The AFC East is open for business in 2020. For the first time in 20 years, Tom Brady will not be a factor, and in this particular case, it made it a bit of a challenge to rank all four starting quarterbacks in the division. So without further ado, here are my AFC East quarterback power rankings for 2020:
4) Jarrett Stidham, New England Patriots
This is not an indictment on Stidham, he just hasn't seen the field yet. With Tom Brady having signed with Tampa Bay in free agency, it'll be interesting to see how Stidham takes control of the starting offense. Until then, I can't rank him any higher than fourth in the division, but something tells me that with Bill Belichick and OC Josh McDaniels in his ear, Stidham will progress up these rankings sooner rather than later.
3) Sam Darnold, New York Jets
Until Adam Gase walks the plank, Sam Darnold will be stuck under a shadow of mediocre play-calling. Statistically speaking, he did in fact improve from his rookie season to 2019 in all the major passing categories, but you have to look past the numbers to get a better picture of where Darnold actually stands. Adam Gase's offense is predicated on underneath routes, such as slants, flat routes, screens (his favorite play for a 3rd and 12 situation) and short-out routes, so stats such as completion percentage and passer rating are severely padded. Number 14 will have an improved o-line and a better cast of weapons to throw to in 2020 with the additions of Denzel Mims and Breshad Perriman, but until I see more, the Samchise is stuck at number three in my rankings.
2) Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins
With the fifth pick in the draft the Dolphins selected Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but until he jogs out onto the field as QB1, I can only assess Fitzmagic. At age 37, Ryan Fitzpatrick is still showing spurts of greatness in the passing game (3,529 yards, 20 TDs, 13 INTs) and even the running game (243 yards, four scores), so this grizzly-bearded man can still direct an offense at a solid level...until he gets to throwing interceptions, in which case he will usually throw not one, but upwards of at least two or three. Despite that, I still think he's one of the better options at quarterback in the AFC East, which is why I have him at rank number two.
1) Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Honestly, it wasn't easy to put Josh Allen at number one. The AFC East as a whole was known for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for the last two decades, so it's a bit of a mystery of who will take the mantle as "the guy". Josh Allen at number one may surprise some, but his biggest knock - his accuracy - actually improved rather significantly in 2019, completing just shy of 59 percent of his passes (up from his 52.8 percentage in 2018) for 3,089 yards; 20 touchdowns, and just nine interceptions. For now, Allen gets the spotlight because he's had the most success in his short time in Buffalo, and he's looking primed for a big 2020 season with the addition of wide reciever Stefon Diggs - an absolute game changer for a team looking to contend for the division title, and a deep playoff run for that matter.
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