New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Who Will Win The AFC East?

For the last two decades, the AFC East has revolved around the New England Patriots. However, with Tom Brady leaving New England, that could be about to change. Is the year that the Patriots are unseated from their throne or could Bill Belichick find a way to keep dominating the AFC East in the post-Brady era?

Buffalo Bills

Shockingly, the Bills are the NFL betting odds favorites in the AFC East with +120 odds to win the division although just +2500 odds to win the Super Bowl, according to DraftKings. Somehow, they have better odds to win the division than New England but the Patriots have a better shot to win the Super Bowl. 

In any event, Buffalo’s chances this season will boil down to the development of quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills are poised to have a dominating defense after giving up 16.2 points per game last year. But it’s all about Allen showing improvement after completing just 58.8% of his passes in 2019. With the acquisition of Stefon Diggs, the supporting cast around Allen has improved, but he must become a more proficient quarterback for the Bills to get to the next level. If Allen takes a step forward, the Bills could win the AFC East and be a serious threat to win the AFC.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins enter 2020 with +8000 Super Bowl odds and a +800 moneyline to win the AFC East. Although they may not be the public betting pick, thinking that Miami can go from worst to first in the AFC East isn’t the craziest thing in the post-Brady era. Remember that early in the 2019 season, we pondered whether the Dolphins might go winless. But Brian Flores found a way to rally an undermanned team and win five games. 

After a healthy crop of draft picks, the Dolphins are better positioned heading into the 2020 season. In addition to all of the young talent on Miami’s roster, Jordan Howard and Matt Breida have helped to solidify the Miami backfield. The biggest question that remains is whether Tua Tagovailoa can push Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starting quarterback. Fitzpatrick isn’t a terrible option, but Tagovailoa has the higher ceiling once the Dolphins deem him ready.

New England Patriots

As mentioned, the Patriots have +130 odds to win the AFC East, just a hair behind the Bills. But New England is +1800 to win the Super Bowl, higher than all but six teams. Without question, New England’s chances are improved by the fact that Cam Newton will be the starting quarterback rather than the untested Jarrett Stidham. Of course, questions linger about Newton’s health after a lost 2019 season and whether he’ll fit into Belichick’s scheme and culture.

Outside of Newton, there are other questions about the Patriots. The roster lacks a proven no. 1 receiver and has a few other deficiencies that Brady has helped to hide in previous years. The silver lining is that New England’s defense was the best in the NFL last year, giving up 14.1 points per game. That should help the Patriots remain in contention to win the AFC East yet again.

New York Jets

Adam Gase and the Jets are +8000 to win the Super Bowl and +850 to win the AFC East, the worst odds in the division. Chaos appears to be the prevailing theme of Gase’s tenure with the Jets. Well, chaos and an inept offense that averaged just 17.3 points per game last season. This season the Jets may be more concerned with hitting their over under picks rather than trying to go out and win the division. 

Of course, the Jets believe they can turn things around if Sam Darnold is healthy for 16 games this year. However, Darnold has been turnover-prone in his first two seasons, a problem he also had at USC. The Jets also have some serious work to do to improve their offensive line while the exit of Robby Anderson leaves them without one of their most important receivers from the past few years. In short, the Jets have a tall mountain to climb in 2020.

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