Seeing as how we are now closing in on the month of June and most teams are currently conducting or have already conducted their offseason OTAs, what better time than to stick my neck out and make some (very, very) early pre-season predictions?
Since rosters are still at their pre-season maximums with many cuts to come, there’s really no sense in trying to make in-depth analyses, though I will add a few thoughts here and there.
All this right now is pretty much just throwing darts at a board. It’s really based on just a spot analysis of each team’s schedule combined with how I feel each team will be this year and what I know of them last year. Again, since there’s still so much that can change between now and September 5, I didn’t see a real need to do massive research yet.
This post will be for my AFC division and playoff predictions, with the NFC predictions to come later. As always, I welcome comments/criticisms/insults. I have a pretty thick skin; I just ask that if you’re going to rip me a new one, please at least give me some hard facts to back it up with. The best comments could get some love on my Twitter feed, so if you aren’t on Twitter or don’t follow me yet, do so – @expertfan1.
(Authors note: This is a VERY fluid prediction. It WILL change by the time the season starts.)
Look for a repeat here as New England goes for a fourth straight division title (and nine of the last eleven). Buffalo should improve greatly this year, especially on defense. But it won’t be enough to catch Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
- New England Patriots – 12-4
- Buffalo Bills – 10-6
- New York Jets – 9-7
- Miami Dolphins – 4-12
As a Colts fan (and lead iSportsWeb lead Colts correspondent) one might be quick to assume I’ve jumped the ship with Peyton Manning. Not so. It’s just that the Broncos have more around them overall than any of the other teams in the division at this point.
- Denver Broncos – 12-4
- San Diego Chargers – 9-7
- Oakland Raiders – 8-8
- Kansas City Chiefs – 6-10
Baltimore was one dropped passed away from reaching Super Bowl XLVI. The sting of that loss will be a huge motivation for this team. That combined with the Steelers change in offense and somewhat aging defense equals another division title for B-Town.
- Baltimore Ravens – 12-4
- Pittsburgh Steelers – 11-5
- Cincinnati Bengals – 7-9
- Cleveland Browns – 4-12
What was once one of the more competitive divisions in the NFL has now become one hot mess. The Texans should sweep the division easily. The Colts should finish with a better record than most expect.
- Houston Texans – 12-4
- Indianapolis Colts- 5-11
- Tennessee Titans – 4-12
- Jacksonville Jaguars – 3-13
1st Round Byes: Houston, Baltimore
AFC Championship: Baltimore vs. Denver
AFC Champion: Baltimore, 28-17
AFC MVP Candidates: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ray Rice
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