The dog days of summer can’t last forever and thank goodness for that because football is around the corner, and we are gearing up for the 2023 NFL season with our divisional previews. We will be going division by division, breaking down the biggest headlines, the new additions, and our predictions. Here’s our 2023 AFC East Preview.
Once again, the Bills were far and above the best team in the AFC East, something we couldn’t have fathomed during the first 20 years of the 21st century. The Bills won 13 games before having a disappointing exit to the postseason. Behind them were the Miami Dolphins, who were exciting to watch all season long until Tua Tagovailoa went down with a brutal head injury which changed the course of their season. Despite making it to the postseason, the Dolphins never stood much of a chance without a legit QB. In New England, tensions grew in the Mac Jones era as he and Matt Patricia had public disputes on the sideline over how to run the offense. And in New York, the Jets saw immense improvement in their young core and their secondary was amongst the best in the league. Their benching of QB Zach Wilson certainly created drama and it adds to the fun storyline heading into this season.
Favorite to win in 2023
The Bills are still at the top of the division as long as they have Josh Allen and one of the most exciting offenses in football, however a new addition to the division will certainly make things interesting as we move forward. Aaron Rodgers is now a New York Jet, and he will be the ultimate difference maker in the division moving forward. He and his Green Bay cronies followed him to the Big Apple where Rodgers hopes to follow the Tom Brady method and win one more ring with another team before hanging up the cleats and retiring.
Offensive Player to Watch: Tua Tagovailoa
Rodgers is probably the obvious choice here, but my watchful eye is on Tua. We are talking about a serious talent at the quarterback position, and he suffered an incredibly serious injury just a year ago. The Dolphins have a major decisions to make with his upcoming contract and we are all eager to see if he can still play at the same high level. This is definitely a make-or-break season for him.
Defensive Player to Watch: Sauce Gardener
He was the most entertaining player to watch on the defensive side of the ball in 2022 in my opinion and he is only going to get better as he gets more experienced. There are a lot of big egos in that Jets locker room, and I am curious to see how it will all play out.
I am not betting against the Bills until they give me a reason to. I think the defense could show regression with coordinator Leslie Frazier stepping away from the game, but Josh Allen and his offense are still the best in the division, and it can be hard to sidetrack a 13-win team. Record (12-5)