On the latest edition of The Rico Report, our host was joined by BF Contributor Khari Demos to discuss the state of the AFC East. The two discussed a few topics, but spent most of their time on the division that the Buffalo Bills are poised to win for the third consecutive season.
State of the AFC East
Miami Dolphins (46:36)
After a competitive 2020 season, we all expected more from the Miami Dolphins. They followed that year up with a dull offseason that left them floundering in 2021. Now, they’ve made those moves and appear to be ready to compete in the AFC this season. Some moves they made include: re-signing DE Emmanuel Ogbah, signing LB Melvin Ingram II, RBs Sony Michel, Chase Edmonds, and Raheem Mostert, T Terron Armstead, QB Teddy Bridgewater, and WR Cedrick Wilson Jr. They put out a decent little draft class too, despite a distinct lack of draft picks. They had to shed a lot of capital in the acquisition of All-Pro WR Tyreek Hill. To say the Dolphins aren’t good right now is just premature and ignorant.
However, for the Miami Dolphins, this season lives or dies on the arm of Tua Tagovailoa, regardless of the state of the AFC East around them. We haven’t seen enough to convince us that he’s going to be the answer yet. But, he’s absolutely set to improve with that massively upgraded supporting cast. Can new head coach Mike McDaniel turn this piece of coal into a diamond? We’ll find out soon enough.
New England Patriots (1:00:00)
What is there to be said of the New England Patriots? Not much, as their muted end to the NFL season at the hands of the Buffalo Bills in ‘The Perfect Game‘ was the last time they did anything worth discussing. A roster that has bled significant talent without the ability to replace it is going to have a lot of trouble in 2022.
Mac Jones did have a good rookie year, that much shouldn’t be in doubt, but we were the better team last season and they’ve trended the wrong way since then. The offense and defense both appear to be worse than they were last year. Looking at the state of the AFC East, as both this division and conference heat up, they’ve cooled off. The New England Patriots may be competing for fourth place in the division this season.
New York Jets (1:21:34)
In all honestly, the New York Jets may have won the draft. One could argue that they walked away with the best cornerback, best receiver, and a top-three edge rusher. That was just round one. It’s the kind of a draft that helps turn franchises around, and they could turn these players into cornerstone. Robert Saleh cleared house, and now he’s filling it with cheap young guys who he can mold in his vision.
It’ll take time for the Jets to get started, but they will be vastly improved in Zach Wilson’s second season. If he shows any growth, they can take a leap. After that, they’re not a long way from being sincerely competitive. The Buffalo Bills haven’t played their best against the New York Jets, and Saleh is capable of confounding OCs. We’ll need to be careful against these trap opponents in order to win the division.
Rico and Khari also discussed who the greatest Buffalo Bill of all time is (6:03) and shared their thoughts on the situation Baker Mayfield currently finds himself in (19:50). They took turns making cases for difference-making breakout players on the offense (25:00) and defense (34:55). For all of that and more, check out the latest Rico Report on the Buffalo Fanatics YouTube channel.