The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2018 AFC Predictions: Picking the record for every team and Playoff results

2018 AFC Predictions: Picking the record for every team and Playoff results

2018 AFC Preview and Predictions!
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, right, is congratulated by San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers after an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday Sept. 18, 2011. The Patriots beat the Chargers 35-21. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

AFC North

1) Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)

The defense is the question mark with the Steelers and I think they have a lot of talent on there, but I am concerned with the secondary. The other concern is can Big Ben continue to play at a high level?

2) Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)

The Bengals offensive line has been the reason the team went from five-straight playoff appearances to missing the playoffs the last two years. That seems to be getting better with a new offensive line coach Frank Pollack and the addition of offensive tackle Cordy Glenn and Center Billy Price.

3) Baltimore Ravens (8-8)

The defense as always will be one of the best in the NFL and as always this teams success will depend on Joe Flacco, who has been inconsistent over the last three years. John Harbaugh is hands down the best coach in this division which gives the Ravens a chance. I just think a lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball will lead to a mediocre season.

4) Cleveland Browns (3-13)

Hey, they will triple the win total from last year! They have accumulated some talent, just not enough yet.


AFC East

1) New England Patriots (13-3)

Same old same old in the AFC East. Brady still looks sharp and Belichick is still on the sidelines, so the Pats will once again run away with it.

2) New York Jets (6-10)

The Jets got better in the offseason and as an organization, they seem to be headed in the right direction but they are still a year or two away.

3) Miami Dolphins (6-10)

I think it’s time for some changes in Miami. Tannehill is, in my opinion, at least an average quarterback. Tannehill is not the problem, the problem lies in the front office.

4) Buffalo Bills (2-14)

The Bills had a bad offseason, especially in free agency as they lost good players and replaced with them with bad ones. Russell Bodine and Marshall Newhouse do not improve anybody’s offensive line. The offensive side of the ball is filled with complimentary players especially at the receiver position. The defense should be good but it won’t be good enough.


AFC South

1) Houston Texans (12-4)

If DeShaun Watson and J.J. Watt are healthy and can stay healthy the Texans could be a legit threat to make a deep playoff run. The Texans are loaded on defense and if DeShaun Watson can pick up where he left off, look out!

2) Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)

The Jags have plenty of questions on offense, but defensively they are dominant and should only be better this season. Bortles will never be a top 5 quarterback in the NFL, but because of that this team will be limited to a short playoff run.

3) Tennessee Titans (9-7)

The Titans have a new head coach in Mike Vrabel which should be an improvement. They return quarterback Marcus Mariota, who played well last year but needs to be more consistent. The Titans will be a dangerous team but in the end, fighting for the last wildcard is how I see their season.

4) Indianapolis Colts (3-13)

Andrew Luck is back, but that won’t be nearly enough for the Colts to contend. The Colts just lack the overall talent to hang this season in a tough AFC South.


AFC West

1) Los Angeles Chargers (11-5)

The Chargers will have an improved offensive line and plenty of skill position players for quarterback Phillip Rivers to get the ball to. On defense, they should have one of the best units in the league.

 2) Denver Broncos (8-8)

The Broncos will be stout again on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively many questions remain as the offensive line looks improved and Case Keenum is a solid addition at quarterback. If things fall just right the Broncos could contend in a wide-open AFC West.

3) Kansas City Chiefs (7-9)

Patrick Mahomes will be replacing Alex Smith and in the long run, I think that will be a good thing. I look for the Chiefs to get off to a very slow start against a murderous early schedule and then as Mahomes gets his feet under him the Chiefs will come on late in the season.

4) Oakland Raiders (5-11)

The offense could be good, but it will not be good enough to make up for possibly the worst defense in the league.


Playoff Predictions

AFC Wild Card Games

(6) Cincinnati at (3) LA Chargers: Chargers win 27-23

(5) Jacksonville at (4) Pittsburgh: Jaguars win 21-20


AFC Divisional Playoffs 

(5) Jacksonville Jaguars at (1) New England: Patriots win 34-17

(3) LA Chargers at (2) Houston Texans: Chargers win 27-17


AFC Championship

(3) LA Chargers at (1) New England Patriots: Chargers win 35-27


AFC Champions: LA Chargers

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