New England Patriots
The defending champs will start slow, really slow, in Brady’s absence.
I say the Pats get out of the gate 1-3 or 2-2, but end up 11-5 AFC Champs with ‘Tom the Terrific’ back at the helm. The window however is still closing on New England, just not in the division.
This could be Rex Ryan’s last hurrah as a head coach if the Bills don’t make the playoffs.
He’s brought in his brother, Rob, to head up the defensive side of the football and has given the keys completely to QB Tyrod Taylor to direct the offence.
It’s all in for the Bills this season, and it will turn out to be a good bet. Loaded on offence and defence, the Bills will push the Pats for the division, finally settling on 10-6 and potentially an AFC wildcard playoff berth, depending on the playoff mathematics and conference tie breakers.
New York Jets
The Jets are definitely a contender and Head Coach Todd Bowles will have the defence primed weekly, which will keep the Jets in the hunt. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick must shake off the rust brought on by an off-season contract hold out or the offence will sputter, new RB Matt Forte and all.
If Fitzpatrick finds some WD40 the Jets will be in the thick of things right down to the wire, until the the Jets’ infamous ‘bad luck’ strikes and they will end up third just out of the post-season.
10-6, unlucky victim of playoff mathematics and tie breakers, out of the playoffs.
At the bottom of the pool where pond scum belongs!
That is all!
If - and a big if at that - the big B’s, Ben, Brown and Bell, stay healthy, and a talented younger defence holds firm, 12-4 AFC North Champions.
Despite losing Offensive Co-ordinator Hue Jackson to the Head Coaching position in Cleveland, the Bengals still boast several weapons on offence.
A J Green, Andy Dalton, Jeremy Hill, Gio Bernard and Tyler Eifert will score points in bunches. Add a stout defensive unit which creates ample opportunities for turnovers.
11-5 AFC wildcard.
Too many questions at too many key positions on both sides of the football for me to even guess!
We’ve all got to watch this hand play itself out.
9-7 maybe? Or 10-6? Or 8-8? The Ravens are that much of a roller coaster!
New Head Coach Hue Jackson will have the Browns ready to play every Sunday, and they won’t be an easy pushover on the schedule any more.
The Browns will be exciting on offence with RG3, Duke Johnson, Josh Gordon, Terell Pryor and Corey Coleman running around and hauling in passes from RG3, but that’s about it.
The defence needs work - and it’s the Browns after all.
6-10 but on the upswing.
A new retooled offence, QB Brock Osweiler, RB Lamar Miller, along with rookie additions WR Wil Fuller and WR Braxton Miller to go along with J J Watt and that ‘lights out’ Texans defence, 11-5 AFC South Champions, holding off a furious charge from the Colts at the wire.
It was hard to not pick the Colts to regain division dominance.
With a healthy QB Andrew Luck back at the controls, along with ageless RB Frank Gore and WR’s TY Hilton and Donte Moncrief, the Colts offence will be clicking, keeping the Colts in every game. It’s the defence that will betray them in the long run.
11-5 losing out on division records to the Texans. AFC wildcard with some conference tie breakers and playoff mathematics.
Loaded with young talent on both sides of the ball, it’s up to the young Jags to take the leap!
One more year of baby steps due to growing pains, maybe a year or two away from being a juggernaut.
9-7 and a very tough opponent to division foes.
Watching DeMarco Murray and rookie Derrick Henry run the football smash mouth style is going to be fun, but more Mariota growing pains at QB and youthful mistakes keep the Titans grounded.
6-10 and looking toward the Draft.
The daunting Denver defence rises to the challenge, protecting the new starting rookie QB and the rest of the offence.
11-5. No Super Bowl repeat, but definitely another AFC West division championship.
The maturation on offence continues for the Raiders. QB Derek Carr, RB Latavius Murray and WR Amari Cooper take it to the next level.
All world LB Kalil Mack leads a young, nasty, talented defence to go with the young talented offence.
10-6 and a strong wildcard contender.
Kansas City Chiefs
Ghosts of injuries past and ghosts of injuries present, not to mention ghosts of injuries future, on both sides of the ball, has the Chiefs ‘hamstrung’.
9-7, no repeat of last year, out of the playoffs.
San Diego Chargers
Go, go, go ‘Super Chargers’ ... Not!
7-9 out of the playoffs. QB Philip Rivers continues to be a fantasy football sure bet though.
1 Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC North Winner)
2 New England Patriots (AFC East Winner)
3 Denver Broncos (AFC West Winner)
4 Houston Texans (AFC South Winner)
Wildcards: 5 Indianapolis Colts, 6 Oakland Raiders