By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303
Week one of the 2020 NFL season for the AFC East will see all four teams facing off against each other. The Buffalo Bills will host the New York Jets, while the Miami Dolphins will start where they finished their 2019 season, in Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots.
Let’s take a look at each team before Week 1.
Starting behind quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the team will have first-round, future franchise QB Tua Tagovailoa watching and waiting in the back-up spot. Miami solidified that spot for Tagovailoa after the release of former first-round quarterback Josh Rosen.
The Dolphins followed that up by adding via free agency linebacker Kyle Van Noy and cornerback Byron Jones on defense. They also bolstered the offense by signing former Patriots offensive linemen Ted Karras and running back Jordan Howard.
Miami also will debut two new coaches with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, whom the Dolphins brought out of retirement, and promoted CB coach Josh Boyer to defensive coordinator.
New England Patriots
New England, on the other hand, will start the 2020 season with many more questions than answers. Even has fans are wondering what to expect in the post-Brady era. For the first time is nearly 2 decades, the Patriots will open the season without their future hall of fame quarterback. Insert one Cam Newton. Fans and NFL analysts will have to take a wait and see approach on if Newton and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels can be effective together.
Head coach Bill Belichick has had to deal with a league-high 8 players that opted out before the season began due to COVID-19. The team lost two defensive starters, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive back Patrick Chung, and offensive players, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon and RB Brandon Bolden.
New York Jets
Head coach Adam Gase has admitted he did a bad job last year by not utilizing RB Le’Veon Bell. While their relationship over these last past two years seems to run hot and cold, the two admitted there were miscommunications along the way, and have seemly have put all that behind them.
Gase has said that in order to make his starting QB Sam Darnold successful, he must get Bell more involved in his offense. Providing Darnold with more weapons is key. The Jets offense will be without rookie receiver Denzel Mims who is dealing with a hamstring issue.
Defensively the Jets will have their hands full with newly acquired Bills WR Stefon Diggs. Remember, the Jets traded All-Pro safety Jamal Adams to the Seahawks, while linebacker C.J. Mosely opted out of the season because of Covid-19.
All eyes will be on quarterback Josh Allen. With a mediocre Jets secondary, Allen should have a field day with newly acquired WR Stefon Diggs.
Earlier in the week, Buffalo’s offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said “It’s very challenging to prepare for a Gregg Williams defense because of just all the things that he has, not just the different calls, but the different packages that he has with his players.”
Josh Allen enters his 3rd year as the Bills starter, so fans will look for a big step forward from their single caller.
While defensively the Bills are returning a hand full of starters while adding more star power in defensive ends Mario Addison, Quinton Jefferson, and rookie A.J. Epenesa. I expect Bill’s linebacker, Tremaine Edmunds, to give Jets QB Sam Darnold all kinds of trouble.
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