Today we will take a look at two AFC east teams with high hopes in the Bills and the Dolphins.
After Tom Brady’s twenty seasons in New England both the Bills and Dolphins have their sights set on making the playoffs after years of finishes at the bottom of the division thanks to Brady and Belichick.
Let’s take a look back at the 2020 seasons and what both teams’ prospects are for 2021.
2020 Season Recap
The Bills made some progress in 2019 which left Bills fans entering 2020 with high hopes but not sure exactly what to expect out of the young Bills roster.
The Bills had a season to remember as they went 13-3 and won the AFC east for the first time since 1995. After a 20 year search for Jim Kelly’s replacement, Josh Allen cemented himself as the next great Bills QB as he put up monster numbers and quieted all doubt that surrounded him coming out of the draft.
The Bills ranked 2nd in total offense as Allen had plenty of playmakers as Stefan Diggs had over 1500 yards receiving and 8 TDs, and the rushing attack combined for over 1700 yards on the ground.
Unfortunately the loyal Bills fans were relegated to watch from home due to Covid policies for most of the year until the playoffs started and reduced capacity crowds were approved.
The Bills made it to the AFC Championship where they eventually fell on the road to the Chiefs 24-38.
The Bills enter 2021 with Super Bowl or bust aspirations and are sitting at (+1200) odds to win the Super Bowl only behind the Chiefs (+500) and Bucs (+650).
The Bills have waited a long time to get back to the Super Bowl and this could be the year that becomes a reality. While the schedule is tougher than 2020, the Bills have a great shot to run the table in the AFC East and if they can get home field advantage they will likely find themselves in the Super Bowl.
2021 Prediction: 14-3, Super Bowl Runner-Up
The 2020 Dolphins finally reaped the years of rebuilding by putting up a solid 10-6 season under head coach Brian Flores.
The Dolphins defense was a bright spot throughout the year as they led the league in takeaways and had solid performances from the special teams units as well.
The major concern for the Dolphins in 2020 was the performance of first round pick Tua Tagovailoa as they struggled throwing the ball and Tua shared time with Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Due to the competitiveness of the AFC, the Dolphins missed the playoffs but the season was chalked up as a success for Dolphins fans.
The Dolphins selected Alabama WR Devonta Smith to give Tua a deep option to help open up the Dolphins offense to compete with the high scoring Bills. The Dolphins have done a stocked defense from years of accumulating picks and seem like they are a QB away from being a serious contender in the AFC.
Tua will be on a short leash in Miami as Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is in win now mode and has been linked to trade discussions with the Texans for Deshaun Watson.
Tua performed well under pressure at Alabama while battling Jalen Hurts for the starting job and we think he will have a productive year 2 in the Dolphins system. While it will be difficult for the Dolphins to get past the Chiefs, Browns or Bills, we like their chances to lock up one of the wild card spots and get into the playoffs where they hope to win for the first time since 2000.
2021 Prediction: 11-6, AFC Wild Card Team