Buffalo Bills fans are in for a big surprise when the NFL schedule comes out in 2021. The biggest threat to the Bills atop the AFC East in 2021 will be based in Florida, not the two-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
The Buffalo Bills have dominated the AFC East since 1999, a period in which the division has seen only one other champion in the Super Bowl era. The teams have been found to have a combined 33-16 record in regular-season matchups over that span, but that’s probably due to the Bills playing in the weaker NFC East. In 2019, the Bills looked poised to add to that dominance when they were in the midst of a 9-0 start, but a stretch of poor play in December has them in a tie with the New York Jets atop the division with a 5-5 record heading into Week 13.
The Buffalo Bills just finished a 13-3 season in which they won the AFC East and advanced to the AFC Championship Game. They had a fantastic season, demonstrating that they are equipped to contend for the Super Bowl. Josh Allen, the team’s top quarterback, just inked a six-year, $258 million contract deal. They’re an excellent all-around squad that should be a contender for many years to come.
While they are a formidable opponent, they are part of a growing division. The New England Patriots are an underestimated club with a chance to win the Super Bowl. The New York Jets are a lesser danger, but they are putting together a strong core. The Miami Dolphins, though, will pose the greatest danger to the Bills’ AFC East title.
The Bills will have a tough battle from the Dolphins, who have assembled a well-rounded team. The only issue is whether Tua Tagovailoa will be a success. Tagovailoa had a good rookie season, but Allen gives the Bills a distinct edge at quarterback. Allen is one of the greatest players in the league, and he has the potential to take his club to new heights.
After a fantastic season, Allen finished second in MVP voting last season. He threw for 4,544 yards, 37 touchdowns, and just 10 interceptions in his career. Tagovailoa, on the other side, passed for 1,814 yards, 11 touchdowns, and five interceptions. In the nine games he started, Tagovailoa put up those statistics.
What are the Dolphins’ chances against the Bills?
With their offensive and defensive talent, the Dolphins are a good matchup for the Bills. They have a lot of youthful talent, including a few of rising stars. According to Pro Football Reference, their defense is rated 6th in the NFL, which could help slow down the Bills attack.
While their defense is excellent, their attack has improved significantly in the summer. By signing free agent Will Fuller V and selecting Jaylen Waddle in the first round, they emphasized acquiring weapons for Tagovailoa. Fuller V is a dangerous deep threat who may make a big impact in a new scheme. Fuller V has 53 catches for 879 yards and eight touchdowns with the Houston Texans last season. In the 11 games he played, he put up those statistics.
Waddle, who is reunited with his college quarterback Tagovailoa, is the other new receiver. They already have excellent chemistry and should be a fantastic QB-WR combination in their first year together. DeVante Parker, a physical receiver, will be Tagovailoa’s other target. Parker, Waddle, and Fuller V should be exceptional players who will provide a challenge to the Bills secondary.
What will determine the outcome of the Dolphins-Bills matchup?
Tagovailoa’s growth will be the most important element in the Dolphins-Bills rivalry. Last season, he was 6-3 in starts, but he didn’t pitch as well as he had hoped. Many people doubted his capacity to be the star he was expected to be when he graduated from college.
Head coach Brian Flores has given Tagovailoa the most essential mark of approval. When asked whether Tagovailoa will start in Week 1, Flores said, “I don’t know how much clearer I can be.” Our quarterback is Tua. I’ll say it once more.”
Tagovailoa reacted to his coach’s remarks by saying:
“Coming from the head coach, I believe it means a lot. It means a lot to me that he and the rest of the team are behind me. But, for the time being, I’m just trying to get our players ready for next week.”
Tagovailoa has the backing, but it remains to be seen whether he can progress. With excellent weapons and an outstanding defense behind him, this season offers him a shot.
The Dolphins will challenge the Bills for first place in the AFC East if Tagovailoa has a breakthrough season.
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