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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The trade deadline has passed, and it was pretty uneventful. Yes, there were a few trades in the week leading up, but, as it often does, it ended up being a lot of rumors and wishful thinking. What this week has brought, however, is a handful of odd stories that have many shaking their heads.
Let’s start with Tom Brady. Brady, the 42yr old, future Hall of Fame, current Patriots quarterback, has never played for another team and truly no one could imagine him doing so. Until this week. I think it started with Jason La Canfora’s article saying Brady has an interest in playing for the Los Angeles Chargers next year if he’s not in New England. It snowballed after that, with fans and media grabbing the idea and running with it.
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.
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?
Raise your hand if you remember the “I’m retired now I’m not” phase of former Packers, Jets and Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. Did anyone else get the feeling that when he finally hung it up, that it wasn’t really going to be the last time? I know I did. But he finally settled into starring in Wrangler commercials and those copper wire commercials, fishing and whatever else it is retired NFL players do.
Then yesterday afternoon, an Instagram post changed all of that. Since Favre deleted it the post, I’ll have to stick with this tweet.
As I was strolling through NFL news last week, one thing that really caught my attention, was news of the Jets firing general manager Mike Maccagnan. They then turned around and named head coach Adam Gase as interim General Manager. All this coming off a March owner meetings where team CEO Christopher Johnson, praised Maccagnan and his working relationship with Gase.
ESPN staff writer Rich Cimini reported internal discord within the Jets organization. ESPN first reported that during the draft, friction had developed between Maccagnan and Gase because of disagreements over personnel during free agency.