With Tom Brady gone, Isaiah McKenzie believes it's the Bills' time to 'take over' in the AFC East
With Tom Brady gone, is the AFC East now the Bills' to lose?
Tom Brady's decision to leave the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was one that shocked the NFL world. While fans of the Buccaneers are clearly excited for what 2020 will bring, you can make the argument that Brady's former rivals in the AFC East are even more excited by this development.
The Patriots have won the division 11 years in a row, and without arguably the greatest player of all time, it appears that streak could be broken this season. The New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills are all chomping at the bit for the chance to become the new divisional powerhouse, but it's the Bills who appear to have the best chance -- especially when it comes to winning the division in 2020.
Sean McDermott led the Bills to a 10-6 record in 2019 -- which was their best season since 1999. While they blew a 16-0 lead in the wild-card matchup against the Houston Texans, it was clear that this team had made major strides and possessed young talent on both sides of the ball. Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie said he cheered when Brady announced he was leaving the Patriots, because it meant that the Bills now had a great chance to take over the division.
"It's a great situation," McKenzie told Thad Brown of WROC-TV. "I cheered (Brady's departure), because he's a great player. You can't take that away from him. Him leaving, our team is stacked. The last two years we've been giving him a run for his money, but now that he's gone, it's going to be the Bills time to take over."
The Bills have lost their last six games against the Patriots, but they lost by single digits in both of their two matchups last season. Buffalo had the No. 3 defense in the league last year when it came to yards per game, and they rode that unit all the way to the playoffs. While they lost Shaq Lawson and Lorenzo Alexander this offseason, they gained players like Mario Addison, Quinton Jefferson and Vernon Butler. The Bills also made a big trade for former Minnesota Vikings star wideout Stefon Diggs, who should help Josh Allen and this offense as a whole take their game to the next level.
While they have only recorded one double-digit win season in the past 20 years, Buffalo has a chance to make it two in a row in 2020. Out of any team poised to take over for the Patriots in the AFC East, it appears to be the Bills.
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