Who Will Dethrone the Beasts of the AFC East?


As soon as the confetti flutters down from the ceiling of the Super Bowl each year, NFL teams begin their preparation for the season ahead. All eight divisions start the quest to become the champion of their conferences and lock in a coveted playoff spot. These days, talent is widespread across the league and many teams have the opportunity to claim the number one seed. Except for one division, where the winners of the AFC East seem to be the same team, year in and year out.

Since 2000, the New England Patriots have set the division leader bar high. The Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets have all fallen short of the benchmark set by the Patriots. Let’s take a look at all four teams over the last two decades in the AFC East. There must be a reason why one team repeatedly dominates over all the others.

The Buffalo Bills: Beasts of the Participation Trophy

Head Coach: Sean McDermott (2017 – present. The team is on their tenth head coach since 2000)
Quarterback: Josh Allen (2018 – present)
Division Titles: 0
Conference Championships: 0
Super Bowl Championships: 0


Prediction: With a 6-10 record last season, the Buffalo Bills tend to get lost in the shuffle. Two wins against four losses to their division opponents are not promising. A young quarterback can improve next season and help the Bills overcome their turmoils. Before last season, they were riding the playoff drought wave. From 1999-2016, Miami failed to make the postseason. If this franchise can capitalize on all the things they do well, in due season, another playoff run is a possibility.

The Miami Dolphins: Beasts of the Perfect Season

Head Coach: Brian Flores (first-year head coach)
Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill (2012-present)
Division Titles: 2 (the last title was 2008)
Conference Championships:  0
Super Bowl Championships: 0


Prediction: The Miami Dolphins seem to give the AFC East division a run for their money. They finished 7-9 on the season last year winning four games against division opponents. A new head coach may be an answer for this Miami team. With Brian Flores emerging onto the South Beach scene after winning a Super Bowl championship, there is a chance. This head coach brings with him experience and a winning agenda. Does he have what it takes to remove his former team from their first place throne next season?

The New England Patriots: Beasts of the AFC East

Head Coach: Bill Belichick (2000-present)
Quarterback: Tom Brady (2000 – present)
Division Titles: 16 (winning the last 10 titles in a row)
Conference Championships:  9
Super Bowl Championships: 6

Prediction: It is hard to dethrone a team that seems to have everything it takes to win. The reigning Super Bowl champs reclaimed their title and do not seem to be slowing down. Finishing 5-1 in their division last season was the key to success. Perhaps the winning formula is to find a head coach and quarterback willing to tolerate each other for two decades. As they enter into the 2019 season, many players and opposing fans are hoping for Tom Brady’s retirement announcement. At 41, what could possibly be his kryptonite? Only time will tell.

The New York Jets: Beasts of the Second Chances  

Head Coach: Adam Gase (2019-present)
Quarterback: Sam Darnold (2018 – present)
Division Titles: 1 (2002)
Conference Championships:  0
Super Bowl Championships: 0


Prediction: When a team shuffles their head coach from one division opponent to another, many fans begin to wonder. The New York Jets are a team who has tried desperately to win over their AFC East counterparts. Last season, they fell short. A 1-5 record dropped them to the bottom of the division and nullified their playoff hopes. With a new head coach and personnel group, the Jets may be able to jump in their rankings. Bringing in new head coach Adam Gase can motivate the Jets this upcoming season.

Who will dethrone the New England Patriots?

Looking over the AFC East, things seem to always change each offseason. Every team wants to improve on the year prior by advancing forward to the postseason. With the New England Patriots sitting atop this conference, which team has the best chance to dethrone them?

Based off of last season’s record and the new coaching changes across the league, the Miami Dolphins have the best opportunity. Bringing in a new head coach who came from the Patriots organization will be a pivotal shift for the team. The Dolphins tend to get the best of the Patriots when playing in Miami and can continue to do so this season. If Brian Flores can corral his team into the winning mindset, there is a great possibility there may be a new king upon the throne. Until that happens, or Tom Brady decides to walk away from the NFL, we can almost certainly pencil in the New England Patriots as the champions of the AFC East.


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