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Bold AFC PredictionsPosted Sunday, September 9, 2012, at 6:14 PM
I know the season has already started, but we do get kind of busy here.
Consequently, this blog was written a little late. But hey, not all the games have been played have they?
Anyway, let's take a look at the National Football League American Football Conference.
* New England Patriots -- Tom Brady already had a ton of weapons, but the team added more for him. The Patriots, at least on offense, may be unstoppable,
* New York Jets -- Forget about this so-called quarterback controversy, Mark Sanchez will prevail as the better thrower. The Jets will win games this season and will threaten to make the playoffs,
* Buffalo Bills -- This team appears to be everybody's surprise this year. Not for me. I just don't buy it. Buffalo looks like a 7-9 team,
* Miami Dolphins -- Lots of growing pains with a rookie quarterback. No better than 4-12.
* Baltimore Ravens -- This could be the year Joe Flacco really shines. The Ravens still have a great defense and Ray Rice is one of the better running backs in the league. A record of 12-4 is within reach,
* Pittsburgh Steelers -- Ben Roethlisberger and company will challenge Baltimore for the division lead, but its not enough. Pittsburgh finishes no better than 10-6,
* Cincinnati Bengals -- This team will be good this year, but I don't see it making the playoffs. Andy Dalton has a great future ahead of him -- especially with A.J. Green. But I see the Bengals going 8-8,
* Cleveland Browns -- Mike Holmgren's time in Cleveland may come to an end this year. This team will also experience growing pains as it is basically starting over. Five wins may be the ceiling.
Houston Texans -- By default, this team wins the division. They have a strong defense, a quarterback who manages the game well, and the best running back in the NFL (Arian Foster). Houston has the potential to win 11-plus games,
* Tennessee Titans -- Because I don't think Jacksonville can get past them, the Titans are here, but I see them going 7-9,
* Jacksonville Jaguars -- Ditto for the Jags. Blaine Gabbert will be better, but this team is just not complete enough. No better than 7-9,
* Indianapolis Colts -- Another team with growing pains. Andrew Luck will be a great quarterback in the future. For now, he's only a rookie. Five wins may be a stretch.
* Denver Broncos -- Peyton Manning will make the playoffs again. He can lead the Broncos to 10 wins. Don't sleep on the Broncos' defense,
* San Diego Chargers -- Philip Rivers doesn't get enough credit. He's not an elite quarterback, but he's very good. He just doesn't have enough weapons around him and the Chargers' defense isn't all that great. Eight wins at the most,
* Kansas City Chiefs -- Another one of those teams everybody seems to think will make the playoffs. I don't buy it. Matt Cassel is not the answer at quarterback. No better than a 7-9 team,
* Oakland Raiders -- At this point in his career, I'm afraid Carson Palmer is a retread. The Raiders just don't have enough yet to compete for a division title. No better than 7-9.
Here's your AFC Playoffs:
* AFC East Division Winner -- New England Patriots
* AFC South Division Winner -- Houston Texans
* AFC North Division Winner -- Baltimore Ravens
* AFC West Division Winner -- Denver Broncos
Wild Card Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets
2012 AFC Title -- Baltimore Ravens