The New England Patriots have claimed the AFC East crown in each season dating back to 2009.
Steve Mariucci, however, believes this streak will be halted in the upcoming campaign.
The Patriots experienced a handful of key departures this offseason, none more significant than Tom Brady, who now is a Tampa Bay Buccaneer following a 20-year stint in Foxboro. To make matters worse for New England, arguably its greatest competition in the division, the Buffalo Bills, grew stronger by swinging a blockbuster deal for one of the NFL’s top wide receivers.
Mariucci seems to believe the addition of Stefon Diggs will get the Bills over the hump and help the franchise claim its first division title since 1995.
“That was a great get for the Bills and a great loss for the Vikings. He’s a heck of a player,” Mariucci said on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access.” “The Buffalo Bills are right there. When one team is building and another team like the Patriots are coming back to Earth, they’ve got a great chance. You add Diggs to John Brown and Cole Beasley with that young quarterback, Josh Allen — he’s going to be dynamic. Now, they’re not going to throw him the ball 110 times. They’re still going to try to run the football and play great defense, but I think the Bills have really helped themselves. Last year they had a great draft and I think the Bills are going to win that division. I really do.”
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) April 17, 2020
The Bills are shaping up to be awfully competitive in the 2020 season, but as Jason Whitlock noted Thursday, it’s tough to pick against the Patriots in the AFC East when Bill Belichick still is calling the shots.