NFL AFC East 2019 Season Preview

Author
by Chris Feery
August 21st 2019, 10:16am

In the AFC East, it has been the New England Patriots and everyone else for nearly two decades.

It’s looking like more of the same in 2019, as the defending Super Bowl champions are big favorites to add another division crown to the mantle.

AFC East Winner

However, there’s intrigue to be found for each of the four clubs in the division as the season approaches. Let’s dig in and see what each of them are bringing to the table in 2019. 

Favorite to Win the AFC East in 2019 

New England Patriots

Heading into last year’s playoffs, the Patriots were generally being overlooked. As it turns out, that was a mistake. The club would go on to nab its 6th Vince Lombardi trophy of the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era with a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl. 

Superbowl Trophy

The club is among the favorites to win the title once again, and they are big favorites to take down the AFC East. As always, there’s some attrition for New England to tend to, but it looks like the franchise has done a solid job of re-stocking the coffers in the offseason.  

Barring something completely unforeseen, this is a team that will win 10 or more games and is a big factor in the AFC Playoffs yet again.

Patriots Wins Over/Under

 

Contender to Watch in the AFC East

Buffalo Bills

The Bills were a Wild Card team after the 2017 season, but they couldn’t match that level of productivity last year. A dismal first half squelched any hopes of a playoff berth, but the team did bounce back and play much better down the stretch run. 

Buffalo was active in the offseason. They bolstered the offensive line, added some more weapons for Josh Allen, and drafted a potential anchor on defense in Ed Oliver.

While a division title is likely too much to ask, the Bills are an intriguing squad that could be in the playoff hunt if everything breaks right.

Bills Season Wins

Bills Make Playoffs?

The Rest of the AFC East

New York Jets 

A disappointing 2018 campaign led to the end of the Todd Bowles era in New York. The Jets would stay in the division for his replacement, hiring former Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase.

He’ll be expected to maximize the potential of second-year signal-caller Sam Darnold.

Sam Darnold

Gregg Williams is on board as defensive coordinator, so the unit could be even better this time around. However, there are weaknesses in the secondary to tend to.

The offseason shopping list brought Le’Veon Bell, CJ Mosley, and Quinnen Williams to town.  This is a talented team on paper, but there’s still an air of dysfunction surrounding the Jets, including the firing of the GM after the draft and free agency. 

Jets Regular Season Wins

Jets First Loss

Miami Dolphins

A 7-9 season for Gase was enough for him to be shown the door. The replacement is former Patriots assistant Brian Flores. He’ll have his hands full this year, as the team is beginning a lengthy rebuild process.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

New acquisitions Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen are battling it out for the starting QB gig.

There are some pieces in place elsewhere, but the Dolphins have their collective sights set on the future. This club is looking like the also-ran of the AFC East.

Dolphins Wins

Dolphins Make Playoffs

Bottom Line on the AFC East

As we see it, it will remain the Patriots and everyone else for another year. The Bills could contend for a Wild Card, and it’s possible the Jets will do the same if the clouds lift.

As for the Dolphins, they’ll be on the clock early in the 2020 NFL Draft.