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SportingNews.com: Handicapping a top-heavy AFC

Earlier this week, we looked at the potential playoff field in a very wide-open NFC for SportingNews.com.

So we’re now considering the other side of the equation — the potential playoff teams in a still top-heavy AFC.

In our view, there are two teams to pencil in for the title game, and then everyone else.

For more, click here.

Then feel free to complain about how much you think we hate your favorite team by dropping a comment below.

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30 Responses to “SportingNews.com: Handicapping a top-heavy AFC”
  1. Phyxsius says: Aug 7, 2009 11:45 AM

    “Amazingly, no one is talking about the Patriots.”
    huh?????

  2. fc1_87 says: Aug 7, 2009 11:45 AM

    Pat’s Brady is back so you have to include them. But their D is a question. Can Brady and the “O” out score every one? But that team has a way of plugging holes.
    Steelers – If the O-line can improve they should be there.
    Ravens, Chargers, Titans and Colts. This is pretty much the AFC playoff teams for this year. Any one can catch fire and run the table.

  3. crookedsteve says: Aug 7, 2009 11:47 AM

    Looks like Andy reid is losing his team. He is trying to cover up season ending injuries and guys are out smokin weed after practise.

  4. hizzle1281 says: Aug 7, 2009 11:56 AM

    Where’s the chiefs?
    They’re gonna do better then the bills and maybe even the bengals

  5. gameday says: Aug 7, 2009 12:06 PM

    Phyxsius says:
    August 7, 2009 11:45 AM
    “Amazingly, no one is talking about the Patriots.”
    huh?????
    ************************************
    Cause the Patriots are irrelevent. Cheaters don’t count, nor do the Super bowl “wins”

  6. gameday says: Aug 7, 2009 12:12 PM

    NFC Playoff teams ( in no particular seeding)
    Eagles
    Saints
    Vikings
    Seahawks
    giants
    Cowboys
    AFC Teams
    Steelers
    Colts
    Chargers
    Cheatriots
    Bengals
    Ravens

  7. Prodigy says: Aug 7, 2009 12:16 PM

    WOW! What’s with this article and these posts expecting the same thing as last year? It’s as if you all forget this is the NFL and what seems like a given in August is never what comes to fruition in February. This is how I see things shaking out:
    AFC East: Buffalo – Lee Evans will be the true star as TO leaves him in single coverage.
    AFC North: Cincinatti – The return of Palmer will get the O moving. People are overlooking the draft additions to their D and the return of Keithe Rivers who might be comeback player of the year.
    AFC South: Indianapolis – An ez schedule will put Manning back at the top QB in AFC statistically.
    AFC West: San Diego – Too much talent to not win the division. Oakland will be the divisions surprise team, but won’t have enough.
    Wild Card #1: Pitt – They will come back to earth a bit, but their D will get them back to the playoffs.
    Wild Card #2: Houston – Yes it’s a trendy pick, but for a reason. An easy schedule, the best WR in the NFL, and a great RB will finally get them in.
    On NE – Not buying Brady returning to form for the sole reason that the O-line is like Swiss cheese. The Giants showed in the SB42 to get at him and keep doing it and teams will be throwing the kitchen sink at him. With decreased mobility (from his previous mollases) and no running game this is the year they fall off.
    On Bal – Too many changes on D and not enough O to keep them going.
    As whacky as this looks it probably has a better chance than any of the pick what happened last year posts.

  8. MaineMan says: Aug 7, 2009 12:23 PM

    Hey, Mike.
    I agree almost entirely with your rankings and your stated reasons for them, with, of course, a minor quibble or two. I think the Ravens and Titans are a lot shakier than the #5 and #6 spots, for exactly the reasons that you state, though both have relatively easy out-of-division schedules so they may not fall back all that far.
    Conversely, Miami is a much more well-rounded team this year with a more solid secondary and O-line, a steady QB, a versatile offensive backfield and an underrated receiving corps. A lot of opponents will be expecting more of the Wildcat that gave the Dolphins a much needed boost in 2008, but they probably won’t get as much as they’re expecting. The Dolphins are really good enough now to not be dependent on “tricks.” OTOH, due to scheduling quirks, they end up playing road games against teams that they could probably beat at home and home games against teams that they might not beat either way, so their improvements may not reflect in their W/L record this season.
    The only other team that might have an outside chance to make it into the top 12 would be Denver. But their out-of-division schedule this year is so horrible that even making it back to .500 would represent a significant improvement.

  9. Marty says: Aug 7, 2009 12:29 PM

    No one talks about New England because at the end of the day, they are boring, not to watch, but to talk about. So are the Colts. Fun to watch, but I dont need to read even one article about them.

  10. Igottz5onit says: Aug 7, 2009 12:30 PM

    What the hell are you talking about no one is talking about the Patriots? Everyone has them in the top two in the AFC, and most have them above the defending champs. Wait… I can’t tell if you were making a joke or not.

  11. Gweez says: Aug 7, 2009 12:31 PM

    There is a typo florio. It says no one is talking about the Patriots. Not sure what team you meant to say but obviously not them.

  12. Dewey Axewound says: Aug 7, 2009 12:31 PM

    I hate prediction pieces/off-season power-ranking crap.
    But, just to play along, I think one of the surprise AFC teams this year will be the Bengals.
    You watch.
    (And no, I don’t even give a sh1t about the Bengals.)

  13. jfkjr812 says: Aug 7, 2009 12:38 PM

    Come on Florio, the Bills should be higher than 12. Bengals, Jets, Jags? Come on!
    Hizzle – The Chiefs are where they belong… Not on the list!

  14. dr.3000 says: Aug 7, 2009 12:46 PM

    FLORIO IS BUSH LEAGUE.
    no is talking about the patsies? maybe in some 3rd world country where they have no contact with the rest of the world.

  15. VegasBronco says: Aug 7, 2009 12:54 PM

    Guys guys guys.. we all know that the San Diego Chargers will win the 2009 Super Bowl. Lets break it down. They have the best athletes. Shawn Merriman is back so the defense will be back to top three. Philip Rivers was the best rated QB last year. And they have the best WR combo, right?
    wake up wake up wake up

  16. geek says: Aug 7, 2009 1:07 PM

    So who does that leave without a chance? Denver, KC, Oakland and the Browns? Has anyone told you that you have an amazing gift of stating the obvious? The best part of it is that the best money is on one of those four teams making the playoffs. Since you need word space to get paid, why don’t you write a piece that explains the hopes for these remaining four teams. If V. Jackson goes to jail or is suspecnded for his second DUI offense, and Gates or LT can’t perform like 25 year olds, what are the Bolts chances of an 8-8 season? Maybe they get in with that record, but at 8-8, Denver and KC don’t need to do much to challenge. Oh yeah, Oakland and the Browns just suck.

  17. Davis1281 says: Aug 7, 2009 1:09 PM

    On NE – Not buying Brady returning to form for the sole reason that the O-line is like Swiss cheese. The Giants showed in the SB42 to get at him and keep doing it and teams will be throwing the kitchen sink at him. With decreased mobility (from his previous mollases) and no running game this is the year they fall off.
    On Bal – Too many changes on D and not enough O to keep them going.
    The Giants got to Brady, problem is not all teams have the personal they have, as far as no running game they had the # 6 overall running game in the NFL last year. Again another DUMBASS posting by another DUMBASS whodoesnt know what there talking about!

  18. Kyle Gruber says: Aug 7, 2009 1:10 PM

    “Amazingly, no one is talking about the Patriots.”
    Man, you’re a triple threat Florio. Writer, lawyer, AND a comedian!

  19. Petraki says: Aug 7, 2009 1:30 PM

    Seriously?
    The Bills last in the AFC? wow that is surprising to say the least….

  20. BrenstonBuckner says: Aug 7, 2009 1:30 PM

    The file pic of Florio looks like it was taken before he got hair on his balls—maybe yesterday??

  21. CurseofBoJackson says: Aug 7, 2009 1:47 PM

    Dewey Axewound has the right idea, from a blowhard’s perspective, but the Bengals are fragile at multiple positions, so need a bit of luck. I personally don’t get the Bills being on the list though, KC looks better on paper, you can’t convince me that a (historical) malcontect at WR will solve their woes, and also, the Jags? who’s gonna catch the ball? Who’s gonna fill in effectively for Jones-Drew when he gets injured?

  22. Prodigy says: Aug 7, 2009 1:48 PM

    “The Giants got to Brady, problem is not all teams have the personal they have, as far as no running game they had the # 6 overall running game in the NFL last year. Again another DUMBASS posting by another DUMBASS whodoesnt know what there talking about!”
    FYI predictions are about what’s gonna happen this year not last year. Just another NE Pattsy who hates to hear his team isn’t the best ever. How’d they do in the playoffs last year again? Guess I’m too much of a dumbass to remember them being in it.

  23. boltschick says: Aug 7, 2009 1:48 PM

    A few months ago, you predicted that the Chargers would not even make the playoffs. Now you rank them #3 in the AFC.
    What has changed since minicamp? Or did you simply realize the foolishness of your prediction? :)
    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article/2009-05-11/six-nfl-playoff-teams-might-not-make-it-back
    (Women never forget these things.)

  24. Davis1281 says: Aug 7, 2009 2:47 PM

    FYI predictions are about what’s gonna happen this year not last year….
    You predicted teams will get to Brady becouse of what the Giants did 2 years ago, that sounds like the past to me. AGAIN, another DUMBASS posting by another DUMBASS.

  25. MaineMan says: Aug 7, 2009 2:56 PM

    Hey, Prodigy!
    If, ” . . . predictions are about what’s gonna happen this year not last year,” then how come you emphasize so strongly that the Pats didn’t make the playoffs – last year?
    You make yourself look like a moron by trying to have your d**kishness and eat it, too.

  26. JuicyMelon says: Aug 7, 2009 3:03 PM

    The Bengals? Are you joking? It’s still Marvin Lewis coaching and it’s still an overrated Chad catching. The D is as bad as people think and I and I am not so sure Carson can come back healthy.

  27. VonClausewitz says: Aug 7, 2009 3:13 PM

    As much as I hate Philip Rivers and the douchebag management in SD I think the top 2 teams in the AFC are clear. Pats and Chargers. Beneath that you have the Steelers and whoever wins the AFC South (yes, this is the AFC’s toss up divission).
    The Chargers are going to go the distance during the regular season relatively untouched. Their division is sooooo bad there is a good chance they’ll be able to avoid the level of injuries that typically happen over the course of a season. This will obviously help them in the playoffs. What might hurt them is the absence of any real competition.
    The Pats are a walk thru their division provided they stay healthy. Buffalo and Miami will need to demonstrate they’ve made changes. That said every year is a new year and you never know when a team clicks.
    In the south the Colts aren’t going to do it. They’re going to be bumped. The Titans are the class of the division with Houston banging on the door. This division goes to who can grind deepest.
    I still think the Titans were the best team last year, ref-assisted loss to the Ravens included. They can go head to head with anybody. Last year wasn’t a fluke and it wasn’t all due to Big Al. Like the Pats this is a very well coached team. They do have all the pieces to make it come together.
    The Steelers? While they can win their division and they are ridiculously clutch, the only way they’re going the distance is if all their competition gets derailed during the season like it did last year.

  28. RIP__21 says: Aug 7, 2009 4:17 PM

    Dont agree with the Jets rank, they will struggle. Just because Flacco and Ryan had double digit wins doesnt mean that Sanchez can duplicate that. Ryan had Turner getting almost 1700 yards on the ground and Roddy white having a pro bowl type season. Flacco had the #2 ranked defense and a strong running game.
    What does Sanchez have? Jericho Cothery? Thomas Jones? Those two are are not comparable to Atlanta or Baltimore.
    Jets finish with 5-6 wins max.

  29. vanitha says: Aug 7, 2009 5:39 PM

    test

  30. bbq says: Aug 10, 2009 4:23 PM

    gameday said:
    “NFC Playoff teams ( in no particular seeding)
    Eagles
    Saints
    Vikings
    Seahawks
    giants
    Cowboys
    AFC Teams
    Steelers
    Colts
    Chargers
    Cheatriots
    Bengals
    Ravens”
    Oh really?
    The Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys will ALL make the playoffs this year, as well as the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals?
    I haven’t seen an inelligent post by you on PFT yet. You might want to think before you express your opinion and reveal what a fool you are.

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