Sure, New England Patriots future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady may be facing a four-game suspension (again) for his alleged role in the now infamous Deflategate scandal, but will that silver lining for New England’s AFC East division rivals mean that someone will break the Patriots’ incredible run of seven straight division titles?
It could, but I’m going to say…no…it’s not happening. Now, let’s find out what lies ahead for each AFC East franchise, starting with why I believe the Patriots are a lock to retain their longstanding title as AFC East division champs. With that said, let’s get started. Find the latest NFL odds here.
Can Anyone Beat the Pats? Here’s our AFC Betting Prediction
New England Patriots
The Patriots went 12-4 last season and I expect them to win at least 11 games in 2016 – even if Tom Brady is forced to sit out four games.
The Pats made some nice additions by signing run-stuffing defensive tackle Terrence ‘Pot Roast’ Knighton, defensive end Chris Long and wide receiver Nate Washington among others and doesn’t face that difficult of a schedule after opening against Arizona if you ask me.
New York Jets
I absolutely love head coach Todd Bowles and I genuinely believe he’s going to turn the Jets into perennial winners in the very near future. However, right now, with their quarterback situation up in the air – and a very difficult 2016 schedule ahead, I think it’s going to be very hard for the Jets to reach the double-digit win plateau after going 10-6 in 2015.
The Jets open with tough games against the Bengals, at Buffalo, at Kansas City at home against Seattle, at Pittsburgh and at Arizona. Make no mistake about it people, New York will be fortunate to get two wins over this six-game gauntlet. Right now, I’m thinking 88 is the best the Jets will do in 2016, if that!
The Bills underachieved last season, seemingly right on cue like almost every other Rex Ryan coached team. The good news is that Buffalo nabbed three defensive players in the 2016 NFL Draft that will all likely contribute right away in defensive end Shaq Lawson, linebacker Reggie Ragland and defensive tackle Adolphus Washington. The bad news is that the Bills face a tough schedule with a handful of non-division dates that they look like they’ll lose right now.
Miami Dolphins – 7 Wins
Maybe it’s me, but unless Dan Marino is walking through the door to start under center, I just don’t have a whole lot of faith in the Dolphins.
After going 6-10 under former head coach Joe Philbin and interim head coach Dan Campbell last season, Miami hired Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase to both, fix mediocre starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill – and the Dolphins in general.
Too bad Gase won’t be able to stop the Fins from losing against a minimum of six teams that are clearly better than the Fins will be this coming season. Still, by my calculations, Miami looks like they could win eight games in 2016, mostly because they have a favorable home schedule.