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AFC - Next couple of weeks could be telling

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by RelocatedPatFan, Oct 12, 2012.

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  1. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    Disclaimer: I'm aware that any record after the next 2 weeks can be misleading, but let's get the predictions on

    AFC
    In short, the conference seems to be a 4 team race. 2 other teams will have a shot to make it to the pos season, but no teams really stand out. sure, cincy is 3-2, but do you trust them? Could miami make a move? I think the only real compeition will be thse 2 spots, the rest feel like solid picks. Pittsburgh lost more thaqn a game Thursday. They lost half their offensive line. Getting to the post season will require some healthy bodies. Still plenty of time for them to turn it around, but it has to be in the next week or two -- max.

    Houston
    Current Identity = Team to beat in the AFC
    Future Identity = Same. They are still the most balanced team (unless they lose 2)
    Trending = No where to go but down. They appear to be well rounded and the real deal

    Hosting a potentially dangerous Green Bay (they almost have nothing to lose and need to save their season. A win here makes them legitimate) team followed by Baltimore. We already know what they are, but if they win these 2 games, people will start talking about the perfect season and maybe with reason. Still, they still have a potential gauntlet to get through and this will be a highly tested group by the end of the season. Beating Baltimore means they’d have a leg up on them in the AFC.

    Baltimore
    Current Identity = Drivers Seat, but still need to prove they are the class of the AFC
    Future Identity = Let’s wait and see what the Houston game holds. But, a shift has already happened in Baltimore, they are better offensively than defensively.

    Hosting a Dallas team that appears to be dead to the work. But this is a sporadic Dallas team. Capable of play from abysmal to elite (for 1 game only, they aren’t consistent enough to be classified as elite). The week after they head to Houston. A win vs Dallas proves little. A win over Houston puts them in a good place.

    New England
    Current Identity = Great Offense, Defense could cost them the post season
    Future Identity = With the offense getting healthy, will anything change? Could they be more dangerous than what they are currently?. That’s a real scary prospect. Especially with a young defensive team that shows it can improve.

    At Seattle and then hosting a lackluster and gimpy NY Jets team. Let’s forget about the Jets, unless something drastic happens, the AFCE is locked up with the Patriots at the top. For Seattle, this can be a pivotal moment where their already ranked #1 defense can look and say, we beat a top NFL offense. This makes them legitimate. If the Patriots can go on the road to the West Coast and pull out an impressive victory, they will be in a position to battle for the bye. They’ll need help as Baltimore has the 1 game edge on them.

    San Diego
    Current Identity = What is their identity | Traditionally a slow starter, they could break the mold
    Future identity = In control of the division with a fighting chance for a bye

    Notorious slow starter is sitting at 3-2 Hosting division foe Denver. This game can literally send them in 2 directions. A Win puts them in a good place to potentially contend for a bye or at the very least hosting a playoff game. A loss sends them to the middle of the pack, still looking good for the playoffs, but not much chance of getting a bye. They have a bye week with the following 3 weeks against some very beatable teams.

    NFC
    Not going to do any breakdown, but the Giants @ 49ers is must see football this weekend. Should be smash mouth defensive football with enough offense to keep it all very entertaining. A win or loss can help or hurt as it’s a conference game, but it may not settle anything for the long term. But both teams are in the same position. Leading their division, but tied as well.

    For San Fran, they share the lead with Arizona who hosts Buffalo. Should we go ahead and count that as a win for the Cardinals?

    For the Giants, the Eagles have a matchup with the car swiping Suh and the rest of the Detroit Lions. This is an out of conference game so a loss wouldn’t sting as much.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  2. E1Downey

    E1Downey Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Nice post. I liked the format.

    Now call me crazy but, I'm actually very interested in what Miami can do this year. They've definitely had me raise my eyebrows. Now I don't think they will make the playoffs, but I do think they have the ability to really mess up the plans of a few other AFC teams.

    Tannehill has been playing better than I expected, and now they have Jabar starting this week to add another passing threat to compliment the running game with Bush, another player doing better than I anticipated.

    Should be interesting, I believe they are the number 2 team in the AFCE, and could possibly give us some trouble down the road.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  3. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey

    Good work. Holding my fury in check being ranked below Ravens after the atrocious ref job but I understand we are still below them where it counts in the playoff tree.

    Nothing really to argue otherwise. Like the other poster said, nice format.
     
  4. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    To be perfectly honest based on last week's games, the Pats are trending up and Houston and Baltimore are trending down. It is only one week, but the Texans and Ravens came out with more questions then they went in with.

    Houston just lost their 2011 defensive MVP and showed some concerns on both sides of the ball against the Jets. The Texans' secondary was miserable in that game (there were a ton of receivers who were wide, wide open) and if the Jets had a real QB and WRs, they would have picked that secondary apart. And on offense, they were uneven at best against an average to below average defense in the Jets.

    As for the Ravens, their defense has been average to slightly above average all year and actually carried on offense for most of the year. Against the Browns, that offense did nothing.

    The Pats have concerns too, but the same concerns they had going into the Broncos game. But they proved that the running performance against the Bills was no fluke. Their offense is getting better week after week.

    Now it is dangerous to make assumptions based on one week of football. But if I was trending week to week, I would be giving the Pats an up arrow and the Texans and Ravens a down arrow.

    BTW, I would say right now that the Pats and Texans are better than they were last year while I would say the Ravens are worse.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  5. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    E1Downey, PatriotMissile - Thanks for the compliment

    Can't argue too much, but the main idea is the next 2 weeks will really give us a good indication where they are headed.

    True, the Texans lost a stud on defense, but are still loaded. If they can get through the next 2 weeks, they're still on track. Just with less overall talent.

    As for the Ravens, I agree, but they seem to be playing to the level of the competition as well and have squeaked out some wins (the one vs us definitely in question given the refs).

    Right, as we lost Hernandez, we had some trouble adjusting. Give the Texans this next game to see if they can get back on track. Cushing isn't a hole that can be instantly filled. I don't know their depth, but the next guy up might be good enough to hold it together. Next 2 weeks should tell us in my opinion.
    Age may be a factor. 35+ year old bodies take longer to heal. They may really need a bye week to go deep in the post season. I kinda seem the current Baltimore defense similar to ours last year. Gives up the yards, but not the points so much. Still, that either translates to big play difficulty or possibly losing Time of Possession. If it's the later, then they will wear down (I mean Ray Lewis -- cute kid -- can't go on forever, can he?)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  6. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

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    Ravens are great at home, suspect on the road which was the same as last year.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  7. fxkane

    fxkane Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Pittsburgh has not only lost half their offensive line, but what a remaining schedule! It's hard to see them making the playoffs at all.

    But they do have two rather late games with Baltimore and these could be must win games which will benefit us.

    The only thing that scares me about the Texans is that we may have to face them in Houston in the AFC Final. I much prefer we get them here in the frigid Northeast.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You say that we already have only 3 real competitors for the AFC crown. I don't think that this will change in the next couple of weeks. A dark horse could emerge in 6 weeks or so, but not 2. I think that the top 3 are head and shoulders above anyone else. And yes, San Diego is always in the mix; their division is awful.
     
  9. Bill B.

    Bill B. Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Houston seems to be the favorite amongst the pundits. They should cruise into the playoffs but the it will be another story. Teams that go into he playoffs for the first time tend to choke once they get there. I think that when the playoffs come, Houston will be knocked off. It will be between the Patriot and te Ravens for the AFC.
     
  10. FoxWhiskey

    FoxWhiskey Practice Squad Player

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    I think Texans are overrated. Texans are backseatdriver in the AFC.

    The 2 Teams , that you have to beat, are:
    Our Pats and Ravens. Still the same, like other years ago.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  11. ALP

    ALP Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    we are better than the ravens, at this point id say we're a wash w/ the texans

    our passing game is better than theirs, our running games are similar, their defense is a bit better than ours
     
  12. Fball

    Fball Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Denver is in the mix, imo. They won't be favorites, but by the time January rolls around, they'll be the most dangerous team in the playoffs.
     
  13. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Would anyone be scared of playing a road game @ the Texans in the AFCCG?

    Brady, Welker, LLoyd, Hernandez, Ridley on turf in a dome, sweeeet.
     
  14. Creative Username

    Creative Username On the Game Day Roster

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    I'd be concerned about them keeping the game too close. When it comes down to the wire, I don't know if Gostkowski will be able to pull it out for us. If you had asked me five weeks ago, the answer would easily be no.
     
  15. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    San Diego could be a little scary if they ever get over the self inflicted playoff losses. I haven't see enough of their games to get a sense for where they are in the grand scheme. Certainly a good record, but little knowledge abotu their overall team.
    they certainly have a chance, but maybe they'd be the most dangerous wild card team (in the AFC). I can think of 1 team who could be more dangerous i nthe post season ;)
    As much as i want to see the offense dominate the game. I'd prefer seeing a 4th quarter defense that doesn't give up a whole bunch of yards and scores. Though, that may be our identitity. However, generating turnovers on the D is also a part (just less dependable than a stable defense)
     
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