- New England Patriots
The Patriots might dynasty might not be at its peak any longer especially with Tom Brady nearing the end of his career. However, there is just no team in the AFC East that has been able to challenge the Patriots for many years. That will likely be the case again this year even though the Patriots lost Rob Gronkowski, Trey Flowers, and Trent Brown this offseason. The Patriots weren’t very busy this offseason other than adding Michael Bennett via trade and wide receiver N’Keal Harry in the 1st round of the draft. Tom Brady doesn’t have many options in the passing game and the Patriots are somewhat weak on defense as well. However, the Patriots always find a way to win and they’ll win the division again because the other teams in the AFC East are still really dysfunctional.
2. New York Jets
Just when it appeared as if the Jets were heading in the right direction they then fired their general manager in a very surprise move especially since the GM helped hire new head coach Adam Gase in January. The Jets certainly didn’t shy away from spending in free agency as they likely overpaid to sign key free agents such as Le’Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, and Jamison Crowder. The Jets theoretically got better this offseason especially since they didn’t lose much in free agency. The Jets defense got even better in the draft with the addition of Quinnen Williams and he should make a big impact right away. The Jets have a talented roster overall, but it remains to be seen whether that will translate into wins. The Jets likely have enough talent to make a playoff run, but I’m just not sure whether they are a playoff caliber team or not.
3. Buffalo Bills
Some people view the Bills as being a sneaky team in 2019, but I’m just not sold on that idea yet. Buffalo did some serious work to try and improve their offense in particular. They added wide receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley in free agency to try and give young quarterbacks some weapons in the passing game. The additions of those two receivers will undoubtedly make their passing game better, but it likely won’t improve the position drastically. The offensive line was particularly bad for Buffalo last season, but I really like the moves that they made by signing proven veteran players like Mitch Morse, Spencer Long, and Quinton Spain. Also, the Bills added Cody Ford in the 2nd round of the draft and he should make a big impact right away. Buffalo’s offense will likely be better in 2019, but they still have some more work to do to make it even an average offense. Meanwhile, on defense the Bills have some talented players and they made the unit even better by drafting dominant defensive tackle Ed Oliver in the 1st round. I’m not too concerned about how the defense will play in 2019, but the Bills need to be much better on offense if the team is going to be a playoff contender. Maybe Buffalo can surprise us this season, but it seems unlikely considering the lack of talent that they have especially on offense.
4. Miami Dolphins
Miami likely is the worst team in the AFC East, but it seems as if they aren’t even trying to win games in 2019. The Dolphins just hired new head coach Brian Flores and that will likely create a tough transition for the franchise in 2019. Also, the Dolphins have a major question mark at the quarterback position after trading away Ryan Tannehill. Miami did add veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and young quarterback Josh Rosen, so those two players will likely compete for the starting job. Overall, the Dolphins lost several key players this offseason and they barely did anything to replace the players that departed. The Dolphins roster wasn’t good to begin with and now it is even more depleted after this offseason. Miami especially doesn’t have much talent on offense, but they could have a decent defense if their young players can step up. The Dolphins added defensive tackle Christian Wilkins in the 1st round of the draft and he should add to a good young core of defensive players to go along with Xavien Howard and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Miami will likely be battling for the honor of being the worst team in 2019, but at least they are starting to build their roster around some good young players.