The season is creeping nearer. Earlier than we all know it, the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame Recreation (Aug. 3) will likely be right here. As we velocity towards the beginning of the 2023 season, let’s study the perfect of the AFC East.
BEST QB | Josh Allen, Payments: In an all-time rating, Jets QB Aaron Rodgers would undoubtedly be the choose right here, however in the case of selecting the right quarterback for this season, Allen’s the plain selection. Since 2020, Allen is chargeable for probably the most touchdowns amongst quarterbacks (130) and is a distant second to Kansas Metropolis’s Patrick Mahomes in whole yards (15,192) and wins (37).
Regardless of Allen’s lack of a Tremendous Bowl title, he is the one AFC East QB with a playoff victory courting to the 2021 season. With Buffalo having -245 odds to return to the postseason, per OddsChecker, maybe 2023 will lastly be Allen’s second to take dwelling the Lombardi Trophy.
BEST COACH | Invoice Belichick, Patriots: Had been you anticipating second-year HC Mike McDaniel or Robert Saleh and his 11-23 profession document? Though Buffalo’s Sean McDermott will doubtless win his fourth straight division crown this season, ignoring Belichick as the perfect coach within the AFC East can be unjust.
The one knock on Belichick is his lackluster document with out Tom Brady (79-87), however it’s price noting he gained 10 video games and made the playoffs with a rookie quarterback in 2021. Even so, except Chiefs HC Andy Reid is strolling into an AFC East group’s constructing, the eight-time champion has no actual competitors to dethrone him because the division’s greatest coach.
BEST 2023 FREE-AGENT SIGNING | JuJu Smith-Schuster, Patriots: Though AFC East groups had been closely concerned within the commerce market, with the Jets including Rodgers and Miami touchdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey, there weren’t many high-profile free-agent acquisitions all through the division. Contemplating the Patriots misplaced their main receiver from final season, Jakobi Meyers, in free company, Smith-Schuster’s signing is the simple selection right here.
The Patriots receiving corps was dismal in 2022, with no wideout topping 850 yards and the unit collectively recording the Twelfth-fewest yards by a group (3,815). As QB Mac Jones prepares for a career-defining season, Smith-Schuster — who racked up 933 yards receiving a 12 months in the past with Kansas Metropolis — is poised to be the highest choice in New England’s passing recreation.
BEST 2023 DRAFT PICK | Christian Gonzalez, Patriots: Any time a group can draft a prospect like Gonzalez, thought of a top-10 expertise by most analysts, at choose 17, it is laborious to argue one other choice being a greater worth. The choose is particularly commendable as a result of the Patriots traded again and nonetheless received their man, which in flip brought about the Jets to lose out on deciding on offensive deal with Broderick Jones. (The Steelers drafted him.)
Gonzalez joins a protection that picked off 19 passes final season — the third-most within the league — and is anchored by dark-horse Defensive Participant of the Yr candidate Matthew Judon. With receivers the likes of Tyreek Hill (Miami), Stefon Diggs (Buffalo), Jaylen Waddle (Miami) and Garrett Wilson (NY Jets) within the division, including Gonzalez to an already-strong secondary was mandatory.
BEST FANS | Buffalo Payments: Patriots followers have reveled in success in the course of the Belichick period, and Jets followers’ loyalty to one of the vital irritating franchises to help is admirable. Nevertheless, it is inconceivable to select a fan base within the NFL, not to mention the AFC East, extra dedicated to their group than Payments Mafia.
Other than leaping by tables, utilizing bowling balls as shot glasses and showering themselves with condiments, what different fan base would plow their offensive tackle’s driveway after a snowstorm to make sure he would not miss the group flight? If Allen ever manages to guide the Payments to their first Tremendous Bowl victory, it’s going to be thrilling to witness what outrageous celebrations the Buffalonians escape subsequent.