Sunday, September 26, 2021

AFC East Preview: As competitors re-equip or rebuild, the bill will repeat itself as the division champion

1. Buffalo Bills

coach: Sean McDermott (fifth year-regular season 38-26, playoffs 2-3).

Record for 2020: 13-3 (first in the East of the AFC Champions League; lost to Kansas City in the AFC Champions League).

Defensive player: Leslie Fraser (fifth year with Bill).

Best Defensive Player/Best Newcomer: CB Tre’Davious White/DE Carlos Basham. White was the NFL leader with 6 interceptions in 2019, entered the Pro Bowl twice in a row, and won 15 draft picks in 61 games. As a second-round rookie, Basham had at least one tackle in 23 consecutive games because he lost yards.

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Key statistics: 243-Last year allowed games of at least 10 yards, most of which were in the NFL.

Why did they do it first: After breaking into the AFC Champions League last year, the Bills are in Super Bowl mode. Quarterback Josh Allen, receivers Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley, and receiver Brian Daboll followed close behind. The defense is statistically at a middling level and requires their reorganized stars Lotulelei, Greg Rousseau and Carlos Basham to perform well.

2. New England Patriots

Ashley Landis, Associated Press File

In a file photo on Thursday, December 10, 2020, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick yelled from the sidelines during the second half of the NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood, California.

coach: Bill Belichick (22nd year-244-92 regular season, 30-11 playoffs; 27th year-regular season 280-136, 31-12 playoffs).

Record for 2020: 7-9 (third in the East of the AFC Champions League).

Defensive player: Outside linebacker coach Steve Belichick.

Best Defensive Player/Best Newcomer: CB JC Jackson/OLB Matthew Juden. Jackson will get rich somewhere in the next offseason. He participated in restricted free agent tenders this year and was intercepted 17 times in 45 games (22 starts) alone. Judon was a member of the Patriots’ crazy spending in mid-March. He joined from Baltimore, where he had 34 1/2 sacks in 76 games.

Key statistics: 6.29-The number of yards is the highest in the league.

Why they won the second place: Forget all the money the Patriots spent uncharacteristically on free agents on Judon and close ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Can New England get a high-quality quarterback? Not enough to win the partition. Cam Newton is almost no longer a beginner-level player, and Mac Jones is a rookie. The Patriots will have to rely on their defense, mainly Jackson and cornerback Stephen Gilmore.

3. Miami Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa #1 Miami...

Mark Brown, Getty Images

In the NFL game against the Los Angeles Rams in Miami Gardens, Florida on November 1, 2020, Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins handed the ball to Miles Gaskin #37.

coach: Brian Flores (third year-15-17 regular season).

Record for 2020: 10-6 (second in the east of the AFC Champions League).

Defensive player: Josh Boyer (second year).

Best Defensive Player/Best Newcomer: CB Harvey Howard/DL Adam Butler. Howard led the NFL in interceptions twice—7 in 2018 and 10 last year. Butler has only 12 career starts (15 sacks) in four years, but he will have the opportunity to play more for the Dolphins.

Key statistics: 29-The total number of takeaways leading the league.

Why they won the third place: Two words-Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins are very loyal to him, without Ryan Fitzpatrick as a backup pitcher (he is in Washington). Miami hopes Tagovailoa will take a big step, and the addition of receivers Will Fuller and Jaylon Waddle will improve the passing game. However, this is not enough. The Dolphins will take a big step back from last year.

4. New York Jets

File New York Jets cornerback...

Franklin II, Associated Press Archive

On Saturday, August 14, 2021, New York Jets cornerback Zane Lewis (33) plays the second half of the NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, New Jersey. File photo.

coach: Robert Saleh (first year).

Record for 2020: 2-14 (fourth in the AFC East).

Defensive player: Jeff Ulbrich (first year).

AFC East Preview: As competitors re-equip or rebuild, the bill will repeat itself as the division champion
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