Going into the 2023 NFL season, the AFC East is expected to be one of the most competitive divisions in all of football. The Buffalo Bills are looking to win the division for the fourth season in a row, but it will be far from easy.
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AFC East Division Preview
This offseason, no team arguably improved as much as the New York Jets. New York finally has some competence at the quarterback position — and then some — with the addition of Aaron Rodgers, and they’re very talented on both sides of the ball as well.
WR Garrett Wilson is a rising star who is poised for a monster breakout season, and the Jets defense could emerge as the best in the NFL.
In Miami, they might’ve made the most impactful coaching hire of the offseason in hiring Vic Fangio to be their defensive coordinator. Fangio takes over a defense that ranked just 24th in points allowed per game last season and 27th in passing yards allowed. And whenever he’s ready to return from injury, Jalen Ramsey will be a valuable addition to this Dolphins secondary.
The Patriots might be projected to come in last place, but they can’t be totally counted out. After hiring their former defensive coordinator to be their offensive play-caller last season, New England actually hired someone qualified to be an NFL offensive coordinator in Bill O’Brien. Mac Jones had a bit of a sophomore slump last season, but with O’Brien replacing Matt Patricia and with the addition of JuJu Smith-Schuster, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him have a bounce-back season.
The Bills, however, still remain the favorites to win the division in 2023. Josh Allen should have an even better season after playing through an elbow injury in the second half of 2022, and he’ll have more help on offense in rookie TE Dalton Kincaid. Defensively, having both Tre’Davious White and Von Miller fully healthy will make a huge difference as well.
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AFC East Predictions
Bearman: I struck gold by hitting my AFC East exact order bet of Bills/Dolphins/Patriots/Jets (+450) last year, thanks to the Jets’ late-season swoon.
While I do have high hopes for Miami and absolutely think they can win the division, the odds are only +700 with the Dolphins/Bills 1/2 and the Jets/Patriots 3/4. That’s not a big enough price change, so I’ll play it safe with Buffalo taking the division again.
I do expect the Dolphins to finish ahead of the Jets, and everyone agrees the Patriots likely are last. At +500, why not have some fun?
Pick: Bills/Dolphins/Jets/Patriots exact order of finish (+500)
Blewis: I might strike a nerve with the Miami Dolphins fans here at Pro Football Network with this pick.
Miami went 3-3 in the division last season, and the Bills, Jets, and Patriots each got better in the offseason. This year, their AFC East win total is 3.5, which would require them to go 4-2 or better against their division rivals. That will be a very tall order, especially for a team whose offense lives and dies with their injury-prone QB.
One edge that the Dolphins won’t have over their division counterparts this season is their early-season home-field advantage. Every year, Miami has an additional home-field advantage in their September games due to the strong heat and humidity of playing in Miami. In 2022, they had two September home games in the division, going 2-0, but this season, they have zero.
Pick: Dolphins under 3.5 division wins (-155)