Which AFC teams will win their Division? Patriots? Steelers?
Sunday’s here — you know what that means. It’s football time yet again, and today I’m sharing with you my predictions on which teams are likely to win each division in the AFC, based on their performances so far this season as we plow forward into week six. With a slew of great games on the docket for today, sit back, grab a drink, and enjoy:
AFC East — Patriots/Bills
Honestly, I don’t have a large enough sample size to judge these teams accurately, but at this point, I think it’s a toss-up for the division.
Josh Allen had been looking like he was in the MVP race until the Bills fell off the wagon against the Titans. Admittedly, their defense has some key pieces missing, but even still they just don’t seem to be the same beast they were last year. The Bills abysmal performance against Tennessee could be chalked up to facing one of the best teams in the league — there are still plenty of bright spots in their season so far that lead me to believe they’ll be a serious contender for the division.
The Patriots, on the other hand, have a wide receiver core in shambles, lost a heartbreaker to the Seahawks, and do not have a kicker. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Bills fair against the Chiefs, since the Patriots took an L in their KC matchup, though in all fairness they lost that game missing Cam, and their defense was able to contain Mahomes.
Usually, in toss-ups, I place more faith in the team with the better coach, so all bias aside I’ll give a slight edge in this one to the GOAT, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots.
AFC West — Kansas City Chiefs
Their half a billion-dollar quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, just picked up another weapon in Le’Veon Bell, a nice cherry-on-top addition to an already stacked offense.
While they did just suffer an unfortunate loss to the Raiders, it wasn’t enough to sell me on the narrative that the Chiefs are not still the Super Bowl favorite in the AFC. Their defense did look pretty atrocious against Derek Carr but it’s solid enough to give Mahomes a chance to win games.
Tough looks to all Clyde Edwards-Helaire owners in fantasy but hopefully, he is still the go-to back in the RedZone — Bell’s addition to the Chief’s offense makes them even more formidable as a division contender. And really, the competition doesn’t look so fierce — aside from the Raiders, the division holds more promise for the future with a slew of teams with young talent. This year, however, the Chargers/Broncos are just not playoff-caliber.
AFC North — Steelers
The Steel Curtain is back and its star is T.J. Watt: an athletic freak that leads one of the best pass rushes in football. Big Ben is looking like he can turn water into wine with another young wide receiver in Claypool — this disciple began to really shine last week with 3 TDs.
The Steelers defense, however, is the true star of the show — they’ve been known to haunt opposing quarterbacks’ nightmares with flashbacks to the amount of pressure they put on during the game and the speed with which they smother quarterbacks in the pocket. RIP.
I know, I know what you’re thinking… what about Lamar? My response to you would be T.J. Watt on a QB spy should hold him in check, while Pittsburgh’s offense (no longer led by a wounded Duck) should put up enough points to win what would be a slugfest between two great defenses.
I am not sleeping on the Browns this year either, and in tomorrow’s game, we will get to see just how good their defense really is. A quick prayer for Joe Burrow and his body as he has to face the three best defensive lines in the league, six times a year. #staystrongJoe
AFC South — Titans
The Titans would probably like to send an edible arrangement to Adam Gase for gifting them Ryan Tannehill, who continues to make the most of his opportunity as an NFL starter.
He looks incredible out there and he has plenty of weapons at his disposal with the likes of the young phenom AJ Brown and a solid tight end option in Jonnu Smith. We can’t forget an above-average offense line and the former rushing champ leading their backfield. Derrick Henry is a man amongst boys out there, as seen Tuesday night as he tossed a Bills defender 4 yards with one arm. Their defense has had some struggles but overall looks pretty solid, as witnessed with how they kept Josh Allen in check.
With this team, the Titans have an excellent shot at making a deep playoff run and I would not want to face them come January.
Look out for another article next week on the NFC and follow me on Twitter for more terrible takes!