As each passing day goes by, we inch step closer to the return of regular-season football. The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins are preparing to build on their successes from last year while the New England Patriots and New York Jets are trying to bounce back after an forgettable seasons. One thing these teams do all have in common is that none are perfect. Each team still has a question mark that needs to be addressed.
Buffalo Bills: Will the pass rush be enough?
For the Buffalo Bills, one thing was consistent throughout the season—that was their inability to get to the quarterback without the blitz. This was pretty evident in both of their matchups against the Kansas City Chiefs when Patrick Mahomes was able to comfortably operate in the pocket and find open receivers. We saw the effects of a dominant pass rush when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. To try and improve, the team selected defensive ends Gregory Rousseau and Carlos Basham Jr. in the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. However, will it be enough? Jerry Hughes isn’t getting any younger and even though Ed Oliver had a decent season, he didn’t have the sack numbers to show for it. We all know the offense will be able to put up points but will the defensive be able to keep the score low?
Miami Dolphins: Is Tua the QB of the future?
The Miami Dolphins made it a point in the offseason to state that Tua Tagovailoa is their quarterback of the future after last season’s lineup shenanigans with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fair or not, this year will most likely be a prove-it season for the second-year QB, as the Dolphins look like a team that can get over the hump. They drafted a weapon in Jalen Waddle who was considered one of, if not, the top receiver in this past draft. For Tua, he has to show that he has complete command of the offense, especially after admitting recently that he did not have a full understanding of the play book. With all of the news about disgruntled quarterbacks, Miami could be in the market for one if they aren’t pleased with Tua.
New York Jets: Will the team buy in?
One of the biggest issues with the Jets the past couple of seasons was that the players didn’t buy the culture installed by former head coach Adam Gase. Now, there is a new guy in charge in Robert Saleh who earned his first head coaching job in the league this past season. New York has a lot of talented players on the roster but it won’t get the most out of them if they don’t believe in the culture. It’s up to Saleh to show that he was the right person for the job and rally his players to get the best out of them.
New England Patriots: How will the offense work?
The Patriots discovered last season that life without Tom Brady would not be easy as the they struggled all year on offense. New England is looking to bounce back but a question remains regarding how the offense will look. On one hand, they can continue to go with the ground-and-pound offense featuring Cam Newton in hopes of seeing the Cam who played very well before contracting COVID-19. Meanwhile, rookie Mac Jones might be able to open up things on offense and run the more traditional scheme the team utilized with Brady under center. Another huge question is if there will be enough snaps for both Hunter Henry AND Jonnu Smith, who were the top tight ends on the market before both of them ended up in Foxboro.