The beginning of the NFL season is just over a week away with the New York Giants hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 5 to kick off the season. The Giants are defending Super Bowl champions and are hoping for another competitive season in the always tough NFC East. We are going to take a look in the other direction and see who has the best chance in the AFC at becoming world champions.
New England Patriots – The Patriots are a contender every year, and it is hard not to be with Tom Brady as your QB. With a relatively weak schedule, the Pats will easily win the division and cruise into the playoffs.
Buffalo Bills – The Bills made huge strides last year but just couldn’t get over the hump. They also have a fair schedule that should allow them to compete for a playoff spot.
New York Jets – Expectations are high for the Jets this year, and with Tim Tebow in town, Mark Sanchez can’t afford to make mistakes. Head coach Rex Ryan may cave to the pressure of starting Tebow. The pressure will get to the Jets and they will miss the playoffs once again this season.
Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins will struggle this year with rookie QB Ryan Tannehill behind the helm. It is going to be another long year for Dolphins fans as they finish last in the division.
Houston Texans – The Texans will have their division locked up before anyone else in the league. They have explosive weapons with RB Arian Foster and WR Andre Johnson. This might be one of the weakest divisions in football and as long as the Texans stay healthy they can go a long way. They will have a great year and win the AFC South.
Tennessee Titans – No one will even come close to competing with Houston in this division and with such a tough schedule the Titans will be lucky if they make it to .500 on the year. RB Chris Johnson will have to regain his top form if they are to go above .500. Tennessee finishes the year below .500.
Indianapolis Colts – Indy will struggle once again this year, but with rookie QB Andrew Luck, the Colts will have a lot of potential as a young team. It is hard to replace Peyton Manning but Luck looks like a good fit to help the Colts compete again. He also has looked rock solid in the pre-season, Indy will finish the year with a very young team and lots of momentum going toward 2013.
Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jags will be one of the worst teams in the league this year. With Maurice Jones-Drew holding out still and now trade talks are in the air, this is going to be a long season for Jacksonville fans as the Jags finish the year last in the division.
Baltimore Ravens – The road to the playoffs will be tough once again for Baltimore but it looks like this could be the last year they have to make a Super Bowl most of the team’s players only have a couple seasons left in the tank. Baltimore’s defense will help them make a good run at the title and finish first in the AFC North.
Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers look like playoff contenders once again this year. If QB Ben Roethlisberger can stay healthy and the defense holds strong the team will easily overcome the holdout of WR Mike Wallace. Look for Pittsburgh to finish right behind Baltimore in the hard-nosed AFC North.
Cincinnati Bengals – Cincinnati surprised quite a few people last year and made the playoffs. This year doesn’t look quite as promising as the Bengals finish with a .500 record.
Cleveland Browns – Cleveland has a very young team this year with a rookie at both QB and RB. It will be another rebuilding year but the young Browns could surprise people if Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson stay healthy. The Browns will finish last but will look promising next season.
Denver Broncos – With Peyton Manning now officially a Bronco, it is hard to write off Denver as playoff contenders as they made the playoffs last year with Tim Tebow. Manning will improve the Broncos drastically and win the AFC West.
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs have a lot going for them this year. Many experts are picking the K.C. to win the AFC West. I think they have the potential to, but wind up just short and finish second in the division.
San Diego Chargers – San Diego seems to have high expectations every year but can never seem to live up to them. Philip Rivers throws way too many interceptions. I feel like that will happen once again this year as the Bolts will have a disappointing year.
Oakland Raiders – The silver and black have seemed to be a rebuilding team for the past decade now. They will be leaning heavily on RB Darren McFadden to lead them. They are always so close to getting over the hump but always fall short and this year will be no different as the Raiders finish last.
This was a tough choice because there are so many dominant teams in the AFC this year. It looks like the Houston Texans will come up just short in a hard fought battle against the Baltimore Ravens that sends the Ravens to their second Super Bowl in team history.