Premature Evaluation: A way Too Early Look at the NFL Power Rankings, Part 1 AFC

Image via NFL
Image via NFL

With the league offices on Park Avenue literally turning into the Big Apple Circus, I figured why not have fun at the expense of the thirty two franchises whom keep this “non-profit” organization going.  This is considered “down-time” for the NFL, when coaches and staff take a month or so off, to unwind before going full tilt into training camp.   Bill is most likely parading around Nantucket on his newly renamed boat.  Mr. Kraft is off in the mother land being an evangelist for Israeli football.  The Forehead is figuring out if Denver really did want to trade him to Houston for God only knows how many draft picks.  With the Brady appeal decision looming, we take a look at the league as a whole and why this year is the year YOUR franchise wins the Lombardi Trophy.

AFC East

BUFFALO BILLS:

Season tickets are at an all-time high.

Rex gives Brady more trouble than anyone.

Shady McCoy is going to run for 2,000 yards.

Translation:

Buffalo is still a cesspool and almost had Bon Jovi as their owner.

Agreed, but his record is still under five hundred.

Until he has a hamstring pull and starts calling Rex a racist as well.

MIAMI DOLPHINS:

Suh!

We own Brady in Miami and the AFC is weak.

Our coach is coaching for his job, he has a lot to prove.

Translation:

O/U on the amount of games before Suh gets suspended is 3.5.  I’ll take the under.

As soon as the weather drops below South Beach, the Dolphins turn into guppies.

The doppelganger from the father in Step Brothers is a pud.  Plain and simple.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS:

They are the defending world champions.

We have Brady and Belichick.

Our schedule is much easier than last year, the AFC goes through Foxboro.

Translation:

True, but nobody has won back to back titles since…..

God, I love them both.  I’d take a bullet for them.

Patriots always seem to have that “WTF” game somewhere early/mid-season.

NEW YORK JETS:

Brandon Marshall and Decker will be unstoppable.

Our defense is the best in the league!

Todd Bowles is a no nonsense coach.

Translation:

Whom is going to throw them the ball?

Cromartie is a shell of himself, but their front seven is solid.

He also has a permanent grin on.  He reminds me of the Joker.  Actually from this day on he will be referred to as the Joker.

AFC North

PITTSBURGH STEELERS:

Dick Lebeau needed to go, time for new blood on defense.

Big Ben had one of his best years as a pro last season, the Steelers were very close.

Winning in Pittsburgh is tough in the cold weather.

Translation:

Pittsburgh hasn’t been stout on defense in years, especially against the pass.  This is a building process for them.

Can the Pittsburgh offense stay out of the tub and off the drugs long enough to sustain success?

You lost to Tampa Bay at home last season, enough said.

CINCINNATI BENGALS:

Andy Dalton is going to take the next step this year.

Geno Atkins leading that front seven is scary.

The Jungle is becoming a very tough place for opposing teams to play.

Translation:

Andy Dalton is going to take another step in which direction?

Geno Atkins wasn’t the same player after he got hurt.  Case closed.

Marvin Lewis continues to hold a franchise back with more talent on both sides of the ball than most other teams.

BALTIMORE RAVENS:

Flacco is a proven winner.

Our defense is solid and will continue to win us big games.

Harbaugh is one of the best in the business.  He can coach up holes in all three phases of the game.

Translation:

Flacco threw two gifts to the Patriots in the biggest game of the year.

Your defense blew two fourteen point leads in the playoffs.

Harbaugh is a cry baby like his twin and folded when BB put the heat on him.

CLEVELAND BROWNS:

Josh McCown is legit and will win us more games than lose them.

Our secondary is one of the best in the business.  Haden is the GOAT.

It’s been fifty-one years!  Our time is now.

Translation:

McCown has Matt Flynn syndrome.  The Denim King went down with a concussion and he played decent against second tier defense.

Haden is good against mediocre receivers.  Look at his numbers against the elite.

Exactly, it has fifty-one years.  If Lebron couldn’t get it done.  Josh McCown isn’t going to be either.

AFC South

 

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS:

We got Frank Gore to carry the rock and Andre Johnson as another target for The Neck Beard.

Our division is so weak, we’ve all but guaranteed a home playoff game.

Luck is going to take that next step into elite status, and should win the AFC.

Translation:

You are still soft and I have no words to describe what is going to happen to you week six when New England comes to town.

Raise a banner for that one too.

Ask Luck and the drug addict owner their record against BB and TB12 led teams.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS:

Bortles got some much needed experience last year and our line is much improved.

Julius Thomas is going to be a monster in the red zone.

Our team is resilient and going to surprise a lot of people next year.

Translation:

Bortles did improve, but whom is going to carry the rock?  MJD isn’t coming through that door.

Who are the other playmakers on that offense? And Julius Thomas is soft as well.

Your coach was surprised when you didn’t turn the ball over.  Plain and simple.

TENNESSEE TITANS:

The Silent Hawaiian is going no-huddle straight out of the gate.

Sankey will surprise people this year and go for over 1,500 yards.

Our secondary is one of the best in the league, we’re going to be tough to throw against.

Translation:

How many college quarterbacks who don’t run a pro-style offense do anything in year one?

Sankey looks like Tyrion Lannister in football pads.

Luckily you’re playing against the AFC East this year.  Outside of TB12, you have paper bags throwing against you.

HOUSTON TEXANS:

Foster is going to reestablish his dominance in the running game.

JJ Watt is an “All-World” talent.  Who is going to stop him?

We have two Brady understudies fighting for the QB job.  They are both Pro Bowl talents.

Translation:

You can keep Arian Foster and his rubber band hamstrings.

JJ Watt IS an all-world player.  But he is only one of 22.

Matt Cassel, Kevin O’Connell, Michael Bishop, etc. etc.

AFC West

DENVER BRONCOS:

Manning is the best to play the game, he is due for his second Lombardi.

Our front seven is going to be dominant.  Miller and Ware paired with our rookie class will be giving nightmares to defensive coordinators.

Our offense is going to be more balanced this year, and not depend on 18 to win every game.

Translation:

As of today, whom is his number one receiver? Soft Thomas went to Jacksonville and Hard Thomas doesn’t want to take part in OTA’s.

Miller feasts on bad quarterbacks and disappears against physical offensive linemen.  Watch the tape.

CJ Anderson and Monte Ball are NOT the saviors in the Mile High City.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS:

Alex Smith is as good a game manager as there is in this league.

Jamal Charles may run for 2,000 yards this year with a healthy offensive line.

Houston, Hali and Poe are the second coming of the Steel Curtain.

Translation:

Alex Smith also forgot how to throw touchdowns to his wide receivers.

There is a lot of tread on Jamal’s tires.  Not to mention he is creeping up on the wrong side of 30.

The secondary is the question mark here.  Here is hoping Eric Berry gets healthy.  In all seriousness, prayers to him.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS:

This is a contract year for Rivers, he is going to be playing like a man possessed.

San Diego is one of the toughest places for opposing teams to play, especially east coast teams.

Antonio Gates came into OTA’s leaner and quicker than he is looked in years.

Translation:

This could also be a contract year for the Chargers in general.

Tell that to New England whom came in on short rest last season.

Any tight end with a bad foot, spells bad news for everyone involved.

OAKLAND RAIDERS:

Derek Carr showed promise in year one, he could surprise some people this year.

Latavius Murray is a beast pounding the rock.  He may go for 2,000 yards this year.

Khalil Mack may win defensive player of the year.

Translation:

He may, but his offensive line may get him killed before Halloween.

Murray was a flash in the pan last season and won’t break 1,000 yards this year.  I’ll throw some money on that as well.

Sadly Khalil is only one of twenty two out there, and you are still the Raiders.

As I said before, this is the most boring of times for any NFL fan.  Many of us are waiting with baited breath on the fate of Thomas Edward Brady.   The fans of the other thirty one franchises are anticipating big things from their team this year, and feel they are only a piece or two away from surprising people.  In reality, the NFL is a tricky place and things happen that can change the entire competitive landscape in the blink of an eye.   Personally, my sites are set on opening weekend when the Steelers come to town.  We’ll see if the loss of the entire cornerback platoon has any effect on the BB run defense.  Oh, and there is also that slight detail if the greatest quarterback to ever play the game will be suiting up for it as well.   We are just about a month out from training camps folks, hang tight.

By: Mike Procopio

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