Thursday, August 27, 2009

Looking for Sleepers: AFC Edition

As noted: During the past eight years, the NFL has been the target of parity, with a total of 51 occasions (AFC: 24, NFC: 27) of a team making the jump to the playoffs, after a non-playoff year. To play the averages, that’s roughly 6.4 teams each year!

With that- here's who I think the culprits are for the AFC side (NFC will be posted tomorrow). Note: I do think the majority of turn-over will be in the NFC.

AFC Playoff Teams Most Likely to Tail Off: Miami Dolphins and the Tennessee Titans.

Barring injury- I feel extremely confident that New England, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh will all make the playoffs. In the past seven seasons, only three quarterbacks (Tom Brady, Peyton, Manning and Ben Roethlisberger) from the AFC have taken their teams to the Super Bowl, winning six Super Bowl titles. San Diego has an easy division, a great offense, and a great quarterback. Their biggest red-flag is Norv Turner. Baltimore is a safe pick with a very competent quarterback (Flacco), good defense, and smart coach (John Harbaugh).

AFC Non-Playoff Teams Most Likely to Make the Leap:

The Lock: New England Patriots

Hmm. Great Coach + Great Quarterback, after winning 11 games without said Great Quarterback? Is it conceivable that they can go undefeated again? I would be shocked if they don't win at least 11 games.

Front-Runners for Leap-

Jacksonville Jaguars: Make or break year for David Garrard (and perhaps coach Jack Del Rio) after dismal 2008. They were a dangerous 2007 team that was in a lot of close games last year. Jacksonville went 4-7 in games decided by seven points or less.

Kansas City Chiefs: I love the upgrade at quarterback with Matt Cassel. I love the upgrade of anyone other than Herm Edwards as the coach even more. Add that to relatively easy division (could be 4 wins right there).

Cleveland Browns: The simple replacing of Romeo Crennel in theory should add at least 2-4 wins for the Browns.

NY Jets: Will Mark Sanchez’ rookie season look more like Matt Ryan or David Carr? As a Jets fan, I’m most worried about a rough beginning of the season. I’m hoping the Jets can stay afloat, because I feel they will vastly improve by season’s end.

Perhaps Too Many Question Marks:

Buffalo Bills: Can Trent Edwards make the leap with T.O. in the fold? I like Trent Edwards, but I’m convinced that Dick Jauron will continue to hold them back. Jauron has proven to be a lousy coach (57-76 record). For hilarity's sake: Check out how Jauron mistakenly ran the clock out at the end of the second quarter, down 3-0, during last year’s finale at New England’s 12 yard line.

Houston Texans: Trendy sleeper pick. However, I’m not sure if I’m ready to back a Matt Schaub-led team. Here's why.

Denver Broncos: Negativity aside, Denver fans shouldn’t be that down on the 2009 season. However, depending how this Orton situation pans out, this team could win anywhere from 3 wins to 9 wins.

Write Them Off:

Cincinnati Bengals: If a Palmer-led Bengals team finishes with 6 wins as Vegas predicts, can we officially question if Carson Palmer is actually good? I say yes.

Oakland Raiders: We will find out for sure in 2009 whether JaMarcus Russell can start in this league or not. Another red flag is their coach Tom Cable.

Playoff Picks: New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars


  1. Who's the other Tom Brady?

    What team does Tom Brady (II) play for?

    I know Tom Brady (I) plays for the Pats. I didn't know there was another quarterback named "Tom Brady"?

  2. Here are the teams not making the playoffs: New York Jets (non-experienced quarterback), Cleveland (Eric Manretarded is the coach), KC & Denver (Chargers are in there division), Jaguars (Jack Del Retarded is the coach).

    Here's a team I think will definitely take a turn for the worse: Miami Dolphins.
    1. Unreasonable expectations
    2. Other teams have figured out their weaknesses (Weakness 1: the Wildcat Offense)
    3. The Conference is better.
    4. Brady is back!

  3. Reply to Anonymous:

    Thanks for the correction!

    Reply to "Romo is..."

    I agree that Miami is due for a step- back.

    If you don't think any of those other teams have a chance, I assume you think Tennessee will make the playoffs. Btw- Tennessee's qb is Kerry Collins.