Jim Kelly: 'Something's Wrong' If Bills Don't Win AFC East with Tom Brady Gone

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2020

Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly walks on the field before an NFL football game between the Bills and the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

Former Buffalo Bills star quarterback Jim Kelly said Tuesday he expects the team to win its first AFC East division title since 1995 after Tom Brady's departure from the New England Patriots.

Kelly, who guided the Bills to that 1995 division crown, explained his outlook for the 2020 season during an appearance on The Zach Gelb Show (via Nick Wojton, of Bills Wire).

"If they don't, then something's wrong," he said. "Tom Brady is not there to block you anymore, so that, to me, is huge."

Brady dominated the Bills during his time in New England. He led the Pats to a 32-3 record across 35 appearances against Buffalo with 70 passing touchdowns in those games.

The six-time Super Bowl champion's decision to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers combined with an upgraded Bills roster following a 10-6 season, puts Buffalo in the driver's seat, according to Kelly. He also praised the progress being made by the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, per Wojton:

"Now that Brady is gone, I definitely do think that the Bills are the team to beat, even though you look at the Jets, they're getting better, Miami and Tua [Tagovailoa] coming in. I think they're going to be better. And of course, Belichick is going to have New England ready to play. We'll see what happens at the quarterback position in New England, but right now, there's no doubt that the Bills are probably favored to win the AFC East and if they don't, then they must have some serious injuries because they have all the ingredients it takes to move on in the playoffs."

The Bills acquired No. 1 receiver Stefon Diggs in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings, signed several notable defensive players (Mario Addison, Josh Norman and A.J. Klein) in free agency to bolster their third-ranked defense and selected defensive end A.J. Epenesa in the second round.

Caesars Palace has installed Buffalo and New England as the co-favorites (+120) in the AFC with the Jets and Dolphins lagging behind (+800).

The Bills' first meeting with the new-look Patriots is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Week 8 of the 2020 season.