April 24, 2024

2023 NFL season: AFC East scouts, key facts to know about Jets, Dolphins, Bills and Patriots

The IS NFL the offseason is coming to an end as the 2023 season is right around the corner. To prepare you for the start of the new campaign, we’ll dive into every team in the league, starting with the AFC East, which is proving to be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL, especially with Aaron Rodgers coming onto the scene.

Below we take a look at the scouting report for each team in the division along with one interesting fact for everyone heading into the season, and look at the best and worst fan moments in each of the franchise’s history.

The team’s most important players:

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Scout Report 2023: The Aaron Rodgers trade to the Jets may be what both parties have been looking for. Rodgers has the best supporting cast in years, and a chance to silence the “just one ring” talk. Meanwhile, this could be the Jets’ best chance to win a championship since Joe Namath’s famous run in Super Bowl III.

Interesting fact to know for the 2023 season: Rodgers could realistically snap the Jets’ devastating drought in 2023:

  • Longest active playoff drought in the NFL (last appearance: 2010)
  • Second-longest active drought without a 4,000-yard passer (last: Joe Namath in 1967)
  • Second-longest active drought without a Super Bowl or NFL Championship appearance (ends: 1968 vs. Colts)

Best fan moment in team history – Joe Namath’s guaranteed Super Bowl win: Namath helped lead the Jets to their first — and only — Super Bowl victory in 1969 against the Baltimore Colts. Namath was named MVP of Super Bowl III. The quarterback was iconic on and off the field, bringing a lot of personality to New York, and coming through with his famous guarantee of winning NFL championships.

Worst fan moment in team history — The Butt Fumble: Oh, the infamous lump. The Jets were playing their division-rival New England Patriots in 2012 when New York quarterback Mark Sanchez collided with the backside of offensive lineman Brandon Moore, and the unfortunate mistake led to a fumble, which was recovered by Patriots safety Steve Gregory. Jets fans haven’t heard the end of it in quite some time.

The team’s most important players:

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Scout Report 2023: The Bills are once again one of the best teams in the league, with a great chance to win the Super Bowl. The team drafted tight end Dalton Kincaid and offensive guard O’Cyrus Torrence, both of whom have real potential to help the offense get going early. Buffalo is looking to make its first Super Bowl appearance in the Josh Allen Era.

Interesting fact to know for the 2023 season: The Bills are not in “Four Falls of Buffalo” “30 for 30” territory, but their failure to reach the Super Bowl despite their regular success over the past few years has hit historic levels of futility. They have led the NFL in scoring offense and scoring defense for the past three seasons. They are the first team to lead the NFL in both categories over three seasons since the 1972-74 Dolphins.

Best fan moment in team history – Bengals send Bills to the playoffs: In 2017, a late touchdown by Andy Dalton and the Bengals against the Baltimore Ravens meant a win for Cincinnati, but it also meant a playoff spot for Buffalo. The Bills earned their first playoff ticket since 1999 and the team, and the fans, went crazy.

Worst fan moment in team history — losing four Super Bowls in four years: Losing a Super Bowl is getting worse, but making the big game four years straight and not coming home with a win? brutal. Buffalo lost Super Bowls XXV, XXVI, XXVII and XXVIII to the Giants, Washington and the Cowboys twice, respectively.

Miami Dolphins

The team’s most important players:

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Scout Report 2023: Miami has real hope of making the jump from playoff contender to Super Bowl contender this season if Tua Tagovailoa can stay healthy. The offense has shown flashes of brilliance with the dynamic duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, plus the defense can take a big step forward with the additions of Jalen Ramsey, David Long and, of course, new DC Vic Fangio.

Interesting fact to know for the 2023 season: Let’s just start with a playoff win, though. Did you know that the Dolphins haven’t won a playoff game since the 2000 wild card round against the Colts? Miami’s starting QB that day was Jay Fiedler opposite someone you may have heard of: Peyton Manning. The Lions are the only team with a longer active playoff win drought.

Best fan moment in team history — The perfect season: It’s hard to find a better moment than when the team went undefeated. The 1972 Dolphins are still in a club by themselves, going 14-0 in the regular season and winning Super Bowl VII against Washington.

Worst fan moment in team history — Dan Marino’s final game: Losing is hard, but losing a blowout game is worse. Few teams have embarrassed them as much as the Finns in 1999, when they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars 62-7 in the divisional round. To add to the misery, the loss was quarterback Dan Marino’s last game, and Miami fans didn’t want to see or remember.

New England Patriots

The team’s most important players:

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Scout Report 2023: The Patriots are entering their third season led by quarterback Mac Jones. Now more than ever it’s imperative that he sees some improvement, after two seasons of hovering around mediocre offensively while their defense shines. The offense added wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster and named Bill O’Brien the team’s new offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, which should elevate that side of the ball.

Interesting fact to know for the 2023 season: The Patriots had arguably their worst offensive season under Bill Belichick in 2022. Their 18.2 offensive points per game were their fewest since 2000. Things don’t seem to be getting any worse either because the Patriots didn’t make a big offseason splash to help Mac Jones in his No. 1 year. Not one has made a Pro Bowl.

Best fan moment in team history — Tom Brady Era: We will cheat here and go with something a little longer than a minute, because it ran. It resulted in seven Super Bowl wins and 10 Super Bowl appearances. Those Lombardi Trophies would probably have been held by other teams if not for Tom Brady, who was taken with the 199th pick in 2000 NFL draft. That pick led to the greatest run in recent NFL history. Brady teaming up with Bill Belichick turned out to be a perfect combination.

The worst fan moment in team history — The End of the Tom Brady Era: Yes, we can point to the two shocking Super Bowl losses to the Giants, but the loss of Tom Brady – a staple of Boston sports culture – was a sad one for Patriots fans, especially after all the great moments he provided the franchise. To make it worse, Brady didn’t mention the Patriots in his first retirement post, which was heartbreaking to many, from someone they didn’t expect to ever go anywhere.

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