Usually, the AFC East is won by the New England Patriots every year Tom Brady starts the season opener, but that will not happen this year. Tom Brady’s four-game suspension appeal was not upheld. He will miss the first four games of the season. The backup Quarterback for the Patriots is 24 year old Jimmy Garoppolo. And on the other side of the division, the NFL will not punish Buffalo Bills’ running back LeSean McCoy for his involvement in a brawl from February.
So who will take the AFC East crown? I think that this could be the best chance for the Bills to take the crown away from the Patriots.
The Buffalo Bills had a very good draft. They added former Clemson DE Shaq Lawson and former Alabama LB Reggie Ragland to an already stalwart defense coached by two of the greatest defensive minds in the NFL, Rex and Rob Ryan.
Another thing is their defense will be one of the tops in the league this year. Most Rex Ryan defenses are always great so a defense with his brother should be even better. And on the offense side, the Bills have one of the great backfields. They will return starting Pro Bowl QB Tyrod Taylor and Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy. Taylor has some great receivers to throw to this year. He will have a cast of receivers like, Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. Also I think rookie Kolby Listenbee will do a lot for the Bills in his first year.
The Bills themselves have a pretty favorable schedule. Outside of their divisional play the Bills will play four really hard teams: at the Seattle Seahawks, home to the Arizona Cardinals, at the Cincinnati Bengals, home to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I think that the Buffalo Bills could definitely win two of those game. Most likely the Bengals and home to the Arizona Cardinals. The Bills will even have a bye week before they play the Arizona Cardinals, giving the Ryan Brothers time to think of a plan to stop Carson Palmer and the Cardinals defense.
Ultimately, I think that this is the only chance any team in the AFC East has to finally overthrow the Patriots. That is, until Brady retires. And I think the Bills have the best chance to do so. In the Patriots first four games, they will have to play at the Arizona Cardinals, and will be home to the Miami Dolphins, the Houston Texans, and the Buffalo Bills.
The other teams in the division all have some kind of trouble coming into this season. The Dolphins still have Ryan Tannehill, so they are limited in how far they can go. Tannehill is a good young quarterback, but I just don’t think he has that killer instance. The New York Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick have not come to agreement on a contract yet and it’s the middle of July. This maybe the first time ever that a Rex Ryan team is the most stable team in a division.
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