Newly-signed New York Jets running back Frank Gore knows his way around the AFC East. Gang Green will be the third franchise he’s suited up for in the division.
Gore spent 2018 with the Dolphins and last season with the Buffalo Bills. Each of those years, he was on a team looking up at Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. In fact, that’s basically how the hierarchy has gone in the AFC East over the last two decades.
But now, everything has changed. Brady is in Tampa Bay and unproven Jarrett Stidham is the Patriots’ new starter. It looks like the perfect time to kill off the dynasty once and for all.
Gore seems to think so. In a conference call with New York media this afternoon, he addressed the competitiveness of the division.
Because of Brady’s absence, Gore thinks the AFC East is “wide open.”
Frank Gore on the AFC East: "I think it's wide open… Brady's gone."
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) May 21, 2020
We can’t blame Gore for feeling optimistic. After all, we haven’t seen a Brady-less Patriots team in 20 years.
The Bills have made the playoffs two of the last three seasons, and on paper, they should be the division favorite this year. Buffalo’s roster is the best of the bunch, but questions about the offense and specifically quarterback Josh Allen remain.
As for the Jets, they still have high hopes for Sam Darnold, and new GM Joe Douglas seems to know what he’s doing. But will that be enough to contend in the East?
The Dolphins are rebuilding the right way, but are probably a year or two away from truly making noise. Watching Tua Tagovailoa develop will be fun though.
Lastly, don’t count the Patriots out yet. Brady isn’t there, but Bill Belichick might have some things up his sleeve yet.