With the breaking news that Aaron Hernandez is being questioned regarding a homicide, first reported by ABC News, does this give the Jets a glimmer of hope to win the AFC East? Rob Gronkowski recovering from back surgery and Hernandez is in legal woes, now Tim Tebow may play a more valuable role on the New England Patriots than anyone had envisioned. It is too early to tell what role, if any Hernandez had in this homicide investigation, however it certainty will be a distraction for Bill Belichick and his Patriots.
Before I jump to any conclusions, I will let the details come out on the Hernandez situation. However, as Jets center Nick Mangold pointed out the New York Post, “I bet Bill (Belichick) is losing his mind right now.” Yes, the Jets do have their own internal issues, such as who will be the week-1 starting quarterback, but this does open the door for the Jets or any other AFC East team to make a run for the division title. The Miami Dolphins are coming off a 7-9 2012 regular season record, and the Buffalo Bills are coming off a 6-10 record. The Jets finished 2012 with an 8-8 record. My point being, if the Patriots do slip up this season, the rest of the AFC East is up for grabs.
If the Patriots could go 11-5 without Tom Brady (they did miss the playoffs) in 2008, then the loss of Hernandez (if any), along with Gronks back and arm issues should not be that big of a deal. However, Brady did lose his security blanket in Wes Welker to the Denver Broncos in free agency, meaning his top-3 favorite targets are either uncertain for week-1 or with a different team all together. Look for Rex Ryan to take full advantage of this, and work his magic with the New York media.
Justin Lerner: PureSportsNY