The AFC East should be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL in 2015, with the three also-rans of the last decade all looking to close ground on the New England Patriots. USA Today thinks the division will be good enough to land three of the four franchises in the postseason, with the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins claiming the two Wildcard berths behind the Patriots' AFC East division title.
The Patriots claim the top spot with an 11-5 record, though author Nate Davis does admit the rest of the division should not be far behind. The Bills take the second spot with a 10-6 record, thanks to additions like coach Rex Ryan, running back LeSean McCoy, and receiver Percy Harvin.
The Dolphins come in third in the division, but claim the final playoff spot, with a 10-6 record as well. David explains the Dolphins projection:
They won't see a playoff team from last year until Week 8, and only two before December. Plenty of time for the Ryan Tannehill-led offense to crest and the Ndamukong Suh-led D to crystallize.
The San Diego Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals just miss the Playoffs with 9-7 records.
With the playoff drought over for the Dolphins, who have not made the postseason since 2008, the team, unfortunately, will continue their streak of having not won a Playoff contest since 2000, losing to the AFC West champion and third-seeded Denver Broncos. The Bills are likewise a one-and-done team, losing to the fourth-seeded, AFC North champion Baltimore Ravens. The AFC Championship game then comes down to the Patriots against the Indianapolis Colts, with the top seeded Indianapolis beating the second-seaded Patriots.
The Super Bowl, according to USA Today's projection, will feature the Green Bay Packers beating the Colts.
What do you think of the projection? Is 10-6 an accurate number for Miami? How about the Bills? Will New England win another division title? How would you feel if Miami made it to the Playoffs, only to lose their first contest?