AFC East: New England Patriots
Is it even a question of who will take the AFC East this season? Over the past 15 seasons, the Patriots have won the AFC East every year except once, (2008), when the Dolphins won the division on a tiebreaker with an 11-5 record. Tom Brady has showed no signs of slowing down and if he is still at his peak, he will own this division. Also, with 2 of the 3 teams most likely starting the season with rookie quarterbacks, and all 3 teams in the rebuilding process, it should be a cake walk for New England disregarding any unforeseen injuries.
AFC South: Houston Texans
The AFC South used to be the laughing stock of the NFL, but now has grown to be one of the most competitive and talented divisions in football. With 2 teams from the division last season, it is quite possible to see 3 make it there this season. The Houston Texans have the potential to make a serious, deep run in the postseason if they can just stay healthy. With both JJ Watt and Deshaun Watson coming back from injury, they have the 2 most talented players on either side of the ball in the division. But with an ultra-talented and hungry Titans team; and Jacksonville have the best defense in football, it will be a tight race to the finish in this packed division! In all, the Texans have the most top-end talent on both sides of the football and I think this will help guide them to a division title.
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers
Everybody seems to be hopping onto the Cleveland Browns bandwagon except me. With all the hype behind the Hard Knocks series, and Baker Mayfield impressing so far this preseason; the Browns have been the talk of the AFC North. Everybody needs to slam on the breaks and wait a second because the Steelers are still the kings of this division. The 3 B’s still intact for at least one more season, there is no reason to not pick the reigning division champs once again. I say to wait at least we see a significant down fall or Ben Roethlisberger or we see Le’Veon Bell no longer in this division. The Ravens and Bengals look to be middle of the road teams once again, not showing to be major contenders yet. So everyone just take a deep breath and calm down, the Steelers are looking to be the consistent AFC title contenders we’ve come to know and love.
AFC West: Oakland Raiders
The AFC West seems to be one of the hardest divisions to predict so far as there has been a lot of moving parts and injuries as this new season approaches. The Chiefs trade Alex Smith and fully commit to Pat Mahomes, the Broncos signed Case Keenum, The Raiders hired Jon Gruden as their head coach, and the Chargers have been absolutely decimated with injuries. If I wrote this article a month ago then I would think the Chargers would win this division; but with all of the injuries, they have suffered Oakland has taken over the top spot for me. The Chiefs and Broncos are too much of unknowns for me to confidently pick them at the beginning of the season; but Pat Mahomes has impressed this preseason with massive arm talent. It was only 2 seasons ago where the Raiders were dominating the AFC West, but Derek Carr suffered the disappointing leg injury. I think with Gruden’s tutelage, Carr can lead the Raiders to another AFC West title.