Sunny's AFC Season Preview

Here is my AFC division previews to go along with the NFC's which can be found here. The season starts tomorrow!


Winner: New England Patriots
Wild Card Contender: Miami Dolphins
Bold Prediction: Lee Evans will out gain Terrell Owens in total yardage.

The AFC East was a division of surprises last year with Brett Favre leading the Jets to an elite status, then back down to mediocrity in one short season, and the Dolphins changed the way offense is played with their "Wildcat" formation.

The Pats will run away with the division even with a depleted defense. You just can't teach a Tom Brady to Randy Moss type connection.

The Dolphins overachieved last year and this year they will once again be the Dolphins of old. NFL defenses are ready for the Wildcat offense.

The Jets will be a team to watch with rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez starting for them.

Terrell Owens is a big name addition to the Bills, but he will most likely be there for only a year and will play like it.

AFC North

Winner: Baltimore Ravens
Wild Card Contender: Pittsburgh Steelers
Bold Prediction: No matter what Chad Ochocinco says, the Bengals will not win twelve games.

With returning Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers and AFC finalist Balitmore Ravens, this division is always tougher than advertised.

Pittsburgh will not repeat as Super Bowl champions nor as divisional winners. They have a talented defense but as of yet, I'm still not sold on their offense.

Baltimore is ready to take the leap into the elite team of this division with a scoring defense and a better than talked about offense. The only thing that could hold them back is a mediocre receiving core.

Cincinnati will be a better team with a healthy Carson Palmer, but has not surrounded him with enough talent for him to do anything with.

Cleveland is giving quarterback Brady Quinn the starting nod, which is what fans have been begging for for over a year. It'll be an up and down season with a less than average result.

P.S. I wonder if Braylon Edwards will show up this year?

AFC South

Winner: Tennessee Titans
Wild Card Contender: Indianapolis Colts
Bold Prediction: The Texans put up the most points out of any team in the division, yet they still will miss the playoffs. (Future Bold Prediction: Vince Young does NOT make the Hall of Fame.)

The AFC South has two legitimate deep playoff teams in the Colts and the Titans. The only reason I don't see the Colts grabbing the division is because it is Peyton Manning's first season without Tony Dungy running the show.

Tennessee has a great backfield with Chris Johnson and LenDale White, but the air attack is of concern. Although they added receiver Nate Washington, veteran Kerry Collins options has few options. Watch for the Titans defense -- with a talented secondary and tough front four one the line -- to carry this team into the playoffs

The Colts enter their first season of the post-Tony Dungy regime. The offense will be productive and Dallas Clark will be targeted often. Joseph Addai is looking for a better season this year, but may have to deal with a bit of a time share with rookie back Donald Brown

Matt Schaub, Steve Slaton and Andre Johnson lead the Houston Texans as one of the best offensive trios in the game. They will put up points, but Mario Williams can't play every defensive position.

In Jacksonville, Maurice Jones-Drew is starting his first year as the feature back and quarterback David Garrard will have a pretty decent season. The Jaguars are always a competitive team, but they don't have the talent to get them over the hump.

AFC West

Winner: San Diego Chargers
Wild Card Contender: None
Bold Prediction: Al Davis makes at least one attempt to secure Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt as a receiver.

The AFC West is going to be the Phillip Rivers playground. There is really no threat to the Chargers and they shouldn't have to make a theatrical race as they did last year.

San Diego easily has the best offense and defense in the division, and I could go on and on about why they are the best in the AFC West, but really do I need to?

The Broncos have a decent receiving core in Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal, but sadly new quarterback Kyle Orton will not get them the ball near enough.

Kansas City has last year's surprise quarterback Matt Cassel, who may not even make the Chiefs first start. Dwayne Bowe is the only notable name on this team now that Tony Gonzalez is gone.

The Oakland Raiders are bad -- enough said. Darren McFadden might put up decent numbers for an otherwise helpless football franchise.


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