And the winner is (Drum Roll Please)….Father Time!
Just like the 1972 Miami Dolphins, “Father Time” is Undefeated. I was always hoping that the Miami Dolphins, over the past two decades that the Patriots have ruled the AFC East (and in many cases the AFC ) would put together a team to compete against the Patriots and even though Miami has the best record against the Patriots of the three teams unfortunate enough to have been the victims of the two G.O.A.T.S from New England it has not been enough as the rest of the division has gifted the Patriots a ride to the playoffs over the past two decades!
Thanks to “Father Time” who’s motto is all good things must come to an end there appears to be hope for the future in the AFC East as the Patriots looks to be beatable. Now let me tamper that statement down a bit because New England still went 5-1 within the division with guess who as the only AFC east team to beat the Patriots?
Yes, the team that many called the worst team in the league last season, a team falsely accused of tanking, a team that started to season off losing their first 7 games and the first four game were a series of historically bad beat downs. The Patriots in week 2 embarrassed the Dolphins 43-0.
So how is it I am saying that Parity might exist in the AFC East?
Well as the season progressed and in particular at the end of the season the Patriots became beatable in fact the Dolphins, the only team in the AFC East to beat New England in 2019 did so up IN NEW ENGLAND in a game the Patriots desperately needed to avoid having to play in the first round of the playoffs as well as having to play on the road. All of that was on the line in the last game of the season a game even head coach Bill Belichick was calling a playoff game. And the Dolphins the whipping Child of the NFL and the team the Patriots early in the season trounced exacted revenge and beat New England on their home field and forced them to play in the first round of the playoffs a game they lost again at home against the Titans.
The Patriots are at the end of their dynasty as this off-season they are dealing with their aged veteran QB who now wants to be paid after years of giving them a deal he now wants to cash out in what should be his last contract before he retires. Tom Brady will test the free agent market and even though it’s highly unlikely he will not return to New England there is still a small chance he could move on. Even if he does return father time has caught up with the aged G.O.A.T and his best days are truly behind him.
The rest of the AFC East all have young QB’s they are grooming with the hopes they they will be their franchise QB and each team are well coached and should provide legitimate competition to the Patriots and make it harder for the Patriots to get a free pass to the playoffs of the backs of the division.
The Buffalo Bills despite being swept by NE last season seems to be the front runner as a team good enough to challenge for the AFC East Title and the Jets and Dolphins seem to be poised to also provide stiffer competition next season within the division.
So thanks to father time last season just might be the last time the Patriots go 5-1 within the division again for a while and in 2020 I expect first place in the AFC to be up for grabs.
At least I hope so.