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PIGSKIN PREVIEW TAB BUFFALO BILLS

Head coach: Dick Jauron, first season.

2005: 5-11, third in AFC East.

Key additions: DT Larry Tripplett (Indianapolis), WR Andre Davis (New England), WR Peerless Price (Dallas), C Melvin Fowler (Minnesota), S Donte Whitner (draft).

Key losses: WR Eric Moulds (trade w/Houston), S Lawyer Milloy (released), DT Sam Adams (released), T Mike Williams (released).

Position battle: Quarterback –; J.P. Losman vs. Kelly Holcomb. This battle may not be decided at the end of training camp. It's the first difficult decision Jauron will have to make. Losman is a former first-round draft pick with a load of talent, but Holcomb is a veteran and a leader.

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The buzz: Owner Ralph Wilson was not pleased with 2005, and he made sweeping changes in the front office and coaching staff. Former coach Marv Levy was brought in as GM, and Jauron was hired to replace Mike Mularkey. Levy didn't bring back Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas or Andre Reed, so the Bills making their first playoff appearance since 1999 is a long shot.

Key stretch: Sept. 10 at Miami, Sept. 17 at New England, Sept. 24 N.Y. Jets.

MIAMI DOLPHINS

Head coach: Nick Saban, second season.

2005: 9-7, second in AFC East.

Key additions: QB Daunte Culpepper (trade w/Minnesota), CB Will Allen (N.Y. Giants), QB Joey Harrington (trade w/Detroit), OT L.J. Shelton (Cleveland), CB Andre Goodman (Detroit), CB Jason Allen (draft).

Key losses: RB Ricky Williams (suspended), CB Sam Madison (released), QB Gus Frerotte (St. Louis), S Tebucky Jones (New England), LB Junior Seau (released).

Position battle: Cornerback –; Travis Daniels vs. Andre Goodman vs. Jason Allen. At worst, Goodman is a reliable nickel back. Daniels started 14 games as a rookie last year, making 61 tackles with just one interception. On the surface, the signing of Goodman helps cover for the departure of Sam Madison, but Goodman could push for the starting job. And don't rule out Allen, this year's first round draft pick, to play opposite Will Allen.

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The buzz: Saban turned the team around in 2005, winning five more games than the prior season. Now the question is, can he continue to help this team improve or does it regress? The addition of Culpepper gives the Dolphins their first star quarterback since …; well, Dan Marino. If RB Ronnie Brown plays as well as a sophomore as he did as a rookie, the Dolphins could sniff the playoffs.

Key stretch: Dec. 3 Jacksonville, Dec. 10 New England, Dec. 17 at Buffalo.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Head coach: Bill Belichick, seventh season.

2005: 10-6, first in AFC East; lost to Denver in AFC divisional playoff.

Key additions: RB Laurence Maroney (draft), WR Chad Jackson (draft), S Tebucky Jones (Miami), K Stephen Gostkowski (draft), CB Eric Warfield (Kansas City).

Key losses: K Adam Vinatieri (New England), WR David Givens (Tennessee), LB Willie McGinest (New England), T Tom Ashworth (Seattle), TE Christian Fauria (Washington).

Position battle: Running back –; Corey Dillon vs. Laurence Maroney. Dillon is 32 and rushed for less than 1,000 yards for only the second time in his career last year. Now he's facing, at least, a situation where he'll share time with the rookie Maroney, New England's first round draft choice. Maroney may even get a chance to prove he can catch the ball out of the backfield –; something he didn't do much in college at Minnesota.

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The buzz: The Patriots are getting older, but they still have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball. They may not dominate the NFL anymore, but they still have clutch playmakers –; even with the loss of Vinatieri –; to win the division.

Key stretch: Sept. 24 Denver, Oct. 1 at Cincinnati, Oct. 8 Miami.

NEW YORK JETS

Head coach: Eric Mangini, first season.

2005: 4-12, fourth in AFC East.

Key additions: T D'Brickashaw Ferguson (draft), C Nick Mangold (draft), DE Kimo von Oelhoffen (Pittsburgh), CB Andre Dyson (Seattle), QB Patrick Ramsey (trade w/Washington).

Key losses: DE John Abraham (trade w/Atlanta), CB Ty Law (released), C Kevin Mawae (Tennessee), T Jason Fabini (Dallas).

Position battle: Quarterback –; Chad Pennington vs. Patrick Ramsey. Pennington led Ramsey in the battle for the starting job late in training camp, but Ramsey is in better health. Pennington has never played a full 16 games, so even if he is named the starter, expect to see Ramsey at some point in the season.

The buzz: The Jets went from AFC championship contender two years ago to the bottom of the division last season. Mangini, the youngest head coach in the NFL, has been charged with turning things around. He's off to a respectable start, landing a pair of potential starting offensive linemen in the draft –; D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. The Jets still have a long way to go, though, and will still challenge Buffalo for third place in the division.

Key stretch: Oct. 1 Indianapolis, Oct. 8 at Jacksonville, Oct. 15 Miami.

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