The AFC East once again looks to be a one sided affair, as the Patriots got better and still retained Tom Brady. On the outside looking in this division seems to be a plethora of un-finished teams. I however, think this could be the most surprising division. Two teams have a new QB and one finally got theirs back. The Bills and Jets have made strides this off-season one way or another. While the Dolphins are looking to improve on a year with out their starting QB. Their rosters are not bare, they just have more youth, and under-preforming players. The future is looking up for the Jets and Bills, while the Dolphins are looking to get one last look at Tannehill before jumping ship.
Here is how it should all break down.
New England Patriots- Projected record 12-4, best finish 14-2 and worst is 11-5.
Strength of schedule: Tied 22nd
Best Rookie- Isaiah Wynn, OL
MVP Offense- Tom Brady, QB
MVP Defense- Devin McCourty, DB
The Patriots seem to be the never ending dynasty. They lost Cooks and Garrap this off-season, yet neither was a true major factor. With the picks back they got a set of players to revamp the team. Tom Brady will have a healthy WR corps and the backfield finally has talent with Sony Michel and Jeremy Hill. They will be a lock for the playoffs once again, but a lack of Defensive depth may hurt their long-term playoff aspirations.
New York Jets- Projected record 6-10, best finish 8-8, and worst is 4-120
Strength of schedule: Tied 25th
Best Rookie- Sam Darnold, QB
MVP Offense- Terrelle Pryor, WR
MVP Defense- Jamal Adams, S
The Jets will be in for another rough season, mainly due to their schedule. Cleveland, Denver, Indy and Houston all will be much better than last season, and I think 3/4 will have winning records. Their first 8-games are Detriot, Miami, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Denver, Indy, Minnesota and Chicago. While they might be able to get 2-3 wins out of that set, it will not be easy. They also have a QB round-table that could be its own reality show. They do however, boast one of the better WR in the league and Crowell finally gives them a 1-2 punch at RB on offense. The defense was still not up-to-par last year, but there is a ton of youth and they all should progress just fine this season. Jets are still 2-3 seasons away from true playoff potential, but the pieces are starting to come together.
Buffalo Bills- Projected 5-11, best finish 7-9, worst finish 3-13.
Strength of schedule: 18th
Best Rookie- Josh Allen, QB
MVP Offense- Zay Jones, WR
MVP Defense- Jordan Poyer, DB
Bills are similar to the Jets as in they are young in all the wrong places for a playoff team. Allen should with QB job easy, however now there is news about his RB McCoy that could put his season in jeopardy. They have a handful of has been WR, minus last-years rookie Zay Jones. The defense and offense are starting to come together, but it will be a few years and most of it will hinge on their rookies this year and last year. If Josh Allen bombs it and becomes a bust, we could see the bills at the bottom for a very long time. I will say though I am very interested to see how rookie Tremaine Edmunds works with fellow QB attackers Hughes and Lawson.
Miami Dolphins- Projected finish 4-12, best finish 7-9, worst finish 2-14
Strength of schedule: Tied 15th
Best Rookie- Mike Gesicki, TE
MVP Offense- Ryan Tennehill, QB
MVP Defense- Rashad Jones, S
The Dolphins could be in for a very rough season, multiple players are coming back from injuries and they are throwing out a new defense. Their RB`s are also a grab bag of youth and old, neither of which seem to be true RB1. I also have multiple questions about their WR who after Parker, most likely wouldn’t make a spot on many other teams in the league. This whole season rests on Tannehill and the development of the defense. If neither comes to fruition, then expect a new everything going into next season. Downside is, next draft nothing they need will be there at picks 1-5 in a franchise QB or RB. I will say this though with McDonald, Jones, Howard, Tankersley and Fitzpatrick, they may have one of the most over-looked secondaries in the league. They could single handedly turn this team around.