The AFC East is projected to be one of the most peculiar divisions in the league, with the amount of talent and youth it has. Let’s dive into it:
Best Offense: New England Patriots
If an offense is provided with one of the best QBs in the league, it most likely has to be one of the best in the league. The Patriots are just that. Led by one of the best, if not the best, in Tom Brady, the Patriots pose the best offense in the division. Drafting RB Sony Michel, Brady gets another RB that can both catch and run the ball, which could present troubles to the defense. Although Edelman is suspended for 4 games, the Patriots still have weapons, such as Hogan, Gronk, Dorsett, Decker, and their RBs. The Patriots have clearly the best offense.
Best Defense: Buffalo Bills
The Bills have arguably the best defense in the division, having many underrated players at their position. Their secondary was one of the best, led by second-year player Tre’davious White, Micah Hide, Jordan Poyer, and Vontae Davis, who just signed with the Bills. The Bills have a good front 7 as well, led by linebacker Lorenzo Alexander. Jerry Hughes is still a good edge rusher, who could provide great pressure for the Bills. The Bills still have the old timer, Kyle Williams, as well as adding Star Louteleli to their D-Line. Expect the Bills to have a top 10 defense next year.
Breakout Candidate: Robby Anderson
Putting the off-field issues aside, Robby Anderson was just a few yards shy of eclipsing a 1,000-yard season. Now having new QB Sam Darnold, who is already showing signs of promise, Anderson can now have a really good season, provided that the chemistry between the two meshes well. Anderson can now be the playmaker the Jets have always desired. As per Darnold, if he wins the QB spot, he can have a player to throw deep balls too, making that a problem for defenses.
Question Mark: Bills Starting QB?
The Bills starting QB is up for grabs, as almost anyone can take it. Josh Allen, AJ McCarron, and Nathan Peterman have all been performing well during camp and this competition can as well go until the 4th preseason game. The logical situation would be AJ McCarron, as he is the most experienced out of these three QBs, but Josh Allen would be the bold decision, as the Bills can take the high risk, high reward path with his big arm. Nathan Peterman seems a bit unlikely, considering the situation he is in. However, the NFL is almost unpredictable, as anything could happen, as this battle for the position will start to heat up by the 4th preseason game.
Hot Seat: Adam Gase
Adam Gase has mostly taken control of roster moves, which may become a concern as the season goes on. The Dolphins have holes along the offensive line, which could be frightening for Ryan Tannehill, who is returning from an ACL injury. If the Dolphins regress from last year, he could be headed out or could be relieved of his roster controlling duties. Either way, Gase is the likeliest coach in the division that could be fired after the season is over if the team hasn’t performed up to expectations.
Predictions: Patriots 12-4. Bills 10-6, Jets 8-8, Dolphins 7-9
While the AFC East will be more competitive than previous years, the Patriots will still win the division, as they have the best coach in the league and one of the best QBs in the league in Tom Brady. That completely outweighs any other team’s chances of winning the division. However, don’t sleep on the Bills, as they can steal the 5th or 6th seed, provided that their QB situation improves from last year.