The Patriots have been dominating the AFC East since drafting Tom Brady. Since 2001, they have won the division 14 out of 16 years, including their current streak of 8 straight division titles. With their recent acquisitions this off-season, everyone expects them to do it again. However, there always seems to be one team in the division that’s projected to give them a run for their money, even though we’ve never seen it. Who’s it going to be this year?
While they haven’t made a playoff appearance since 1999, Buffalo always gives the Patriots a good game. Most recently under former head coach Rex Ryan, who is known for his hatred towards the Pats, they always had an extra push to try and get the job done. But they were only able to take just one game from the Pats during his time there. With Rex now out of the picture along with some key defensive players in Stephon Gilmore and Zach Brown, does Buffalo still have what it takes to take even a game away from New England? They have a great mobile QB in Tyrod Taylor and one of the most dynamic running backs in the league in LeSean McCoy, but outside of that, they don’t really have anyone. The only reason Buffalo beat the Patriots last year was that they were lucky enough to play them during Brady’s 4-game suspension. When he came back, they went into Buffalo and dominated the Bills. I expect them to do the same this year in both matchups.
New York Jets
Haha, no. Top to bottom this might be the worst roster in the NFL right now. I’d give the Browns a better chance at beating the Patriots. The Jets have some good younger talent on defense, but that’s really it. They lost Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte’s hamstrings are Jell-O at this point, and Josh McCown is probably going to be their starting QB. This team is just a joke and I love it. I’m not giving them a chance against the Pats at all this year, or ever.
Who can forget when Jarvis Landry said that his Dolphins would SWEEP the Patriots this year? My oh, my, what a funny guy he is. However, out of the other three teams in the AFC East, Miami definitely has the best shot at taking at least one game from New England this year. Ryan Tannehill might be done for the year, but they did just sign Jay Cutler. Before anyone mistakes me for praising Cutler, I’m not, but he’s definitely not a terrible fallback option. He may throw a ton of picks, but he still can put up yards and sling the ball around from time to time. He is also familiar with Adam Gase and his coaching style, having played with him when Gase was in Chicago. He also has some solid weapons around him in Jarvis Landry, DaVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Julius Thomas, and Jay Ajayi on offense.
This Miami squad has also been a team who always plays the Patriots hard as of late. They beat them Week 1 in 2014, and they beat them again Week 17 in 2015. They are the one team in the division that has the most recent success against the Patriots, which is why I say they stand the best chance out of the other three teams in the division to take at least a game.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)