CJ Ponzo has held a tight reign over the AFC East as long as this league has spanned. Memory and records review cannot recall the last time the East crown went anywhere other than South Beach.
CJ uses a lot of formations, but will give a lot of different looks and plays from each and every set. The Dolphins will probe the deep ball frequently and forces users to keep safeties back and out of the box. With Lamar Miller, the Dolphins frequently finished in the top of rushing teams in the NFL, despite numerous holes on the offensive line.
Get the ball out quick. It’s no surprise the Dolphins feature one of the scariest pass rushes in RFL. Suh, Wake, Mario. You better bring a complete o line to Miami if you want time to develop plays. Unfortunately, with the loss of Brent Grimes, this pass rush will be absolutely necessary to defend the back half of the field. Look for this talent deficit to be accommodated by user skill, as CJ has a high skill level on user safety play.
Offensive balance. The Dolphins have struggled up front. Laremy Tunsil was drafted to remedy that. With the departure of Lamar Miller, the Dolphins need Arian Foster to have some gas left in the tank to achieve offensive balance. The Dolphins love to run the ball, the question will be: “Do they have the personnel?”
New England Patriots
Chris Moreno is a new-comer to RFL and therefore, his tendencies are unknown.
Luckily, Deflategate hasn’t made its way to RFL, as Chris Moreno will enjoy the services of arguably the GOAT, Tom Brady. Also, luckily for Moreno, RFL doesn’t recognize preseason injuries, so he will enjoy the use of Dion Lewis. Gronk is a major, major problem for everyone to cover. The Patriots, as per usual, are loaded.
A Bill Bellicheck defense is always going to be dominant. This defense is lead by D’ante Hightower and Patrick Chung, perennial all pro players. Everyone else will be extremely well coached and therefore, solid Madden players.
We don’t know much about Moreno, but he’s boasting a lot of preseason publicity for his squad. It takes a certain style of player to be good with the Pats, and part of that is patience and tight end heavy passing. If he can adopt that, he should be solid.
New York Jets
Brandyn Nichols is boasting a flight school/no fly zone style. Making some early moves and logging a lot of practice hours, Nichols is really making moves to take a swing at the reigning division champs.
The Jets will be extremely pass heavy. He’s not one sided to the point of unbalanced, but make no mistake: the Jets want to throw the football. And Nichols has a high degree of skill throwing the ball into different areas of the field; does a nice job finding openings in zones and putting the ball there. With trade additions of Martavious Bryant and Marcus Wheaton, Brandon Marshall has acquired some nice receiving companions to stretch the field and give the big bodied receiver more one on one opportunities.
The Jets have a very nice front seven with the services of Muhammad Wilkerson and Steve McLendon. They like to pressure the quarterback with a lot of slants and blitz packages to force quick throws to receivers traveling to Revis Island. Although acquiring two nice receivers in a trade, the Jets did lose Leonard Williams and Darren Lee, two promising young defensive players with loads of room to grow.
The Jets need to force opponents into high scoring affairs. While definitely improving their offense, giving up proven talent like Leonard Williams makes you wonder about the personnel quality on defense.
Miami Dolphins. It’s just too hard to ignore division dominance. Lots of users have come and gone. Lots have been forced to fight for the Wild Card spot. CJ wins big games by good preparation and switching his game plan. He has history on his side.