It used to be very easy ranking the quarterbacks in the AFC East Division because from 2001-2019, all-time great Tom Brady played there for the New England Patriots. Of course, he’s now with the Tampa Bay Bucs and is the best quarterback in the NFC South Division, but that’s a story for another day. Today, we rank the current starting QBs in the AFC East with their teams’ NFL odds to win the division.
Quarterbacks in AFC East Division | NFL 2021Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (-150)
If the 2018 NFL Draft was re-held today, Allen would probably go first overall – ahead of Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield – instead of No. 7 to Buffalo.
Allen was definitely raw entering the NFL out of Wyoming but has blossomed into what should be a perennial MVP candidate. He finished second in the 2020 voting for MVP behind Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. Allen broke several franchise records last year, including total touchdowns (46), passing touchdowns (37), total yards (4,977), passing yards (4,544), passer rating (107.2), completions (396), completion percentage (69.2%) and 300-yard games (8).
Allen quarterbacked an offense that improved from 19.6 points in 2019 to 31.3 in 2020, which ranked second best in the league. It helped that Buffalo added Pro-Bowl wide receiver Stefon Diggs from Minnesota, who led the league in receptions and receiving yards.
Coordinator Brian Daboll ran an aggressive pass-first offense, and Allen was electric in it. Daboll was a candidate for head coaching job this offseason but returns as well.
The Bills already have exercised Allen’s fifth-year team option for 2022, but he’s going to get a massive extension perhaps before the season starts.Cam Newton, New England Patriots (+300)
Newton probably wouldn’t be the No. 2 quarterback in most other divisions, but he is here. Some though the Pats would move on from Newton this offseason but he was given a one-year deal.
Last year, Newton was 242-of-368 for 2,657 yards passing, with 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Not great numbers, but he had a terrible group of receivers and tight ends. He was effective as a rusher, with 592 yards on 137 attempts (4.3 yards per carry) and 12 touchdowns.
The Patriots went 7-8 with Newton at the helm and finished 7-9, missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 season. This will probably be Newton’s last year with the team, though, because New England drafted Mac Jones at No. 15 overall this year out of Alabama. He’s the future. It’s not even a sure thing – but likely – that Newton wins the Week 1 job. The two will duke it out over the summer to start in the opener against the Dolphins. History as shown that Bill Belichick doesn’t want to start a rookie under center right away.Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (+350)
Did the Dolphins blow it by taking Tua at No. 5 overall out of Alabama in the 2020 draft instead Justin Herbert or Oregon? He went No. 2 to the Chargers and was brilliant as a rookie – Tua definitely was not brilliant.
He played in 10 games with nine starts and was 186-of-290 passing (64.1 pct.) for 1,814 yards, 11 TDs and a QB rating of 87.1. He also had 36 carries for 109 yards (3.0 avg.) and 3 TDs. More than a few times, Coach Brian Flores benched Tua for Ryan Fitzpatrick – who is no longer in Miami.
Tua did become the third rookie QB in the Super Bowl era (Dak Prescott and Kyle Allen) to not throw an interception in his 1st 5 career starts (min. 100 att.) and the 1st Dolphins rookie QB in team history to win each of his 1st 3 starts. He joined Carson Wentz (Philadelphia) as only rookie QBs in the Super Bowl era to win each of his 1st 3 NFL starts and not throw an interception.
This is already a make-or-break year for Tua.Zach Wilson, New York Jets (+1600)
Wilson could easily be the No. 2 QB on this list by about midseason, it’s just we can never be sure how a rookie is going to perform. Wilson of course was the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft by the New York Jets, who dumped previous starting QB Sam Darnold on the Carolina Panthers in a trade.
A three-star high school recruit, Wilson only averaged 7.9 yards per attempt with a 23/12 TD/INT ratio through his first two seasons at BYU before taking a massive junior-year leap in 2020. His 11.0 yards per attempt average and 33/3 TD/INT ratio in 2020 led the Cougars to a 11-1 record.
All reports this offseason were that Wilson looked very comfortable in the Jets’ offense and he will be the Week 1 starter barring injury. The Jets, though, don’t exactly have a strong history of developing QBs.
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