Breaking down the AFC
posted at 10/19/2009 12:15 AM EDT
Breaking down the AFC
Indy- best of the AFC, Yet to be truly tested by the other AFC elites. The best team they have played was Miami, and they only beat them by 4. Their true test will come in November when they have a 5 game run against contenders.
Broncos: Undefeated, but probably the weakest undefeated team in the NFL, even with big wins against some of the elite teams of the NFL. Their win against Cincy was suspect at best. A win against the Chargers will add to their credibility. Kudos for their overtime win against the Pats, but that game was more of the Pats beating themselves. Not over-rated as some are screaming, but certainly only on par with other teams with 1 or 2 losses.
NE - As Brady gains more confidence and strength in his legs, Vegas odds makers seem to be right keeping them as the odds on favorite to be super bowl champs. Probably the best 4-2 team in NFL. Their two losses were close and certainly seemed like the team was still getting into their form. Over the next few weeks they will continue to hone their form against some weak opponents.
Pittsburgh- Still the strongest team in the tight race of the AFC North. They have a tough road ahead of them with Cincy and Baltimore scratching at their heels but expect to see them on top in the end fighting for a Bye.
Baltimore: The best team with a .500 record, stronger than all but three teams in the NFC (NY, NO, Minn). The tough loss to Minn continues to reinforce that they are just coming short against the best teams in the NFL. A likely WildCard if they don’t win the AFC North outright.
Cinci: A strong start to the season with a fluky loss to Denver, but still have a lot to prove if they are going to be considered among elite teams.
Outside Looking in.
San Diego: If they lose to Denver on Monday night expect them to continue to unravel as a team. Even with a win they have a sizeable deficit to overcome to become contenders. More than allarming than their record for this onetime AFC powerhouse has been their form, which has looked more like pretenders than Playoff contenders.
Jets: Losing to the Bills… need we say more? The only reason why they are even relevant now is their big win against New England. However as Sanchez matures and if the Defense stays healthy they could be in the Wildcard race at the end of the season and contribute to keeping the Pats honest as the AFC East favorites.
Miami: An underrated landmine for the elite teams of the NFL. They only seem to be getting better. Strong defense, unconventional offense. Undefeated in AFC East. However after their Bye next week they have a maybe the toughest three week run in the NFL facing NO, NE, and NYJ.
Houston: A sleeper. With their win against the Bengals they have raised some eyes. It is unlikely but they might surprise some by being in the wildcard race.
Jacksonville: much like Houston. Flying below the radar and might be competitive at the end of the season but wouldn’t bank on it.