Record Predictions: Who Will Win AFC East?

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You want to talk about the “changing of the guard,” look no further than the landscape of the AFC East as we enter a potential three-horse race for the division crown with the New York Jets now in full rebuild mode.

The Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots all, presumably, will be in the running for the division title come Christmas. And sure, you could say the Bills are the favorite (I would agree), but how can you count out a re-loaded Dolphins roster and a much improved Patriots group with Bill Belichick still pressing the buttons in Foxboro?

The AFC East looks to develop into one of the more exciting division races in all of football, as the Patriots’ two-decade-long reign of terror is now complete. Josh Allen, Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones, the stars align for what will be a fire-fight to the postseason.

Let’s dive into the 2021 schedules for each team of the four teams in the AFC East.

Buffalo Bills

Week 1: vs. Steelers (W)

Week 2: @ Dolphins (L)

Week 3: vs. Washington (W)

Week 4: vs. Texans (W)

Week 5: @ Chiefs (L)

Week 6: @ Titans (W)

Week 7: BYE

Week 8: vs. Dolphins (W)

Week 9: @ Jaguars (W)

Week 10: @ Jets (W) 

Week 11: vs. Colts (W)

Week 12: @ Saints (W)

Week 13: vs. Patriots (W)

Week 14: @ Buccaneers (L)

Week 15: vs. Panthers (W)

Week 16: @ Patriots (W)

Week 17: vs. Falcons (W)

Week 18: vs. Jets (W)

Record Prediction: 14-3

It’s going to be tough to take down the Bills in Orchard Park this season with Allen on the cusp of an MVP year. With 23 wins in their last two seasons, the Bills are primed to compete for their first Lombardi Trophy. The only path I see Buffalo crumbling is due to injury, but if their core is able to remain relatively healthy, the sky's the limit for the Sean McDermott-led Bills. 

Miami Dolphins

Week 1: @ Patriots (L)

Week 2: vs. Bills (W)

Week 3: @ Raiders (W)

Week 4: vs. Colts (L)

Week 5: @ Buccaneers (L)

Week 6: @ Jaguars [London] (W)

Week 7: vs. Falcons (W)

Week 8: @ Bills (L)

Week 9: vs. Texans (W)

Week 10: vs. Ravens (L)

Week 11: @ Jets (W) 

Week 12: vs. Panthers (W)

Week 13: vs. Giants (W)

Week 14: BYE

Week 15: vs. Jets (W)

Week 16: @ Saints (W)

Week 17: @ Titans (L)

Week 18: vs. Patriots (W)

Record Prediction: 11-6

Behind one of the more stout defensive units, Tagovailoa won’t have to be perfect in his second season. With the addition of Will Fuller plus No. 6 overall selection and former teammate Jaylen Waddle, Tagovailoa has all the weapons to succeed in his sophomore season. General manager Chris Grier has pressed all the right buttons to ease the onboarding process for his future under center; don’t be shocked if the Dolphins take the cake here in the AFC East.

New York Jets

Week 1: @ Panthers (L)

Week 2: vs. Patriots (L)

Week 3: @ Broncos (L)

Week 4: vs. Titans (L)

Week 5: @ Falcons [London] (L)

Week 6: BYE

Week 7: @ Patriots (L)

Week 8: vs. Bengals (W)

Week 9: @ Colts [TNF] (L)

Week 10: vs. Bills (L)

Week 11: vs. Dolphins (L)

Week 12: @ Texans (W)

Week 13: vs. Eagles (W)

Week 14: vs. Saints (L)

Week 15: @ Dolphins (L)

Week 16: vs. Jaguars (L)

Week 17: vs. Buccaneers (L)

Week 18: @ Bills (L)

Record Prediction: 3-14

It’s an exciting time to be a Jets fan, as Zach Wilson will fill highlight reels for years to come, but the overall rebuild is still in its root stages—don’t expect anything more than a handful of wins this fall. I’m all for surprises though, and if anyone were to prove me wrong, it would be Robert Saleh, who could seemingly charge up a group of ankle-biters to challenge an NFL roster if it came down to it.  There are just too many holes to envision the Jets competing for anything more than a top-five selection in next year’s draft.

New England Patriots

Week 1: vs. Dolphins (W)

Week 2: @ Jets (W)

Week 3: vs. Saints (W)

Week 4: vs. Buccaneers [SNF] (L)

Week 5: @ Texans (W)

Week 6: vs. Cowboys (W)

Week 7: vs. Jets (W)

Week 8: @ Chargers (L)

Week 9: @ Panthers (W)

Week 10: vs. Browns (L)

Week 11: @ Falcons [TNF] (W)

Week 12: vs. Titans (W)

Week 13: @ Bills [MNF] (L)

Week 14: BYE

Week 15: @ Colts (L)

Week 16: vs. Bills (L)

Week 17: vs. Jaguars (W)

Week 18: @ Dolphins (L) 

Record Prediction: 10-7 

I don’t envision Cam Newton starting long, so it’s full steam ahead with Jones as Belichick’s future under center. With seemingly every free agent available now signed by the Patriots, it’s hard to ignore the congruence between Belichick’s intelligence and a re-tooled, veteran roster headlined by Stephon Gilmore, Matt Judon, and Jonnu Smith. If you expect New England to sit in the basement of the division again, you’re in for a heck of a treat.

Written By:

Ryan Fowler

Staff Writer

Feature Writer for The Draft Network. Former Staff Writer for the Washington Football Team. Multiple years of coverage within the NFL and NBA.

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