Predicting AFC East Standings: Will the NY Jets win the division in 2024?

We predict where the Jets will finish in the AFC East in 2024
Sauce Gardner
Sauce Gardner / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

It has been a long, long.... long time since the NY Jets won the AFC East — 22 years to be exact. All three AFC East rivals have won the division at least one time during that span. The second longest drought in the division is the Miami Dolphins at 16 years.

2024 may be the Jets best opportunity to win the division since they last did in 2002. Even last season, with all the hype, the Buffalo Bills were definitely the better overall team. And even during the Rex Ryan era, the Jets had to compete with the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick-led Patriots. This season, the path is more clear than ever.

Despite such high hopes, the Jets are not the odds-on-favorite to win the division. Most betting outlets still have the Bills as the favorites to win the AFC East with the Jets and Miami Dolphins close behind.

So will the Jets exceed expectations and win the AFC East for the first time since George W. Bush's first term, or will they fall short as predicted by oddsmakers? Let's predict the final standings, beginning with last place.

4. New England Patriots

  • Prediction: 4-13

No surprise here. The New England Patriots, who dominated the division for much of the Jets' long drought, have not finished in first place since 2019. Unfortunately for Patriots fans, 2024 will not break that streak.

The Patriots have weaknesses up and down their depth chart. In fact, they have very few strengths at all. At quarterback, they are relying on either journeyman Jacoby Brissett or unproven rookie Drake Maye. And in terms of good weapons around them, there is little to speak of.

They will be led by first-time head coach, and former player turned assistant, Jerod Mayo. Many in NFL circles, especially those in New England, are high on Mayo's prospects moving forward. For this season, though, there are sure to be some growing pains.

Their defense wasn't completely futile last season, finishing 15th overall. That is their most hopeful unit for sure, but with an over/under of 4.5 games (which feels generous), they will not be a threat to any of the other three AFC East squads.

3. Miami Dolphins

  • Prediction: 10-7

So far, we are in lock-step with the oddsmakers. The Miami Dolphins are a really good team, with an outstanding offense. They have a very solid young QB in Tua Tagovailoa.

They have elite weapons on the outside in wide receivers Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and the newly acquired Odell Beckham Jr. At running back, they have an excellent one-two-punch in Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane. In 2023, they finished second in overall team offense.

Their defense is what will hold them back. In 2023 they finished 22nd in overall team defense. In 2024, they are left with more questions than answers.

The addition of veteran cornerback Kendall Fuller to pair with Jalen Ramsey will improve their secondary, but they still lack depth in that unit. With pass rushers Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb injured, and the loss of interior lineman Christian Wilkins, the rest of their defense is one big question mark.

They hope that new additions in Fuller and linebacker Jordyn Brooks will breed more success, but their injury woes leave room for a lot of struggles early on.

The Dolphins will win a lot of games due to their explosive offensive production, but they will lose enough games on the defensive end that the Bills and Jets should finish ahead of them in the standings.

2. Buffalo Bills

  • Prediction: 11-6

Last year, the Buffalo Bills finished with the same 11-6 record. They reached the divisional round of the playoffs where they (surprise-surprise) lost to Patrick Mahomes' Kansas City Chiefs in a heartbreaker. Have you heard that sentence before?

This season, much of their team remains the same. Despite the losses of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, the latter of whom they still may re-sign, the defense looks to be pretty stout. Finishing fourth in 2023, the Bills should stay amongst the NFL's elite defenses.

With James Cook returning, and an offensive line that remains mostly unchanged, their running game should be solid again. Buffalo's passing offense is where there could be a drop-off.

Josh Allen is one of the two or three best quarterbacks in the NFL. He is already one of the greatest dual-threat QBs the league has ever seen. It would be disrespectful to say that the Bills passing offense will struggle.

But, with the loss of both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis at wide receiver, there is no way that they will be quite as explosive as last year.

To replace the production of Diggs and Davis, they will be relying on Khalil Shakir. who has never eclipsed 40 receptions, Curtis Samuel, who is solid but certainly not a No. 1 receiver, and the much-maligned Marquez Valdes-Scantling. This is not a recipe for great success.

The Bills will win games with a good defense, good rushing attack, and outstanding QB play, but they won't dominate games in the air the way they did previously. There will be times when good run-defenses stymie them, and their lack of weapons on the outside thwart their ability to respond on the passing side.

With a tough schedule, in a tough division, you can pencil them in for a handful of losses and a second-place finish.

1. NY Jets

  • Prediction: 12-5

The Jets enter 2024 with the fourth easiest strength of schedule. They are challenged, however, by a slew of primetime night games. Despite that, I expect the Jets to take advantage of the schedule and finally conquer the AFC East.

There aren't many holes on the Jets depth chart. They have an elite defense. Their secondary should be amongst the best. Their pass defense was No. 2 last year, and with an improved pass rush, if Hasson Reddick ever joins the team, I expect that pass defense to remain dominant.

Leki Fotu, Solomon Thomas, and Javon Kinlaw should solidify their interior, and C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams remain one of the elite linebacker corps in all of football.

On the offensive side, Aaron Rodgers should have a field day using wide receivers Mike Williams and Garret Wilson, along with rookie Malachi Corley. And, of course, he has his best friend, Allen Lazard (if Lazard makes it to opening day). With an improved offensive line blocking for Breece Hall, the rushing attack should play off of Rodgers' passing attack seamlessly.

You have to figure that between their two games against both Buffalo and Miami, they will split those, and then there are a couple of tough road matchups (I'm staring directly at the San Francisco 49ers game), and the typical fluke loss that every good team has.

So 12-5 sounds like a fair conclusion for this year. Expect the Jets to blow well past their pre-season over/under set at 9.5 wins. With dominant units all over the field, 2024 should be the year the Jets end the drought and finally win the AFC East.