be from 2015-2019. Boo! Unless you live in Toronto. Yay!)

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) In the offseason, Head Coach Doug Marrone likes creating ideas for multilevel marketing schemes and pitching them to his friends. Related: he no longer has friends.

2) The “C.J.” in C.J. Spiller’s name stands for “Cherry Jello” because when he was seven he killed a wild horse in self-defense while eating Cherry Jello.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: A can of tomato paste

Celebrity Fans: Phil Mickelson, Jim Carrey, and Nick Bakay

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: In the process of moving the team to Toronto, the players are stopped by the border patrol when it is discovered that Mario Williams is trying to smuggle his pet python into Canada. The Mounties are called in, things escalate quickly, and the entire team is killed in the fracas.

Schnoz Prediction: 4-12

Why: Because their defense could once again be among the best five in the league, even without Kiko Alonso and Jairus Byrd (FO had them ranked 4th in 2013). That being said, I do not believe E.J. Manuel is the answer to any question other than, “Who is the person E.J. Manuel sees in the mirror when he’s brushing his teeth?” Without a good QB their offensive weapons can only do so much. And no, we’re not going to classify Kyle Orton as a “good QB” when he eventually takes over the job. Would your fourth straight 6-10 season taste like bad medicine, Bills fans? How about 4-12?

Alright everyone, chime in with your thoughts on the AFC East.

What do you agree with and where am I dead wrong?


AFC: East | North | South | West

NFC: East | North | South | West | The Playoffs