Red’s 2020 NFL Predictions – AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Bills have a legitimate shot at 4-0 start before facing Titans and Chiefs in weeks 4 and 5. If they do that and split the next two, they have a legitimate shot at keeping the Patriots from a 12th straight division title. The Bills may have the best secondary in the AFC with All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White and excellent safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. The front seven are good too. The defensive line is deep and the Bills do not have to drop into nickel and dime packages near as often as other defenses because Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano can cover tight ends, running backs and wide outs as needed. Some are touting QB Josh Allen as a potential MVP candidate playing behind a good but not great O line and tossing it around to Stefon Diggs and John Brown. The running game may be questionable as will be some decisions by Allen, but if the Bills get out of the box hot, watch out. This team should have beat the Texans and moved on to the second round of the playoffs last season but they came out about as flat as any team could. Red is going all in on the Bills to win the AFC East at 12-4.

New England Patriots

Every year Red writes that it is spineless and weak to pick the Patriots to win the AFC East and then goes on to pick the Patriots to win the AFC East. That has been a winning if cynical strategy. Red will regret this. There is a reason that the Pats have won the AFC every year but two since the realignment after the 2001 season. That reason is the best head coach in all of football if not all of professional sport. Yes, Tom Brady was the steady rock upon which BB anchored his ketch (does that make sense?). Now TB has gone on to warmer pastures before being put out to pasture. They are both desperate to disengage their legacies from each other. BB is going to win this one. If TB had moved on 4 or 5 years ago he would have had a shot, but not at age 43. BB can continue to coach forever as he is too mean to die. If anyone can get the most out of Cam Newton and cast of mediocre offensive weapons it is BB. Cam cannot run 15 times a game. But 5 may be enough to keep defenses honest. And the Pats defense is always and has always been about 60% of the reason for the Patriots dynasty. That unit is still largely intact. Patriots are good but not quite good enough to win the East. A wild card spot awaits at 11-5.

New Jersey Jets

The smart money is on the Jets sucking in 2020. Red has only dumb money. The Jets went on a 6-2 tear to close out 2019 with Darn old Sam Darnold looking like a reasonably competent NFL quarterback even while running for his life. This season will be different as the Jets have committed to talent up front. They selected a potential franchise left tackle in Mekhi Becton with the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, picked up another offensive lineman Cameron Clark in the fourth round and signed center Connor McGovern and guard Greg Van Roten as free agents. Darnold should have time to throw if he can find an open receiver. If not there is the tired old combination of LeVeon Bell and Frank Gore in the backfield. And for their trouble, the Jets were rewarded with a tough schedule playing the Patriots and BIlls twice of course along with Seahawks, Chiefs, Cardinals and 49ers. If they aren’t stick a fork in them done yet – back to back trips in weeks 14 and 15 to Seattle and LA should finish the Jets off. Wait til next year. Jets are a respectable 7-9 or possibly 8-8 given the tough hand dealt them.

Miami Dolphins

Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Ryan Fitzpatrick walk into a bar. The bartender asks for an ID. Brady says, I’m Tom Brady, the GOAT, screw you. Brees says, nobody in New Orleans ever asks me for an ID, I’m Drew Brees. Fitzpatrick pulls out six different driver’s licenses. The bartender says “That’s an impressive collection, what’s the matter can’t you hold down a job?” Okay, there’s a better joke in there somewhere. The big joke this season will be the Dolphins. Hopefully, the powers that be in S. Florida recognize this and don’t rush Tua Tagovailoa into action. Miami is 4-12. .

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