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September 02, 1995

EAST

Division prediction

The Miami Dolphins, who are trying to give Don Shula one more championship, should breeze to the division title, and New England figures to get a wild-card spot. Buffalo and Indianapolis will be in contention but likely will fall short, and the Jets will pull up the rear.

1. Miami Dolphins

1994 record: Division champions with a 10-6 record, but lost second-round playoff game at San Diego.

Coach: Don Shula (338-165-6, including 265-139-2 at Miami)

Key additions: TE Eric Green, DL Trace Armstrong, WR Randal Hill, WR Gary Clark and DB Louis Oliver.

Key losses: TE Keith Jackson, WR Mark Ingram and OL Jeff Dellenbach.

Strengths: Dan Marino is still one of the best quarterbacks, and he has a big new target in Eric Green, who's also a good blocker. The team is a threat to score quickly every time it has the ball.

Weaknesses: The Dolphins haven't had a 1,000-yard runner since 1978, when Marino was still in high school, and their defense, while improving, has yet to prove it can be dominant enough in the playoffs to make it to the Super Bowl.

Extra point: Jimmy Johnson is being clever by picking the Dolphins to win the Super Bowl. Either he's right or his supporters will say the Dolphins would have done it with him as coach.

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