PFT 2019 storyline No. 20: Can the young QBs in the AFC East compete with the Patriots?

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On the second night of the 2019 draft, the planets fully aligned in a way that likely guarantees yet another New England division title (11th straight) and/or AFC title-game berth (ninth straight), at least for one more year.

The other three contenders in the AFC East, none of which have done much contending in recent years, now have three of the quarterbacks taken in the top 10 of the 2018 draft.

The trio became cemented with the trade that sent Josh Rosen (pick No. 10) to Miami, joining Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (No. 3) and Bills quarterback Josh Allen (No. 7).

Last year, the Patriots faced Darnold and Allen only once each, due to injuries suffered by both players. This year, barring injury (or Fitzmagic), the Patriots will have six games against the young quarterbacks in their division. Throw in the fact that the Patriots will play all four teams of the AFC North (including Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson), and half of New England’s games will be played against first-round quarterbacks from the 2018 draft.

Advantage Belichick, a master of devising game plans that confuse and confound quarterbacks — especially those without much NFL experience. Which means that the Patriots will likely once again rule the division, and that the soon-to-be-42-year-old Tom Brady could end up emerging with wins over quarterbacks who were two years old (Darnold), three years old (Rosen, Allen, and Jackson), and five years old (Mayfield) when Brady arrived in the NFL via pick No. 199 of the 2000 draft.

80 responses to “PFT 2019 storyline No. 20: Can the young QBs in the AFC East compete with the Patriots?

  1. My guess would be the AFC East team with the best chance of being competitive against the Pat’s will be Buffalo Bills. Jets and Fins still rebuilding and have lotsa unfilled or untested holes.

  2. “Advantage Belichick, a master of devising game plans that confuse and confound quarterbacks — especially those without much NFL experience.”
    ———————

    Belichick is 255-89 (.741) with the Patriots. Pretty sure he’s got everyone’s number, not just young quarterbacks.

    Belichick is 17-5 (.772) against rookie QBs – not exactly more dominating than his normal win percentage. In fact, just one game swing would put him under (ie 16-6 is 0.727)…

  3. If you had to guess, Darnold looks like the guy that could become a good QB in the league, and they have Bell.

    They should have the best chance against the Patriots. They can probably split.

    I don’t believe in Josh Allen. I think his lack of accuracy will make his NFL career a short one. Bills lose both.

    Dolphins won’t be ready for prime time yet, but they can always give the Patriots a hard time in Miami. I think the Patriots will want to win there badly this year. Patriots win both games.

  4. 11 straight Division Titles & 9 straight AFC Championship Game Appearances…..I literally just threw up a little in my mouth.

    I don’t think we will see this type of sustained dominance ever again by a team, there are a couple spots waiting in Canton for Belichick & Brady.

  5. You can’t teach accuracy so that rules the Bills and Josh Allen out.

    The only one that stands a chance is Darnold but probably not this year.

  6. I remember watching in horror as Brock Osweiler led the Broncos to a win over the undefeated Patriots. So, yeah, anything is possible.

  7. I think the Jets have the best chance. They have the best QB out of the three, the best RB, and maybe the best defense. But they have another lousy coach.

  8. Belichick is 255-89 (.741) with the Patriots. Pretty sure he’s got everyone’s number, not just young quarterbacks.

    Belichick is 17-5 (.772) against rookie QBs – not exactly more dominating than his normal win percentage. In fact, just one game swing would put him under (ie 16-6 is 0.727)…
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________

    And he’s 30-10 (.75)in the playoffs. Doesn’t matter who the Patriots play, good teams, bad teams, teams with young QB’s, playoffs teams. They always win about 75% of the time

  9. Can’t wait for this season. I think it’s hilarious that no one thinks the Pats will miss a beat with Brady turning 42.

    Allen and Darnold are the future of the division. Pats May finish 3rd or even 4th this year.

  10. thank you, for explicitly stating that brady is “the greatest qb of all time”. I never get tired of hearing that after all the pretenders put forth, none of which have a resume of championship gut-check performances remotely close to brady’s.

  11. A .794 division winning % over the past 18 years says a steady stream of QB’s young and old haven’t been able to compete but then neither has the steady stream of QB’s in the AFC North where the winning % is .806. But hey, “this is the year” right?
    lol

  12. Patriots have been dominant but there’s change blowing in the wind. As much as I respect Belichick, it’s yet to be seen what he can with out the G.O.A.T. at Qb. He wasn’t winning when Bledsoe was qb or when he was headcoach with Cleveland.

  13. Hate to admit it but Belichick is a master at confusing young QB’s. Specifically as a Bills fan, Daboll (OC) did nothing to counter Belichick’s scheme last season. I am hoping Daboll will be better this season but my confidence in him isn’t great. I do hope I am wrong.

  14. Boston’s golden age in general is over.

    Bruins were the last shot. The Sox are going to struggle to just get a wildcard. Pats just had their swan song – Brady is on the decline. Celtics are in a rebuild.

    Not planning to see any more duck boats for a long, long time….

  15. “He wasn’t winning when Bledsoe was qb or when he was headcoach with Cleveland.”

    Actually he went 11-5 his first year in Cleveland. He went 5-11 his second year but that was the year of the move. TOTAL CHAOS.

  16. Pats often lose a September game in Miami – where it can be 100F and the bush-league Phins always play home Sept games in their away-whites and yet they also their home benches in the shade forcing visitors into the sun in their dark tops – and thus northern teams melt.

  17. he went 11-5 his first year in Cleveland. He went 5-11 his second year but that was the year of the move. TOTAL CHAOS.

    He went 11-5 in his fourth year and 5-11 in his fifth in Cleveland. 6-10, 7-9, 7-9 in his first three.

    But he took over a very bad team and built a very good one. People who look at his overall record in Cleveland (36-44) are not adequately taking into account what the team looked like when he got there and the impact of the move announcement. They were 3-13 the year before he got there, and outscored by over 200 points. And this was in the pre-salary cap league where teams didn’t have to let useful players go into free agency every year. Belichick didn’t win a Championship in Cleveland, but he was successful in that job…

  18. “He wasn’t winning when Bledsoe was qb or when he was headcoach with Cleveland.”

    Survey say, aaaaaaaaaa!

    Bill was the last coach to lead Cleveland to a playoff victory. Fun fact, that playoff victory was over the Pats

  19. Anytime you write off a team in the AFC East they surprise. Dolphins will be second place this year and take the division the next 5 years. Phins Up!

  20. Yes, of course, they can and will compete against the patriots.
    How successful they will be remains to be determined.
    I am no fan of brady, belichick, patriots or boston but, make no mistake, there is no denying their record.
    Brady’s skills may diminish but he and belichick know how to adapt and utilize his strengths while minimizing his deficiencies and those of the team to be successful.
    Until brady retires it will be tough sledding in AFC east.

  21. 49erfan44 says:
    July 4, 2019 at 11:11 am
    5-1. They’ll lose one to Fitz and the dolphins. They always do for some reason.
    —————————
    Pats go to Miami in September. I see them losing there.

  22. The better question is which AFC East team is best set up for success when Brady retires. The Patriots will still be competitive with Belichick coaching but not dominant without Brady.

    I think the underrated Bills defense with Tre’davious White, Tremaine Edmunds, Ed Oliver and one of the best safety duos in the league will have one of the better defenses in the league for the next few years. Josh Allen will need to be more accurate but he also played behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league last season. The Bills addressed the O-line pretty well this offseason.

    The Jets have some pretty nice pieces and Sam Darnold seems to be a franchise QB. I question the hiring of Gase as head coach. Leveon Bell will help that team short term but the money spent on him could’ve been spent on several younger players in free agency.

    Miami will probably be pretty bad for the next few years.

  23. Expected this story line at some point. Logic states Pats win win division and maybe AFC and at least 4 AFC East games…only time they beat Dolphins in Miami is when it’s do or die or like in 2016 when Fins made playoffs and rested starters (plus Tannehill was injured…when had Matt Moore beaten Patriots? Like, never!). Their other loss likely against Bills in Buffalo is Bills are in wildcard hunt. Sam Darnold has to prove himself, and does anyone really think LeVeon Bell can work with Adam Gase? Heck, Jarvis Landry and Jay Ajayi couldn’t work with Adam Gase! If those two divas couldn’t, no way will super-diva Bell! (Oh, and Gase is also a diva…why else would he bring in that God Awful Jay Cutler in 2017? He shoulda stuck with Matt Moore! Moore can’t beat Patiots but he sure can beat the Jets and Bills, esp. in Buffalo!)

  24. billsrthefuture says:
    July 4, 2019 at 12:34 pm
    Boston’s golden age in general is over.
    _________________________________________
    Don’t bet all of your chicken wings just yet!

  25. pats will get beat early then start winning games and then win the super bowl and brady will say , “everybody said we couldn’t do it.” even though nobody is saying they can’t do it and i will continue to hate and admire b and b as the best coach qb combo in the history of the game…yawn football

  26. billsrthefuture says:
    July 4, 2019 at 12:34 pm
    Boston’s golden age in general is over.

    Bruins were the last shot. The Sox are going to struggle to just get a wildcard. Pats just had their swan song – Brady is on the decline. Celtics are in a rebuild.

    Not planning to see any more duck boats for a long, long time….

    ————

    No one can predict when it will end, but one thing is certain… Buffalo’s golden age is not starting.

  27. theghostofottograham says:
    July 4, 2019 at 1:04 pm
    Browns will beat Pats this year…!!!

    ———–

    Going for the mid-season Super Bowl I guess.

  28. Bills and the Dolphins come to Gillette the last 2 weekends. The Pats will probably have a bye wrapped up and may be resting guys. So, there IS a chance. I think the Jets are the #2 team in the division by a wide margin. That’s if the team can overcome ownership and front office problems. Think they’ll be in wildcard contention right to the end. 8-8/9-7 could easily get in this yr, with the other divisions being so competitive

  29. If the Patriots win the Division again this year, confusing the young QBs won’t be the reason. Overall, they still have a stronger roster and a better Head Coach. But it won’t last forever and, before too long, the Pats will have a QB with less experience than the other 3 teams.

  30. Not necessarily. Nothing says the Pats have to get their next QB in the draft. The 49ers have an out on JimmyG’s contract in 2020, for example. JBrissett will probably be out there. Mariota, Winston, ADalton could be out there. Who knows. People rail about JG’s contract, based on small sample size, but he got less guaranteed money than any top 10 QB.

  31. 49erfan44 says:
    July 4, 2019 at 11:11 am

    5-1. They’ll lose one to Fitz and the dolphins. They always do for some reason.

    ———————–
    Fitz won’t even see the field. He’s 3-9 in his career vs New England. The last time he beat them was in 2015 with the Jets.

  32. streetyson says:
    July 4, 2019 at 12:51 pm
    Pats often lose a September game in Miami – where it can be 100F and the bush-league Phins always play home Sept games in their away-whites and yet they also their home benches in the shade forcing visitors into the sun in their dark tops – and thus northern teams melt.

    So much wrong this statement. In the last 10 seasons the Pats played a September game in Miami only twice, and split those 2 games. 6 of those 10 games were either in December or January. In that same span the Dolphins played at New England 5 times in December or January. Sounds like the Pats have gotten the better end of that deal.
    The Dolphins also don’t play home games in “away-whites” because there is no such thing. Every team is free to choose which of their main jerseys they wear for each home game. Most teams wear their main color at home but not all; the Cowboys are another example of teams who prefer white at home. The Dolphins have almost exclusively worn white unis for daytime home games for nearly 50 years. Why wouldn’t they use that advantage?
    As for the stadium, the overhang is symmetrical but the sun decides which bench will be in the sun or shade. If you were the home team, would you let your opponent sit in the shade? Of course not. That doesn’t make you “bush-league”, it means you’re smart and use an advantage given to home teams. I’m pretty sure every team thinks this way when they choose their home bench location.

  33. As much as I dislike the Patriots I think this is a little disrespectful. New England don’t seem to have many problems facing established or top notch QBs. I don’t buy the AFCE is so easy they can play at half speed and be rested for the playoffs because you could then argue that they could also be slow and not battle ready. The Patriots would be just as dominant in any division. We are witnessing a rare combination probably never to be seen again, we’re we have the greatest coach ever and a great player who is willing to put team before being paid what he is worth on th e open market.

  34. All three young QB’s in the AFC East are elite franchise type players. The Jets have the defense to win this year. This is Darnold’s second season, and we know how that works. It’s night and day. He had 6 TD’s and only 1 int. in his last 4 games last year. He should pick up where he left off. The Jets should battle K.C. for the AFC title. Oops, forgot about the Patriots. Brady could keep winning super bowls if these other teams are dumb enough to allow him to stay upright.

  35. Not a Pats fan in the least,but I will bet real folding money,that not one of these young Qbs can throw off the Pats strangle hold on the AFC East

  36. mclennon99 says:
    July 4, 2019 at 4:14 pm
    You read it here first:
    The Buffalo Bills will SWEEP the AFC East this year!!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Well, someone needs to clean up after the Pats win.

  37. tylawspick6 says:
    July 4, 2019 at 12:49 pm
    The Pats have the best D in the AFC so no.
    ——————
    What? Look,they win games, I get that. But best D? No.

    Cleveland, Denver, Pitt, Jax and yes even the Bills look real good on D.

  38. Darnold looked a hot mess and lost when he faced the Patriots. Belichick completely owned him. That’s not a good sign. The jury is still out Josh Allen. If Rosen can’t beat Fitzpatrick for a starting job then you can stick a fork in him.

  39. It’s probably a lot easier to keep winning division titles, playoff games, and Super Bowls when you cheat as often as the Pats have and do.

  40. billsrthefuture says:
    July 4, 2019 at 12:03 pm
    Can’t wait for this season. I think it’s hilarious that no one thinks the Pats will miss a beat with Brady turning 42.

    Allen and Darnold are the future of the division. Pats May finish 3rd or even 4th this year.
    ——————-

    I’m 50 and 50 pounds over weight and still play full court basketball with people half my age, I’m pretty sure TB12 and his diet, drive, money and staff can produce at a high level for many years to come.

  41. Brady has never lost the division outright. In ‘02 they lost a three way tiebreaker. If you count ‘08, that was a tiebreaker as well.

  42. Not sure what will happen against the Pats, but Buffalo is going to ” Squish the Fish” again this year…

  43. It seems unlikely that NE will not repeat as AFC East champs. They still have to win against playoff teams in other divisions to get to the SB. Young quarterbacks (young compared to Brady) such as Andrew Luck and Nick Foles will give him competition in the playoffs.

  44. joetoronto says:
    July 4, 2019 at 11:35 am
    You can’t teach accuracy so that rules the Bills and Josh Allen out.

    The only one that stands a chance is Darnold but probably not this year.
    ___________________________________________________

    Whoever told you accuracy can not be taught lied to you.
    Accuracy can be fixed with timing adjustments and good coaching. Brett Favre had accuracy issues all throughout college(Avg comp% of 51.2) and early on in his first year starting with the Packers.
    Allen(Avg of 59.6% through college) has only played 11 NFL games… and like Favre is mobile, Has a strong arm and is smart. This will be his 2nd year in the same system… he’ll prove the doubters wrong.

  45. There is no question that Brady’s career establishes him as the Greatest QB in NFL history.
    And there is also no question that Brady seemed to catch a 2nd wind after the 2013 season. He gave signs of decline in that season.
    But came back really strong. Not only has he won the three more SB since 2013 but he has played his best football.
    But even though he has been in uncharted territory for a while. Age catches up with everyone eventually.
    I have no clue if this is the year that Brady’s performance will take a dive. He might squeeze one or even two more years. But the time is getting close…..

  46. The only thing that will catch BB and TB-12 is gonna be FATHER TIME. Right now TB-12 is keeping it at bay a little, but we as Pats Fans know the GOAT will retire soon. After retirement all the haters with their salty tears will claim ” SEE TOLD YA” !! While we at PATS NATION will smile and laugh knowing what we witnessed for two decades or so, was greatness that will never be seen again!!

  47. Bills defense was one of the bright spots last season for most season. That is a fact.

    isithockeyseasonyet says:

    I hear that every year

    Lockport Lax says:

    The Bill’s defense is going to give everyone a tough time.

  48. billsbackto81 says:
    July 4, 2019 at 5:27 pm
    tylawspick6 says:
    July 4, 2019 at 12:49 pm
    The Pats have the best D in the AFC so no.
    ——————
    What? Look,they win games, I get that. But best D? No.

    Cleveland, Denver, Pitt, Jax and yes even the Bills look real good on D.

    18 18 Rate This

    ————————

    The Pats are loaded beyond belief on D. They have the best secondary and LB group in the conference. This is not a debate.

    They lost Trey Flowers, but quickly added Michael Bennett. And, they kept John Simon, Danny Shleton at DT, added Chase Winowich in the draft have some other interesting pieces along the front.

    Their depth, experience and continuity is the best in the league. Period.

  49. “Andrew Luck will give him competition in the playoffs “”??? Based on what ??How good he looked losing to Kansas City in Kansas City ???? The same team that the Super Bowl champs beat the very next week in KC to advance to the Super Bowl. That Luck?
    Thanks for the laugh this morning!!!

  50. patriotwayrules says:
    July 5, 2019 at 6:58 am

    The only thing that will catch BB and TB-12 is gonna be FATHER TIME. Right now TB-12 is keeping it at bay a little, but we as Pats Fans know the GOAT will retire soon. After retirement all the haters with their salty tears will claim ” SEE TOLD YA” !! While we at PATS NATION will smile and laugh knowing what we witnessed for two decades or so, was greatness that will never be seen again!!

    _________________________________________________________

    And you’ll keep reminding everyone else for the next fifty years…just like you all complain about the Dolphins doing. But, that is typical of Patriots fans…you complain about others doing what you do.

    However, once NE goes back to their days of mediocrity, you’ll look more like Bears fans who are still living off the ’85 season.

  51. clownofdust says:
    July 5, 2019 at 12:49 pm
    patriotwayrules says:
    July 5, 2019 at 6:58 am

    However, once NE goes back to their days of mediocrity, you’ll look more like Bears fans who are still living off the ’85 season.

    ————————————————–

    There’s a world of difference between hanging on to one great season and celebrating 20 years of dominance.
    But that’s something your team will never know.

    Most wins in a 10 year span: 2010-2019 Patriots : 129 wins even before playing the 2019 season.
    2nd most wins in a 10 year span: 2000-2009 Patriots : 126 wins.

  52. billsrthefuture says:
    July 4, 2019 at 12:03 pm
    Can’t wait for this season. I think it’s hilarious that no one thinks the Pats will miss a beat with Brady turning 42.

    Allen and Darnold are the future of the division. Pats May finish 3rd or even 4th this year.

    ____________________________________________________

    LMAO
    Here’s something funny- You’ve been saying this for the last 10 years if you are old enough to have been following football for 10 years. Cheer up though because someday you’ll be right as long as you keep saying this until Brady Retires.

  53. I look back at the last 20yrs of the Browns being non-competitive and think that no other team can imagine what this feels like and then I think, YEA there’s 3 teams in the AFC East that do!

    I think its SAD that the other AFC East teams have to wait until Brady’s downfall or retirement to even think about winning that division, SAD, SAD, SAD!

    Winning one a year against the Pats is their SB!

  54. The Pats will struggle against Buffalo’s defense. If Buffalo can figure out there offense they could be a dangerous team in the AFC East. Beyond the offense potential, the Pats will have to contend with Cleveland’s front four on defense that very realistically could be top 5 in the NFL in sacks this year. Cleveland’s defense and not the offense could be the back-bone of the Browns making the play-offs this year.

  55. Bills had #2 ranked D in the NFL last year (look it up)and they added Ed Oliver. Brady struggled in his two wins vs. the Bills last year.
    With a new revamped Offense, Buffalo might be the sleeper of the NFL this year.

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