The NFL has been the best of all major sports to have hope for a franchise as a fan. Over the last five to ten years we’ve seen division battles from every team. In the NFC North, the Vikings, Bears, Packers, and even Lions have had success. in the NFC South, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Carolina all have rotated amongst division leaders.

Pick a division and it’s seen a merry go round of change. Still, certain divisions get wrote off and thought of as bottom tier. Take the NFC West a few years ago. It was not that long ago that the division was thought of as pathetic. Remember when the Seahawks won the division at 7-9 in 2010?

They pulled off an improbable home upset of the Saints. Since then the division has been one of the strongest from the Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, and 49ers. That’s how quick things can change.

In the AFC East it’s been a rocky tenure for the fans of Miami, the Jets, and Buffalo. There’s no doubt that the Patriots have controlled the division for the better part of Brady’s career. Challenges to develop a non-veteran quarterback have plagued the division. New regimes finally changed that philosophy and all went out and drafted their potential future quarterback.

Miami has Ryan Tannehill, the Bills EJ Manuel, and the Jets Geno Smith. Young quarterbacks that still have a ways to go to bring their teams to playoff aspirations. One key area all teams have continued to get better in is defensively.

Buffalo overpaid for some free agents a few years ago but were fortunate to make some key draft picks that have paid off. Miami has built pieces here and there and has had a formidable defensive line for years. New York has had their ups and downs defensively but has never waned from being a defense that keeps the offense in games.

These are the signs that lead me to believe the AFC East is ready to arise amongst the rest of the NFL. This plays a large key for season totals and handicapping games on a week to week basis.

Compare that 2010 season of the NFC West to last years standings in the AFC East. Miami and the Jets both finished 8-8 and were still largely considered failures by fans and the media. Buffalo endured an injury prone season at quarterback under a first year head coach and finished 6-10.

Don’t be surprised to see this division sneak up on the rest of the NFL and surprise NFL fans and sports bettors this season.


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