Wednesday, September 06, 2006

AFC Preview 2006

Well, queue up the printer because it’s time for the Commish’s NFL Preview edition! Remember, these selections are based on over 30 years of observing the NFL as a fan, and 20 years of observing the NFL as a Fantasy Football geek.

AFC Preview

East – Mark my words, Tom Brady will be injured this year. Throwing over 500 times with an ineffectual running game will expose him to more hits than ever before and the law of averages for QB injuries will catch up to him. With this injury comes a new top dog in the East, Miami. Look for Chris Chambers to put up Moss-type numbers as Culpepper’s primary target. Buffalo and the Jets will continue to poke along in mediocrity, struggling for six wins each.

Miami (11-5), New England (9-7), NY Jets (6-10), Buffalo (5-11)

Central – It all hinges on Carson’s knee. If he’s even close to 100%, the Bengals will win this conference in a breeze. Big Ben will struggle with injuries that may or may not have anything to do with this Busey-esque off-season. Baltimore will be better because McNair > Boller, but won’t contend because their defense is getting old. Cleveland might get to four wins, but don’t bet on it.

Cincinnati (11-5), Pittsburgh (10-6), Baltimore (7-9), Cleveland (3-13)

South – This division is the equivalent of the AL East. You can pretty much slot the teams for their final positions on day one. The only intrigue here will be whether Jacksonville slips into a wild card slot and whether Vince Young ends up starting more than half the season in Tennessee. Otherwise, it’s ho-hum as Peyton will lead the Colts to a stirring playoff collapse yet again.

Indy (12-4), Jacksonville (9-7), Houston (6-10), Tennessee (6-10)

West – Three-way battle in this division with the Raiders bringing up the rear... again. I think Denver pulls this one out with San Diego coming on late and Kansas City fading. Shanahan seems to have built a Jake-proof game plan that enables him to win ten games every year, albeit with smoke and mirrors. San Diego will be completely dependent on Philip Rivers’ learning curve. If he calms down early and moves the chains with LT and Antonio, they’ll be very dangerous if they make the playoffs. Kansas City has no defense. Neither do the Raiders, but the Raiders don’t have an offense either.

Denver (11-5), San Diego (10-6), Kansas City (8-8), Oakland (5-11)


Wildcards: San Diego and Pittsburgh nosing out New England and Jacksonville

AFC Championship: Indianapolis vs. San Diego


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