Cleat Geeks

2016 AFC Predictions

After months of counting down, the first Sunday of play is starting. We’ve all had plenty of time to follow roster moves and watch as these teams come together for the 2017 season. So now the time has come to make things official and make predictions known to the world. Looking at the AFC, this is a very interesting conference to judge. They have a year in and year out power in the Patriots, up and coming teams like the Raiders and Jags and of course the defending champion Broncos. Here’s how I see things playing out in the AFC in the 2016 season. (playoff teams in bold)afcnorth

AFC North

Cincy – 11-5

Pitt – 9-7

Bal -8-8

Cle – 2-14

This might be the toughest division in the NFL. The Bengals are a legitimate Super Bowl contender and more depth than anyone in the NFL. The Steelers are always right in the mix and I don’t expect this year to be any different with the talent they have on offense. Really, I can say the exact same thing about the Ravens and their defense. Between the two of them they’d have a complete, powerhouse team. The Browns….well lets just say it’s a good thing they’ve been stock pilling draft picks.afceast

AFC East

NE – 10-6

NYJ – 7-9

Mia – 6-10

Buf – 5-11

Overall, I have not seen much improvement from this group since the end of last season. The Patriots are missing Tom Brady for four games, the Jets lost their all pro caliber running back from last year and the other two teams just don’t have a lot to work with. I think the Pats run away with thing after Brady returns. Perhaps if Rex Ryan stops trying to fit square pegs in round holes on defense he can save his job, but I don’t see that happening.afc-south

AFC South

Hou – 11-5

Jax – 8-8

Indy – 7-9

Ten – 5-11

Houston looks like one of the top teams in the AFC this year. With what they’ve added on offense with what they have coming back on defense, I would be a fool to pick against them in a weak, although improving, AFC South. The Jags have talent, but they’re so young and I believe they need another year. The Colts aren’t good, but they’ll get at least three wins in their division and I believe that Andrew Luck will cover up a lot of their flaws. The Titans have a running game now…..and that’s about it.

AFC Westafcwest

KC – 10-6

Oak – 9-7

Den – 9-7

SD – 4-12

The west is the Class of the AFC with three teams who could realistically win the division. Between coaching, defense and offensive consistency, I feel most comfortable putting my money on Kansas City. The defending champs return most of their great defense, so I can’t rule them out, but I can’t pick them either because of their awful offense. The Raiders are a team on the rise with a nasty pass rush and a good young QB. I wouldn’t be cincinnati-bengals-3dwallpapershocked at all to see them break through this year. The Chargers are in for a world of hurt this year.

 

If I were to pick one team, before the season starts, to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, I would probably pick the Bengals. The talent and depth of their defense is as good as anyone in the NFL. Pair that with a strong running game and one of the best WR’s in the game and it’s really hard to pick against Cincinnati. I know many people will count out the Bengals because they don’t believe in Andy Dalton and that’s fair to a degree. However, all the other parts of this team look so good that I think average Andy will be good enough to get this team to the biggest stage in the game.

 

 

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