The AFC East has been dominated by the New England Patriots for the last decade. Coach Bill Belichick’s team has won the division every year since 2009.
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of doubt that they will win it again this year. The bigger question is who will finish second. While the Patriots are a -500 to win the division, Buffalo and the New York Jets are in a battle for who should finish behind New England, and possibly grab one of the wild card spots for the playoffs.
The Jets have a new coach, and both teams have second-year quarterbacks. It will be interesting to see who will have the better season.
AFC East 2018 Record Win Division Odds Super Bowl Odds
N.E. Patriots 11-5 -500 +600
New York Jets 4-12 +600 +10000
Buffalo Bills 6-10 +800 +10000
Miami Dolphins 7-9 +1600 +50000
Odds Courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook
There are a couple of other factors to be considered for the AFC East, and we put three of them up for debate.
How Much Will New England Miss Gronk?
The retirement of tight end Rob Gronkowski was not a complete shock, but it did leave a hole in the team’s offense that might not be easily filled. Gronkowski is definitely a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and in the debate for best tight end of all time.
It has not been an easy process finding his replacement. The team has gone through a couple already, and on Wednesday it was reported that former Rams’ Lance Kendricks signed with the Patriots.
The eight-year veteran joins Benjamin Watson, Andrew Beck, and Jakob Johnson. Quarterback Tom Brady might have to look to his wide receivers more if neither of the current players at that position pan out.
Will Adam Gase Have Immediate Success?
First-year New York Jets coach Adam Gase came out with a bold prediction on Wednesday’s first day of training camp. The 41-year-old proclaimed the Jets will be relevant late in the season.
“We’re going to play meaningful games at the end of November and into December,” Gase told reporters. “That’s what we’re going to do,”
Ballsy statement considering the team was 4-12 last season. Quarterback Sam Darnold has a year under his belt, and now has Le’Veon Bell in the backfield. The former Pittsburgh Steeler has a lot to prove after a year away from the game.
The defense might be the star on this team, however. The biggest acquisition was getting C.J. Mosley from the Ravens. He shores up a linebacker crew that could be one of the best in the NFL.
Can Buffalo Win More than 7 Games?
Sportsbooks have the Buffalo Bills win total at seven, with the over at -125, and the under at +105. While oddsmakers don’t think too highly of the team, they could be the surprise of the league.
Quarterback Josh Allen has an improved offensive line that should protect him better. His targets have also been upgraded.
The defense will again be strong. They were second in yards allowed last season, and added Ed Oliver in the draft. Many think the defensive lineman was the steal of the draft.