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.
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
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
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
coach: Robert Saleh (first year).
Record for 2020: 2-14 (fourth in the AFC East).
Defensive player: Jeff Ulbrich (first year).
Best Defensive Player/Best Newcomer: DL Quinnen Williams/S LaMarcus Joyner. As the third overall pick in 2019, Williams has 9 1/2 sacks (7 last year) and 83 tackles in 26 games. Joyner has spent two indescribable years with the Raiders, but now he is safe and the data becomes valid.
Key statistics: 52-The opponent’s negative rush (not including kneeling), second in the league.
Why they won the fourth place: The jet started again. New coach. New quarterback (Zach Wilson). New coordinator (Mike LaFleur/Jeff Ulbrich). New York spent money to acquire receiver Corey Davis, who will help Wilson transition to professional games. The biggest problem is to stop the opponent’s quarterback. The Jets did not get involved in the active cornerback free agent market, but relied on Bryce Hall and blessed Austin. Oops.