AFC East 2021 Predictions

Source: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The AFC East has the youngest crop of Quarterbacks in the league, so to say it's a new era in the AFC’s most Eastern division would be an understatement. Will the Bills capture back to back division titles? Will Bill Belichick and Mac Jones have instant success? Can the Jets and Dolphins stay relevant? Well, let’s see!

Buffalo Bills

Key Additions

Emmanuel Sanders WR

Gregory Rousseau DE

Key Losses

John Brown WR

Quinton Jefferson DE

Josh Allen had a tremendous season last year. He showed he could be a top tier QB in the NFL. The Bills didn't waste any time locking in their Franchise QB during the off-season to no one's surprise, keeping him through the 2028 season. This is the first time in a long time where the Bills are Super Bowl threats. They'll have plenty opposition within their own division, but they should rolling into the season with a ton of confidence.

The only flaw this team has offensively is the running game. Who will emerge from this backfield, Singletary or Moss? Realistically, either way, I don't think either guy strikes fear into the heart of opposing defences. However, it's highly unlikely this team hangs their hat on running the ball when the likes of Diggs and Allen have formed an extremely dangerous pairing. Given the success they had in year one, I think the best is yet to come.

The Bills on defence had their ups and downs last season. They were third in creating turnovers, but they had problems stopping the run. Their red zone defense was also terrible, ranking in the bottom five of the league. They allowed teams to score 65 percent of their possessions inside the 20...yikes. They drafted Greg Rousseau and Boggis Basham, but to say they’ll need to defend in their end of the field better would be an understatement.

Prediction: (10W - 7L) The Bills will have another solid season, but there should be a slight dip. Their division won't be a walk in the park and their defence still has some kinks to work out. The Bills will claim the AFC East division but just barely.

Miami Dolphins

Key Additions

Will Fuller WR

Malcolm Brown RB

Jason McCourty FS

Key Losses

Kyle Van Noy LB

Shaq Lawson DE

Ryan Fitzpatrick QB

Last season Miami won 10 games but it wasn't good enough to make the postseason. At the same time, it was a tumultuous season for Tua Tagovailoa despite their record. And now that Deshaun Watson is the talk of town, it can’t be a reassuring situation for the young QB. As a team though, Miami has exceeded expectations for the last two years now and it seems like they'll have to do it again with the hype surrounding the Bills and Pats.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is no longer in town, so that means it’s Tua’s team. The rookie struggled last season, so a lot of this team's success will be riding squarely on the sophomore’s back. He's got a few weapons around him including a really promising wideout crew (Will Fuller will miss time due to suspension), backed by Myles Gaskins and a decent offensive line. I wouldn't expect big things form this offence, but if Tua can turn it on anything is possible.

The Dolphins defence allowed just 21 points per game last season. Kyle Van Noy who went back to New England, so that could end being a massive swing divisionally. They were, however, able to cool Xavien Howard off after he mentioned a possible move recently. That’s big for a squad who prides themselves on shutting down the pass. The Fins averaged 21 points against last year, but I expect that number goes up a tad with the lack of pass rush.

Prediction: (8W - 9L) Tua is the biggest question mark. Needless to say, when the most important position in the sport is your biggest unknown that’s not a good sign. Their defence still has a good unit that should keep them in games, but it won't be enough to make the postseason.

New England Patriots

Key Additions

Mac Jones QB

Kyle Van Noy LB

Nelson Agholor WR

Key Losses

Cam Newton QB

Julian Edelman WR

Patrick Chung S

It’s Mac Jones or bust in New England now that Cam Newton has been shown the door. But for the first time in a long time (last year aside), the Pats come in as an underdog to win the AFC East. They are coming off of their worst season under Bill Belichick, but with a new young QB and a bunch of defensive starters back, they definitely have the ability to get back on top.

Jones had the highest passer rating out of all the rookies in preseason. I said this about Tua and these meaningless games, but any confidence that can be gained is a good thing. He’s gotten better and better and forced the Pats hand. They went out and got Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, as well as Nelson Agholor. So they open up the pocket books to ensure their rookie has some tools to work with.

The Patriots not only made moves on the offensive side but also added players to their defensive roster. Bringing back Kyle Van Noy could be huge for this squad. He should spruce up their linebacking core. The biggest boost for this team though will be the return of Dont’a Hightower. Their defensive leader sat out last year, but his return alone should be a massive boost for the team as a whole.

Prediction: ( 9W - 8L) The Pats on paper should get a playoff spot, but they do have a few tough stretches in their schedule that could knock them out of the playoffs. Ultimately, they’ll be on the outside looking in come playoff time.

New York Jets

Key Additions

Zach Wilson QB

Corey Davis WR

Shaq Lawson DE

Key Losses

Josh Darnold QB

Frank Gore RB

The Jets will look to kick start a new era this season on high note, which has not always been the way it goes for this franchise. Last season, New York had one of the worst offenses in the league, but with Zach Wilson under centre they’ll hope that changes. Sanchez and Darnold withered away in the big Apple, so the track record as of late has not been good for the boys in green.

Preseason is always fools gold, but you have to admit Wilson's arm is as advertised. The Jets passing game was awful last year, and there is still a lack of weapons for Wilson to play with, but a better QB is always a step in the right direction for a woeful offence. Their running back room isn't inspiring, nor is their wideout corp. But hey, expectations are low for this team so what can we really expect.

Defensively the Jets stunk last season, and given their record that’s not surprising. They don't rush the passer well, nor do they have a deep secondary. It could very well be another long season for the green machine. They did pick up Shaq Lawson, and CJ Mosley should be healthier this season, so maybe they can create some pressure this year. I highly doubt this team is a factor.

Prediction: (5W - 12L) Robert Saleh should bring new life to the New York Jets. The offence should get better with Zach Wilson under centre, and the defense should improve. Overall they won't be worse than their 2020 record.


Recent Posts