The AFC East figures to be more competitive with Tom Brady down in Tampa.
For the better part of two decades, the AFC East has been the personal playground of the New England Patriots. Since Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe in 2001, the Patriots have won their division 16 times, failing to capture the crown only in 2002 and 2008.
The second instance occurred when Brady missed the season due to a knee injury, but New England still went 11-5 and missed the playoffs due to tiebreakers. It will be a far bigger challenge for the Patriots to extend their run of dominance now that Brady is slinging passes for the Buccaneers.
The rest of the division is also notably improved as the Buffalo Bills have been making up ground this offseason while the rebuilding New York Jets and Miami Dolphins have gotten better. It is still tough to rule out New England in the division, especially since they may have pulled off a steal by landing former MVP Cam Newton to be their new quarterback.
Will the Patriots still be able to win their division or will one of the other challengers grab the crown for the first time in 12 years? Let’s take a dive into the AFC East Power Rankings as training camp is set to open in the coming weeks.