2022 Training Camp Preview: AFC East

For the 2022-23 NFL season, the Green Bay Packers and the NFC North division drew the AFC East division for their league crossover. By welcoming the New England Patriots and New York Jets for October home games, the Packers then have to travel to face the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins for their other AFC opponents.

Buffalo Bills

2021 Record – 11-6

As long as Josh Allen is under center for the Buffalo Bills (which looks to be for a very long time), this team will consistently be at or near the top of the AFC standings. With Allen the clear-cut choice at QB amongst all four divisional starters, they could be the team to beat this season.

Outside of Allen, Stefon Diggs has a great connection with his QB, a solid OL keeps Allen upright, and a three-headed group at RB (Devin Singletary, James Cook, Zach Moss) helps take some pressure off their QB in running situations.

Old friend Micah Hyde is still patrolling center field for the Bills on defense, TreDavious White and newcomer Von Miller are two core pieces that support this unit, and plenty of pass-rush depth makes them dangerous on both sides of the ball.

Buffalo will present a tough test for Green Bay during Sunday Night Football on Week 8, potentially acting as an early postseason test.

Miami Dolphins

2021 Record – 9-8

Having been on the receiving end of the surprise Tyreek Hill trade, the Miami Dolphins look primed for a breakout season. With first-year head coach Mike McDaniel coming over from the 49ers, the offense likely will incorporate some elements from that run-focused attack.

The Packers will have a warm Christmas this year, as they will be in Miami for an afternoon Christmas Day game, which will put them on primetime across the United States.

In all likelihood, this matchup will be integral for both team’s postseason chances (since it is in Week 16), so seeing Aaron Rodgers try and go after Xavien Howard, while Jaire Alexander is tasked with shutting down Hill will make for an intriguing game.

New England Patriots

2021 Record – 10-7

Led by second-year QB Mac Jones, the Patriots will help kick off the month of October in a mid-afternoon home affair at Lambeau Field.

Jones has a pretty solid group of skill players around him, as offseason acquisition DeVante Parker joins a pass-catcher group alongside Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Kendrick Bourne, and Jakobi Meyers. Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, and James White are the main RBs behind Jones, making for a competent offensive attack.

HC Bill Belichick still has a competent defensive unit, but with the departure of Stephon Gilmore after the 2020 season, they have been without a shutdown veteran in their secondary. This team will compete for the postseason yet again, but still seem to be a piece or two short of a bonafide threat.

New York Jets

2021 Record – 4-13

The putrid 2021-22 season for the Jets came to a close with growing pains all around, especially with rookie QB Zach Wilson. The BYU product struggled mightily after having been the second overall selection, but with a revamped offense around him, the stars could align for Wilson to have a strong sophomore season.

The Jets used one of their 1st-round selections on Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson, who will pair up with upstart youngster Elijah Moore to form a sneaky-good WR core. Pairing Michael Carter with Breece Hall acts like a 1-2 punch in the backfield, helping solidify their rushing attack.

Defensively, they used their other 1st rounder on Cincinnati’s Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, who made a name for himself for not allowing a TD in over 1,000 career coverage snaps. If he pans out, then the Jets may have another shutdown CB on their hands, harkening back to the Revis Island days.

The Bills and Patriots are the two established teams vying for the postseason, the Dolphins should finally be back in the playoff hunt, and the Jets are just trying to find the right mix of rookies to help jumpstart their rebuild. This division will present a challenge for the Packers, something that they will need this season.

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Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23

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