The New England Patriots’ dominance of the AFC East ended in 2020, with the Buffalo Bills finishing top of the pile after an incredible campaign.
The Patriots won 11 AFC East titles in a row, but Bill Belichick’s men were humbled last year as they finished third with a 7-9 record.
As well as the Bills and Patriots, both the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets will fancy their chances of improving in 2021, and we assess the chances of each team, with the Bills the
4/6 favourites, to defend their crown.
Allen to Lead Bills to Glory
While the Bills’ defence was the 16th-best in the NFL last season, their attack was much more consistent. They were second in scoring thanks to their leadership of quarterback Josh Allen, and he became an MVP candidate last season. Wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley are the perfect targets for Allen, and they should dominate once again.
Another great team win💨💨💨 https://t.co/1QlKAUuPPj— Matt Breida (@MattBreida) August 21, 2021
In the draft, they used their first two picks to improve their edge rush, and Bills fans have plenty to get excited about this year.
More to Come From Improving Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins finished the 2020 season with a 10-6 record and they continue to improve under the stewardship of Brian Flores. QB Tua Tagovaiola has now been given the starting jersey for the entire campaign, but he struggled in his first season in Miami.
If he can follow in Allen’s footsteps, Miami might have a year to celebrate. The Dolphins are sound defensively, with their secondary one of the best in the NFL.
Jaelan Phillips has been brought in to try and improve their pass rush, and the sky is the limit for this Dolphins team. At
7/2, they offer good value to win the division, but they may need some help from the Bills to claim the top spot.
Jury Still Out on Newton
QB Cam Newton didn’t exactly thrive in New England last season, but fans of his will give him the benefit of the doubt.
That's his thing.pic.twitter.com/Sx0e3XAutX— New England PatriotsNation™ (@PatsNationTM) August 21, 2021
Under a new coach and a new system, Newton did show glimpses of what he could do, but the entire offence needs to do more in 2021.
Belichick has gone back to his old ways and acquired some powerful tight ends, while he now has three running backs at his disposal as they try to improve their run game.
Sony Michel, Damien Harris and James White are all set to be given minutes this season, and if Newton falls short, rookie Mac Jones is waiting in the wings to take over.
Jets to Start Their Recovery
For too long, the New York Jets have failed to deliver the goods on the field. They might not change drastically in 2021, but slowly but surely, they should start to reward their fans for their patience.
New head coach Robert Saleh has brought a new work ethic to the team, while the Jets seemed to do everything right in the draft and free agency.
Sadly, DE Carl Lawson is already out for the season, but new quarterback Zach Wilson is expected to hit the ground running. Wide receiver Elijah Moore is one to watch out for this season as the Jets pick up a few more wins, but they are a few years away from being playoff contenders.
*All odds correct at time of writing.