AFC East Week 1 Preview

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

Week one of the 2020 NFL season for the AFC East will see all four teams facing off against each other. The Buffalo Bills will host the New York Jets, while the Miami Dolphins will start where they finished their 2019 season, in Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots.

Let’s take a look at each team before Week 1.

Miami Dolphins 

Starting behind quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the team will have first-round, future franchise QB Tua Tagovailoa watching and waiting in the back-up spot. Miami solidified that spot for Tagovailoa after the release of former first-round quarterback Josh Rosen.

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ProFootball Hall of Fame Class of 2020: Steve Atwater

Wanda Wiedman,
NFL Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

Year after year after year, former Denver Bronco safety Steve Atwater has been denied recognition in the ProFootball Hall of Fame. After waiting 16 years, Atwater will finally be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2020.

It’s hard to believe it took this long for Atwater to be recognized for the tremendous player that he was in the NFL. It’s even more surprising that a free safety with such power and impact on a Super Bowl caliber team was denied for so long.

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Is the AFC East up for grabs?

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

Since the departure of quarterback Tom Brady from the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the AFC East now is considered “up for grabs”.  So which team is poised and ready to take over the reins?

Buffalo Bills

With the Miami Dolphins in full rebuild mode and the Jets still finding their nitch with second-year Head Coach Adam Gase, the Bills are poised and are deemed the heavy favorites to take over the AFC East. Fourth-year head coach Sean McDermott brought the Buffalo Bills to a 10-6 record and second in the AFC East in 2019. With the aid of a departing Brady and a solid draft class(see below) for 2020, the Buffalo Bills and their Bills Mafia fan base are ready for an AFC East take-over.

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Bowling for Bell

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

You know how in the winter, or anytime really when that one coworker of yours is sneezing, coughing and blowing their nose constantly.  Oh…and they may or may not be using hand sanitizer in between.  And you ask them, “uhh…are you OK?  Are you coming down with something?”  And they instantly say, “I’m fine…I sound worse than how I feel.”   You give them the side-eye cause they look like death warmed over, and pray that they don’t give you their crud. But the bottom line is, they just won’t go home??

Well, that’s sort of the opposite happened with Jets running back Le’Veon Bell.  He had the flu and was sent home so that he wouldn’t get the rest of his teammates sick.  Which is a smart move, because why would you want to get anyone sick?  Though, in the interest of full disclosure, I did risk getting people sick in college once.  But it was finals week, and I only had strep throat.  So, I wore a mask and sat in the back of the class.  I passed, no one got sick.  Replay first down.

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Midterm Review: the 2019 NFL’s eight “Rookie” head coaches

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

It’s hard to believe we are at the mid-point of the NFL season. As such, there were eight teams starting the year with brand new head coaches. Six of them are in their first head coaching position, while two have held the job before.

In the competition to see who made the best hiring decision, the clear – and only – winner at this point is the Green Bay Packers. Matt LeFleur has this team leading their division at 7-1. Now, perhaps it’s the Aaron Duo – quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Aaron Jones – who deserve some credit, but there are other teams in this group with talented players who are not even close to being .500. That means I’m giving the Packers an A on the hire. Trust me – other coaches might have found a way to screw up this team so I’ll give credit to LeFleur because he hasn’t.

Let’s take a look at the other seven teams to see how they are faring…

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Patriots send message to AFC East

Lisa Johnson
AFC South & East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

The Patriot’s reign over the AFC East appears to be in good standing.

The Patriots took their perfect 6-0 record into New York Monday night and completely dominated their AFC East rival New York Jets.

The Jets, coming off their huge win against the Dallas Cowboys last week at Met Life, failed to gain any ground in the standings.  They are now sitting with a 1-5 record with little to no chance of seeing postseason play, let alone give the Patriots any sort of competition for an AFC East title.

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Is the AFC East becoming more competitive? A look at week 7

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
AFC and NFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

When you think of the AFC East, you think about the New England Patriots. They have won the division title every year since 2003, with the exception of 2008. That’s a lot of years of dominance. But with the Reign of Brady coming to an end, and with the other three teams either revamping their teams, is the AFC East becoming more competitive? This season could be a preview of what’s to come in the future.

With that said, the Patriots still have a stronghold on the division, which is no surprise to anyone. Taking a look at week 7 and beyond, what can we expect from the AFC East?

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NFC South: preseason week 3

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Week 3 of the NFL Preseason may just be an indication of how the entire season will finish up in the NFC South.

The New Orleans Saints had a commanding victory, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squeaked one out with a game-winning field goal and both the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers struggled to find any offense at all.

Panthers QB Cam Newton suffered a foot injury and while x-rays have come back negative, seeing him in a walking boot has to put quite a bit of fear into the hearts of Carolina fans!

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NFC South: preseason week 2

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

In 2018, the NFC South produced one playoff team and three others who woefully under-performed vs expectations.

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints took a 13-3 record into the post-season and lost in what many fans still call an egregious error by the officials.

The Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers both finished with 7-9 records, which was definitely not what most pundits predicted when the season began.

And finally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a dismal 5-11, are still struggling to live up to the promise that drafting quarterback Jameis Winston showed back in 2015.

Will this year see a shake-up in the rankings? Let’s see how they look so far…

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Ty Law: PFHOF Class of 2019

 

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

It gives me great pleasure to get to talk about Ty Law.  When we were dividing this up, of course, I had to pick Ty.  Because… Michigan.  I remember in college, a girl on my hall was a Patriots fan, and really loved him. I always to say he was “mine” first at Michigan.

But back to Ty. Law was born in Pennsylvania, home to the most Hall of Famers. In Pennsylvania, football was life. As Law states, “Where I came from, if you don’t love the game of football, you better move.  We played baseball; we played basketball; we live football.”

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