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Football Insiders AFC East Predictions

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The staff of experts at Football Insiders weighed in on who will win the AFC East.  Without any further ado, here are the results:

Charlie Bernstein-

1. New England Patriots
2. Miami Dolphins
3. New York Jets
4. Buffalo Bills

The Patriots have Tom Brady and that’s why they’ll win the division.  Even if Brady misses four games (which probably won’t happen)….Miami has the best overall roster, but I don’t believe in Joe Philbin’s ability to navigate them to a division title, even with a very favorable schedule….The Jets have a solid roster and I believe that Geno Smith will improve greatly this year….The Bills have no quarterback at all so they will finish last.  

Michael Lombardo-

1. Miami Dolphins
2. Buffalo Bills
3. New England Patriots
4. New York Jets

The last time Tom Brady missed significant playing time, the Dolphins took advantage and won the AFC East. I believe that will happen again, with my belief stemming more from the development of Ryan Tannehill than any of Miami’s offseason acquisitions. The Bills have a chance to pass the Patriots, too, thanks to an elite defense and an offense that loaded up at the skill positions. The Jets, with the QB-coach combo of Geno Smith and Todd Bowles, will not score enough points to get out of the division cellar.

Mark Gunnels-

1. Patriots
2. Dolphins
3. Bills
4. Jets.

Even with Tom Brady missing the first four games, it’s hard to pick against the Patriots in the AFC East. Obviously, the Dolphins look good on paper, especially after adding Ndamukong Suh to their defensive line, but there’s still questions about Joe Philbin’s leadership as a head coach. Meanwhile, Buffalo and New York should both have stellar defensive units, but quarterback remains a huge problem for these ball clubs. With all of that being said, expect New England to reign ahead once again.

John Owning-

1. New England Patriots
2. Miami Dolphins
3. New York Jets
4. Buffalo Bills

When you have Bill Belichick and Tom Brady on their side, the Patriots should be able to cruise to another division championship, even if Brady misses the first four games. The Dolphins are an up and coming team who should be one of the favorites to take the wild card, but they just don’t have the fire power to compete with the Patriots as of yet. The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills are similar teams who rely on their defenses to win game. The fact that Geno Smith is better than any quarterback on the Bills roster gives them the slight edge over the Bills. 

Devon Jeffreys-

1. New England Patriots
2. New York Jets
3. Miami Dolphins
4. Buffalo Bills

The rest of the AFC East has closed the gap on the Patriots, and it won’t be long before they’re overtaken, but I don’t think it will be this year. New England’s schedule is manageable enough in Brady’s stead that they could go 2-2, leaving them in the same position they were last year after four… Behind the Pats, I could see any order 2-through-4 working out… The Jets are one of my surprise teams this year. Even without Sheldon Richardson, that defense is a monster and that plus their rushing attack gives them enough to win games in spite of Geno Smith…The Dolphins have an easy path to success early in the season, but they always seem to crack when things get tough, and they will get tough…This division will be tightly bunched and the Bills, despite their additions, look to be just a step behind the rest of the division talent-wise.

Jeff Carlson-

1. New England
2. Miami Dolphins
3. New York Jets
4. Buffalo Bills

I like Jimmy Garappolo a lot.  Josh McDaniels has already proven that he can take a backup and survive quite nicely in Brady’s absence and after Brady and Goodell meet for court ordered counseling, who knows if the Pats will even have to survive without Brady at all….If Ndamukong Suh can’t deliver a couple more victories by himself, I would be surprised.  It might only take a 7-9 record to come in 2nd place in the AFC East and I happen to think Ryan Tannehill is going to make strides soon….I felt that Rex Ryan ran out of mojo a few years back and really isn’t going to lead a team back to prominence, and Geno Smith will remain quite average for the remainder of his career….Buffalo is deciding between EJ Manuel and Matt Cassel at QB.  Enough said.

Pat Donovan-

1. New England Patriots
2. New York Jets
3. Miami Dolphins
4. Buffalo Bills

While the New England Patriots should win the division because Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are still alive and employed with the Patriots, the team has certainly come back to the pack a little bit. The New York Jets may be the most improved team in football, and their defense should make them competitors. If Geno Smith can take a step forward this season, New York may even push the Patriots. The Miami Dolphins made a few splash moves this offseason, but it’s going to take some time to build continuity. The Dolphins are certainly headed in the right direction, but they may be a year away from putting it all together. The Buffalo Bills may have the best defense in the division, but they’re quarterback situation is shaky at best. If Geno Smith were a Bill, he’d be the easy favorite to take that job.  

Bo Marchionte-

1. Miami Dolphins
2. Buffalo Bills
3. New England Patriots
4. New York Jets

The AFC East might be the most intriguing division in football this upcoming season with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady possibly missing the first four games for the deflated football scandal. The Patriots will get Brady back, but will not have both Pro Bowl players in their defensive back, Darrelle Revis and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Their absence and presence on the field may be more than even the great Bill Belichick can cover up defensively heading into this season. The Miami Dolphins have spent heavy in free agency and traded for key pieces that they hope can leapfrog the Patriots, who have had a strangle-hold on the division for more than a decade. Miami caught the biggest fish in the free agent pond signing All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh from the Detroit Lions. Suh, along with an emerging fourth-year quarterback in Ryan Tannehill possibly can put Miami on top and ride the victory wave to the AFC East division crown.


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