Since 2001, the AFC East has belonged to the New England Patriots. In 2002, the division was won by the New York Jets, while the Miami Dolphins would take it down in 2008. That’s the full list of other division champions over that span, as the Patriots have won it every other year.
There have been 18 seasons completed since the kickoff of the 2001 season, and the Patriots have been atop the AFC East when 16 of those years came to a close. The current streak stands at 10 division crowns in a row for the team.
Is there any chance that things will shake out differently in 2019? What’s the lay of the land in the AFC East as the new season approaches? Let’s take a closer look at all four squads in the division and find out.
*Betting odds provided by MyBookie.ag
Buffalo Bills 2019 Division Title Odds (+1000)
2018 Record: 6-10 | Standings: 3-AFC East | Playoffs: N/A
It was a challenging year for the Bills in 2018, to say the least. However, some perspective is required. Buffalo opened up the year with a record of 2-7 and looked outmatched for much of it. Down the stretch, the team was much more competitive and won four of its final seven games.
The offense was a work in progress all year, but rookie signal-caller Josh Allen showed plenty of flashes. After the tough start to the year, the defense pulled it together and looked a lot better in the second half. Heading into the offseason, it the steps that the team needed to take were clear.
Through the draft and free agency, the team was able to make improvements on defense and the offensive line. They were also able to add some much-needed weapons for Allen. The team’s first-round draft choice, DL Ed Oliver out of Houston, has the potential to evolve into an anchor.
John Brown and Cole Beasley were added to the receiving corps to join Zay Jones, and Allen suddenly has a lot more options as result. Add in the holes that were plugged on the OL, and it looks like the Bills have done a solid job of completing the offseason to-do list.
The main pieces of the coaching staff remain in place, led by head man Sean McDermott. This year’s schedule has a number of challenges on it, but it’s also travel-friendly. The longest road trip of the year will be for a Thanksgiving Day game with the Dallas Cowboys.
NFL betting sites have set the bar for the Bills at seven regular-season wins. That wouldn’t be enough to get it done in the division, but the changes the team has made bolsters optimism that it can outperform that benchmark.
As we see it, the Bills are a team on the rise which could surprise with an eight or nine-win campaign.
Miami Dolphins 2019 Division Title Odds (+2000)
2018 Record: 7-9 | Standings: 2-AFC East | Playoffs: N/A
After closing out the 2018 season with losses in their last three straight – all by double digits – it became clear that changes were coming to Miami in the offseason. Adam Gase was let go at the close of the year. A few weeks later, the club would welcome Patriots assistant Brian Flores to town as his replacement.
Flores takes over a team which shows signs of entering a long rebuild phase. NFL betting sites have placed a number of 4.5 wins on the Dolphins for 2019, so let’s just say that’s where the expectations lay at the present time.
Looking back to 2018, the club started off well enough with a mark of 3-0. Unfortunately, it would all go downhill from there. Miami would win just four more games the rest of the way to finish up with a mark of 7-9. The team would not win-back-to-back games at any other point in the year.
Eight of the team’s nine losses came by two scores or more. That includes the last three games of the year in which the lowest margin of victory was 10 points. The team had to shake things up after such a poor finish, but Gase would wind up landing on his feet with the Jets.
Ryan Tannehill has moved on to the Tennessee Titans, while the Dolphins signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and swung a trade for Josh Rosen. Fitzpatrick is a transition starter at this stage, while Rosen should get the opportunity to prove if he’s a franchise signal-caller or not.
The team would spend its first two draft choices on the line on both sides, taking DL Christian Wilkins in round one and following that with the selection of OL Michael Dieter in the second-round. In a perfect world, they will evolve into building blocks for a squad that clearly needs as many as it can get.
The Dolphins have the poorest odds to win the AFC East in 2019, and there’s nothing to suggest that the oddsmakers have missed the mark. Barring something unexpected, this is looking like the basement team in the division.
New England Patriots 2019 Division Title Odds (-500)
2018 Record: 11-5 | Standings: 1-AFC East | Playoffs: Won Super Bowl
The Patriots took down the AFC once again in 2018 with a record of 11-5. That mark was good enough for the number two seed in the conference playoffs, but a number of observers dismissed the team’s chances of making any postseason noise.
Once again, New England would have the last laugh. After winning playoff games over the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs, the club would advance to Super Bowl LIII versus the Los Angeles Rams. They would go on to win by a score of 13-3 in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever.
Looking ahead to this year, NFL betting sites aren’t counting out the Patriots from doing it again. The team currently has the most favorable odds of all to win the big game this year, and the bar has been set at 11 regular-season wins.
The dynamic duo of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will be back for another crack at the ring, but there have been some changes to contend with. Rob Gronkowski has called it a career, while the club lost players including Trey Flowers and Trent Brown in free agency.
The team would sign players including Jamie Collins, while the draft would bring prospects such as wideout N’Keal Harry and Chase Winovich. The schedule is a challenging one, but the same thing can be said each year.
At the end of the day, the Patriots seem to always find a way to win 10 games or more. They’re the overwhelming favorites to win the AFC East once again, and it’s not tough to see why. This is a talented team on both sides of the ball with fantastic quarterback play and a legendary head coach in charge.
All dynasties come to an end, but it looks like New England has every intention of sticking around at least a little while longer.
New York Jets 2019 Division Title Odds (+600)
2018 Record: 4-12 | Standings: 4-AFC East | Playoffs: N/A
In the opening week of the 2018 season, the Jets put on a show. The team was in Detroit for a Monday night opener with the Lions. They proceeded to blow the doors off of the hosts by a score of 48-17. Rookie QB Sam Darnold looked solid to boot, and optimism reigned supreme in the Big Apple.
Unfortunately, that game would turn out to be one of the few bright spots for the team in 2018. New York would win just three more games the rest of the way to finish up at 4-12. Along the way, the team would slog through a painful six-game winning streak which wrapped around the Week 11 bye.
Todd Bowles was shown the door after the disappointing year. The team would move on and hire Gase to take his place. He’ll be joined by Dowell Loggains as offensive coordinator, while Gregg Williams has been brought on board to lead the defense.
The Jets were able to make some big splashes in the offseason with the additions of Le’Veon Bell and CJ Mosley. In the draft, the club grabbed DT Quinnen Williams, a prospect who many observers believed to be the best in this year’s class.
As for the schedule, it’s a tough one, but the Jets don’t have to do a ton of traveling. The club’s longest treks will be a pair of games in Florida in back-to-back weeks, as well as a trip to Cincinnati in Week 13. The development of Darnold in year two will be key, but that’s part of the reason the club hired Gase.
New York is the second choice of football betting sites in the division, while the regular season win benchmark is set at seven. The Jets are a team that should show improvement in 2019, but exactly how much remains to be seen.
Our Pick to Win the AFC East
It’s a rebuilding year in Miami, while the Jets and Bills appear destined to jockey for second place. If either of those teams happens to outperform, they could also be in the Wild Card mix. A division title is a different story.
Barring something catastrophic in New England, the Patriots are a 10+ win team once again. They’re our pick to win the division as a result.