The AFC for the last 15 years or so has been the more powerful conference in the NFL and their was lots of intrigue when it came to those division winners. But now it boasts the two weakest divisions in football and some dynasties in decay. We have the Patriots still killing it in their division even though they have been dealt a murderous blow with the Aaron Hernandez situation and Rob Gronkowski’s inability to stay healthy. The Steelers are in flux with big losses on defence and offence. Finally the Chargers may have the worst team in the conference if it wasn’t for the Raiders.
North: Winners Cincinnati
The AFC North is a strange place full of dangerous teams who all have major flaws. The Superbowl Champs and should-be favourites Baltimore Ravens have taken a step back between the retirements of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and the departures of about 5 noteworthy defensive starters. I bet Joe Flacco wonders what it’s like to play for a real defending championship team*. The Pittsburg Stealers are always dangerous and if they can keep Big Ben from being put through the Thunderdome every time he drops back to pass they could be dangerous again. The Cincinnati Bengals are going to win this division because their glaring flaws do not glare as brightly as everyone else and I like their defence a lot. My Cleveland Browns may approach respectability, sadly they play in the best division in the AFC so they will probably be in the vicinity of the basement. I love their defence and I think Brandon Weeden is better than most people believe.
South: Winners Houston
The Texans will run away with this division because the Colts are going to regress in a big way, the Titans are going to show promise but ultimately going to lose more games than they win and the Jaguars are terrible** Could this be the shortest analysis in I will do today? Yes but it’s only because Arian Foster is a vegan that I put no meat on this preview’s bones.
East: Winners New England
In the AFC East we have the most overanalyzed team that may only win three games in the history of the league. Will Rex Ryan get canned this year? How bad is Mark Sanchez? Why is anyone asking these questions? The Jets suck and their coach sucks and Mark Sanchez sucks and we know this because they are a major market team. The Buffalo Bills lived through a 6 day Matt Leinhart era where they went through all of the stages of grieving in fast forward, they will be respectable-ish. The Miami Dolphins added some pieces but I cannot take that team seriously after last years embarrassing hard knocks season. Here is how bad this division is. The Patriots players could all choose to kill someone, some would get away with it and live their lives in fear but also comfort, some would be caught but get off because of shoddy police work, and some would be dumb enough to keep the murder weapon and get neck tattoos. With all of this happening they would still win this division.
West: Winners Denver
The AFC West is the best proof you could find that there is a conspiracy to have Peyton Manning in the NFL playoffs. Who are his competition right now? Alex Smith, Andy Reid and the Chiefs? Really? That is all you got? How about the Raiders? Nope they are horrible. The San Diego Chargers have been good for a few years, they have talent right? Nope…not really. The only way this division gets interesting is if Manning’s neck falls off and Tim Tebow is brought back to lead the Broncos to the playoffs and every NFL analyst spontaneously commits suicide. While, I the greatest football prognosticator in the world gets to wear a loud pastel coloured paisley tie on ESPN.
*Either that or he kept saying, “What the fuck did I do?” every time another defensive started up and left for more money.
**But I will wager less terrible than Oakland, San Diego or The Jets.