Football Outsiders is out with new win projections for NFL teams with the Draft in the rear view mirror. How do they view the AFC East?
New England Patriots: 13-3 (13.4 mean wins, SOS: 32)
Buffalo Bills: 7-9 (6.9 mean wins; SOS: 24)
Miami Dolphins: 7-9 (6.6 mean wins; SOS: 18)
New York Jets: 6-10 (5.8 mean wins; SOS: 21)
The Patriots already had a top-five projection in all three phases of the game, but it got even stronger after they signed Mike Gillislee away from the Bills. Gillislee led running backs in our DVOA and Success Rate metrics last year, though with an asterisk: It takes 100 carries to be ranked, and Gillislee had 101. We're also still projecting the Patriots with the easiest schedule in the league, because we're forecasting decline for many of their out-of-division opponents including Atlanta, Denver and Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the rest of the AFC East comes in under .500. I still feel our Miami projection is a bit too pessimistic; the Dolphins' 10-6 record last year was built on an easy schedule, but Miami wasn't a bad team that lucked into a playoff spot, just an average one. On the other hand, our Jets projection may seem too optimistic. It's lifted by a better-than-expected defensive projection, because run defense is more consistent from year-to-year than pass defense and the Jets had the No. 1 run defense in the league last season.
This record ties the Jets with Denver and Houston with the second worst projected record in the AFC. Only Cleveland is lower at 5-11.
Is this too low? Too high? Just right?