NFL SEASON PREDICTIONS: AFC

The AFC is loaded in 2022 and the fight for the 7 playoff spots will be epic. Not only is the AFC the best conference top to bottom, it also has the best division in football in the AFC West. There has been a lot of monumental moves within the conference with Russell Wilson going to Denver, Deshaun Watson to Cleveland, Matt Ryan to Indy, Davante Adams to Vegas and Tyreek Hill to South Beach among others.

The AFC East on paper improved tremendously, but it’s still the Bills and everyone else. Josh Allen and the Bills are in the Super Bowl or bust mindset. The real question, is this the year the Patriots Miss the playoffs or worse, finish last? The Jets are building a solid foundation and Robert Salah is the right head coach. The Dolphins have turned over their roster and coaching staff, but expectations are high. Can Tua and the Cheetah deliver on South Beach?

The AFC North is home to the defending AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals. That offense in the Jungle is only going to get better as Joe Burrow, Chase, Higgins, Boyd and Mixon grow. The Steelers say so long to Big Ben and now they are deciding between Mitch Trubisky and Rookie 1st Round pick Kenny Pickett. The Ravens were gutted by injuries in 2021 and Lamar is looking for a new deal. If they can stay healthy, this squad will be better, but I am worried about the WR depth. The Browns made a very controversial move when they dealt for Deshaun Watson and gave him a fully guaranteed deal. The franchise’s fate is directly tied to that deal and if they will ever be a perennial playoff team. It is going to take a huge team effort to survive with Jacoby Brissett until Watson is eligible.

The AFC South has been the home to 2 of the best running backs in the game and 2 rebuilding franchises. Jonathan Taylor and King Henry are machines and the focus of their respective offenses. As those 2 go, their teams fortunes go. The Colts defense is legit and led by Shaquille Leonard, can they push through and win the division? They have added Matt Ryan while the Titans traded away WR AJ Brown. The Titans are still set on QB Ryan Tannehill, but did draft Malik Willis for the future. The Jags hired Doug Pederson as their new head coach and paired him with 2021 number 1 overall pick QB Trevor Lawrence. The Jags made a ton of moves in free agency and added 2022 number 1 overall pick Travon Walker and Utah LB Devin Lloyd. This franchise has energy and I expect significant improvement in 2022. The Texans moved on from Watson and are trying to rebuild the franchise from the ground up.

The final regular season game of the 2021 season between the Chargers and Raiders was a preview of what the AFC West will be in 2022. These 4 teams all have legit quarterbacks and quality rosters. The Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill to Miami and drafted/signed numerous players to replace him. In the end, they still have Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Andy Reid. The Raiders found their new head coach in Josh McDaniels and all world WR Davante Adams. The Gruden/Mike Mayock disaster is over and the franchise is moving forward. The Chargers are loaded with talent, but unlike many years in the past, can they make the playoffs? The Broncos made a huge move when they traded for Russell Wilson. He has injected energy into the team, but if you look at his time in Seattle, his success was paired with a great defense in support, can the Broncos stop people

PREDICTIONS:

AFC EAST:

1.). BUFFALO BILLS

2.). MIAMI DOLPHINS

3.). NEW YORK JETS

4.). NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

AFC NORTH: (Division winner will have 10 wins, any team can win this division).

1.). PITTSBURGH STEELERS

2.). CINCINNATI BENGALS

3.). BALTIMORE RAVENS

4.). CLEVELAND BROWNS

AFC SOUTH:

1.). INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

2.). JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

3.). TENNESSEE TITANS

4.). HOUSTON TEXANS

AFC WEST:

1.). KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

2.). LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

3.). LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

4.). DENVER BRONCOS

AFC WILD CARD TEAMS:

  • CINCINNATI BENGALS
  • LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
  • LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

AFC CHAMPION: BUFFALO BILLS

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About FRESH IRC PODCAST

Host of The Irrational Confidence Podcast and Contributor to Spinnable Sports #CollegeFootball #NFL #MLB #NBA #NHL #EPL #UCL On Twitter @SS_2FRESH

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