Week two is in the books, and we’re starting to see what the future may hold for each of the teams in the AFC East. Some are trending in the right direction, others remain in neutral, while one has the look of a team with a top-five pick in the draft. This week on the AFC East roundup, we look at the biggest story line for each team after Week 2.
Buffalo Bills (0-2): How will Josh Allen develop?
The Bills find themselves as the only team in the division without a win after losses to the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers. Nathan Peterman started Week 1, but he was pulled just after halftime for Allen. The question now: Will having Allen play instead of learn from the sidelines positively or negatively affect his development the rest of the season? The odds may not be in his favor—the offense lacks weapons and the offense line remains a work in progress. He has an excellent running back in LeSean McCoy behind him, but McCoy has been ineffective thus far with teams game-planning to stop him. Time will tell if Allen develops more as the season progresses—he showed flashes against the Chargers—but he has a lot of room to grow.
Miami Dolphins (2-0): Are they a contender?
The Dolphins are one of the more surprising 2-0 teams—beating the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets—after a disappointing season last year. So far, it seems the team is buying into Adam Gase’s culture change, which began at the end of last season. Ryan Tannehill is playing well, throwing a pair of touchdowns in both wins. On the other side of the ball, the defense is playing hard, generating turnovers, and keeping the score low so that the offense can produce enough points to come away with the victory. Miami has a strong chance to make it three straight wins as they host the winless Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
New York Jets (1-1): Sam Darnold’s growing pains are worth it.
The Jets find themselves at .500 after the first two weeks of the season, but the story here is about Sam Darnold. The rookie was excellent against Detroit after opening the game with a pick-six, but against the Dolphins it was more of a mixed bag. Darnold did pass for over 300 yards, but he threw two interceptions that played a big part in the offense only generating 12 points. These growing pains are to be expected for a rookie but if he can work them out, the Jets could finally have their franchise quarterback in place.
New England Patriots (1-1): Are they no longer on top of the AFC?
Yes, it has only been two weeks but one can make the argument that the Jacksonville Jaguars—not the Patriots—are the team to beat in the AFC. New England traveled down to Jacksonville for the Week 2 game and never really appeared competitive as they trailed 21-3 at the half en route to a 31-20 loss. This is where home-field advantage can play a huge part come the postseason—the Patriots defeated the Jaguars at home last season. It’s early, but right now it seems as though the Patriots may not stand alone on the throne of AFC dominance.