The AFC East has changed quite a bit from last season, not to mention during it. Not including the fact that Tom Brady will be out for the first few games. We could see as many as three new quarterbacks to start the season. Last year Tom Brady, Ryan Tannehill, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Tyrod Taylor all started respectively.
The Jets may not get Fitzpatrick back, and Tyrod Taylor had the best year of his entire career.
There is a chance the Jets could start either the newly drafted Christian Hackenberg, and the Bills may not have Taylor start. Taylor last year was rated much higher then people give him credit for, there is still little hope he can or will repeat. Once a dual-threat QB has enough tape for a defense to study such as; RG3, Collin Kapernick, Vince Young and Russell Wilson there seems to be a dip in production.
Well lets get started then shall we:
New England Patriots- The Patriots as per usual were a threat last year to make the Super Bowl. This year should be no different, even with Tom Brady most likely missing the first four games of the season. The Patriots are still a lock to make the playoffs. The Jets, Bills, and Dolphins are all in-between rebuilding and becoming contenders. They did not lose much of anything during the off-season and drafted based purely on needs. This year however, I think the lack of true receiving threats outside of Gronk and the new addition of the underrated Martellus Bennett will show. Even with the best TE combo in the league, putting much faith in Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman is a bit of a stretch. They fixed the offensive line problems they had towards the end of last season. If the Patriots can build off the offensive line production they will be solid once again. The Patriots are still the favorite to win this division. Again. With the production they seem to get out of players no matter how they use them they are still a lock to win the East. While the Jets and the Bills are still trying to figure out what a quarterback is there should be little competition for them this season.
New York Jets- The Jets are coming off their best season in years with a 10-win season. The downside is it was under the command of Ryan Fitzpatrick who at this moment is not on the Jets roster. The Jets this off-season lost D’Brickashaw Ferguson to retirement. The Jets also lost Ryan Fitzpatrick and Antonio Cromartie to free agency. Two of those were big players in the teams big season last year. There are some positives though, well at least one in the fact they got the dynamic Matt Forte from the Chicago Bears and drafted Christian Hackenberg a QB from Penn State. Forte might be the best dual threat RB in the league and can cause deadly mismatches in a division where no team as a solid line backing corps. Hackenberg each day is looking more and more like he could start day one, there is only one person one earth who sees Geno Smith starting the first game. Its Geno Smith. Also in the draft the Jets got Darron Lee a OLB from Ohio State. Lee will give them a pass rush threat and could create a match up with Gronk. If the Jets can get their QB situation figured out having Forte, Marshall and Decker will give them the most complete offense in the division. The defense was much improved last season and they should be able to build off that. Keep in mind some of its best players are young and still learning in Mohammand Wilkerson, Lenoard Williams, Sheldon Richardson and Calvin Pryor. They have an outside shot at the playoffs with Fitzpatrick if he comes back. If not the Jets are destined for a top-15 pick in the 2017 draft.
Buffalo Bills- Well hello there Buffalo fans. Two years ago there was something in the MLB called Oriole magic when they made the ALCS. Last year, you had Bills magic. You pulled Tyrod Taylor literally out of a Pepsi truck and Sammy Watkins finally showed why he was drafted so high. The addition of Lesean McCoy did not work out like expected, but he was better then not having one of the best RB in the league. This year the dual-backfield of him and Karlos Williams will be fun to watch as long as they can stay on the field. The draft was kind to the bills as Shaq Lawson fell in their lap. If they keep him at OLB he could become one of the best at his position in this division if not the best. This team is a big question mark for me similar to the Jets. If Tyrod Taylor can recreate what he did last year going; 3000 yards 20 TDs and an amazingly low 6 INT. Not to mention 500+ rush yards and 4 TDs. He could provide a catalyst to put them in a position to be a strong playoff contender. This was far and above what was ever expected of him even when he was drafted. After Qb there are only two questions for me about the Bills, who can they throw to after Sammy Watkins and if the defensive backfield can hold up. Rex Ryan is building his sort of team one day at a time. They are still a year or two away from a legitimate playoff contender, if Tyrod Taylor comes back down to earth.
Miami Dolphins- Somewhere on some social media site I will be crushed like a small rock by a bigger rock for putting them last in the AFC East. Outside of Jarvis Landry and a defense with big names not so much stats, there is not much to get excited about for the Dolphins. They have a running back carousel which could be led by the Boise State alum Jay Ayjayi who if you remember fell like a rock in the draft after saying his knee was bone-on-bone. Tannehill finally got some offensive line help with Tunsil in the draft and I am hoping they do the smart thing and keep him at left tackle and don’t kick him to guard. If they do kick him inside someone is going to be so fired. Last season they allowed 4000 passing yards and 46 TD`s and only sacked the other QB 31 times. With all the big names in the front 7 they need to average more then just over 2 sacks a game. Losing Charles Clay last season seemed to leave Tannehill in a funk, Jarvis Landry cant do it all, but he will sure try. There is a good amount of work to be done with the Dolphins. If they don’t figure out the offense and learn how to stop, well anything on defense this team wont get much better then what they were. This is not only the least talented team in the division, but also the most incomplete. If everything goes right .500 would be a win I think for the Dolphins. I don’t see them as a playoff contender anytime soon with the Jets and Bills getting better, and lets not forget the Patriots.