Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs

Rob Weintraub's 2020 All-AFC East Team

The first goal every NFL team sets is to win its division. How those eight fratricidal battles shake out usually determines team success in any given season. Yet postseason laurels are broken down by conference, if at all. That never made sense to me—even college football selects all-conference teams. Why don't the pros anoint the best each division has to offer?

Well, now they do. The All-Division teams continue with the AFC East.

OFFENSE

QB: Josh Allen, BUF

After finishing 33rd and 28th in DYAR his first two seasons, Allen blasted to fourth in 2020, an Atlas rocket level of upward thrust that captured the first AFC East All-Div quarterback slot AB (After Brady).

RB: Damien Harris, NE
RB: Zach Moss, BUF

Pretty slim pickings at the position, leaving a couple of decent but hardly spectacular youngsters for the All-Div team.

WR: Stefon Diggs, BUF
WR: Cole Beasley, BUF
WR: DeVante Parker, MIA
TE: Mike Gesicki, MIA

The top four divisional wideouts in efficiency were all Bills, including Gabriel Davis and John Brown. But Parker had nearly as many targets as those two combined (114 for Davis and Brown, 103 for Parker) without Josh Allen slinging it to him. Gesicki had a breakout season in his third campaign, going from -70 and -51 DYAR in his first two years to 109 in 2020.

OT: Daryl Williams, BUF
OT: Michael Onwenu, NE
OG: Joe Thuney, NE
OG: Shaq Mason, NE
C: Mitch Morse, BUF

Especially earned reward for Onwenu, the rookie guard who kicked out to right tackle in a pinch and excelled (just 13 blown blocks). Line play in Miami and New York was mostly poor, though first-round rookie tackles Mekhi Becton and Austin Jackson showed promise … not as much as the sixth-rounder Onwenu, but promise. Morse had his issues in 2020 but still was the best center among a weak crop.

DEFENSE

ER: Emmanuel Ogbah, MIA
ER: Chase Winovich, NE
DL: Quinnen Williams, NYJ
DL: Lawrence Guy, NE

Ogbah was reborn in South Beach, tying for third in the entire league in pressures. Winovich quietly was on top of the enemy passer all season as well, with more sacks and pressures (38 to 30) than Buffalo's Jerry Hughes. Big Q's seven sacks nudges him past Ed Oliver of the Bills and Miami rookie behemoth Raekwon Davis on the interior.

LB: Kyle Van Noy, MIA
LB: Tremaine Edmunds, BUF
LB: Jerome Baker, MIA

Not a huge amount of distinction between the three starters and near-misses A.J. Klein of Buffalo and the Jets' Neville Hewitt, with roughly the same number of missed tackles among them. Baker's versatility (70 tackles and seven sacks) outweighed Hewitt's larger number of tackles.

CB: Xavien Howard, MIA
CB: J.C. Jackson, NE
CB: Tre'Davious White, BUF
S: Marcus Maye, NYJ
S: Bobby McCain, MIA

The X-Man's mutant-level 10 picks made him a cinch. Stephon Gilmore's injuries and respect level meant J.C. Jackson got the action from enemy passers, and in 69 targets he came away with nine interceptions. McCain got the nod over a host of similar safeties thanks to a strong season limiting yards after the catch.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Jason Sanders, MIA
P: Jake Bailey, NE
RET: Gunner Olszewski, NE

The AFC East saw high-quality special teams play with three of the top six teams in DVOA. (New England was on top, Miami fourth, Buffalo sixth. The Jets were … 29th.) Sanders was among the best kickers in the league. Bailey was the best punter in the NFL by our numbers; among other feats, Bailey allowed the fewest return yards on his punts, and only Michael Dickson of Seattle downed more kicks inside the 20. Meanwhile, (perfect name for a special teamer) Gunner tips out Buffalo's Andre Roberts for the returner spot thanks to his punt return dominance, which was often New England's best offense.

Comments

7 comments, Last at 10 Mar 2021, 5:28pm

1 Not really...

Not really the perfect name for a special teamer, because Gunner Olszewski doesn't actually play as the gunner...

6 Awww! Next you'll be telling me...

In reply to by MJK

... that NFL players named Larry Centers and Patrick Pass were actually fullbacks!

Oh, wait.  Never mind. :-)

(But hey, at least Chuck Long *did* play quarterback, as is proper.)

3 Those RBs doe...

Also KVN makes it here...after being cut. IDK why Miami did that. It's not like they were strapped. 

4 I can't count

In this series I keep seeing "eight fratricidal battles." What is this counting? Doesn't each team only play six division games?