New York sportswriter forecasts Jets could take over Patriots as the force in the AFC East

"The next HC of NYJ will be in position to deliver a jarring blow to the Evil Empire."

Sam Darnold scrambles away from the Texans during a game on Dec. 15.

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Though 41-year-old Tom Brady has offered answers to his status beyond this season, the Patriots’ continued dominance has been called into question. In a week when New England clinched its 10th consecutive AFC East title, hope appears to be rising among one of its rivals.

According to New York Daily News writer Manish Mehta, the Jets are optimistic about succeeding the Patriots as the regional power. Of course, New York is currently 4-11, in the midst of a third straight losing season. But the Jets possess a talented rookie quarterback who is two decades younger than Brady.

“The Jets are at watershed moment,” wrote Mehta. “The possibilities are endless. This is their chance to make true in-roads to grab control away from their mortal enemies. With a 21-year-old franchise quarterback, more than $100 million in salary cap space and a Top 3 pick in the upcoming draft, the next HC of NYJ will be in position to deliver a jarring blow to the Evil Empire.”

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The other reason optimism in New York is also due to the performance of Brady and the 2018 Patriots as a whole.

“This is not your older brother’s Evil Empire,” quipped Mehta.

“The Patriots haven’t collapsed just yet, but there’s a feeling in league circles that their inevitable demise will make the Jets’ impending head coaching vacancy extremely enticing.”

According to the Daily News, an unnamed coach described that he would “love” to replace current Jets coach Todd Bowles.

“The Jets are poised to take over that division,” said the coach. “Brady’s time is short.”

The Patriots’ current run of dominance over the AFC East is unprecedented. New England’s 10 division titles in a row doubles the previous record, held by an earlier version of the Brady-Belichick Patriots (2003-2007) and Don Shula’s Dolphins (1981-1985).