Who are the contenders in the AFC in '06?
Just wanted to get some opinions on who's going to contend in the AFC next year - here are my picks:
CONTENDERS (10+ wins)
This team wins 10 against that schedule and in spite of all those injuries? BTW- they're hungry again.
They will only go so far w/ Frerotte, but a WC spot is achievable.
They're taking the South next year over...
No Edge presents HUGE problems for their offense. Could miss playoffs altogether.
With the Bus gone, they lose their emotional anchor, still a tough team though.
Palmer's recovery is the x-factor, though still not a mature, tough team.
Herm Edwards will win a lot of ballgames w/ that talent on offense, still will get outcoached in the playoffs though.
Will battle KC for the West, no threat in the playoffs thanks to Shoddy.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK (7-9 wins)
Played WAY over their heads in '05, fall back to Earth in '06.
They seem to stumble into 8 wins.
RAC will win games on D, offense will not get them into the postseason.
BOTTOM OF THE BARREL
Such a poorly run franchise.
If they work in Vince Young at QB, there will be growing pains.
Kubiak will make a winner out of them...but not in '06.
So many question marks, a new coach, another miserable season.
This will be the hands-down WORST team in the AFC next year. Eric Mangini as HC? WTF are they thinking? He had ONE mediocre year AT BEST as DC, now he's supposed to resurrect the Jets with Noodle Arm or Bolly at QB?
I would move Denver up a grouping while moving KC and Cleveland down a grouping.
Denver did play over their heads but they are good and have two #1 picks. They are said to be something like $30M over the cap but sometimes that's more paperwork than anything else. We'll see on that.
KC is going to drop IMO. Herm doesn't impress me and the OC is gone too.
Cleveland is in a tough division and, Crennel or not, their defense isn't good. Sometimes a defense looks good through smoke and mirrors because the opposition doesn't need to score a lot of poiints.
Here's the cap situations :
I think the Jets will be better than the Bills, while I still would not right off the Colts just yet... Pats will win the east again...
i don't think denver played above their heads last year...they had one of the toughest schedules and actually left a couple of wins out on the field (miami, NYG)....their defense was excellent at making teams one dimensional and they only stand to get better with two first rounders and two fourth rounders, and i think potentially a compensatory pick at the end of the third. while nobody there has a ton of confidence in Plummer, they are efficient on offence behind a solid line and 2000 yards of rushing. (oh yeah, and their cap number is artificially high now...they're probably in a similar situation to us)
indy should still be a solid regular season team, though i prefer Jacksonville for the division...i think the jags may sweep the colts next year.....if polian had any stones he'd trade Manning in a blockbuster to the jets (or someother lackey) for all their picks...we've seen this type of situation before with "numbers" QBs (Tarkenton, Marino, Kelly)....the only way to buck the trend for both parties is to stop the bleeding and cut the cord! never happen though, and i'm fine with that. :)
cincinatti is all dependent on Palmer...personally, i don't think he'll be back for next season....
i think miami has another year (under a young QB) of progression before a playoff berth is in sight.
SD will surely be better if they trade Rivers for good picks....and would be preseason SB IXL favourites if they could overcome their prospensity for costly mistakes (likely inspired by the Shotty leadership)
If brady has some wideouts to through to next year (and i'm not talking Davis and Dwight), the pats will be my favourite to get back where they belong!
id move miami, kc, and the bungles down a notch or 2...
miami: the press is in love with saban's heroics... ??? why... they still stink, and no one is afraid of them. they have an aging defense, no qb, and last i checked, that is an important position.
kc: new coach will ruin them... he's not a good coach; someone will figure that out.
bungles. that lockerroom incident is a lot bigger deal than they let on... imagine givens taking a swing at BB? plus, palmer's uncertainty.
Impossible to predict right now. Offseason activity could change things drastically.
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