1. New England Patriots (16.5)
Offense: QB Tom Brady, WRs Wes Welker and Randy Moss are as good as it gets as a trio. Welker made a shockingly fast recovery from a serious knee injury. Look out for rookie TEs Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Fred Taylor leads five-man stable of running backs. The offensive line will miss holdout RG Logan Mankins. Grade: 4.5.
Defense: NT Vince Wilfork and ILB Jerod Mayo anchor stout interior. FS Brandon Meriweather is coming off a Pro Bowl year, but a young secondary will be tested often if pass rush isn't improved. Grade: 3.5.
Special teams: PK Stephen Gostkowski has made Adam Vinatieri a distant memory. Speedy Brandon Tate, who missed rookie year with a knee injury, may be answer to return game. Grade: 3.5.
Coaching: With Bill Belichick in control, who needs coordinators? Grade: 5.0.
On the spot: OLB Tully Banta-Cain. Bringing pressure off the edge is vital.
Prediction: Winning division isn't a given anymore. Record: 10-6.
2. New York Jets (15.5)
Offense: Former Chargers great LaDainian Tomlinson joins second-year Shonn Greene in reconstructed backfield. A strong postseason doesn't mean second-year QB Mark Sanchez has arrived. A good receiving corps gets better once former Steeler Santonio Holmes serves four-game suspension. O-line should be fine without LG Alan Faneca. Grade: 3.5.
Defense: With All-Pro Darrelle Revis and San Diego castoff Antonio Cromartie, the Jets have a pair of lock-down cornerbacks that allow them to unleash a multitude of blitzes that includes former Dolphin great Jason Taylor. You can forget about running inside on NT Kris Jenkins and ILBs David Harris and Bart Scott. Grade: 5.0.
Special teams: Jets hope K Nick Folk overcomes bad '09 season in Dallas. Brad Smith is a dangerous return man. Grade: 3.5.
Coaching: Rex Ryan has changed the attitude and culture for the better. Grade: 3.5.
On the spot: Greene. He'd better produce or Jets will regret letting 1,400-yard rusher Thomas Jones leave.
Prediction: Should be good, but not buying Super Bowl hype. Record: 9-7.
3. Miami Dolphins (14.5)
Offense: When healthy, RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams (1,121 yards and 11 TDs in '09) can pound defenses, but the Jake Long-led O-line needs to block better than it did in preseason. WR Brandon Marshall will help continue QB Chad Henne's development. Grade: 3.0.
Defense: ILB Karlos Dansby, DE Jared Odrick and OLB Koa Misi are big additions to a front seven that lost top pass rushers Jason Taylor and Joey Porter. CBs Vontae Davis and Sean Smith showed promise as rookie starters, but Smith lost job to Jason Allen. Grade: 3.5.
Special teams: K Dan Carpenter and P Brandon Fields are consistent. Patrick Cobbs and Devon Bess replace return man Ted Ginn Jr. Grade: 4.0.
Coaching: Tony Sparano has provided good leadership, and hiring Mike Nolan to run defense was a great move. Grade: 4.0.
On the spot: OLB Cameron Wake. Former CFL star pass rusher has big shoes to fill in replacing Taylor and Porter.
Prediction: Thanks to LeBron, the Dolphins no longer own South Florida. Record: 8-8.
4. Buffalo Bills (14.0)
Offense: Versatile running game with C.J. Spiller's speed, Fred Jackson's toughness and Marshawn Lynch's power. QB Trent Edwards' success depends on an unproven receiving corps -- besides Lee Evans -- and suspect offensive line. Grade: 3.0.
Defense: DE Dwan Edwards and ILB Andra Davis have experience in the 3-4, but can NT Kyle Williams and OLBs Aaron Maybin and Chris Kelsay be effective in unfamiliar scheme? The secondary is loaded, with every starter and key backup returning. Grade: 3.0.
Special teams: The kicking game is always solid with P Brian Moorman and K Rian Lindell. Spiller, who had eight return TDs at Clemson, is one of many return options. Grade: 5.0.
Coaching: Chan Gailey is known for maximizing talent on offense. Staff has mix of college and pro experience. Grade: 3.0.
On the spot: Edwards. This is the last chance to turn his career around.
Prediction: Could be improved and still finish last. Record: 6-10.