Of the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, who will emerge as the leader of the AFC East in 2020?
The Patriots have won the AFC East every year besides two since Tom Brady started playing in 2001. The Brady and Bill Belichick dynasty has been extremely successful and has ruled the division for about two decades. However, now that Brady is gone, can the Patriots keep the 11-year streak going?
Which team will win the division?
New England Patriots
The Patriots have lost Brady, which might make it seem like the Patriots are hopeless now. The team still has the most important aspect of their team intact, however, as head coach Bill Belichick is returning for another year at the helm. Belichick has the third-most wins as a coach in NFL history and the most wins out of all current NFL coaches. The Patriots have lost a lot but signed all 10 of their 2020 NFL Draft picks quickly. They have a new and young team with a lot of talent getting ready for the upcoming season. The Patriots have to compete against an impressive Bills team and what should be a good Dolphins team.
The Buffalo Bills had a surprisingly great season last year, finishing with a record of 10-6. The team has 2018 first-round Josh Allen at the helm after he posted a good second season last year, throwing 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The Bills had their best season last year since 1999 and are seen as a big threat to the Patriots in the AFC East because of their success last season and the projected future success of the team.
The Miami Dolphins have not had a winning season since 2016, but that could change. The Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and he could lead the Dolphins to a winning season this year. Of course, there is what seems to be a curse for the Patriots when they play the Dolphins. The Dolphins somehow find a way to beat the Patriots every season despite Miami frequently owning the underdog role. The Dolphins are seen as a possible threat to the Patriots in the AFC East because of their new quarterback.
New York Jets
The New York Jets have not had a winning record since their 2015 season. Last season, the Jets were the second-worst team in the NFL in terms of points per game average at 17.2. The Jets drafted Sam Darnold in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and he played in a total of 13 games last season, throwing 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The Jets also picked up Joe Flacco to try and get a successful season out of him. Last season, the Jets went 7-9, good for third place in the AFC East. The Jets are not seen as much of a threat to the Patriots in the AFC East, but perhaps Joe Flacco will steal some thunder and cause a quarterback controversy in East Rutherford, N.J.
Every team in the AFC East has a new and young quarterback. 2020 could quite possibly come down to a battle of young quarterbacks for the title of the division.
Although all of the teams have young rosters, the Patriots still have an edge with one of the greatest coaches of all-time on their side.