Hello Smash Fans and welcome back. As the NFL season quickly approaches I thought it would be a good idea to give my prediction for the AFC standings. If you want to hear my 7 playoff teams come back next week or check this week’s podcast out. I hope you all enjoy!
16. New York Jets
I do believe that the Jets improved from last season. I think that Zach Wilson is going to be a good player, and I think that their head coach is also going to do well. When you watch them, you’re gonna be able to see the improvement, but I don’t see that improvement translating wins. With that said, I see them winning about 3 to 4 games which I believe will earn them the worst record in the AFC.
15. Houston Texans
To be completely honest, this team is complete dumpster fire. I don’t see them showing any promise next year. With that said, I see them still being able to win some games due to their schedule. Additionally, there is still a chance that Deshaun Watson might play and that would raise their floor and the ceiling a little. With all that being said, as of right now those factors lead me to put them as the second worst team in the AFC. However, I also see them winning around 3 to 4 games, so if they do end up with the worst record in this conference, I would not be surprised.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville did improve this off-season. I believe that Trevor Lawrence is going to be as good as advertised and I believe that Urban Meyer was a good hire. Additionally, I think the signing of Tim Tebow is going to help them. This all being said, I don’t see this team in terms of talent getting any more than six or seven wins. You see the improvement within the games, but just in terms of pure talent, they won’t be able to get any higher than the 11th best team in the AFC if they max out their potential. However, I don’t see that really happening to the full extent, so I have them as the 14th best team in the AFC with a record of about 6 and 11.
13. Denver Broncos
Now before I start talking about the Denver Broncos I believe that you can put the next eight teams in any order you wish, and I would not be that heavily against your list. However, this is just where I see each team finishing. The Denver Broncos are going to have a lot of close games. The defense is good, the running back room is good, the wide receiver are decent, they have a good tight end and a serviceable quarterback. That’s a recipe that allows you to be in the majority of games you play. With that being said, I don’t see this team winning a lot of those close games. I think this team just barely misses the threshold to win those types of grind-out contests. It is those missed opportunities that I believe will hurt this team and have them finish with a record of about 7 and 10.
12. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bangles are going to be a very competitive team next year. They have the offensive firepower to match almost anyone, and they have a defense that is opportunistic and into the system. Last year before Joe Burrow’s injury, they were competitive, and I only see this progressing next year. I would not be terribly surprised if they did end up making the playoffs. However this team is young, and I believe they are going to be in a lot of close games. This being said, young teams have a tendency to lose those close games. With this in mind, I feel as if the Bengals will have a hard time winning a majority of those games which will pull the record down to either 7 and 10 or 8 and 9.
11. Indianapolis Colts
Now, depending on the Carson Wentz and Quinton Nelson situation this team could go all the way up to 5 or even 5 if they both come back early enough. However, with both those players having question marks next to them, I don’t see how I can rank them any higher than 11th. I don’t necessarily trust Jacob Eason or whoever they else they get as a quarterback to be good enough to propel them into serious playoff contention. However, I do believe that defense and the running game will be good enough to get you wins. Additionally, their schedule is not terribly difficult after the first half of the year, so I could definitely see them pulling out about 8 to 9 wins.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
I don’t trust the Steelers at all. I know that defense is going to be good enough to win you some games, I know that Big Ben is going to be good enough at times to win you a game. However, history has shown Ben Rothlisberger will also lose you games with his decision making. This being said, BigBen is only getting older so the games he’s going to win you are going to decrease in the games he’s going to lose you are going to increase. Additionally, it seems to me as this offense is getting more and more predictable as the years have gone on. Furthermore, this division is quite hard with three other teams that I could see feasibly making the playoffs. This all culminates into a steelers team that I don’t believe finishes with any more than 9 wins.
9. The Las Vegas Raiders
This team is solid. I like Derek Carr, I like Josh Jacobs, and I like Waller. However that defense is questionable, and they play in one of the harder divisions. Additionally, their offense is pretty predictable, and that has shown to hurt them in the past. For example, last year they started off really hot then as the year went on they got worse and worse and missed the playoffs. In this case, I believe that history will repeat itself. I see the Raiders starting off really hot and then missing the playoffs barely due to a meltdown towards the end of the season resulting in a record of either 9 and 8 or 10 and 7.
8. The Los Angeles Chargers
I really like the Los Angeles Chargers. However their division is really hard. Additionally, they have a first-year head coach and a lot of moving pieces. Yes, this team has a lot of upside, but it also has a downside. I think that this team will win a lot of games, I just don’t see them making the playoffs. If they do, I would not be shocked, however, I believe the youth both at the quarterback position and in the head-coaching position will hurt their ability to make the playoffs and result in them barely missing the tournament with a record of 10 and 8.
Thank you Smash Fans for sticking with me until the end. If you want to talk about this topic or any other topic sports-related, please email me or text me using the information on the contact page. If you want to support me even more, please consider following my Spotify as well as subscribing to my youtube channel and blog for weekly podcasts and articles. Until next time, PD Smash signing off.