2016 Season Preview — AFC


The 2016 NFL Season kicks off on Thursday. Yesterday I previewed the NFC, today it's the AFC's turn.

AFC West:
1. Kansas City Chiefs 11-5 — I think the Chiefs are a strong team and this is the year they finally break the Broncos' stranglehold on the division. That hurt to type.
2. Denver Broncos 10-6 — Rumors of the Broncos' demise have been greatly exaggerated. Sure, they won't be as good this year, but they still have a great defense and should be better on offense. I think they make the playoffs.
3. Oakland Raiders 9-7 — The Raiders are a team on the rise. I think this is the first season in more than a decade that they finish above .500 and are in the playoff hunt.
4. San Diego Chargers 3-13 — San Diego could be a candidate for the No. 1 draft pick.

AFC North:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 — I think the Steelers have a great team, and it could well be their year again.
2. Cincinnati Bengals 10-6 — Don't count out the Bengals. I think they take a little step back, but they're still in the playoff hunt.
3. Baltimore Ravens 10-6 — The Ravens should have a bounce back year. I think they'll also be in the playoff hunt.
4. Cleveland Browns 4-12 — I like Hue Jackson, but I think the Browns have some work to do. I'm not an RG3 believer.

AFC South:
1. Indianapolis Colts 10-6 — The Colts took a huge step backward last year. I think they get part of the way back on track this season.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars 7-9 — I think the Jags are a team on the rise, too. But they won't get there in 2016.
3. Houston Texans 6-10 — I am not a Brock believer.
4. Tennesse Titans 6-10 — I think the Titans make some progress this year, but they are still not in the playoff picture.

AFC East:
1. New England Patriots 11-5 — The Patriots will get off to a slow start with Brady out for four games, but they are still the best team in this division.
2. Buffalo Bills 8-8 — I think the Bills will be an up-and-down team, but not a playoff team.
3. New York Jets 7-9 — I think the Jets take a step backward this year.
4. Miami Dolphins 6-10 — Adam Gase could be a good coach, but I think it will take another year to be a playoff contender.

AFC Playoffs:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. New England Patriots
4. Indianapolis Colts
5. Cincinnati Bengals
6. Denver Broncos

Wild Card Round: Patriots over Broncos; Bengals over Colts
Divisional Round: Patriots over Chiefs; Steelers over Bengals
AFC Championship: Steelers over Patriots

Super Bowl LI: Steelers over Packers

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