The season may still be young and only three weeks in, but we’re slowly starting to see what the makeup of the teams in the AFC East. The Miami Dolphins lead the way at 3-0 after defeating the Buffalo Bills (2-1) in a tough battle in the Miami heat. The New England Patriots and New York Jets are both at 1-2 after suffering losses on Sunday. With three games in the books we can look at some early season MVPs for these teams.
Dolphins (3-0): WR Jaylen Waddle
Last season, Dolphins receiver Jaylen Waddle set the record for most receptions by a rookie. This season, it appears that he’s taken his game to an even higher level. In three games, Waddle has 19 catches for 342 yards with three touchdowns. Some of this may be due to the acquisition of receiver Tyreek Hill, but that shouldn’t diminish the skills of Waddle. He has the footwork to gain quick separation along with the speed to get yards after the catch. Speaking of those yards, Waddle currently leads the AFC with 131 yards after the catch. These days, MVP is usually just a fancy name for the best quarterback, but Waddle should be in the conversation.
Bills (2-1): QB Josh Allen
The obvious answer for the Bills is that quarterback Josh Allen is their early season MVP. The numbers, of course, back up that idea. Allen has already amassed over 1,000 passing yards on the season and has nine touchdowns in the air versus two interceptions. He had a valiant performance against Miami on Sunday with 400 yards, but came up just short against a stout Dolphins defense. He hasn’t been as much of the runner from past seasons, but maybe Allen is trying to take the least amount of hits possible. Buffalo will go as far as Allen takes them. However, something to note is that Allen and the Bills have not won a regular season one-score game in almost two years while losing seven of them during that same timeframe.
Jets (1-2): WR Garrett Wilson
When the Jets drafted receiver Garrett Wilson in the first round of the NFL draft, they thought they were getting their number-one target for the foreseeable future. Early on, Wilson has shown flashes of being that guy for the team. The rookie has 18 receptions through three games, which leads the team. Wilson also has 214 yards with a couple of touchdowns, also team leading numbers. With quarterback Zach Wilson still dealing with a knee injury, it will be interesting to see how Garrett Wilson plays with his assumed quarterback of the future.
Patriots (1-2): S Devin McCourty
It hasn’t been the kind of start to the season that the Patriots were looking for, but safety Devin McCourty deserves some love. Now in his 13th season with the team, McCourty leads the team with 17 tackles on the season. The veteran has played all over the field and has been one of the leaders on the Patriots defense for the past few seasons. In his career, McCourty has 859 tackles to go along with 26 interceptions—all with New England.