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The Patriots went 13-3 in 2011, winning the AFC East title by five games over the New York Jets (who ended the campaign on a three-game losing streak) and seven games over the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills – who both ended up with 6-10 marks.
And pushing the Patriots to that record last year was their explosive offense, which put up a conference-high 513 points over their 16 games; the San Diego Chargers were the only other AFC team to even crack 400 points on the year.
That has the Patriots as the -400 favorites on the NFL odds at Bovada to win the AFC East title in 2012, as they look to return to the playoffs and avenge their loss in last year’s Super Bowl to the New York Giants.
The Jets and Bills are then both at +600, with New York adding some intrigue to their offseason when they brought in Tim Tebow to back up incumbent quarterback Mark Sanchez – who has been rapidly losing the faith of Jets fans.
Buffalo surprised in the offseason when they were able to sign star defensive end Mario Williams as a free agent. The Bills allowed an AFC-high 434 points last year, but they’re hoping Williams’ insertion into the lineup allows them to improve greatly in that area.
It’s then the Dolphins as the +1500 long shot on the odds to win the AFC East at Bovada; Miami has named rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill as their starter for the season.