- Fins keep season alive Cam Wake's sack/safety in OT preserves the Fins victory and season
- Fins lose control in 2nd half Dolphins lose a 14 point lead and the game to the Patriots
- Fins trade for OT McKinnie Miami sends a late round conditional pick for OT Bryant McKinnie
- Fins let one get away Caleb Sturgis last second FG goes just left and the Fins lose 26-23
AFC East Positional Grades – OL
4) Miami Dolphins
The biggest question facing the Dolphins OL—and possibly team—is LT Jonathan Martin. Martin struggled as a rookie (PFF ranked him 76 out of 80 OT’s in 2012) but the team is confident in his upside because he has natural feet and long arms.
The rest of the unit is solid. C Mike Pouncey is already one of the NFL’s best interior lineman. LG Richie Incognito and RT Tyson Clabo are school-bully veterans who graded out well last season.
RG John Jerry showed up to OTA’s in the best shape of his career, and has the upper hand on Lance Louis for the job. 3rd-Round pick Dallas Thomas is a versatile and battle-tested (38 career starts at UT) rookie who could take over for Incognito in 2014.
Nate Garner can play all 5 OL positions. C Josh Samuda made the team as a rookie, and could get some looks this year.
3) Buffalo Bills
Even after losing LG Andy Levitre to the Titans, the Bills get the nod over theDolphins here because LT Cordy Glenn is ahead of Martin (who went one pick later) at the line’s most important positon.
C Eric Wood is one of the league’s best if healthy, but that’s a big “IF” as he has missed 11 games in the last 3 years. RG Kraig Urbik was rewarded with a 4-year $15-million dollar contract extension in December.
Veteran RT Erik Pears (31) could be pushed by promising third-year Chris Hairston. There’s no starting spot up for grabs more than LG with veteran Doug Legursky battling career backups Sam Young, David Snow, and Chris Scott.
This line played far above their ability last year, evidenced by C.J. Spiller’s 1244-yard season (6.0 YPC), and 30 sacks allowed (10th in NFL). But can they replace Levitre?
2) New York Jets
LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson (29) and C Nick Mangold (29) have combined for 7 Pro Bowls in their careers and should have several solid years left in them. LG Willie Colon was signed away from the Steelers, but has only played 12 games in the last two years.
RG Steven Peterman, started 48 straight games for the Lions between 2010-2012, is OK but unspectacular. RT Austin Howard held up surprisingly well after only starting 1 game heading into the 2012 season.
The team spent 3rd, 5th, and 6th round picks in the draft on LG Brian Winters, RT Oday Aboushi, and RG William Campbell. Look for Winters to push either Colon or Peterman if they show age or injury concerns.
1) New England Patriots
While Brady gets most of the credit, the Patriots have one of the best OL’s in the game heading into 2013. PFF ranked mammoth Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer both in the top 17 out of 80 OT’s.
C Ryan Wendell (5th among C’s by PFF) quietly became one of the league’s best pivot men last season. LG Logan Mankins has made the last 4 Pro Bowls. RG Dan Connolly is a solid punchpail player who could be challenged by 6’5 -350 pound Marcus Cannon, who spent the 2012 season as a backup G/T after recovering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a rookie in 2011.
Join us on our message board and share your thoughts at FinNation Forums
Join us on Twitter at @FinNation