With Tom Brady out of the picture, will this be the year that one of the other teams in the AFC East finally break the stranglehold that the New England Patriots have had on the division? That’s an interesting question but with the caliber of the teams in this division, it doesn’t look like it will change. The division is made up of perennial powerhouse New England, along with the upstart Buffalo Bills, the Miami Dolphins, and the New York Jets. Let’s dive into the season as predicted by the Elldee Sports Formula.
Buffalo Bills: 2019 Record 10-6 — 2020 Predicted Record 6-10
The Buffalo Bills had an impressive 2019 season and in a perfect world would continue to improve. The problem that they are running into is that after finishing 2nd in the AFC East last season, the schedule this year gets exponentially more difficult. They have a solid core on offense with Josh Allen at quarterback but until he can prove that he can lead an effective passing offense, the Bills will struggle to be consistent. They were one of the best rushing teams and one of the worst passing teams last season. The Bills are hoping that the addition of Stefon Diggs can spark a lethargic passing attack. Luckily, the bottom dwellers in the division are really bad enabling them to finish 2nd in the division again but they won’t sniff the playoffs this year.
Miami Dolphins: 2019 Record 5-11 — 2020 Predicted Record 2-14
In Miami, the Dolphins are going to be behind the power curve thanks to COVID-19. The lack of team workouts are going to stunt the growth of first-round draft pick Tua Tagovailoa. The silver lining is that they would most likely have started Ryan Fitzpatrick anyways but he has proved so inconsistent that you never know if he is going to throw five TDs or deliver a dud. That is not promising when the rushing game was dead last in the NFL last season. Compound that with the 30th ranked defense and you have a recipe for a 2-win season.
New York Jets: 2019 Record 7-9 — 2020 Predicted Record 1-15
If you are a Miami fan, be grateful that you are not a New York Jets supporter. The Elldee Sports Formula is predicting the Jets to be one of the worst teams in the league this upcoming season. I don’t necessarily agree with this prediction but numbers are numbers and they don’t lie. Quarterback Sam Darnold just hasn’t developed into the professional star that many thought he would coming out of college. LeVeon Bell was once a superb playmaker but hasn’t flashed the same brilliance that he did in Pittsburgh. The offense finished last year dead last in the NFL and they did not make any blockbuster moves to change that. The lone bright spot was the defense but letting Jamal Adams get away is not going to help matters. Mind you, trading him for two first-round picks makes me believe that they are looking to the future, not the present.
New England Patriots: 2019 Record 12-4 — 2020 Predicted Record 13-3
The New England Patriots have been NFL royalty since the turn of the century. In fact, they have won the AFC East 17 times in a 19-year period, including 11 straight 1st place finishes. The division and league finally thought that they would get a reprieve from the Patriot dominance as Tom Brady left for sunnier pastures in Tampa Bay. That is, until the Pats just went out and picked up former NFL MVP Cam Newton. With a healthy Newton, New England will be just fine on offense and Bill Belichick is a coaching genius on the defensive side of the ball. Expect the Patriots to continue the streak and finish 1st for the 12th straight year.