Here is FinFlam Sports’ 2021 AFC East Predictions:
The 2021 NFL Season is upon us and for the first time every NFL team will play 17 regular season games.
The AFC East is changing rapidly, and this is the only division in the NFL that with be starting two rookie starting quarterbacks. (1)New England named Mac Jones as starter, taking the job from Cam Newton. (2) Zach Wilson was the starter from the second he was drafted to the New York Jets.
Tua Tagovailoa enters year two as an entrenched starter for the Miami Dolphins, while Josh Allen at 25 years old, who has continuously showed great growth as the most experienced starting quarterback in this division.
Buffalo Bills 12-5
The Buffalo Bills had a breakout season in 2020. Josh Allen played like an MVP and is a top pick to win the award in 2021. The Bills season ended in Kansas City, after a loss to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game. The Bills toughest task is finding a way to beat the Chiefs.
In 2020, the Buffalo Bills lost to the Chiefs twice, once in the regular season and once in the playoffs, Buffalo is entering the 2021 season with Super Bowl expectations and are the favorites to win the AFC East.
Miami Dolphins 10-7
Tua Tagovailoa is the key to the Dolphins season. Miami needs Tua to develop into a consistent starting quarterback, if they are going to have any chance at making the playoffs. Brian Flores looks to be a rising young coach, but none of it will matter if Tua is not dependable. Ryan Fitzpatrick leaving Miami may end up being one of the sneakiest losses of the 2021 offseason.
Miami’s offensive line doesn’t have a ton of talent or experience on the offensive line, which could make life difficult for their young QB. Miami has the talent to be a force in the AFC East and AFC Conference as a whole but their hopes and dreams, begin and end with Tua Tagovailoa.
New England Patriots 8-9
The New England Patriots went on a spending spree in free agency. The Patriots desperately needed talent, primarily at the skill positions on offense. New England added better players on offense, but they still lack a dynamic playmaking on offense.
New England released Cam Newton, in favor of starting rookie first round pick, Mac Jones. Newton look injured and ineffective for most of 2020. Mac Jones was terrific in the 2021 preseason, which gave New England enough confidence to cut Cam Newton.
The Patriots need Mac Jones to be serviceable as a rookie, if they want to have a chance a the playoffs. The preseason can be tricky as sometimes it can be a predictor of success or it can be an aberration. New England will have a solid defense, but their offense lacks the explosiveness or talent to compete with Buffalo for the division. The two games that will most likely decide New England’s fate will be their two games against the Miami Dolphins. If Mac Jones is as good as New England believes, the two Dolphin games will be the difference between making or missing the playoffs.
New York Jets 3-14
The New York Jets are starting over once again. They have solid talent on their defensive line, but lack talent everywhere else. There are a ton of unknowns on this team, which makes projections for this team difficult. Robert Salah is a promising coach, but has little to work with this season. Zach Wilson could have a great season, but the lack of talent could keep them from closing games out. The New York Jets singular goal for this season should be to protect and develop Zach Wilson. The win total doesn’t matter for the Jets as long as Zach Wilson stays healthy and shows that he could be a top tier QB one day.
Division Winner: Buffalo Bills
Playoff Teams: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins