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Tom Brady is back for another season and the defending champion New England Patriots are a big favorite to extend their NFL record for consecutive division titles to 11. The Pats’ run of success under Brady and coach Bill Belichick is unprecedented in today’s NFL with salary caps and free agency. They head into the season as defending champions for the sixth time in Brady’s reign.

There will come a time when Brady and Belichick are no longer around and the other teams in the division will have a chance, but both are getting ready to rock for another season of dominance. A sign that they may be slowing down was last year’s win total. The Pats won 11 games, which was their fewest since winning 10 games in 2009.

There doesn’t appear to be much hope for the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets or Buffalo Bills, as they are each longshots to claim the AFC East in 2019. Believe it or not, the division wasn’t always this way. For a younger generation of NFL fans, Brady, division titles and Super Bowls are all they know about the Pats. But long before they became the model franchise in the league, the Pats were a doormat, watching the Miami Dolphins capture 10 of the first 15 division crowns after the merger.

Odds to Win AFC East at BookMaker.eu

New England Patriots -480

New York Jets +545

Buffalo Bills +1050

Miami Dolphins +6500

NFL AFC East

As long as Belichick is the coach and Brady the quarterback, the Patriots will be solid. In 2018 they rolled to their 15th division crown in the last 16 seasons going 11-5. The Pats have posted 10 or more wins in a staggering 16 straight seasons while dominating inside the division. During their run of 10 straight division crowns, the Pats are 47-13 against their AFC East brethren The Pats have been a model of consistency and it doesn’t look like they’re slowing down, that’s why they are the huge favorite at -480 to capture another division title.

The other three teams are in various stages of rebuilding, though the Jets made strides to push for a playoff berth in 2019. Last year’s top pick Sam Darnold looks like the real deal and now he has Le’Veon Bell behind him. That should at least make the Jets a scary team offensively. The Bills surprised a lot of folks last season and the continued development of Josh Allen should make them more competitive.

We have two teams with new coaches for the 2019 campaign, though both stayed within the division. The Jets got their man in Adam Gase, who comes over after three middling seasons with Miami. Gase took the Fins to the playoffs in his first season compiling a 23-25 record and he split the season series with New England the last two years. Meanwhile, Miami went straight to the source to replace Gase, hiring the Pats’ Brian Flores to direct the rebuild.

American Football Conference Teams

AFC EAST AFC NORTH AFC SOUTH AFC WEST
New England Patriots Cleveland Browns Indianapolis Colts Kansas City Chiefs
New York Jets Pittsburgh Steelers Houston Texans Los Angeles Chargers
Buffalo Bills Baltimore Ravens Jacksonville Jaguars Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Tennessee Titans Oakland Raiders

List of AFC East Winners

TEAM WINNER RECORD
2018 New England Patriots 11-5
2017 New England Patriots 13-3
2016 New England Patriots 14–2
2015 New England Patriots 12–4
2014 New England Patriots 12–4
2013 New England Patriots 12–4
2012 New England Patriots 12–4
2011 New England Patriots 13–3
2010 New England Patriots 14–2
2009 New England Patriots 10–6
2008 Miami Dolphins 11–5
2007 New England Patriots 16–0
2006 New England Patriots 12–4
2005 New England Patriots 10–6
2004 New England Patriots 14–2
2003 New England Patriots 14–2
2002 New York Jets 9–7
2001 New England Patriots 11–5
2000 Miami Dolphins 11–5
Full List
1999 Indianapolis Colts 13–3
1998 New York Jets 12–4
1997 New England Patriots 10–6
1996 New England Patriots 11–5
1995 Buffalo Bills 10–6
1994 Miami Dolphins 10–6
1993 Buffalo Bills 12–4
1992 Miami Dolphins 11–5
1991 Buffalo Bills 13–3
1990 Buffalo Bills 13–3
1989 Buffalo Bills 9–7
1988 Buffalo Bills 12–4
1987 Indianapolis Colts 9–6
1986 New England Patriots 11–5
1985 Miami Dolphins 12–4
1984 Miami Dolphins 14–2
1983 Miami Dolphins 12–4
1982 Miami Dolphins 7–2
1981 Miami Dolphins 11–4–1
1980 Buffalo Bills 11–5
1979 Miami Dolphins 10–6
1978 New England Patriots 11–5
1977 Baltimore Colts 10–4
1976 Baltimore Colts 11–3
1975 Baltimore Colts 10–4
1974 Miami Dolphins 11–3
1973 Miami Dolphins 12–2
1972 Miami Dolphins 14–0
1971 Miami Dolphins 10–3–1
1970 Baltimore Colts 11–2–1

The last two undefeated regular seasons, and the only ones that consisted of more than 13 games, were both accomplished by teams from the AFC East. The difference was that the 1972 Dolphins completed their perfect season while the 2007 Patriots fell a game short. That Dolphins team is the only one in league history to complete a season without a loss or a tie. The Pats were trying to match that, but dropped the Super Bowl game that season to the New York Giants.

Buffalo, Miami, Boston (now New England) and the Jets were part of the AFL’s Eastern Division prior to the merger. Those four, along with the Baltimore Colts, made up the new AFC East after the league’s merged for the 1970 season. The division housed the same franchises through 2001, though the Colts moved to Indianapolis in 1984. Realignment reduced the division to four teams with the Colts being moved to the newly-created AFC South.

Since Brady took over as the full-time starter in 2001, the Patriots have won 16 of 18 division titles and have appeared in nine Super Bowls, winning six of them. It’s a stretch unmatched in the league. The Bills won five of their seven AFC East titles in a six-year stretch between 1988 and 1993. They made four consecutive trips to the Super Bowl, the only team to do that, and lost all four, another first. Buffalo hasn’t won a division title since 1995, the longest drought of any AFC East team. Even the Jets, who have just two division crowns, got their last in 2002.

Most AFC East Division Titles

TEAM DIVISION TITLES
New England Patriots 20
Miami Dolphins 14
Buffalo Bills 7
Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts 6
New York Jets 2

The NFL’s American Football Conference started with the merger of the AFL and the existing teams were part of it. Over the years through realignment and relocation, the divisions have changed, but the East has kept its feel of an old AFL division with all four teams having roots to the league. Three of them – Patriots, Jets and Bills – were original members of the AFL from back in 1960, so there is a rich history between these clubs that extends beyond the scope of the NFL.

The Pats won a single division title during their decade-long stay in the AFL and didn’t capture their initial NFL division crown until 1978. They won a total of four division titles before Brady joined the club.

In 2016, the Pats established an NFL record with their eighth consecutive division crown and added two more. Eighteen of New England’s record 20 crowns have come since 1996. The Jets won the last two AFL Eastern Division titles before the merger and pulled off a major upset in Super Bowl III. After joining the NFL, the Jets have had their problems. They’ve won just two divisions since 1970.

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