- 05/17/2012, 07:19PM ET
Mr Monopoly Man said 05/17, 07:19 PM
AFC East - New England
The Patriots added FAs and improved through the draft. Their offense is lethal, the defense is improving, and the rest of the East either lacks the talent or is too much of a circus to compete.
AFC North - Pittsburgh Steelers
A huge problem for Pittsburgh last season was their offensive line. On draft day, they landed two players who can start. The defense gets a little older, but considering they were still among the best in the league even a small step backwards wouldn't be drastic.
AFC South - Tennessee
Chris Johnson won't start as slow, and Houston has taken steps back. Tennessee added a playmaker in Wright and three solid defenders in the draft, and Hutchinson on the line.
AFC West - Kansas City
Poe could be boom or bust, but KC still has a talented defense. Cassel will be back, as will Charles. I'm not sold on Manning and Denver; KC it is.
WC 1 - Baltimore
Almost on equal footing with Pitt, I like Baltimore to either tie them or trail by one. Playoffs still.
WC 2 - Cincinnati Bengals
Their defense will only improve with Kirkpatrick, and they've added some offensive weapons. Cincinnati will return to the playoffs.
Dyhard said 05/18, 12:19 AM
East - NE
North - Pitt
South - HOU
West - KC
Houston has a very good team and they have a strong defense and their offense is definitely the focal point of their team led by Arian Foster & Matt Schaub, who, as long as he stays healthy, will be leading them to another division title. The Texans are also supposed to have Andre Johnson for an entire season, something they were missing last year which hurt their passing game, but they still found ways to win. They're going to do so again & I can't see the Titans moving ahead of the Texans, especially when Tennessee doesn't have a solid QB. Definitely will hurt their chances.
I think that Peyton Manning is going to have a successful season in Denver and will take them to the playoffs as a Wild Card. I don't think the rest of the teams are all that dangerous (besides the Bills) who I think will be the real competition for the final spot. I think the Bengals are going to fall back down a peg or two and go back to finishing around .500 (probably a game under). Manning can do that to a team and whenever he plays, he makes everyone around him better. Look for DEN to visit the playoffs again.
Mr Monopoly Man said 05/18, 01:46 PM
Houston HAD a strong defense. But they lost their best player (Williams) and gave up another leader (Ryans) for almost nothing. On offense, one of their best OL was allowed to leave. Their backup (who played as much as a starter) TE is gone. Their #2 WR is as well. This team lost a lot, and picked up next to nothing. I don't care if Johnson is healthy for a whole season, he can only do so much. And he can't defend. This team created weaknesses all over in the offseason, and seeing as their margin of error was razor-thin, I think they crossed over and out of the playoffs.
Tennessee on the other hand improved. They do have a solid QB, two in fact. Both have proven they can lead this team to wins. Considering they still have one of the best RBs in football, added OL talent and drafted another target at WR (plus Birtt will be back), it's clear to me that Tennessee is better than Houston. They were close last year, and only one of the two teams has taken steps forward.
Manning is an indoor QB; he's been completely different outside. Considering he's coming off of a missed year and lacks the weapons he had in Indy, Denver struggles some year 1. No playoffs.
Dyhard said 05/18, 05:19 PM
While the Texans might have lose Mario Williams after he signed with Buffalo, they still have a great player who'll be entering his second season in J.J. Watt, a player who CBSSport's listed as 90th overall. Some other players that made that list was: Andre Johnson (12), Duane Brown (OT - 22), Brian Cushing (27), Jonathan Joseph (29) & Arian Foster (36) so the team has a strong core. Tennessee has 1 player, Chris Johnson, at 88.
Who are their 2 solid QBs? I don't consider Hasselbeck a solid QB anymore & Jake Locker is alright, but no where near the level of Matt Schaub. To me, the Texans are the better team. They have the better team & a RB who hasn't taken a turn for the worse. Hutchinson will help block for him now, but he wasn't what he once was. He's 34-years-old & losing talent & durability.
Peyton Manning is one of the best QBs in the history of the NFL & while he won't be the best QB in the NFL this season, he will be in the top 5 yet again. Denver is already in a weak division, & with a better OL (Clady, especially), Manning will be able to make something out of whoever he's throwing to. They also have a solid D & made the playoffs w/ Tim Tebow.
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