How Will The AFC East Fall Out In 2022

June 24, 2022

I think most people in Bills Mafia are ready to crown the Buffalo Bills as the AFC East champions for the 2022 season, which would mark their third consecutive division title. Though it is very likely to be the case, fans of the New England Patriots, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins are thinking a little different this year.

This season seems to bring a much higher level of hope for the other three teams, not named the Buffalo Bills or maybe I just wasn’t listening to the hype outside of Buffalo last off-season. Either way, the Patriots, Dolphins and Jets fans all seem to think they are playoff-bound and some even thing they can unseat the Buffalo Bills from the AFC East throne. Now I’m not so naive to think this can’t happen. I mean, anything is possible, right? With that, let’s get into how I think the AFC East will fall out in 2022.

4th – New York Jets

I picked the New York Jets to finish fourth in the AFC East. I know this isn’t going to sit well with my Jets friends but hear me out. Yes, they had a great draft, on paper. They selected arguably the top-rated player at three different positions, cornerback, wide receiver, and running back. They also added one of the top four or five rated edge rushers in Jermaine Johnson.

I have two concerns here and this is why I am predicting a fourth-place finish. First, they had a great draft but since when do rookies typically come in year one and light up? Defensive linemen often two to three years to begin to realize their potential. Wide receivers are often the same way. I don’t believe there is a Ja’marr Chase or Justin Jefferson that comes along every year.

Now Sauce Gardner, and especially Breece Hall could have very good seasons and honestly have the potential to be rookie of the year winners. Yes, the other two could as well but again, if we are resting this season on the strength of the ROOKIE draft, I think people might be disappointed.

The Jets did sign some solid players, that certainly upgraded the overall roster but the other concern I have is Zack Wilson. I’m not convinced that he’ll make a significant enough leap in his development to get the Jets out of the AFC East cellar, at least not yet.

Ok, before any Jets fans decide they want to come egg my home, let me say this. I do think the Jets have the quarterback with the highest ceiling, most talent, and greatest potential. I don’t think year two is the year he elevates his team and I don’t believe they are ready to push their way up the AFC East.

3rd – New England Patriots

I’m taking the New England Patriots to finish third in the AFC East. The Patriots didn’t really do much to bolster their team, at least from my perspective. Sure, they added guys via free agency like Jabril Peppers and Devante Parker but neither of these players are organization-changing types. They did a good job in resigning some of their own, like Trent Brown and Devin McCourty.

At the end of the day, it comes down to the quarterback and honestly the overall roster. I think Mac Jones will be a capable quarterback but far from elite. His ceiling is very limited and what we got last season was ok, but I don’t see the ceiling much higher than where he is now. Obviously, he’s in year two, so there should be some positive progression, I just don’t see much more.

As far as the roster, I’m still not sold on the wide receivers. Devante Parker can’t stay healthy and outside of maybe Jakobi Meyers, no one scares me. I know Tyquan Thornton is fast, lots of receivers were drafted over the years throughout the league that could run and amounted to very little in the NFL. Plus, the Patriots aren’t exactly known for drafting great wide receivers.

2nd – Miami Dolphins

I am picking the Miami Dolphins to finish second in the AFC East. I know there are a lot of Dolphins fans that think differently, and I don’t blame them. They completed a blockbuster trade bringing arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL to the team. They also signed wide receiver Cedric Wilson from the Dallas Cowboys. Along the front, to help protect Tua Tagovailoa, they brought in Terron Armstead. Add to that, they signed Raheem Mostert and Chase Edmonds.

The Dolphins didn’t have a lot of picks, making only four selections in the 2022 draft but have I’ve previously stated, I don’t put a lot of stock on a team’s rookie draft to take them to the next level. That said, I do think the Dolphins have the best chance to remove the Buffalo Bills from the top spot in the AFC East.

The Dolphins aren’t going to want to hear this and probably disagree, but I don’t think Tua is the quarterback that will take them to that top spot in the AFC East. That said, this is year three for him and if he’s going to take that next step in developing into a franchise quarterback, this should be the year.

1st – Buffalo Bills

Yes, I know, this is a site dedicated to the Buffalo Bills, but at the end of the day, I honestly don’t know how you don’t pick the Bills to be the 2022 AFC East champions again. I know for the most part the other teams improved but the Bills did too and possibly added that missing piece they needed when they signed Von Miller.

The signing of Miller overshadowed other key signings, such as Rodger Saffold, that will help solidify an offensive line that was beginning to come together late last season. They also added guys on the defensive front such as Tim Settle and brought back some former players that enjoyed career seasons here in Buffalo, Jordan Phillips, and Shaq Lawson. Adding also Duke Johnson to the backfield as a solid third back, though he could be pushed by 2022 rookie running back, James Cook. Let’s also not forget the addition of O.J. Howard. Not to mention, they have the best quarterback in the division and maybe the whole league, Josh Allen.

The Buffalo Bills will remain the class of the AFC East in 2022, marking their third consecutive division championship. There is just far too much talent on this roster for the other three divisional foes to overcome this season and quite possibly too much for any team in the NFL, as the Bills are the consensus Super Bowl favorite. for the 2022 season.

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