With New England signing Cam Newton to a one-year deal, the Patriots could once again be the class of the AFC East. The Patriots have won the division in 16 of the last 17 seasons, including 11 straight, and Ben Volin doesn’t see their reign of dominance ending any time soon.
Are the Pats the team to beat in the AFC East in 2020?
If not Buffalo, then who? The Jets haven’t made the playoffs since 2010.
“The Jets, they’re a dysfunctional mess always,” Volin said. “Who knows? I do think Sam Darnold is going to benefit from having Adam Gase be his coach over the offseason, having continuity there. But it’s hard to pinpoint the Jets because they’ve just been so dysfunctional.”
Miami, meanwhile, has missed the playoffs in 16 of the last 18 seasons, though Volin does think the Dolphins are headed in the right direction.
“I think they might surprise some people this year,” he said. “I love getting Tua. I love the moves they made in free agency [with] Byron Jones and Kyle Van Noy. I really like what Brian Flores and Chris Grier are building in Miami. I just wonder if they’re maybe a year away.”
It all adds up to another division title for the Patriots, Volin says.
“They’re returning a very good defense,” he said. “Most of the players are coming back from last year’s No. 1 defense. They’ve got a very good offensive line getting David Andrews, Joe Thuney back, probably all five starters. Now you’ve got Cam Newton running the show. So I definitely think the Patriots are the favorite in the AFC East.”