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Blog Entry

AFC 2010 Predictions

Posted on: September 7, 2010 3:24 pm

Ravens: With solid line play, three dominant running backs, and a slew of good receiving options, Baltimore is the team to beat.  Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, and TJ Houshmandzadeh may not have instant chemistry, but QB Joe Flacco only needs to be ordinary to impress with that receiving corps.  The defense has lost a step, but still has some bite and good playmakers.  Predicted Record: 12-4

Bengals: Another healthy year for Carson Palmer bodes well for Cincinnati.  Terrell Owens will be fighting off boo-birds and calls for early retirement with all of his poor routes and dropped passes.  But there is a solid running game, and a defense that has been steadily improving under Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer.  The Bengals probably won't challenge for the division spot, but certainly will contend for a wild card berth.  Predicted Record: 10-6

Steelers: Another setback year for Pittsburgh, the offense was derailed even before preseason.  With the best receiving option, Santonio Holmes now in New York and Roethlisburger suspended for 4 games, the Steeler's passing attack is in shambles.  The defense is still impressive, but figures to be on the field... a lot.  Mike Tomlin has his work cut out for him.  Predicted Record: 6-10

Browns: One of the worst teams in the NFL gets worse.  A hodge-podge team, held together by Mike Holmgren and spit, is in Year #1 of a rebuilding phase.  Fans pretty much know what to expect from a bottom-5 offense and bottom-5 defense.  Eric Mangini is grossly overrated, and will prove that he's not head coach caliber by then end of 2011, if not 2010.  Predicted Record: 3-13


Patriots: With Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker all healthy for the first time in 3 years, the Pats look to reclaim some of their lost glory.  The defense does indeed have several question marks, but has proven in the past that it can be successful with even marginal talent.  Bill Belichick will this year reinforce the fact that he is a despicable human being, but a genius when it comes to coaching.  Predicted Record: 12-4

Jets: Is everyone almost done annointing the Jets as the Superbowl winner yet ?  A team that sneaks into the playoffs in 2009 gets somewhat better with playoff personnel for 2010, but still has major question marks that will herald a big disappointment.  Mark Sanchez has Santonio Holmes now to throw to, besides pass-dropping specialist Braylon Edwards.  But Shonn Green will be carrying the ball primarily for the first time, with only an over-the-hill LaDainian Tomlinson to back him up.  Still, the Jets' great defense will keep them in many games.  Predicted Record: 9-7

DolphinsStill in rebuilding mode, the Dolphins should have no one left to impress.  The blueprint that Bill Parcells laid out in 2007 has been mostly successful.  The offense still lacks a potent passing attack to supplement Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams on the ground.  The defense is competent, but unexciting.  The wildcat will be less likely to steal as many ballgames, for a second straight year since its "introduction".  Predicted Record: 7-9

Bills: Nobody likes to kick a man when he's down, but Bills fans, you're lucky to even have a team at this point.  Challenging the Browns for worst team in the NFL, the Bills are the epitome of awfulness.  A mediocre QB who has maybe one good receiving option joined by rushers who are either injured or unproven.  Meet Chan Gailey, this year's Dick Jauron.  Predicted Record: 3-13


Colts: Living legend Peyton Manning once again leads the Colts towards a Superbowl.  It is true that Indy doesn't rely much on their running game, but the last time the team ran even a balanced offense was when Edgerrin James was a Colt.  This is a pass-first, pass-second team however, and actually don't need an effective rushing attack.  The defense gets little mention most of the time, which is probably how they prefer it.  Quietly, it's been built into a pretty good defense, though commentators rarely credit anyone not named Dwight Freeney or Bob Sanders.  Predicted Record: 14-2  

Titans: One of the best coaches in the NFL, Jeff Fisher however finds himself with precious little to work with.  A good out-of-division schedule against the pathetic AFC West and NFC East teams help somewhat.  But relying upon Chris Johnson to open up the offense yet again may prove more than even he is capable of.  The defense is average with an untested secondary.  Predicted Record 9-7

TexansFinally, after the last original Texan (Kris Brown) is gone, the team has some respectability.  A good defense and a competent offense, the problem with this team will be depth.  Injuries to Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub could easily mark the end of the offense being competitive.  Likewise for the defense if Amobi Okoye and Bernard Pollard go out.  Still, just as the Titans have a cushy schedule, the Texans may excel based on the poor competition.  Predicted Record: 10-6

Jaguars: The Jags will struggle this year to prove they are a capable team, but there are just too many gaps in capability.  Maurice Jones-Drew leads an offense without a quality line, a QB or a decent receiver corps.  The defense is very young, and not expected to develop chemistry until at least 2011.  This team is a doormat for the rest of the division, unfortunately.  Predicted Record: 4-12


Chargers: The best team in one of the NFL's worst division has little to be grateful for.  Its passing game is very respectable, with Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd, Patrick Crayton and maybe Vincent Jackson.  But the running game is a question mark- rookie Ryan Matthews will get the primary duties with LaDainian Tomlinson now on the Jets, and Darren Sproles retains his role as kick returner and 3rd down back.  Expect a playoff berth, but not much else.  Perhaps it's the Norv Turner effect, or the mediocre defense, but this team regresses slightly.   Predicted Record: 10-6

Broncos An exciting young team, the Broncos will be out to prove their legitimacy yet again.  The key for this team will be picking an offensive strategy and then sticking with it.  If Orton is benched after 3 losses, and Tim Tebow or *gulp* Brady Quinn becomes the playcaller, then this team is doomed to mediocrity.  The defense is underrated, and this will be the year that Josh McDaniels proves he can be a head coach or not.  Predicted Record: 7-9

Raiders: Perpetually one of the worst teams in the NFL over the last 5 or so years, things don't figure to go well for Oakland this year either.  Jason Campbell is indeed an upgrade over JaMarcus "Soon-to-be-in-the-CFL" Russell, but has questions about his durability, especially behind a poor offensive line.  With an injury to Michael Bush, Darren McFadden will need to play well early in the season to give this team a chance.  The defense is not a push-over, but figures to be on the field a lot and give up beaucoup yards + points.  Predicted Record 5-11 and the coach gets fired by the crazy owner... again

Chiefs: It's gotta be tough to be a Chiefs fan.  Every year, the team looks like a fantasy football team that someone constructed while on crystal meth.  I'm sorry, but Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles and Matt Cassel aren't what most people would call "elite" playmakers.  The defense here IS a push-over, and I expect a lot of lopsided scores not favoring the hapless Chiefs.  Predicted Record: 4-12

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or