AFC East: Beast of the Least

New England Patriots Logo     Things are not bright in the AFC East.  This division has the unenviable position of being the worst group in all of the NFL.  The lone bright spot in New England still shines but there’s not much after them.  The Miami Dolphins, NY Jets, and (to a lesser extent) Buffalo Bills are pitiful.  There isn’t a whole lot of mystery when it comes to who will win this division.  The biggest question is just how bad will the rest of the AFC East be!

In this preview we will start with the, projected divisional winner, New England Patriots.  There just isn’t that much suspense to build up to when looking for the winner of the division.  Bill Belichick has built a system that can beat you with offense, ask the Kansas City Chiefs.  Additionally, with time to game-plan, the defense can stymie anybody, ask the LA Rams.  This organization has been built where almost any part is replaceable and interchangeable which makes the Patriots a team to be reckoned with year in and year out.  This season is no different as the Elldee Sports Formula is predicting a 14-2 finish, good enough for a #3 seed in the AFC Playoffs.

Next up, the Buffalo Bills are finally rounding the corner.  Let’s just say that it’s a LONG corner.  While this team is on the rise, they have a long way to go before they are competitive on a weekly basis.  Josh Allen is showing promise at quarterback and LeSean McCoy provides veteran leadership but if this team wants to continue to improve, they will have to increase passing yards per game.  The Bills are one of only eight teams in the NFL who pass for less than 200 yards per game in a league that is built for passing.  The defense has buoyed this team but the offense has ensured that Buffalo will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  A -5 turnover margin hurt last season and will need to improve as well.  The formula is projecting a paltry four-win season.  Better luck next year, Buffalo.

The Miami Dolphins are trying their luck with a new head coach in Brian Flores.  Flores is a defensive coach who has spent his entire career under Bill Belichick, learning the defensive nuances of the legendary coach.  When he wasn’t coaching, he was a scout for New England.  That means he knows defense and he knows how to find diamonds in the rough when it comes to players.  That is great news because he has taken over a team that needs a complete overhaul.  Miami ownership has already started making moves, going out and trading for Josh Rosen from the Arizona Cardinals.  They needed to do something as the Dolphins finished last season ranked 29th on Offense and 31st on Defense.  It shows in the predictions as well, as Miami is only projected to win 2 games this year and finish 3rd in the East.

If you think that the Miami Dolphins are lousy, you haven’t met the New York Jets.  Led by 2nd year QB, Sam Darnold, the Jets are another team that hopes to improve this year.  You may think that should be easy given that they only won four last season.  You would be wrong.  New York has added LeVeon Bell, one of the best all-around backs, to help take the pressure of opposing defenses off of Darnold.  The development will continue and the Jets will eventually get better but this isn’t the year to expect that.  Elldee Sports is predicting a 2-win season and a last place finish in the division.

So there it is.  The AFC East in all of it’s glory.  One great team and three others with 2nd year quarterbacks and boat loads of potential.  The New England Patriots, AFC champions for 4 of the past 5 years, are once again on top.  A familiar spot as they have won 10 straight and 16 of the past 18 divisional championships.  The Buffalo Bills trying to right the ship, the Miami Dolphins and their new coach, and the NY Jets forming the core of a future champion.  Until next time, good luck!

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