(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

For the past fourteen years, the New England Patriots have been a dominant force in the AFC East. The team has only lost the division twice in that span, including one year without their star quarterback Tom Brady. In 2008 Brady tore his ACL and MCL in week one and missed the remainder of the season, while backup, Matt Cassel, engineered an 11-5 record en route to surprisingly missing the playoffs. There are many factors that have led to their impressive run, but maybe the biggest factor has been the consistent play at the quarterback position.

The other three teams in the division have had a lot of turnover at the position over the years. The Miami Dolphins have gone through over fifteen starting quarterbacks since 2001, starting with Jay Fiedler and ending with the starter for the past three years, Ryan Tannehill. The New York Jets have also had a lot of different starters since 2001. They have gone through just over ten different quarterbacks including one year with Brett Favre and the recent stretch with Mark Sanchez. The Buffalo Bills, like the other three teams, have a list that extends beyond ten starting quarterbacks since Brady took over for New England. Their list features a familiar AFC East name, Drew Bledsoe, and also Ryan Fitzpatrick, who held the position for parts of four seasons before getting released.

All of these teams have tried to replicate what New England has with a stable presence at the position. The team that had the most success was probably the New York Jets who had Mark Sanchez start all but two games from 2009 through 2012. In that time, Sanchez led the Jets to the playoffs twice and both years, to the AFC Championship Game. The Bills tried to have the same success with Ryan Fitzpatrick during the same years. Buffalo, however, could not reach the postseason and eventually decided that a change needed to be made. Ryan Tannehill is entering his fourth year as the Dolphins’ starter and given that he has improved every year, there is no doubt that Miami believes that he can be the team’s franchise quarterback.

Every other team in the AFC East has been trying to compete with New England year in and year out, and one of the reasons why they have not been able to, is the constant turnover at the quarterback position. New England has had an amazing run with Brady as the starter, but sooner than later, the team knows that they will need to start over at the position. The team spent a high draft pick on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo last year with the hope that he can be the next franchise player. There is always a chance that Garoppolo will not pan out, but if the Patriots have learned anything playing in the AFC East, it is that quarterback is one of the most important positions in the game. In this days NFL, having a solid quarterback is vital and only time will tell if the teams in the AFC East will figure out who their franchise quarterbacks will be for the next decade.

Colby Gatz covers the New England Patriots for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @bostonfan_15

https://i0.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/AFCEastQBs_gcdgcz9q_27h7g9fd.jpg?fit=950%2C538&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/AFCEastQBs_gcdgcz9q_27h7g9fd.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Colby GatzAFC EastFootballNew England PatriotsNFLRecent PostsBuffalo Bills,Miami Dolphins,New England Patriots,new england s afc east dominance,New York Jets,NFLFor the past fourteen years, the New England Patriots have been a dominant force in the AFC East. The team has only lost the division twice in that span, including one year without their star quarterback Tom Brady. In 2008 Brady tore his ACL and MCL in week one...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?