Biggest Questions for the AFC East

By Paul Mainwaring

The preseason is over, and the season begins in a few days.

The AFC East has a lot of questions and concerns going into the season. However which are the biggest ones for each team in 2019?

Buffalo Bills - Can the Rookie and the Vet carry the load in the backfield

I will be honest version 1.0 of this article was about LeSean McCoy and whether the Bills should cut him. Brandon Beane beat me to the publishing suite Saturday by cutting McCoy, believing he has enough in the backfield to compete.

The Bills are an interesting side, and although it is easy to suggest all progress lands on the shoulders of Josh Allen, a strong run game, would really help. With the cutting of McCoy it seems the majority of the carries will fall to two men in very different parts of their career. Devin Singletary, the Bills 3rd round pick from FAU, is the major reason for the McCoy cut. Beane highlighted the development of Singletary in the decision to cut McCoy. He and the Bills will hope this progression continues and he can be the number one back. 

If this doesn’t materialise, the ageless Frank Gore will have to step up to the plate. Gore, 36, was very efficient last season, running at 4.6 yards per carry. Obviously his carries dropped, but that per touch production will be just what Buffalo want in the role they want him to fulfil. The more we see Gore the less the experiment has worked, but the Bills will be hoping cutting McCoy will not hurt the team at all.

Miami Dolphins - Is their secret plan a secret anymore?

I have mentioned on this Website and on the Waxing Lyrical Pod that it wouldn’t be the worst idea if the Dolphins secretly tanked the season. After the weekend I am not sure it is a secret anymore. The past few days has seen Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills and Kiko Alonso traded away for a number of future draft picks and role players. When I say tanking I don’t mean that players will deliberately lose. These are professionals with livelihoods, and a vast number need tape to get a job next season. However, the front office has removed talent from the team. I believe the lack of talent is a very deliberate decision, and shows the franchise aren’t concerned about winning this season.

Will this plan work out? I am not sure. However, the ‘winning the offseason’ strategy that the Dolphins had pursued over the past few years did not have success either. I feel sorry for Miami fans this year as it maybe a painful watch, but the hope will be in a couple of years this season will be a distant memory.

New York Jets - Can the WR's step up to help Darnold

A new offensive minded head coach, a QB you can get behind, and a star RB. most of the pieces are in place for the offense in New York this season. One question is whether WR’s who have shown promise in the past can be consistent and stay healthy. With Chris Herndon suspended pressure is on Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Jamison Crowder to stay healthy and deliver. Anderson is the prime target, and could breakout but others will need to step up.

The Jets could have an exciting offense this year, but for this to happen Darnold must gain some real chemistry with his wide receivers as without this it will be another very Jets season.

New England Patriots - Can the Defense help the Offense in the first few weeks

When you are the Super Bowl Champs and have the best QB and Coach of all time, it is tough to find concerns going into the season, but here goes. Although the offense has Tom Brady, there are questions around the pass catchers, whether that be due to them being rookies, or due to players coming off injuries or suspensions. With this in mind the defense may have to pick up some of the slack in the early weeks of the season.

A number of experts expect the Pats to be one of the best defenses in the league this season, and I totally agree. Week 1 will be a test against a dynamic offense in the Pittsburgh Steelers, but if the defense stands tall then the AFC East and the NFL in general should be very concerned.

Paul Mainwaring

NFL Analyst

A former UKEndzone writer, Paul has been dragged out of an enforced retirement to give his thoughts on the NFL and anything else  he can slide past the editorial team.

Paul is most famous (infamous?) as Mainz one half of Waxing Lyrical. alongside his Partner in Crime Neil ‘Dutts’ Dutton.

Find him @Mainzey7 where all manner of sports are on the menu.


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