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2010 NFL- AFC Preview: A Cursory Overview of the Season Ahead

September 12, 2010

AFC North
Baltimore Ravens: They got a whole lot better this offseason with the acquisition's of TJ and Anquan, and this was already a playoff team last year. However, it still won't change the fact that Joe Flacco is absolutely terrible in the playoffs (57-120, 1 TD, 6 INTs, good for the lowest QB rating of any QB who has started 5 games in playoffs). Ravens win division, Flacco blows it in playoffs.
Cincinnati Bengals: I can't wait for Carson Palmer's head to explode. With T.O. added to the mix, this should happen by November.
Cleveland Browns: Look at their roster, is there one player you would want your team to do a straight-up trade for? Center and kick returner, maybe. But that's it and that is why this team will struggle to win 5 games.
Pittsburgh Steelers: I fully expect Dennis Dixon to play great football while Big Ben is grounded, but I'm interested in seeing how the team responds to Big Ben's return. Ben is a winner, but Dixon offers another dimension of skill. If he plays good enough, they will be forced to make a decision in the offseason. Do they stick with their idiotic leader or do they let go of their two-time Super Bowl QB for the chance at something truly special?

AFC East
Buffalo Bills: This team is quickly becoming a fashionable pick. Not to win the Super Bowl or make the playoffs, but to go winless. And I don't see how any one could disagree; Chan Gailey, Trent Edwards, it's all bad news. CJ Spiller needs to live up to the hype and touch the ball approximately 50 times a game for this team to stay competitive. The former is likely, the latter is not. They may as well get it out of the way and sign Jake Locker now.
Miami Dolphins: I just want to note that I hate the Dolphins. It has a little to do with all the girls in my elementary school who knew nothing about football that wore Dolphin Starter jackets, because they were inspired by "Free Willy" and wanted to be Marine Biologists. But moreso because of Mercury Morris and his 1972 teammates, who celebrate when others fail every year. They celebrate even though their schedule was so weak the NFL was forced to implement position scheduling. Every time I see him, I want to destroy. As for the 2010 Dolphins, they could surprise a lot of people, that is until Ronnie Brown gets his annual season ending injury.
New England Patriots: A surly, whiny, Randy Moss running half-speed threw his routes should be fun to watch. Expect the Pats to just miss the playoffs.
New York Jets: The Jets are a talented team, however, I am puzzled by one of their offseason moves. They were ready for the Shonn Greene era to start, so they let go of Thomas Jones since they weren't sure how much longer he could play at a high level. So what do they do? They sign a back who has already shown he doesn't have it all any more and is always dealing with injuries. Makes no sense.

AFC South
Houston Texans: Every year they're supposed to turn the corner and every year they fail, averagely. In a division this deep and a secondary this terrible, I don't see how that changes this year.
Indianapolis Colts: Is a writer lazy for picking the Colts to go to the Super Bowl? I could see the case being made, but it's better to be smart and lazy than dumb. The Colts seem to get better on offense with every offseason, adding more and more weapons for the league's best QB. It may be lazy, but it's an easy bet to lay down.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Can we just get this over with and move them to Los Angeles? Would Jacksonville even notice?
Tennessee Titans: This team is dangerous on offense, well, Chris Johnson and Vince Young are dangerous. The receiving corps still stinks and the reigning 28th ranked defense hasn't improved much, and until that changes they'll contend for the wild card and not much else.

AFC West
Denver Broncos: This could be the worst team in the worst division in the AFC. I don't care how much of a douche Brandon Marshall was/is, you don't rid yourself a player that talented when you have no one to step into that role. And no, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Lloyd are not suitable replacements.
Kansas City Chiefs: This team is starting to come together. A great backfield (Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones) should help their defense, Dexter McCluster should make Matt Cassel's job easier, and Eric Berry instantly becomes the division's best safety. However, they're not quite there, yet. But in a year or two, this could be a very good team.
Oakland Raiders: I get kind of down on myself for being excited about the acquisition of a quarterback that was no longer wanted by a four win team. But then I remember how I felt watching Jamarcus play. This team  could make a run at the division as long as the team is healthy, they run the ball well, and blitz; All long shots, but it's a lot better than relying on Jamarcus.
San Diego Chargers: This will be the AFC's worst division winner. Ryan Matthews will be a beast. Yet with the amount they'll run him, he will be hitting the wall by the time the calendar turns to December. They should be fine without Vincent Jackson, but really need him to be in the lineup to contend. And even if that happens, they still have Norv Turner leading them.


Russ said...

Quick predictions before the season starts:

Jets: 10-6
Patriots: 9-7
Dolphins: 7-9
Bills: 4-12

Colts: 12-4
Titans: 9-7
Texans: 8-8
Jaguars: 5-11

North: See AFC North post

Chargers: 10-6
Raiders: 7-9
Chiefs: 6-10
Broncos: 4-12


Champion: Colts

September 12, 2010 at 12:15 PM
Teach said...

Houston didn't look average yesterday. I wouldn't mind seeing them actually put things together. It would also be fitting from an extended metaphor standpoint--a year after New Orleans wins the Super Bowl the new home of all the Katrina refugees follows suit.

September 13, 2010 at 9:33 PM
Teach said...

also, just out of curiosity, how many qbs have played as many playoff games as early in their careers as Flacco. I feel like he gets criticized somewhat unfairly. Of course, with the receivers he has now--and the experience--there really are no more excuses for poor playoff performances.

September 13, 2010 at 9:34 PM
Langston said...

No, they didn't look average. Most surprising part of it, they did it with Andre Johnson doing relatively nothing, which is scary. However they still gave up 400+ yards through the air, and a secondary that iffy will be a huge factor on if they turn the corner or not.

As for Flacco, he doesn't just have the worst QB rating by a slim margin, it's by 20 plus percentage points. So, until he does it when it matters most, I'll stand by my statement.

September 14, 2010 at 12:20 AM

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