Power Rankings for the AFC heading to training camp, which for the New York Jets will kick off on July 26th in Cortland, New York. Feel free to vehemently disagree or praise my precision and intelligence in the comment section below. Make sure you are following TOJ both on Twitter and Facebook.
1. Denver Broncos – The efficiency of their offense with Peyton Manning throwing to a three wide set of Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker with Montee Ball in the backfield is scary to contemplate. They should run through a weak AFC West.
2. Baltimore Ravens – The Champs had an eventful off-season to say the least. Ozzie Newsome knows what he is doing and they did a nice job replacing their departing veterans. It will interesting to see if Joe Flacco can carry over his post-season play last year into the regular season.
3. New England Patriots – Circus aside, they are still easily the best team in the AFC East. They always find a way to answer any lingering questions about their roster.
4. Indianapolis Colts – They overspent on certain players in free agency but Andrew Luck will be a year better, Ahmad Bradshaw will add some explosiveness to the backfield if he can stay healthy and the offensive line should be improved. Their defense will be good enough and they can take advantage of having four games against Tennessee and Jacksonville.
5. Houston Texans – Has their window closed? I don‘t see them being any better than last year with Arian Foster a year older and Matt Schaub still Matt Schaub. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Colts take the AFC South this season.
6. Cincinnati Bengals – It is hard not to love their young defense led by Geno Atkins. On offense, Andy Dalton has his limitations but Giovanni Bernard will add some pop to their backfield and Tyler Eifert brings another weapon to the passing game to put with AJ Green, Jermaine Gresham and Mohamed Sanu.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers – You know their defense and Big Ben will have them competitive on a weekly basis and in the playoff discussion but there has been a gradual decline of talent on their roster across the board in recent years.
8. Miami Dolphins – On paper they have enough talent to compete for a playoff spot. Yet, they’ll need Ryan Tannehill to take a step forward in year 2 behind an offensive line with question marks and without a lead back on the roster.
9. Kansas City Chiefs – There is a good amount of talent distributed throughout this roster and if Andy Reid can get steady quarterback play from Alex Smith, they could be around .500 or slightly better.
10. Cleveland Browns – There are no easy games in the AFC North. Cleveland is going to have a quality defense as they’ve assembled a nice collection of pass rushers. The question marks are at quarterback and generating offensive production, although Norv Turner will be a nice asset as he is finally in the proper role of being an offensive coordinator, not a head coach.
11. New York Jets – Somewhat similar to Cleveland, the Jets are going to have a good defense but have question marks on offense, particularly at quarterback, wide receiver and tight end.
12. Buffalo Bills – The more CJ Spiller is touching the football, the more dangerous they are on offense. Defensively, they have plenty to prove after a disastrous showing in 2012.
13. Tennessee Titans – They made some shaky free agency decisions and Jake Locker is still a major question mark. Tennessee is closer to Jacksonville in the AFC South than Houston or Indy.
14. San Diego Chargers – A sneaky bad team with an underachieving running back, an over the hill quarterback, an uninspiring group of pass catchers and a defense with middling talent. Enjoy the AFC West, Denver!
15. Jacksonville Jaguars – Gus Bradley will eventually get their defense together but Blaine Gabbert and a weak overall crop of talent spread throughout the roster likely means another season of battling it out for the AFC South basement.
16. Oakland Raiders – The roster most devoid of talent in the NFL right now. It won’t matter if it is Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor or Tyler Wilson playing quarterback this season with a perpetually banged up Run-DMC, a weak group of receivers and a shaky defense.