It’s just about that time of year; the time to ignore your significant other (or others for the luckier ones of us), put the kids in a playpen somewhere, and hunker down for with a 6 or 30 pack for 18 phenomenal weeks of regular season football. Over here at FansofFans we live and breath football, and with that being said, taking into account drafts, free agent signings, trades, notable additions and loses, we will rank where each team will finish in all 8 NFL divisions. Today we cover the AFC East.
Division Winners: Buffalo Bills
This one isn’t really up for discussion. Ever since Brady left the division and went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills have OWNED the AFC East. And all they’ve done is bolster their defense and add more talent to the backfield, a position group where they were severely lacking. Sooooooooooo with that, ON TO THE NEXT!
Second Place: Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins showed a lot of growth in 2021, going 8-1 down the stretch, and narrowly missing the playoffs. After replacing head coach Brian Flores with San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel (another conversations for another time), the team seems to be all in on QB1 Tua Tagovailoa; nabbing him one of the league’s best receivers in Tyreek Hill, rising receiver Cedrick Wilson, OT Terron Armstead, edge rushers Melvin Ingrim and Trey Flowers, and runningbacks Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert to implement Mike McDaniel’s efficient run scheme that he’s bringing with him from San Fran. And after the offseason drama of Tyreek Hill comparing his new QB1 to his old QB1, new QB1 and Tyreek actually backed up that talk with a pretty great performance in their 3rd presason game. Now for the first time in his career, Tua finally has an opportunity to prove that with the right weapons, the Dolphins can take back the AFC East for the first time since 2008.
Third Place: New England Patriots
The New England Patriots only end up in third because of their success in 2021 and my unwavering trust in Bill Belichick. The inability of the team to decide on an official Offensive Coordinator during their new QB1’s sophomore year is definitely cause for concern. The defenses losses are rather significant for this team, including the top CB J.C. Jackson, Guard Shaq Mason, DL Kyle Van Noy, and WR K’Neal Harry. Where teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets have constructed talented teams to help develop their 2nd year QBs, the Patriots are resting on their laurels, assuming that they can make less with more. And with the rest of the teams in the AFC East only getting better, don’t be surprised if the Patriots end up in last place behind the Jets.
Last Place: New York Jets
Honestly, I want the Jets to finish higher in the AFC East. The Jets have the talent and personnel to finish higher in the AFC East. But a young QB, an influx of talent from the draft, and some exciting free agent signings don’t always equal instant success. It takes time for a team to gel, and no amount of training camp and preseason games are going to give you that. The Jets easily got better from the draft, getting one of the best wide receivers in Ohio’s Garrett Wilson, CB Sauce Gardner, RB Breece Hall, and DE Jermaine Johnson. Couple that with free agent signings G Laken Tomlinson, TE C.J. Uzomah, CB D.J Reed, and S Jordan Whitehead amongst many many others, and this group really has the potential to be good. However, having all of these new players in this new system under second year HC Robert Saleh, and everybody having to take time to learn everything and everyone else, things will start slowly, but pay mind to how this team performs down the stretch and you’ll see signs of what this team has the potential to become.
What say you? Which AFC East team do you think will win the division in 2022? Let us know in the comment section below!