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Let's face it - The AFC is a 3-team race

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PATRIOTSFANINPA, Aug 8, 2007.

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  1. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Pro Bowl Player

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    San Diego, Denver and New England are the 3 teams that I think are a virtual lock to be the AFC representative in the Super Bowl this year.

    I don't care about that crap statement that you must beat the man to be the man because in Indy's case they have simply lost way too many guys in critical areas of defense and their best offensive lineman to be a dangerous SB challenger this year - Indy is not New England and can't just replace anyone with success, the colts have lived off of getting top players in the draft and not losing much of their team. This year is different,thus comes the Super Bowl curse of having the nucleus of your team breaking up after a championship. They still have Manning, Harrison and Sanders but it won't be enough for me to put them in the top tier.

    Jacksonville has their big chance to overtake Indy in the south and their defense may be the best in the league when all is said and done so they will be a team to worry about although the QB issue may be their downfall and keep them out of my elite ranking

    Baltimore has a great defense but quarterback issues.

    Cincinnati has a great offense but their defensive secondary is questionable.

    Jets are a one year wonder.

    Pittsburgh needs to adjust to a new coach after all the years of Cowher and may take a year or two to be back to prominence,this is a team not as talented as SD and needs time,also adjustment to what I think will be less smash mouth and more of a passing team as Roethlisberger wants it to be.

    Everybody else is an also-ran unless we see a miracle cinderella season from one of these bottom tier teams, not likely

    I think San Diego is so damn talent laden that it will easily overcome the coaching changes and a below average coach in Turner - Guys like Tomlinson and Merriman can make an average coach look great so don't think they are done or are in transition, they are a VERY dangerous team.

    Denver has Shanahan and a potential Elway clone although an unproven Cutler and a heck of a secondary which will dominate most teams so they are a dangerous team too, Javon Walker will have a MONSTER season IMO.

    So overall here is how I see the AFC....

    ELITE TEAMS TO BE AFC RESPRESENTATIVE IN SUPER BOWL...
    New England,San Diego and Denver

    TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE JUST OUTSIDE OF ELITE
    Indianapolis,Jacksonville

    TEAMS IN CONTENTION BUT NOT QUITE A DANGEROUS TEAM
    Baltimore,Pittsburgh,Cincinnati,Jets

    TEAMS TO WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR OR LONGER
    Miami,Cleveland,Houston,Tennessee,Buffalo,Kansas City,Oakland
     
  2. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    Neglecting a diminished Indy is utter folly. The playoffs are only a few games. Anything can happen, players get hurt, sick with the flu, key bad calls, hot streak, matchups that subtly favor a team, whatever. If you'd modify LOCK to 'highest probability' I'd be more comfortable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2007
  3. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    Couldn't agree more. Indy is a great team.
     
  4. Pujo

    Pujo Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    How can 3 teams be a virtual lock?

    And I wouldn't count Indy out, as long as Peyton is their QB they're in the hunt.
     
  5. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    As long as the Patriots have Brady and Belichick, they'll be contenders.

    As long as the Colts have Manning and Harrison and Wayne and Freeney, they'll be contenders.

    As long as Denver has Shanahan and Cutler, they'll be, oops, Cutler, did I say Cutler? For a moment, there, I thought I said Elway.

    Let's give the fellow a few snaps before we dole out the anointing oil.
     
  6. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Pro Bowl Player

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    I just can't remember when a team who just won the Super Bowl lost 2 key members of their secondary and a guy that held oncoming rushers of the QBs back for so many years, NE may have done it,other teams not so lucky.

    True Indy is still talented but I simply don't think that Defense will be any better than it was last year, probably worse and a miracle turnaround in the playoffs AGAIN does not seem realistic to me.

    The defense consists of Freeney, Sanders and then just a bunch of average guys IMO.

    The only way I see Indy going far into the playoffs is they are going to have to put up an average of 30 points per game ALL year because I don't see their defense stopping teams too much...and that is with an offense with a 35 year old Harrison and hoping Gonzalez replaces Stokely adequately - Won't be easy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2007
  7. TeamPats

    TeamPats On the Game Day Roster

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    I wouldn't rule out the Steelers either or Cinci completely, or hell anyone. The Patriots live and breath by an any given sunday approach...the fans should be no different.
     
  8. Oswlek

    Oswlek In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    I have to agree that the Colts will be a factor. I am one of the most vocal members here that they benefitted from a substantial amount of luck last year and I don't think they will make it to the SB, but they are still a good team.
     
  9. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Pro Bowl Player

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    I never said ANYWHERE the Colts are a bad team,I said they are just below an Elite team this year,Thats how I see it.

    The Colts are a very good team and about the 4h or 5th best AFC team,Just not Elite IMO
     
  10. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    Amen. The Colts haven't gone away. Yeah, they've had some roster changes, but now must show they belong, just as the Patriots have in the past, with their play this season. They are still dangerous and a contender at the highest level.

    Agree with the Denver assessment, and while San Diego is loaded with talent, the coaching changes will have some influence in the first half of the season. Let's see how well Turner can coach adversity. He's definitely a "player's coach," and that may be exactly what the team doesn't need in light of all the changes. We shall see...
     
  11. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    Wow, with all due respect this is REALLY REALLY stupid. Teams come from out of nowhere all the time.
     
  12. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    And that's what makes each NFL season so interesting. The real question coming out of your post is who will be the surprise contender this season.
     
  13. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Pro Bowl Player

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    There is always a cinderella team that everyone says WOW like the Jets last year,But looking BEFORE the season starts I see no true cinderella team at this point in August,thus I think its the same old teams contending,I may be wrong.

    The NFC is a different story,not only do they not have any teams a certainty of winning anything but they are full of Cinderella possibilities.
     
  14. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    Pittsburgh, Cincy, Jacksonville all have plenty of talent to make a leap. I don't think The Jest is but maybe I'm too close to that situation - same with KC and Herm.

    Two extreme longshots are Houston and Tenessee. Although Tenessee had a real nice run at the end of last year I include them because we, as Patriots fans, would be well advised to remember what difference a new QB can make.
     
  15. godef

    godef In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    I don't know, Pittsburgh looked pretty good in the HOF game; granted, it's early, but Pitt is a top organization, it's just not been Cowher.

    On the other hand, SD *also* has to adjust to a new coach after several years of Martyball. So you may see Pittsburgh replace SD.
     
  16. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Pro Bowl Player

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    Vince young is only is his second year but we will see if he can put the team on his shoulder when it comes to must win situations..In his rookie season he could not get the job done when playing the Patriots in that must win game for them,Hopefully for his sake its a learning experience and not the norm to which many must win situations will happen for him in the next decade.
     
  17. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    Agree that KC is toast. They'll be coached into NFL oblivion, just as the Jests were when Herm was there. Just watching the KC training camp last year on NFL network, I gotta think Herm has the type of personality where the players tune him out after a season. He's too much mouth and not enough substance.

    Tennessee has an opportunity to move up; yet, I'm not sure how they'll fill some holes left by that great humanitarian Pacman. However, the QB is the real deal. Houston would be a definite surprise contender, but we'll see how good Schaub really is as a starter this season. Their O-Line is still weak.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2007
  18. patchick

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    While I don't agree with the overall premise, I do think you're right to spotlight Denver. That team looks to me like the sleeping giant this year.

    Mildly OT, but the other day I was thinking about the BB's struggles vs. Shanahan and this ridiculous analogy came to mind:

    My husband and I used to sometimes play odds & evens to decide who would do a chore -- until he noticed that I beat him way, way too often. I could predict his choices with uncanny accuracy. Then one day, suddenly, it shifted. It was back to pure chance, 50-50. Drat, how did he defeat my mindreading prowess? :) It turns out that he randomized. He thought of some long word and then went letter by letter, choosing based on whether the letters were odd or even in the alphabet. In other words, he stopped deciding so I was no longer able to anticipate his decisions.

    Anyway, that's now the way I picture BB feeling vs. a Shanahan. A fellow gameplanner can "randomize" enough to neutralize your strategic mindreading advantage.
     
  19. MrTibbs

    MrTibbs Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    I think the AFC has a lot of good playoff potential teams to offer other then the Patriots, Chargers, Broncos and Colts:

    You can't forget teams like the Ravens, Bengals, Jaguars, Steelers and Titans for that matter. The AFC will be tight all the way to week 17, NO TEAM is running away with anything. I think the Jets don't do any better then .500. No cupcake schedule this year and opposing teams know what to expect.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2007
  20. Grizzafted

    Grizzafted Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Re: Let's face it - The AFC is a 3 team race

    I look at it like this:

    In January 2005, there were four division-winning teams battling it out for the super bowl: The 15-1 Pittsburgh Steelers, the 14-2 New England Patriots, the 13-3 Indianapolis Colts, and the 12-4 San Diego Chargers.

    Way I see it nothing's changed. I don't believe in Denver. One of those four teams will hold the trophy at the end of the year. If I had to guess, in order of likelihood:

    1. NE
    2. SD
    3. Ind
    4. Pit
     
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