AFC East Division Preview

New England Patriots

The Patriots are going to be one of the most interesting teams in all of football next season. Without a preseason, I genuinely have know idea how this team is going to look and it's because of one player. Cam Newton. Cam Newton has the potential to be an animal. For the first time in what seems like forever, he is fully healthy and we all know what Cam is capable of. I think Cam Newton actually said it best, "nobody has ever seen this Cam... not even I have."  I think we have the potential to see Cam in an entirely different light this year. One who can still be mobile and a threat with his legs, but one who knows how to protect himself. His arm should be back to 100% and we'll finally see his new throwing motion come during game action. Cam Newton won't have to adjust into the Patriots offense, the Patriots offense will adjust to him. Another player I'm looking forward to seeing on the Patriots is N'Keal Harry. He didn't have the rookie season I was expecting him to have and now in his second season, all eyes are on him. The Patriots have the most players who've opted out this year, including impact players like Dont'a Hightower. I don't think this team will have one of those magical seasons, I expect inconsistency from New England. I expect the highest of highs and the lowest of lows for the Patriots in 2020. Not to mention, the Patriots lost a lot of key players this offseason. They lost three big impact linebackers: Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, and Elandon Roberts (who might've impacted the offense more than the defense). Patrick Chung isn't going to play this season and they don't have their go to fullbacks. This will be one of those insane rollercoaster years for New England, and I think the Patriots fans will actually somewhat enjoy it even if they end up 8-8. The Patriots haven't had many rollercoaster seasons in the past 20 or so years. The Patriots are going to be fun to watch this season.

New York Jets

This will be a tough read for Jets fans... I'm just warning you all. Let me start at the top, and when I say the top I mean Woody Johnson. All of the best teams start with great ownership, so I guess that's why the Jets haven't been too good in the past decade. With all of these allegations coming out about Woody Johnson, I expect a lot of drama coming from this team. After the Jets lost their two best defensive players in this last week, I don't have a lot of hope for this team. I think Adam Gase is easily the most overrated head coach in the NFL. People call him the quarterback whisperer, but if you look back, what quarterbacks has he really helped. Peyton Manning? Peyton Manning was practically a coach on the field. He didn't even help bring out the best in Ryan Tannehill, Arthur Smith did. I don't think he leads the team well, and his former players genuinely dislike him. I'm also not a big believer in Sam Darnold. I actually think he's a bottom 5 starting quarterback in the NFL. I would love him to prove me wrong, I just don't think he's very good. He doesn't really have any proven weapons to throw to. I think by next year we'll be talking about a brand new head coach and starting quarterback. Let me talk about the bright side of this team though. I still think Le'Veon Bell is capable of being a top 10 running back in the NFL, and with a guy like Mekhi Becton this team has a future in the running game. Quinnen Williams and Avery Williamson are two ballers on the defense and this team is has a surplus of picks after the Jamal Adams trade. Not to mention one guy who has major boom or bust potential is Denzel Mims. He'll either be a Kenny Golladay or Laquon Treadwell. I'm not the biggest fan of his but the potential is there. The Jets are my pick for a rebuild. I think they're going to do what the Raiders are going through right now. The Jets are going to be a team that will be picking top 5 next season.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills are the team I'm most confident in this division. I believe Sean McDermott is an amazing head coach and has instilled an amazing culture in Buffalo. He has sort of embodied the Bills mafia culture and it's resonated with the team. Josh Allen was a guy who I was wrong about. I didn't think he was going to be accurate enough to play in the NFL and succeed, but I've been wrong. He got so much better from year one to year two, I think he'll be even better in year 3. Brian Daboll, the Bills offensive coordinator, was able to adapt his offense as the year went on. That's why I have confidence in Buffalo, because of how rapidly they improved and can adapt to what's thrown at them. The year two development for Devin Singletary is very interesting for me. I want to see if the Bills plan on using him like Alvin Kamara or James White. I'd love to see them commit to him and make the combination of him and Zack Moss like Kamara and Ingram back in New Orleans two years ago. The big addition for Buffalo was Stefon Diggs. I don't see this being a move that clicks instantly. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs haven't had the entire offseason to mesh and build the connection. I think the connection will come as the season goes on. Stefon Diggs is one of the best route runners in the entire league and I look forward to see him and Stephon Gilmore going at it twice a year. Tremaine Edmunds has the potential to be one of the best linebackers in the NFL and Tre White is a top 5 corner in the league. The Bills are my bet to win the AFC East this year.

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins are a super intriguing team. I see them being that team that shows promise, but that's still a year or two away. They are super young and I see them having spurts of greatness. I absolutely love Brian Flores and I think he's one of those guys who all of his players respect and want to win for him. He is a guy who will commit and is willing to die for his players. It's that Pete Carroll attitude where he may not analytically be the best, but the players will always give him one hundred percent. I am willing to bet on that coach over a guy like Adam Gase any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I don't see them having over 6 wins this year, but I wouldn't take the under on their win total. I don't love the Dolphins offensive line, I think they overpaid for Ereck Flowers, but I don't like either of their starting tackles and I was really low on Austin Jackson coming out of college this year. I loved Tua in college and he was tied as my number one quarterback coming out this year. That being said, he should not be starting with that offensive line. This should be Ryan Fitzpatrick's year in 2020, but we all know that at some point Tua Tagovailoa will see the field. It's important that Flores doesn't just throw him onto the field because of fan pressure, owner pressure, or if they're losing. They really need to make sure that he's ready. They have a solid running back duo, I'd give it like a B- grade, but I can see Breida and Howard complimenting one another well. I'm buying into their defense, especially their secondary. They have a lot of talent and I think they're going to help keep Miami in games. This team is still a year or two away, but they have promise.

Division Awards:
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Mekhi Becton OT Jets
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Kyle Dugger S Patriots
Breakout Player of the Year: Tremaine Edmunds LB Bills
New Division Member of the Year: Stefon Diggs WR Bills
 
Division Standings
1. Bills 10-6
2. Patriots 6-10
3. Dolphins 5-11
4. Jets 3-13

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