2016 AFC East Outlook

Posted: September 2, 2016 in NFL

Buffalo Bills

The Bills finished last season 8-8 and third place in the AFC East, missing the playoffs for a sixteenth straight season. Rex Ryan will look to end that stretch in his second season as head coach for the Bills. Although, Ryan has not made the playoffs in his last five seasons after beginning his head coaching career with two straight trips to the AFC Conference Championship. Rex Ryan is a career 54-58 regular season coach and just 34-46 over his last 5 seasons. Greg Roman will be the offensive coordinator for the Bills for a second straight season and the Bills saw a major improvement in Roman’s first season. Last year, the Bills ranked ninth overall on offense after ranking 26th overall in 2014. The Bills also boasted the second best rush offense in the NFL last season. Dennis Thurman will enter his second season as Bills defensive coordinator but will also have Buddy Ryan by his side. Expectations were high for the Bills defense last year and the results were extremely poor as the Bills had the 24th ranked defense and the 3rd worst rushing defense in the NFL.

Offseason Summary

Departures: DE Mario Williams, LB Nigel Bradham, CB Leodis McKelvin, WR Chris Hogan, CB Ron Brooks, RB Anthony Dixon,

Arrivals: OL Fernando Velasco, LB Zach Brown, RB Reggie Bush, CB Sterling More, S Robert Blanton

Top Draft Picks: DE Shaw Lawson (Clemson, #19 overall), LB Reggie Ragland (Alabama, #41), DT Adolphus Washington (Ohio State, #80)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Tyrod Taylor

Non-QB MVP: Sammy Watkins

Offensive Player of the Year: Richie Incognito

Defensive Player of the Year: Ronald Darby

Other Notable players: Cordy Glenn, Eric Wood, Stephon Gilmore, Jerry Hughes, Marcell Dareus

Strongest position group: Secondary

Weakest position group: Front seven

Preseason Projection

The Bills are projected for 8.9 wins with a 90% confidence interval of 5.1 to 12.7 wins. They begin the season with an approximate 46.8% chance of making the playoffs and a 1.7% chance of winning the Super Bowl. The graph below shows the Bills probability of winning X number of games.

Bills

Miami Dolphins

Miami finished last season at 6-10, missing the playoffs for a seventh straight season. They have only made the playoffs once since the last fourteen seasons. In the offseason, they hired Adam Gase as head coach. Gase was previously the offensive coordinator for John Fox with both the Broncos and the Bears. Gase will be the primary play caller but Clyde Christensen is the offensive coordinator. Christensen has been with the Colts organization since 2002 and has served as the quarterbacks coach since 2012—the year that Andrew Luck was drafted. Miami had the 22nd ranked offense last year after ranking 8th the year prior. Miami had the 13th overall rushing offense last season. Vance Joseph is the defensive coordinator for the Dolphins this season. It will be Joseph’s first season as a defensive coordinator at any level. He has spent most of his career as a defensive backs coach for the 49ers, Texans and Bengals. Miami had the 25th overall defense and the 4th worst passing defense in the NFL last season.

Offseason Summary

Departures: DE Olivier Vernon, DE Derrick Shelby, RB Lamar Miller, WR Rishard Matthews, CB Brice McCain, CB Brent Grimes

Arrivals: DE Mario Williams, DE Jason Jones, DE Andre Branch, LB Kiko Alonso, CB Byron Maxwell, S Isa Abdul-Quddus, G Kraig Urbik

Top Draft Picks: OL Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss, #13 overall), CB Xavien Howard (Baylor, #38), RB Kenyan Drake (Alabama #73)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Ryan Tannehill

Non-QB MVP: Jarvis Landry

Offensive Player of the Year: Devante Parker

Defensive Player of the Year: Ndamukong Suh

Other Notable players: Mike Pouncey, Jermon Bushrod, Mario Williams, Reshad Jones, Isa Abdul-Quddus

Strongest position group: Offensive Line

Weakest position group: Offensive skill players

Preseason Projection

The Dolphins are projected for 5.1 wins with a 90% confidence interval of 2.5 to 8.8 wins. The Dolphins enter the season with an approximate 3.0% chance of making the playoffs and a less than 1% chance of winning the Super Bowl. The graph below shows the Dolphins probability of winning X number of games.

Dolphins

New England Patriots

The Patriots (12-4) finished last season as AFC East Champions for the seventh straight season before losing to the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos in the AFC Conference Championship. Bill Belichick will enter his seventeenth season as head coach of the Patriots and in his first six seasons, he has amassed a 187-69 regular season record, and won the Super Bowl 4 times. Josh McDaniels will be the offensive coordinator for the Patriots for the fifth straight season. The Patriots had the fifth best offense last season and will likely continue to be one of the premier NFL offenses this season. On the defensive side of the ball, Matt Patricia will begin his fifth season as defensive coordinator for the Patriots. Patricia has spent his entire NFL career with the Patriots. The Patriots defense has ranked 12th overall for two consecutive seasons and had a top-10 rushing defense last season.

Offseason Summary

Departures: DT Akiem Hicks, WR Brandon LaFell, S Tavon Wilson, DE Chandler Jones, C Bryan Stork, DT Dominque Easley, LB Jerod Mayo

Arrivals: WR Chris Hogan, DE Chris Long, TE Martellus Bennett, G Jonathan Cooper

Top Draft Picks: CB Cyrus Jones (Alabama, #60 overall), G Joe Thuney (N.C. State, #78), QB Jacoby Brissett (N.C. State, #91)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Tom Brady

Non-QB MVP: Rob Gronkowski

Offensive Player of the Year: Julian Edelman

Defensive Player of the Year: Jabaal Sheard

Other Notable players: Nate Solder, Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, Patrick Chung

Strongest position group: Secondary

Weakest position group: Offensive line

Preseason Projection

The Patriots are projected for 11.3 wins with a 90% confidence interval of 7.6 to 13.7 wins. The Patriots enter the season with an 84.7% chance of making the playoffs and an 8.2% chance of winning the Super Bowl. The graph below shows the Patriots probability of winning X number of games.

Patriots

New York Jets

The Jets finished last season at 10-6 yet missed the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season. Todd Bowles will enter his second season as head coach for the Jets and they improved by six wins in his first season. Chan Gailey will begin his second season as offensive coordinator for the Jets. In his first season, the Jets were the 14th overall offense a year removed from having one of the worst offenses in the NFL. The Jets had a top-10 passing attack last season as well. Kacy Rodgers will enter his second season with the Jets as defensive coordinator; however, Bowles does a majority of the play calling. Last season the Jets had the fifth best team defense last season with the best rushing defense in the NFL.

Offseason Summary

Departures: NT Damon Harrison, RB Chris Ivory, LB Demario Davis, CB Antonio Cromartie

Arrivals: RB Matt Forte, NT Steve McLendon, OT Ryan Clady

Top Draft Picks: LB Darron Lee (Ohio State, #20 overall), QB Christian Hackenburg (Notre Dame, #51), LB Jordan Jenkins (Georgia, #83)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Non-QB MVP: Brandon Marshall

Offensive Player of the Year: Eric Decker

Defensive Player of the Year: Muhammad Wilkerson

Other Notable players: Ryan Clady, Leonard Williams, Darrelle Revis, Marcus Gilchrist

Strongest position group: Secondary

Weakest position group: Front seven

Preseason Projection

The Jets are projected for 6.7 wins with a 90% confidence interval of 3.0 to 10.5 wins. The Jets enter the season with a 13.5% chance of making the playoffs and a less than 1% chance of winning the Super Bowl. The graph below shows the Jets probability of winning X number of games.

Jets

Projected AFC East Standings

  1. New England Patriots (11-5)
  2. Buffalo Bills (9-7)
  3. New York Jets (7-9)
  4. Miami Dolphins (5-11)

 

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