The AFC appears to be tougher than the NFC this year and that includes a drop off of the New England Patriots who may not be in the mix for a title run in 2020.
Last year the Ravens dominated the league and the AFC North and they should have no problems doing the same again this year. The question isn’t whether they will win the division, it’s whether they will get to the Super Bowl.
The rest of the North is in transition. The Bengals will not be relevant and the Browns, bless their hearts, are not ready to make any significant move. The Steelers should do better this year with Ben Roethlisberger back but it won’t be enough to chase the Ravens.
Over in the West, the Chiefs reign supreme and barring injury, it is their division for the foreseeable future. The defending Super Bowl champions should see an easy run to a division title but what happens in the playoffs could be a different story.
The Raiders have a nice shiny new stadium that looks like it was made of Legos inside but while it is state of the art, the Raiders are not. The Broncos have a lot of question marks and the Chargers are building after moving on from Phillip Rivers.
We head South where it could get real interesting. Each week could provide a playoff atmosphere and the South could be the most entertaining division in the AFC. The Colts have a new QB, Rivers, the Texans are tough on both sides of the ball, and the Titans surprised everyone last year making a late run behind Ryan Tannehill. I think this one comes to down to the Texans beating, well, themselves, which is their biggest problem.
Finally, we move to the AFC East where the Patriots are still the team to beat but they sure don’t carry that same level of intimidation as they have in the past decade. The Patriots have undergone a lot of off-season changes including losing Brady, losing key members of the defense, and nine players opting out for the year.
The Bills stand to be the beneficiary to the Patriot woes. They have the QB, or at least the hype, they have a quality head coach and a good defense. The Bills have weapons and they should be able to win the division this year.
So that brings us to the Jets who have probably the most talented veteran team of the division but no one can get past Adam Gase as the head coach. He is an internal implosion waiting to happen and DC Gregg Williams has his own set of egotistical issues. For all the higher end talent the Jets are a mess and honestly, the basement of the division is in their future.
The Miami Dolphins are going to improve in 2020 but not enough to make a legit run at the division or a Wild Card spot. They are simply too young and have too many holes and depth concerns. They are on the right track and a 7-9 season this year will be a big improvement. It really will be 2021 when we start talking deep season post-season implications.
I see the Ravens, Chiefs, Bills, and Texans winning their divisions and I believe the Steelers and Titans will be this year’s Wild Card teams.