With Tom Brady off to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New England Patriots could have a rough road ahead in 2020.
It seems more and more likely that Bill Belichick will roll with second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham as his starter and that alone is a major question mark. With Brady out of the AFC East, many believe New England's grip on the division has been lost. Still, which team will take over to run the AFC East?
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On this week's episode of the Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast, Curran is joined by the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta (Jets), The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero (Dolphins) and The Athletic's Matthew Fairburn (Bills) to discuss the AFC East. As for who wins the division, there was a consensus among the group, and Salguero made a great point.
Yeah, I still think it's the Buffalo Bills that would be the next most logical. I started covering the NFL in 1990 and the Buffalo Bills started a four-year run to the Super Bowl in 1990. So, I am aware of what that is like, and I know what going to playoff games in January in Buffalo at Orchard Park feels like and it would feel like for any AFC East team to visit at that point.
So, I'm aware and I think since they went to the playoffs last year and they've done some stuff with [adding receiver] Stefon Diggs and all that stuff this offseason, they are to me the logical heir to the Patriots throne if indeed the Patriots are knocked off the throne.
Mehta also agreed with Salguero. However, he questions if Bills QB Josh Allen can really lead them to success in 2020 and beyond.
Totally agree with Armando. I think if you're being objective about it, Buffalo is clearly in the best position because of what they've done these last two offseasons... The big question mark, of course, is Josh Allen actually good, because if he is not a franchise quarterback then it's not going to work.
And to drive home the point that Allen may not be the guy, Fairburn, who covers the Bills, noted that even he isn't convinced the young QB can rise to the occasion.
If he doesn't change, then they're going to have to overcome him because in the biggest games against the best teams he had some of those moments, you know? He didn't play well. They didn't beat many teams that competed for the playoffs last year.
He had a great game on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys, but the Cowboys ended up being a dud of an opponent. He's struggled against the Patriots pretty much every time he takes the field against them and that's probably not going to change.
So there you have it. The Bills may very well run the AFC East in 2020 with Brady gone. At this point, Belichick should hope Stidham proves the doubters wrong and puts together a solid first year at the helm of the Patriots offense.
To hear more about the AFC East, who has the best and worst rosters in the division, if the Patriots should pursue Dolphins QB Josh Rosen, and which AFC East team wants to beat New England the most, check out this week's episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.