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What pundits are saying about the AFC East

The Dolphins are 5-4 and in third place in the AFC East -- the Bills also have a 5-4 record but Miami beat them a few weeks ago so Miami is ahead by way of the head-to-head tie-breaker.

Anyway, the Dolphins are becoming something of the sexy pick in the division as they try to win their fourth consecutive game Sunday in a matchup against Oakland. Seems even some of the pundits at ESPN are on the bandwagon.

The crowded house set at the worldwide sports leader asked the question which AFC team is best.

Tom Jackson:  “As crazy as this sounds, it is going to be the Miami Dolphins. Fewest turnovers in the league, that’s a good starting point for a ball club. Franchise quarterback, premier rusher in the league, we talked about Joey Porter. Now you start looking at schedule, it is very important – we’re going to play four teams that are 2-6 and one team that is 1-7 … If you were drawing up a schedule that was going to get you to the playoffs, this would be it. And let's remind ourselves that Bill Parcells, he is not coaching the team, coach (Tony) Sparano is the coach, but in December, he (Parcells) really knows how to win football games.” 

Quickie analysis of the analysis: I don't think anyone in South Florida is claiming that Chad Pennington is a franchise quarterback. He's a good QB for this team. He doesn't make many mistakes. He's an upgrade over anything they've had in a decade. But franchise QB? I don't think so.

Anyway, Jackson was not alone in picking the Dolphins as the best team. Keyshawn Johnson agreed and while his explanation is rudimentary, there is nothing incorrect about it.

Johnson:  “When you look at the Miami Dolphins, they are ahead of schedule … They’ve already beaten two of the three teams in the division … So when you look at the schedule, and you look at everything that has happening (sic) with this football team, there’s an opportunity there for them.”

For the record, Cris Carter and Mike Ditka picked the Patriots as the best team in the AFC East while Chris Berman went with his Buffalo Bills ... and the Patriots ... and the Jets. In other words Berman picked everyone except the Dolphins.

Berman:  “I asked the question who is the best team in the division? My head is telling me New England – expect to win, they know how to win, their coaching is great and they’ve got a lot of guys who won’t accept losing at all. My heart is telling me Buffalo – Yes, I enjoy a team being built, and seeing them, kind of, grow. Though, that’s settling a little bit. But my eyes, from last week, the Jets are an interesting team.”

Amazing how Berman could pick practically every team in the division and still might end up being wrong.