Part two of my predictions for the NFL season brings us to the AFC East, which has been dominated by the New England Patriots over the last decade and a half. Will we see the same trend continue? Lets see
Winner of Division
New England Patriots
Is there really any other choice here? New England has shown a dominance over a division unlike anything the NFL has seen in a very long time. Brady and Belichick have been the staples to the roster but all of the other positions have seemed to be interchangeable. Brady continues to play at an MVP like level at the age of 41 and has said on multiple occasions he wants to play another 5 years. This franchise may want to enjoy their glory days right now because once Brady and Belichick both leave, it will be a major rebuild.
This decision, just like the AFC North predictions, is predicated on the fact that the next two teams are going through (or need to gomajor transitions at the most important positions on the field. Ryan Tannehill, in my opinion, has one more year to prove that he has the ability to lead this team to contention or else the Dolphins may be in the same position the Jets and Bills and Bills are in. They lost their leading receiver in Jarvis Landry and their bulk up front in Ndamukong Suh over the off-season so saying this team got better is a huge stretch. Honestly, the only thing putting the Dolphins in second place instead of third is the consistently at quarterback. Overall this team might not finish with a winning record but I believe they will be better than the next two teams.
New York Jets
It is almost a coin flip on who is going to finish in the basement of the AFC East, but the Jets have some (semi) established veterans at quarterback. Both Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown have started in the NFL and give them a little more time to bring Sam Darnold along without having to throw him to the wolves immediately. The defensive line is still the biggest strength and I really think their secondary could grow leaps and bounds this year. Their biggest issue is going to be scoring enough and having enough long drives to keep the defense fresh for the entire game. I hope the Jets didn’t mess this up again and choose another USC quarterback that makes waves for all the wrong reasons.
Looking at Buffalo from a pure talent perspective, they should be considered a fringe playoff team. They have a well-rounded defense and some very good skill position players. The biggest concern, and why they are rated last on my predictions, the quarterback dilemma. AJ McCarron has thrown less than 150 passes in the NFL and Buffalo just drafted Josh Allen with the number 7 overall pick. They have put a lot of faith in a career backup and a rookie out of Wyoming. Now AJ McCarron could be Aaron Rogers and/or Josh Allen could be Carson Wentz. Neither of those situations look likely, but give this team a year or two and they could be contending for an AFC East title. This year though, no chance.