AFC EAST PREDICTIONS
The AFC East division of the NFL comes to us without one of the most recognizable faces in football for the first time in over a decade following Tom Brady’s departure for Tampa Bay. For many, this has left them with the feeling that the division is wide open, and we will see a new division champ. There are even some theories that New England may intentionally tank for a shot at Trevor Lawrence.
In today’s 2020 NFL season preview we take a look at how we believe the AFC East will play out now that the proverbial throne has been vacated. Despite popular opinion, we really don’t expect much to change.
#1) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
This may shock some people, but expect the Patriots to still win the division. They may not do it with the dominating performances they have often provided in the past, but they should still have enough to get the job done.
Regardless of whether or not Hoyer or Stidham get the nod at quarterback, we like their chance of getting the job done. In fact, it is hard to recall the last time a quarterback didn’t look at least serviceable in a New England Patriots uniform. The team leans heavy on their run game, as they always have, and that alone will assist them in being in position to win games.
The defense should be expected to do what the defense has done for the entire duration of the dynasty. They will make average players look great and create turnovers that will give the run first offense a chance to put points on the board.
Brady may be gone, but the rest of the winning culture in New England is still in place, and they don’t know how to lose. Expect a solid season from New England despite the loss of Brady and them having what most consider a tough schedule.
#2) MIAMI DOLPHINS
The Miami Dolphins had one of the best offseasons in the NFL this spring. They acquired almost an entire starting defense in free agency, with Byron Jones being the headliner. They also obtained two solid running backs by bringing in Jordan Howard and Matt Breida. The kicker, they acquired all of the players they did without losing anyone noteworthy.
The draft went very well for Miami as well. They were able to get who they believe to the be a franchise quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, although as mentioned in a previous article, we don’t expect much from him. They were also able to add two potential starters to the offensive line, and plenty of depth for both the offensive and defensive lines.
Regardless of whether Tua or Ryan Fitzpatrick is running the offense, we expect the Dolphins to push for the division lead. Ultimately however, we expect them to fall short due to consistency issues in what is sure to be a back and forth at quarterback.
#3) BUFFALO BILLS
The Buffalo Bills will have a slightly worse season compared to last year in our opinion. They have stayed fairly stagnant while watching Miami beef up. This will leave them out of the hunt with our best estimation.
One of the big problems for the Bills will continue to be the inconsistency of Josh Allen. There are times he looks like he could be the messiah sent to save the people of Buffalo from despair, and other times where he looks just terrible. Allen had one of the worst completion percentages in the NFL last season, its tough to be consistent with that working against you.
The defense will keep them competitive as it does every year however. For whatever reason, the Bills always seem to be stout against the run, and capable of generating takeaways. We just don’t expect it to be enough for them to secure even a wildcard this season.
#4) NEW YORK JETS
There is a bit of compassion being felt while writing this. It must be horrible to be a Jets fan. It might just be karma for destroying Mark Sanchez over the butt fumble after he was probably the brightest possibility the organization has seen in quite some time.
Simply put, the Jets will Jet. Don’t expect any level of consistency from this team. In fact, it would be much more likely to expect a decisively disappointing season. Add to the familiarity with losing the fact that the Jets had a fairly poor draft by all accounts, and are experiencing a rocky situation with their best defensive player Jamal Adams.
With all things considered, we don’t see a single possible different outcome than dead last in the division for the New York Jets. On the bright side, this will once again give the Jets another fairly high draft pick to waste. If they can manage to put a decent roster together before Darnold is off of his rookie contract they might be able to turn the franchise around.
WHAT ARE YOUR AFC EAST PREDICTIONS?
What do you think is going to happen in the AFC East for the 2020 season? Let us know in the comments below. Do you agree with or dislike our assessment of your team in this division? Again, let us know.
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