If one were to listen to many fans, analysts, and skeptics alike, you might agree with the notion that there may be a new champion crowned in the AFC East this upcoming season.
Could it be that the departure of Tom Brady is all that it takes to see the New England Patriots constant success collapse?
Probably not, but it certainly could be a coinciding fact if there is a change of guard this season.
The reality is that no one player can win a game or a season without a complimentary group of talent around them. This was absolutely true for Brady’s Patriots.
The simple truth is that it doesn’t take much to give a fan hope to believe it’s their teams time to shine.
For now, let’s all agree that the sky is falling in Foxborough and another team is about to take over the division.
Here’s some factors Buffalo, New York, and Miami possess that could crown them the new kings of the AFC East.
Buffalo’s trip to the playoffs wasn’t as expected. After a streaking hot 16-0 start, the Bills began to implode in the third quarter, ultimately losing to the Houston Texans in overtime, 22-19.
How will this loss affect their rhythm heading into the 2020 season? Usually, professional athletes are adequate at putting things in the rear-view mirror and looking ahead. The successful ones know that the moment they take their next snap there is no time to even think about the past.
The Bills are a proud franchise, loaded with a proud fanbase, great ownership, management, and coaching. Plus, the addition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs to go along with the second-ranked defense in the league could equate to a recipe for success.
New York Jets
The New York Jets seemingly have their starting quarterback for years to come in Sam Darnold. Like the rest of the AFC East, the Jets have added players to their roster with hopes of improving on their 7-9 record from last season. Based on performance as a head coach in Miami and his first year with the Jets, many would-be astonished if Adam Gase is able to lead the Jets to the division title. However, we’ve seen worse happen.
The Miami Dolphins have just completed phase one of an extreme overhaul. Management has acquired many shiny new toys for Dolphin fans to get excited about. After twenty years of frustration and agony, Dolphins fans have found hope last year from an overachieving team that was projected to go winless and somehow found a way to win five games.
Led by journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick and a depleted roster, the team instilled faith in fans. The players and fans were inspired by the job Brian Flores has done.
Many expect that the acquisitions through free agency and the draft should assort to more wins in 2020.
Expectations should be tempered though. Because all the new pieces along with the very unique circumstances of this offseason can make it difficult for the team to quickly become a cohesive unit that is capable of producing immediately. This roster is talented and fit with the right coach to lead the charge. Regardless, fans and management need to be patient.
If not this year, the resurgence of the Miami Dolphins is right around the corner. A once-storied franchise appears committed to taking back it’s crown in the AFC East.
At the end of the day, this is the franchise that lays claim to the only undefeated team in NFL history. The team that saw the career of one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game in Dan Marino. The team that proudly called Don Shula their coach. The winningest coach in NFL history.
Let’s not forget that up until the 2010 season, the Miami Dolphins owned the most division titles with 14, 13 of which were compiled from their enfranchisement in 1966 to 2000. Miami was a proud and winning franchise prior to the Tom Brady era.
With all the changes that have taken place in South Florida, the feeling of pride is settling back into the Dolphins fan base as winning is on the horizon. Have faith, be patient, and ride the wave as the tide is changing in the AFC East and it’s heading straight towards Miami.