With the incomparable om Brady no longer playing his trade for the New England Patriots, one of the biggest questions heading into the 2020 NFL regular season is whether or not the revamped Pats can claim their 12th consecutive AFC East division title. With Buffalo lurking and Miami completely revamped heading into 2020, let’s find out what lies ahead for every team in the AFC East so you can make your bets against their odds to win the AFC East division.
2020 NFL Odds & Picks for AFC East: Title winner, favorites, surprise, upset
The Upset Pick
The Bills have been installed as prohibitive favorites to win the AFC East after going 10-6 to reach the playoffs a year ago. Still, I’m not sure the Bills are quite ready to assume the mantle for a handful of reasons. Buffalo finished the 2019 campaign ranked a stellar second in points allowed (16.2 ppg) and they will undoubtedly have another strong unit on that side of the ball in 2020. However, the Bills also finished an uninspiring 23rd in scoring (19.6 ppg) and that was mostly because they finished an ugly 26th in passing. Now, heading into his third year, quarterback Josh Allen has shown he has some talent, but he’s also been maddeningly inconsistent by completing less than 59.0 percent of his passes while throwing 21 interceptions against 30 career TD passes the last two seasons. Yes, Buffalo added Pro Bowl wide receiver Stephon Diggs to help improve their passing attack, but I’m still not sold on Allen and I think the Bills could very well get upset in their quest for division supremacy.
The Surprise Pick
New England +150
The Patriots might not have Tom Brady under center anymore, but this is still a team that had the best defense in all of football a year ago by limiting their opponents to a mind-boggling 14.1 points per game. New England also made a wise move to add veteran quarterback Cam Newton to replace Brady and start over the untested Jarrett Stidham. Newton has a ton to prove and I believe he’ll succeed under the legendary Bill Belichick. New England has an elite running back in Sony Michel and the Belichick made some smart offseason additions by selecting Alabama tackle Anfernee Jennings, UCLA tight end Devin Asiasi and Virginia Teach tight end Dalton Keene, all in the third round while adding a handful of veterans in free agency. It might be a surprise to some if New England wins the AFC east in 2020, but it won’t be for me.
A Step Backwards?
NY Jets +750
I know the Jets went a decent 7-9 in their first year under head coach Adam Gase, but I just don’t see New York surpassing that figure by much, if at all, in 2020. New York finished a pitiful 31s in scoring a year ago (17.3 ppg) while also ranking 29th in passing and 31st in rushing. The Jets were solid, if not outstanding on defense in finishing 16th in points allowed (22.4 ppg). New York lost veteran wide receiver Robby Anderson, but did upgrade their offensive line by signing four veterans in free agency while drafting Louisville stud Mekhi Becton with the 11th overall pick. Still, I don’t believe the Jets did enough to really improve in a big way in 2020 and I certainly don’t believe in Adam Gase one iota.
The Dolphins might have gone 5-11 in Year 1 of the Brian Flores era, but Year 2 promises to be a lot better after the Fins pulled off a massive overhaul of their roster by signing Pro Bowl cornerback Byron Jones, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, running back Jordan Howard and defensive ends Emmanuel Ogbah and Shaq Lawson among others. Miami also got talented quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick, tackle Austin Jackson at No. 18 and cornerback Noah Igbinoghene at No. 30. It might take the Dolphins a couple of seasons to become elite, but I’m picking the Fins to surpass the Jets in 20202 at the very least while challenging for second place in the AFC East.
Division Winner: New England Patriots