With the pre-season in full effect, the NFL is officially back. So now, it only seems appropriate to begin predicting who will win each division, and eventually, who will win each conference and who will win the Super Bowl. To kick things off for this three part blog post, Deejay will provide his insights into who he thinks will win each AFC Division and why.
Los Angeles Chargers. I believe that the Chargers are trending in the right direction, especially with their stout defence mixed in with their more balanced offence the past two years with Melvin Gordon leading the run game to help the steady Phillip Rivers. The return of Mike Williams and the improved offensive line is what I believe will make the offense that much more explosive to push them over the top and win this division.
New England Patriots. This was an easy choice for me, not just because I am a fan of this team, but because they have been the model of consistency for so many years. I don’t think the other teams in the division have improved enough on both sides of the ball to overcome the Patriots and their dominance. Their defence remains solid under the guidance of Bill Belichick, possibly better than they were last year with improved depth and the return of Dont’a Hightower, while their offence should remain steady under the leadership of Tom Brady and the play calling of Josh McDaniels.
Pittsburgh Steelers. Early uncertainty surrounding Le’Veon Bell’s availability to begin the season made this a tough one to figure out between the Steelers and the Ravens. However, recent reports seem to say that he will be available by Week 1 of the regular season. With that in mind, the triple B’s will be back to lead their explosive offence and I believe, this will be what pushes the Steelers back into the conversation for AFC supremacy, starting with claiming the division title led by a monster season from Bell.
Houston Texans. This division has a lot of emerging teams as evidenced by last year with the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars making appearances in the playoffs. Pairing those two teams’ development with the return of Andrew Luck to the Indianapolis Colts and the return of Deshaun Watson to the Houston Texans makes this a tough call for the upcoming year. However, of the four teams, I believe if the Texans core manages to stay healthy, they will be the team to emerge as the division winner because of the explosive offensive potential with Watson and Deandre Hopkins as well as their great defence with studs in the form of JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.
– Deejay (The Middle Fro)