The starting QB’s of 2021 in the AFC East

The QB position may be about to face its biggest shake-up around the league in years, as starting veterans retire or move elsewhere, new faces are drafted in and long-serving backups finally achieve the promotion they so desire. Here is my view on the week 1 starting QBs in the AFC East in September 2021 from most certain to least…

The Buffalo Bills: An easy one to start, Josh Allen could be a Super Bowl winner by the time week 1 rolls around (seriously, they’re that good), and few QB’s have made the developmental leap that Allen has achieved over his first 3 years. He’s moved from a 10-12 TD/INT ratio with a 52.8% completion rate to a 34-9 and 69.1% rate, almost doubled his QBR and become a true leader of men on and off the field. Chalk this one up to great work by the coaching staff and plenty of hard graft from Allen himself. It seems like the Bills are set for the next decade.

The Miami Dolphins: Nothing to see here, the ‘fins have their dream duo in Tua and Fitzmagic. Provided the organisation continues to demonstrate good sense, they’ll have both back again in 2021. The difference needs to be Tua proving that he’s worthy of starting AND finishing every week. Stick with him, he’ll soon be good enough, he may never be exciting but Alex Smith has made a fine career from ball-security coupled with timely, short, accurate passing, and i’d look for similar traits from Tua in 2021 and beyond. Brian Flores has been teaching some harsh lesson to his young QB, but he’s also been quick to defend him and hasn’t waivered from the plan of giving Tua as much time under centre as possible, even in the midst of a playoff-run. It looks like smart coaching to me.

The New York Jets: As few as 3 weeks ago this article would’ve had Trevor Lawrence plastered all of the Jets section, but with the no.1 selection denied them (through virtue of actually daring to win some games) things are a lot more cloudy now. I hear those voices calling for a fresh start all-round, new Coach, new QB, new direction. I hear the draft experts throw Justin Fields and Zac Wilson in as franchise-faces for the future, but I say whoa there, Darnold is 23, has suffered through the ignominy of the Adam Gase era with a quiet respect, and at times he’s shown glimpses of why he was once hailed as “the new Andrew Luck”. He may never be quiet that good, but neither may any of this years draft prospect. The Jets should stick rather than twist, concentrate, instead, on hiring the right coach to bring Darnolds undoubted talent to the fore.

The New England Patriots: So, Cam Newton isn’t the answer, and few people are surprised, but surely no one believed he’d look this bad. Effectively, the Patriots are playing the wildcat formation every week in the hope that Cam will run through some opposing defenders and tack on a TD. He’s only passed for 5 scores! Its certainly not all at Cams door, but his opportunity seems to have sunk with the Pats season, so it needs to be all change for 2021. Currently drafting 14th overall, and with so many holes to fill elsewhere, it seems unlikely that a 1st round remedy is on the cards, the Pats are more likely to turn to the free-agency or trade markets instead. Jimmy G is getting a lot of push as a possible returnee (pro-he knows the system, con-he’s not very robust) but i’d like to see a little more ambition from Bill and co. Matt Stafford deserves a better career than the one he’s carving in Detroit, the Pats will be able to afford him, so lets make it work… now, best get some wide receivers for him to throw to, over to you Bill, ‘cos that’s always been a strong-suit of yours…

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