• Sam Erman

AFC Division Predictions

Twitter: @FFBallAllDay

AFC East

Bills, 11-6 - Josh Allen is the real deal. They went out and brought in a high-quality veteran in Sanders, Matt Breida, and Diggs is in his second year. I think both new pieces are going to play a role and Allen guides the Bills to 12 wins. I knew Josh Allen was going to take a big jump in year 3, but no one expected that kind of jump. Even if he regresses some, the Bills are the team to beat in the division.

Patriots, 11-6 - Here’s where the flaming is going to start, but I think Mac Jones is going to shock the world. The way he operates in the pocket has command of the team, forces everyone to get better, and his accuracy has been even better than anticipated. New England is over the moon and we should be paying more attention. All of their opt-outs are back, they reloaded at WR, and Stevenson appears to be legit. The defense is going to be fantastic, as always. Mac is being asked to drive the car and not make mistakes. The Patriots are going to win a lot of games.

Dolphins, 10-7 - I think Tua has a decent second year and eliminates a lot of the critics. However, unless he lights the league up I don’t see the Watson news ending anytime soon unless he’s deemed guilty. They’re well-coached, play hard, and have talent all over the field. The AFC East is stacked this year and this 10-7 record shouldn’t be a knock on them.

Jets, 5-12 - Well, someone’s going to get smacked around in this division and it’s going to be the rookie Head Coach, the rookie QB, and the rebuilding Jets. I’m expecting growing pains and flashes this year. This is a long-term project and they know that. They’ve got some decent talent and Wilson appears to be just as good as advertised, at least in the preseason. Sorry Jets fans, but this 5-12 is going to be a fun one. I expect the Jets to be in just about every game, just the lack of talent and depth is going to cost them some games. Not their fault, it’s football.

AFC South

Titans, 11-6 - That’s probably a touch high, but they’re going to beat the snot out of their division. I expect them to sweep both Houston and Jacksonville and split one game with the Colts. This is the Titans division to lose. They’ve got the best pieces in their prime, they brought in Julio, and made key transactions this offseason to address needs. They know what the expectations are and I think they follow through.

Colts, 10-7 - This one is tough, I’m a Colts and Rams fan. I just don’t know if I trust Carson Wentz. I don’t see a world where he plays 17 games. Injury, Covid, whatever, I think he’s going to miss time. The Colts are equipped to win NOW, not next year when Luck comes back (let a man dream) but right now. They’ll probably squeak into the playoffs and maybe they make a run, but I just think they’re an alright team this year.

Jaguars, 5-12 - You need to expect growing pains with Jacksonville. They aren’t going to compete this year. But, they’re going to be exciting as Lawrence develops. Just be patient and don’t lose your marbles if he isn’t the best thing since sliced bread. I say that, but in a few days, I’m going to have to be going on Twitter saying he’s not a bust.

Texans, 2-15 - 2 wins might be pretty generous here. They’re not a very talented team, they have no assets, and, oh yeah... whatever’s going on with Deshaun Watson. This isn’t a good team, they’re going to be playing for their jobs. It is what it is, but hopefully, they get the #1 pick and Watson is innocent so they can trade him for a king’s ransom, and start over.

AFC West

Chiefs, 13-4 - They’ve talked about going 17-0, but that’s not happening. They’re still the team to beat in the AFC though. I mean, all they did this offseason was drastically improve their offensive line. Moving on.

Chargers, 10-7 - I think Herbert has another great year. They push for a playoff spot. I think Coach Staley is going to have that team well-coached and playing hard. They’ll move the ball and have big chunk plays. Hopefully, they stay healthy and make a push.

Raiders, 8-9 - The Raiders addressed all of their needs this offseason. You can argue their offensive line will be worse because it’s all-new, and you can still laugh and say Leatherwood was a reach, but by all accounts, Leatherwood and that line have been fantastic. They’ll be average at best on defense and it’ll cost them games. Edwards is going to breakout and become a massive weapon, Ruggs will show growth, and Waller is Waller.

Broncos, 8-9 - I think the Broncos are coaching scared and that’s why Teddy is starting. He’s going to be fine but was he the better choice? Maybe? From everything I paid attention to, Lock was better but what do I know? Teddy is definitely safer. They’ll eventually pull the plug and Lock will play at some point this year. I think they waste that defense this year because the offense isn’t effective inside the red zone. Teddy just doesn’t throw touchdowns, and maybe this year is different, but don’t count on it.

AFC North

Browns, 11-6 - The top 3 teams in this division are going to be really good. The Browns biggest weakness is the backend of the defense. They spent every second of the offseason improving the entire defense. Stop the nonsense, the Browns are just fine with OBJ on the field. Chubb and Hunt are going to run WILD. Baker just has to drive the car and not wreck it. He’s more than capable of doing that at a very high level.

Steelers, 10-7 - Too much is being made of Ben’s arm and the line. James Conner isn’t good at football. Defenses knew he wasn't a threat and they knew they only needed to keep 6 in the box, play dime coverages, and stop the pass. They’re going to be more effective now that they have an NFL-caliber RB in Najee. Chunk plays will come early and often and the arm strength crap won’t be heard again.

Ravens, 9-8 - Bateman is hurt, Dobbins is out for the year, and I think they start slow while trying to find their footing. Nothing against them, they’ve just had some shitty blows and here we are. A week out from the season, and their two biggest acquisitions over the past two years aren’t going to be on the field anytime soon. It sucks, but Lamar and Harbaugh will have that team pushing for the playoffs.

Bengals, 3-14 - I’m still not sure if Zac Taylor can even coach. He’s not shown anything in the last two years that he can. Make the excuses, but even when Burrow was on the field, the Bengals weren’t as competitive as they should be. Burrow is still recovering from the knee injury, Chase has butterfingers, the offensive line is young and needs to learn, and Taylor should be on the hot seat in my opinion. This season has stink written all over it. I just hope Taylor doesn’t waste Burrow.