The New York Jets and the two other teams in the AFC East are going to need something special this year if they are to finish above the New England Patriots in the division. Bill Belichick’s side have won the division in 10 of the last 11 years and are the heavy favorites with the bookmakers to win it once again.
Here is a look at how each of the four AFC East teams are placed ahead of the new NFL campaign and a prediction on where they will finish.
New England Patriots (1st)
The @Patriots win their 6th Super Bowl title, tying the Steelers for the most all-time.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 4, 2019
All of New England's have come since 2001 (18 seasons). The Steelers did it in a 35-season span. pic.twitter.com/fIiEqN51hG
The reigning Super Bowl champions are not only favorites to win the AFC East this season, they also top the betting and NFL picks to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy at +700. Belichick and Tom Brady have formed once of the best partnerships in the history of sport, so they can never be underestimated no matter what else is happening around them. The Patriots will have to be successful without Rob Gronkowski (retired), Malcom Brown (acquired by the New Orleans Saints) and Trey Flowers (picked up by Detroit Lions) in 2019 but they have added defensive end Michael Bennett and wide-receiver Demaryius Thomas so they are the team to beat in this division once more.
New York Jets (2nd)
A lot of work has been done by the backroom team this off-season to make the New York Jets stronger. Adam Gase has come in as head coach and so have the additions of Le’Veon Bell, C.J Mosley and third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Quinnen Williams. Gase has a big job on his hands as the Jets were 4-12 in 2018 but the pressure will be on them to perform better given the acquisitions they have made. A lot is still going to depend on the progress quarterback Sam Darnold makes in his second year in the NFL. If he reduces his number of interceptions, the Jets can finish just behind the Patriots and may even sneak into a wild-card spot for the playoffs.
Buffalo Bills (3rd)
Josh Allen has made his NFL debut for the Bills. pic.twitter.com/KsJFneI7R3— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) September 9, 2018
There have been a lot of changes in the off-season in Buffalo and as a result, their offensive line is going to look very different in 2019. The signings of John Brown and Cole Beasley could prove to be good business as they can add experience to the team. Head coach Sean McDermott will be hoping quarterback Josh Allen can improve on his rookie campaign. The Bills had a divisional record of 2-4 in 2018 and that needs to improve if they are to finish above the Patriots or the Jets.
Miami Dolphins (4th)
The Dolphins turned to the New England Patriots this year as they appointed their linebackers coach, Brian Flores, to take over the head coach role in Miami. It looks like the Dolphins have accepted that this season is going to be a challenging one as they have let go of some big names, including Ryan Tannehill, Robert Quinn and Cameron Wake. Miami should be in the market to sign some top-class free agents next spring and are likely to be one of the first names in the draft. For now, though, expect them to struggle in 2019 where wins are going to be hard to come by.
Predicted final standings and win records:
- New England Patriots (12-4)
- New York Jets (9-7)
- Buffalo Bills (5-11)
- Miami Dolphins (3-13)