Examining 2020 AFC East Win Totals
For the first time in two decades, Tom Brady will not be reigning terror in the AFC East as quarterback for the New England Patriots. That creates an opening for another team to step up and take the spotlight. With regular season win totals posted, let’s take a look numbers for the Patriots and the rest of the AFC East teams for the coming season:
REGULAR SEASON WIN TOTAL: 9
The Bills showed up and showed out last season, proving to the NFL they are planning on being one of the best teams in the league last season. Buffalo eclipsed 10 wins for the first time in two decades behind one of the best defenses in the league, who were Top 10 in essentially every statistic. That defense has added some nice parts in the offseason too, such as taking a flier on cornerback Josh Norman.
On offense, the Bills made a huge splash by acquiring top-notch wideout Stefon Diggs. With the Patriots being knocked down a peg, this is the team that is arguably in the best position to step up.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
REGULAR SEASON WIN TOTAL: 9
Speaking of New England, they will be one of the biggest wild cards heading into the new NFL season. Head coach Bill Belichick may be one of the greatest football minds of all-time but even he may struggle and that isn’t just because of Brady’s departure. The Patriots lost several key pieces in their top-tier defense from last year, including Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Danny Shelton. On offense, they simply don’t have the weapons necessary to put their incoming quarterback in better position. Unless they go out and get a proven quarterback in free agency, the New England’s ceiling (and floor) will rest in the hands of second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who has thrown four passes in the NFL – with one getting intercepted.
REGULAR SEASON WIN TOTAL: 6
There were many warranted jokes about the tanking Dolphins early on last season but they finished the year 5-4 in their final nine games and have been very active in free agency. Miami quietly added several defensive studs including the top cornerback on the market in Byron Jones along with pass rushers Kyle Van Noy and Shaq Lawson. They also grabbed veteran running back Jordan Howard to fill the vacancy they had in the backfield. Their biggest hole still remains at the most important position on the field of quarterback. While Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to show off some “FitzMagic” last season, he isn’t the Dolphins future. If the Dolphins end up with Tua Tagovailoa, though, they’ll be in great position to take another step forward in their rebuilding process next season.
NEW YORK JETS
REGULAR SEASON WIN TOTAL: 7
New York may have started the 2019 season 1-7 but there was still some excitement for the Jets as the season progressed. Remember, they were battered by injuries early on – including having franchise quarterback Sam Darnold miss the second, third, and fourth games of the season due to mono.
Darnold and the team got their first win in his return by beating Dallas, but lost three more before finishing the season strong by going 6-2. While their quarterback will be healthy to start 2020, there are still many more questions to this Jets squad. They still lack much firepower on offense – especially at wide receiver – and the defense still is unproven outside stars Jamal Adams and C.J. Mosely. Even with a healthy Darnold, it is tough to foresee how New York will do this year.