Fred Jackson, Devin McCourtyThe New England Patriots, despite a couple of early-season hiccups, still look like the team to beat in the AFC East.

However, the gap between New England and the rest of the division may be smaller than it’s been in a long time. The key to shortening that gap even more might lay in the running game for the division’s other clubs.

Former NFL linebacker and current NESN analyst Matt Chatham wrote Sunday on his website FootballByFootball.com that the Patriots aren’t the only team who could benefit from the running game. The Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets all stand to gain plenty by jump-starting their own ground attacks starting as early as Sunday with all three clubs facing important games.

“Nobody is changing their fortunes in the AFC East without a consistently productive running game,” he writes.  “Nobody.”

Click here to read Chatham’s breakdown of the AFC East >>