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2022 First Quarter Report: AFC East

This is shaping up to be a race for second place. Although the Buffalo Bills lead the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets by only a game in the AFC East with Buffalo’s loss coming against Miami, the Bills are looking like the team to beat – and not just in the division.

The running game has been solid but there are times when the Josh Allen-led offense looks unstoppable. The defense can be equally impressive.

James Cook #28 of the Buffalo Bills rushes for a touchdown
Bryan M. Bennett / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

Questions about quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s health are holding back the Dolphins while the jury is still out on the New York Jets. The Patriots dominated this division for years. However, there is plenty of work that needs to be done rebuilding this roster.

With the Bills playing the Chiefs, the Dolphins squaring off with the 4-1 Minnesota Vikings and the Jets drawing the Green Bay Packers coming off a humbling loss to the Giants, things could get even more interesting in the division in Week 6.

According to the NFL playoff odds, the Buffalo Bills have the best odds to win the Super Bowl.

Let’s check the latest NFL picks, stats, injury reports, and NFL predictions. We’ve plenty of NFL expert picks for you to consider.

Buffalo Bills (4-1)

  • Odds to win AFC East -650
  • Odds to win AFC +200
  • Odds to win Super Bowl +375
  • Odds to make playoffs Yes -4000 / No +1000

This week’s game against Kansas City should speak volumes about where this Buffalo team. The Bills just dispatched the Pittsburgh Steelers with ridiculous ease

The Bills have played three teams that made playoffs last year, including the reigning Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, and won those three contests by a combined total of 110-20.

With the next two games against the Chiefs and Packers, this is a chance for the Bills to make it clear that they are the team to beat. The Bills are averaging more yards per game than any other NFL team and are second in total defense.

Quarterback Josh Allen is off to an impressive start and, according to the NFL betting lines, is first in the odds to be the NFL Most Valuable Player. He is completing 67% of his passes with 14 touchdown passes, and has also run for 226 yards.

Buffalo doesn’t run as often as some other teams, but the Bills average 5.1 yards per carry while the Bills have some promising young receivers to go with Stefon Diggs.

Von Miller has made an immediate impact on the defense as he is tied for the team lead with second-year defensive end Gregory Rousseau with four sacks.

Miami Dolphins (3-2)

  • Odds to win AFC East +550
  • Odds to win AFC +1400
  • Odds to win Super Bowl +3300
  • Odds to make playoffs Off

First-year coach Mike McDaniel was the toast of the league when the Dolphins got off to a 3-0 start. That included an upset of Buffalo. Without injured starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, things went in the other direction with back-to-back losses to Cincinnati and the New York Jets.

Raheem Mostert is off to a solid start as the go-to running back while Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have been the most productive wide receiver tandem in the NFL early in 2022.

Miami has nine sacks, but only one of those has come from a defensive lineman. The aggressive play calling that has defensive backs making plays in the backfield could prove costly at some point and many of the flaws for the Dolphins were exposed in the loss to the Jets.

New York Jets (3-2)

  • Odds to win AFC East +2800
  • Odds to win AFC +8000
  • Odds to win Super Bowl +15000
  • Odds to make playoffs Yes +450 / No -650

The Jets didn’t have franchise quarterback Zach Wilson for the first three games of the season and still sit 3-2 through five games. Rookie Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson lead the Jets in rushing yards and receptions, respectively, so the best is yet to come for the Jets.

Rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner has already made an impact on the defense and he is second in the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year odds per the sportsbook. Fellow 2022 first-round pick Jermaine Johnson is starting to make his presence felt. The defense is led by veterans C.J. Mosley, Kwon Alexander and Jordan Whitehead.

One look at the NFL betting lines makes it clear that not everybody is sold on this team as a playoff contender. Two of the next four games come against the Packers and Bills, so more should be known after those two contests. Something to consider for those who bet online: the Jets have covered in three of the last four games.

New England Patriots (2-3)

  • Odds to win AFC East +2000
  • Odds to win AFC +4000
  • Odds to win Super Bowl +8000
  • Odds to make playoffs Yes +300 / No -400

Is this the year when the bottom falls out for the Patriots?

The Patriots won 17 of 19 AFC East titles before the Buffalo Bills won in 2020 and repeated as division winners in 2021. The Patriots are in last place with quarterback Mac Jones dealing with an injury that led to him missing the last two games.

Jones wasn’t playing very well at the time of his injury with two touchdown passes and five interceptions.

New England lost running back Damien Harris as a result of a hamstring injury, leaving the top job to second-year back Rhamondre Stevenson.

Receiver Jakobi Meyers has been the most consistent aspect of the offense while the defense is led by the pass-rushing duo of Matthew Judon and Deatrich Wise Jr. as they have combined for 10 sacks. Linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley leads the way with 31 tackles.

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