The nice thing about this job is that I get to do totally off the wall stuff, like predict which NFL teams are going to make the playoffs. I know there’s a ton of writers out there doing this, most of whom are probably better at it than I am. But if you look around so many unpredictable things happen in an NFL season that nobody has any real shot at getting things right. I guess it happens but I haven’t seen it. So in view of the fact that I’m way out the box here, let’s get started with the AFC.
AFC East – In a glaringly obvious move I’m going to take the New England Patriots to win the division. But where it really gets interesting is the next few teams. The Buffalo Bills could be on the move. I’m not sold yet but from what I’ve seen in preseason they’ve got that fell of an NFL team finding out “Hey, we can win some games!” The Jets are sunk in my opinion. Too much reaction and not enough proactive thought on the part of Rex Ryan. The Dolphins? They’re a year or two away.
AFC North – I’m going against the national grain and picking the Baltimore Ravens. Joe Flacco has a running game and now he’s got this Torrey Smith kid to work in the passing game. I’m smelling trouble with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I don’t care what Roethlisberger and crew say about his arm. he won’t be as effective. The Cincinnati Bengals are plain dysfunctional and the Browns are working with a rookie quarterback and running back. Competitive in some games yes, a contender not yet.
AFC South – Bank on the Houston Texans. they’re returning a very talented and now healthy roster. My only worry is Andre Johnson. A phenomenal talent with a laundry list of physical ailments every season and it’s happening again. But even without Johnson this team can get it done as they proved last season. The Colts will be better but if there’s a Wild card in the division it’s the Jacksonville Jaguars. Forget the Tennessee Titans.
AFC West – I know the popular pick here is Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. But I think their success will be built on the foundation of total incompetence in the rest of the division and not Manning. The Oakland Raiders have yet to shed their loser image in my mind as the ghost of Al Davis megalomania hangs around the franchise. As for the San Diego Chargers, you should expect a strong run and then a rapid fade as usual. By the way check out my annual post about the Chargers labeled Nobody Named Norv. I’m gonna throw in a moderately successful season for the Kansas City Chiefs and a #2 spot in the AFC West