Pro Football Focus ranks AFC East as fifth-best division in NFL

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Pro Football Focus ranked every NFL division head-to-head. The AFC East, which holds the Bills, ranked as a middle of the pack group.

According to the football analytics outlet, the AFC’s eastern division with the Bills, Jets, Dolphins and Patriots was named as the fifth-best division in the NFL out of the league’s eight.

Here’s how PFF explains:

The Buffalo Bills enter the 2021 season as the class of the AFC East, owners of a 57% chance to win the division according to PFF’s simulations. Josh Allen’s Year-3 leap makes this offense one of a handful that can match up with Kansas City when things are firing on all cylinders.

The other three teams in the division all head into next season with reasonable aspirations of knocking off Buffalo, though they all have their own roadblocks.

Tua Tagovailoa has looked much more comfortable in the offense through the Miami Dolphins’ first two preseason games, and that has been without his full complement of offensive weapons. With Xavien Howard’s contract dispute now in the past, Brian Flores’ defense should once again be an above-average unit, as well. The biggest concern for Miami is whether their young offensive line makes progress.

The New England Patriots don’t have similar offensive line concerns, but they do have plenty of new pieces on the roster that need to come together following an extremely active offseason. Whoever wins the quarterback competition, whether it be Cam Newton or Mac Jones, will have more receiving talent to work with, but is that enough? And can the defense rebound from a down 2020 season in which it ranked 26th in EPA allowed per play?

The New York Jets have the longest hill to climb when it comes to knocking off Buffalo, but the additions of Zach Wilson at quarterback and Robert Saleh at head coach have generated plenty of positive buzz. The loss of Carl Lawson has put a damper on that, taking a key piece away from what was an underrated strength of New York’s roster.

Overall on PFF’s rankings, the NFC West is ranked as the top division in football. For the past few seasons, that foursome, which includes the Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks and 49ers certainly have earned that title. It seems that year in and year out any of those teams could win that division title.

Rounding out the top ahead is the AFC North, NFC South and AFC West, respectively.

In 2021, the Bills’ schedule does feature the NFC South, however, it includes the AFC South as well, who was ranked as the second-worst division.

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