In the first year without Tom Brady being in the AFC East since entering the NFL, the Patriots went from 1st to 3rd after the Bills and Dolphins respectively overtook them. Without Brady, the AFC East is a whole different ball game and we are here for all of it! We’ll analyze the AFC East heading into 2021 and if we’ll have the same results for this season.
Division Winner: Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills should easily win the AFC East for the 2nd year in a row. The Bills are here to stay at the top for the long run. We haven’t seen a Buffalo team this good since their Super Bowl streak in the 90s. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are one of the top 3 QB-WR combos in the NFL. Allen and Diggs have found their groove with one another while the Bills defense is also becoming more respectable in their own right. The Bills will take the division this year with ease.
2nd Place in Division: Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins finished last season just outside of the playoffs but with a winning record of 10-6 in Tua’s first season. Tua is now recovered from his injury and the Dolphins added multiple weapons in Will Fuller, Malcolm Brown, and Jaylen Waddle to help Tua succeed. The Dolphins need to improve their offensive line in order for us to consider putting them as the division winner of this new look division, but they should be 2nd place and compete for a wild card this season.
3rd Place in Division: New York Jets
After moving on from Sam Darnold after only a few seasons, the Jets drafted Zach Wilson with the 2nd overall pick. The Jets also drafted one of the top running backs of the class in Michael Carter and drafted Elijah Moore. The Jets had a great draft addressing needs at key positions along with adding another wide receiver in veteran Corey Davis who should be a key leader for the Jets offense. The Jets offense looks very different than they did last year when they were one of the league’s worst. We expect a lot of improvement and the Jets to exceed most people’s expectations this season. Quietly improving in key areas, we expect the Jets to not be the AFC East’s bottom dweller for much longer.
Last Place in Division: New England Patriots
The New England Patriots missed the playoffs and finished with their first losing record in many years as they are seriously missing one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. The Patriots signed Cam Newton who was a disappointment in his first year as a Patriot and is on the hot seat this year after the Patriots drafted Alabama quarterback Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick. The Patriots had a flurry of signings this offseason which will help restore some ground they lost, but most of the players they signed were aging veterans who are out of their prime. The Patriots need to embrace the rebuild and go young which is what will allow the Jets to pass the Patriots in the standings.