NFL 2018 Season Preview: AFC Edition

There’s no better feeling than the start of the NFL season. Well, next to your favorite team winning the Super Bowl. Unlike Alyssa, I do remember what that feels like, even if I don’t think I’m close to being there yet, so we will both just settle for the start of a new season.

As we prepare for the start of the 2018 season, every team — playoff contender or not — have big questions. And we’re here to ask them. Let’s take a look at the AFC, where the Jacksonville Jaguars hope to once again be better than the New England Patriots and a lot of teams are looking to play spoiler:

Let’s break the AFC down by division:

AFC East

Zzzzz the Patriots are going to win this division. Boring, boring, boring. Brady is 41, but he still somehow looks like Brady, and though I think most people outside of New England are counting the days till the Patriots go back to being average, I don’t foresee this being the year. But, hope is on the horizon, hopefully, with the Jets throwing their rookie QB into the fray right away, something that in the case of Darnold doesn’t look like the clear mistake it could be with other young QB’s. The Bills, however, have a QB in Allen who doesn’t look to be ready and an unbalanced roster, and they still look better than the Miami Dolphins, who once again seem ready to be …well, the Miami Dolphins. Did I say there was hope on the horizon? Well, not short term. So,if you’re going to check out of paying attention to one division, let it be this one.

AFC North

The AFC seems filled with divisions where there’s a clear favorite and three other teams we can’t really make sense of, and the AFC North is not exception to the rule. The Steelers are the clear favorite, the most talented team, with weapons on both sides of the ball. The Ravens figure to be a middle of the road team, but a lot of their success depends on how Joe Flacco can deal with the pressure of the team having picked his heir apparent already. And then there’s the Browns and the Bengals. This might be because I’ve watched too much Hard Knocks this off-season, but I really believe the Browns are going to be better this season, which, let’s face it, is not even that hard considering the abysmal season they had last year. Which just leaves the Bengals, another team that’s very talented on offense but that just never seems to find a way to play total football, as the most likely last place in this division.

AFC South

This is, to me, the most interesting division in the AFC. No one thinks the Colts can compete, but if Andrew Luck is healthy, they can at least be disruptive. Of course, after his lengthy absence, that’s still a big if. The other three teams, though, look ready to compete. The Titans, if anything, have a harder time than the Jags or Texans, with a QB that’s still somewhat of a question mark after a really bad season last year. If he’s a franchise QB, the Titans can compete. If not …then this is the Jags or Texans division to lose, and I add to the conversation, even after the season the Jags had last year and the talent the team still has, because everything looks different with Deshaun Watson and J.J Watt. So, if there’s any division on the AFC where we might really have a surprise or two, my vote is on this one.

AFC West

The Chargers look poised to finally win this division, but then again, they are the Chargers. Can they finally stop self-sabotaging? They lost the first four games last season and never recovered, but they have the offense/defense combo to compete, but then again, they always have. Will they take the loss of tight end Hunter Henry as a sign of bad luck, or will they finally achieve their potential? We shall see, though, the real question should be if any other team in the division can give them a run for their money. KC’s defense looks suspect and their offense isn’t as explosive as it used to be, the Raiders still seem to be making the weird and confusing choices we have come to identify with the Raiders, and the Broncos still have a playoff-caliber defense, but no one’s exactly sure what’s going to happen with the offense. Which, on paper, translates for an easy division for the Chargers.

What are your thoughts on our AFC Questions? Do you agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below and make sure to subscribe to our channel:

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