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AFC East: Offense and defense rankings, 2018

How did the teams perform in the stat column in the regular season?

We are reaching that time in the year where most of the teams look back and review what they did and didn’t do well in the regular season. This is the case for almost all of the teams in the AFC East, except for the New England Patriots—who are preparing for the AFC Championship game. This week, we will be looking at where each team finished in the league when it comes to their offense and defense.

Buffalo Bills: 2nd Defense, 30th Offense

We start with the Bills because they were a tale of two sides on the year. On defense, they showed dominance in most games, finishing second overall in the league. They allowed the fewest passing yards per game, but we still saw some trouble with the team stopping the run against physical offensive lines. The main problem for the defense stemmed from the issues on the offensive side of the ball—and their firm placement in the bottom of the league. The offense averaged just under 17 points per game, which means that the team often went three and out. This forced the defense to be on the field for long stretches and play gassed late in games. All is not lost with the offense however, as the team did improve after Josh Allen returned from injury. Most of the defense should stay in place going into next year, but it will be interesting to see how the cap space is spent to improve the offense.

New York Jets: 25th Defense, 29th Offense

The Jets found themselves in the bottom half of the league on both sides of the football. The defense allowed 27 points per game, which is never a formula for success when your offense is averaging 20 a game. Their offense has been in the same situation as the Bills, with Sam Darnold improving each week as the season progressed. The Jets have talented players on the roster and will now turn to former Miami Dolphins’ head coach Adam Gase to turn this team around going into next season.

Miami Dolphins: 29th defense, 31st Offense

We follow up with the Dolphins—statistically the worst team in the division even though their record says otherwise. The offense was scoring almost 20 points per game but the defense was allowing it right back, giving up 27 points. The offense did have some explosions against good teams, scoring 31 against a good Chicago Bears defense and 34 against the Patriots. We are awaiting a decision to see if Ryan Tannehill will be the quarterback going forward and with Gase being fired, the team will have a new head coach as well. One thing the team can build on is that they did average over 100 rushing yards per game.

New England Patriots: 21st Defense, 5th Offense

The Patriots proved once again that the offense can carry their team to another conference title game as long as the defense plays average football. The team averaged 27 points per game with the defense holding firm at 20. New England proved to have a balanced attack through the air and on the ground, taking pressure off Tom Brady as the year went on. On the other side of the ball, the defense has played well, but they are still prone to giving up big plays through the air. Yes, Stephon Gilmore is an All-Pro Corner and he has shown it many times. Still, there are occasionally miscommunications in the secondary that allow those long, wide-open touchdowns that leave teams confused.