Fri. Feb 21st, 2020

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Rob Weintraub’s 2019 All-AFC East Team

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Nearly forty percent of every team’s schedule is made up of division games. Every coach and player talks about the importance of winning games against division foes. Schemes and personnel are very often tailored to matching up with division opponents. Yet when it comes to naming the best players at season’s end, we never classify them by division. Where are the All-Division teams? This has always mystified me. Colleges name All-Conference teams, why not do likewise for the professional ranks?

Well rest easy, I’ve done it for you, starting with the AFC divisions. Naturally, this being Football Outsiders, our stats are used to justify selections whenever necessary.

OFFENSE

QB: Tom Brady, NE

After finishing fifth, first, and eighth in passing DYAR the last three seasons, Brady fell all the way to 16th in 2019 — and was still easily the best quarterback in the AFC East, though Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t too far behind, in part thanks to his late drive in the regular-season finale that denied the Patriots home-field advantage in the playoffs. Josh Allen was 27th and Sam Darnold 32nd among the 34 eligible passers.

RB: Devin Singletary, BUF
RB: James White, NE

Singletary and Sony Michel were the only two backs in the division to post positive rushing DYAR on the season. Michel’s was low enough that even though White is essentially a slot receiver playing out of the backfield, his contribution in the passing game (fourth among all running backs in receiving DYAR) was enough in this wasteland to make the squad.

WR: John Brown, BUF
WR: DeVante Parker, MIA
WR: Cole Beasley, BUF
TE: Ryan Griffin, NYJ

Oy vey, was the AFC East painful on offense this year. Outside of Parker, who was excellent, the best the division could muster was the “Accidental Homicide Bs” duo of Brown and Beasley. Fifty-one other wideouts topped the best the Jets could offer, Robby Anderson, and Phil Dorsett and Julian Edelman don’t appear until 55 and 56 on the DYAR list. Matters were little better at tight end, where Griffin was the lone player at the position in the division to get into positive DYAR, so his innocuous season captures All-Div honors by default.

OT: Dion Dawkins, BUF
OT: Cody Ford, BUF
OG: Joe Thuney, NE
OG: Shaq Mason, NE
C: Ted Karras, NE

Pats on the interior, Bills out wide, Jets and Fish way back of the pack. Only Thuney had a season worth bragging about, another reason this was the AFC Least when it came to offense.

DEFENSE

DE: Trent Murphy, BUF
DE: John Simon, NE
DT: Lawrence Guy, NE
DT: Danny Shelton, NE

Simon and Guy lined up everywhere in New England’s elastic 3-4, but the team considers Simon an end and Guy a tackle, and we wouldn’t argue with Bill Belichick.

OLB: Kyle Van Noy, NE
OLB: Jamie Collins, NE
ILB: Tremaine Edmunds, BUF
ILB: Dont’a Hightower, NE

Just as with the front four, we have three Pats and a Bill. Will the secondary be any different? The Patriots did have the league’s top pass defense, so…

CB: Stephon Gilmore, NE
CB: Tre’Davious White, BUF
S: Devin McCourty, NE
S: Jamal Adams, NYJ

No! In an upset, a Jet actually makes the team, though let’s remember that Adams was the subject of intense mid-season trade rumors, so he may or may not be a fixture on the AFC East All-Div squad in the future.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Stephen Hauschka, BUF
P: Jake Bailey, NE
RET: Andre Roberts, BUF

Only one player had more punts than Lachlan Edwards of the Jets: incredibly, it was New England’s Bailey. Corey Bojorquez of the Bills was fifth, by the way. Who woulda thunk the Dolphins were, by far, the team that punted the least in the division? Hauschka was the only positive placekicker in the East, another sign of the offensive apocalypse. Braxton Berrios had a good season returning a plethora of punts for the Jets, but Roberts was the more consistent between kickoffs and punts, thus getting the All-Div nod.

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/extra-points/2020/rob-weintraubs-2019-all-afc-east-team

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