NFL Power Rankings: Where AFC East Teams Stand Ahead of 2020 Season

A new era begins in the AFC East after the New England Patriots and Tom Brady parted ways after two decades of unprecedented success. With Brady under center, the Patriots have won the division 17 teams in 19 years and are on a run of 11 straight divisional titles but with the 43-year-old no longer in New England, the AFC East feels more open than at anytime over the last two decades.

The Buffalo Bills have all it takes to capitalize on Brady's absence, while the Miami Dolphins will look to continue their progress after an encouraging end to last season and more disappointment could be in store for the New York Jets.

Here's what to expect from the AFC East ahead of the upcoming NFL season.

All odds are courtesy of DraftKings.

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo has lost 32 times in 35 games against Tom Brady, but with the six-time Super Bowl champion now in Tampa Bay the Bills have a great opportunity to win a first divisional title since 1995. Head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane have put together an excellent roster, which has quality on both sides of the ball and has was enriched in the summer by the arrival of star wideout Stefon Diggs. The Bills have done all they can to surround Josh Allen with talented players and if the third-year quarterback can address his accuracy issues—he ranked 35th out of 39 quarterbacks in completion percentage above expectation last season—Buffalo has all it takes to win the division. After two trips to the playoffs in the last three years, the Bills are aiming higher.

  • Odds to win AFC East: 6/5
  • Odds to win Super Bowl: 25/1

New England Patriots

After two decades of near-total domination, the wind of vulnerability may be sweeping through New England this winter. The Patriots receiving corps are short of quality and their defense has lost key players with safety Patrick Chung and linebacker Dont'a Hightower both opting out of the season due to concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, there are legitimate concerns over the fitness of Cam Newton as Brady's replacement missed 14 games last season and is coming back from two serious injuries. Despite each of those factors, the other 31 NFL teams will bet against Bill Belichick at their peril. The Patriots supremo will be desperate to prove he doesn't need Brady to succeed and if Newton rediscover even some of the form that saw him named MVP in 2015, reports of New England's demise may be grossly exaggerated.

  • Odds to win AFC East: 13/10
  • Odds to win Super Bowl: 20/1

Miami Dolphins

After a disastrous start to last season, the Dolphins showed encouraging signs as they mounted a mini-rally to end with a more respectable 5-11 record. More importantly, while the five wins saw the Dolphins slip to fifth in the NFL Draft pecking order, they did not prevent them from landing their main target—Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, whose final season in college football was cut prematurely short by a serious hip injury. Tagovailoa has fully recovered from surgery and will be Miami's franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future, but will begin the season as the back-up to veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. It wouldn't be a shock, however, to see Tagovailoa take over at some point this year.

  • Odds to win AFC East: 8/1
  • Odds to win Super Bowl: 80/1

New York Jets

Like the Dolphins, the Jets finished last season strongly, winning six of their last eight games. Unlike in Miami, however, optimism is in short supply in New York. The Jets have lost key players during the offseason, with safety Jamal Adams traded to Seattle, while wideout Robby Anderson left in free agency and linebacker C.J. Mosley opted out of the season because of coronavirus. On a more positive note, the relationship between head coach Adam Gase and star running back Le'Veon Bell appears to have recovered and the Jets' rebuilt offensive line should give Sam Darnold the protection he needs to succeed.

  • Odds to win AFC East: 17/2
  • Odds to win Super Bowl: 80/1
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, looks on during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 4 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Patriots face the toughest schedule in the NFL this season. Maddie Meyer/Getty
NFL Power Rankings: Where AFC East Teams Stand Ahead of 2020 Season | Sports