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2016 playoff predictions: AFC East

On the cusp of the 2016 NFL season, our analysts provide their picks for the major individual awards and playoff predictions for each conference. Check back Friday to see Championship Sunday/Super Bowl forecasts.


Judy Battista: New England Patriots. Why do we still have this category? Let me know when Bill Belichick and Tom Brady retire and I'll consider other possibilities.

Jeffri Chadiha: Patriots. The Patriots will miss Tom Brady for the first month of the season. Unfortunately for their opponents, that won't be enough to end New England's reign.

Gil Brandt: Patriots. The best-coached team in football will win the division for the 14th time in 16 seasons.

Brian Billick: Patriots. The Patriots will play two divisional opponents while Brady serves his four-game suspension, but at the end of the year, it won't matter. New England is still the class of the AFC East and it's not really even that close.

Gregg Rosenthal: Patriots. It's underrated how the Gronkowski-era Patriots have been so much better than the pre-Gronk era Patriots, at least in the regular season.

Willie McGinest: Patriots.Jimmy Garoppolo will put the Pats in a good position through four weeks. Then Tom Brady takes over and we all know how this story ends.

Adam Schein: Patriots. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Again. Pats will go 3-1 with Jimmy Garoppolo and then Brady goes on the greatest "Remember Me?" tour in sports history.

Bucky Brooks: Patriots. The Patriots continue to do what they do on their way to another division crown behind an unstoppable tandem (Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett) at tight end.

Elliot Harrison: Patriots. Even with Tom Brady out four games, there are too many issues for the Jets, Bills and Dolphins. Thought Buffalo was the top contender until they lost Reggie Ragland to injury and Marcell Dareus to suspension.

David Carr: Patriots. Who is the last quarterback to win this division not named Tom Brady? Chad Pennington in 2008, a year when Brady was injured. I rest my case.

Charley Casserly: Patriots. Despite Brady missing the first four games, they still win the division.

Ike Taylor: Patriots. The Jets will make a push, but this is still Tom Brady's division.

Dave Dameshek: Patriots. As it's been since the dawn of mankind ... and as it will remain (at least) until Tom Brady retires. (13-3, No. 1 seed)

Chris Wesseling: Patriots. The offense will be a juggernaut once Tom Brady returns from suspension to treat the AFC East like Sherman treated the South.

Colleen Wolfe: Patriots. We shouldn't even bother picking this one anymore. It should be an autofill category.

Heath Evans: Patriots. It wouldn't be very smart to pick against the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady combo.

Marcas Grant: Patriots. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. Things will remain status quo in the AFC East.

Adam Rank: Patriots. Are teams really getting closer to the Patriots? Nope.

Alex Gelhar: Patriots. Until another team proves worthy, I'll pick Tom Brady and Bill Belichick to win this division every year.

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