Our AFC 2016 overview offers perspective on each of the four conference divisions. The AFC will see some shifts in power this year. Although the AFC East will most likely play out similarly as it has in recent years, we’re looking at some changes in the South and West. Plus, the North will see the Pittsburgh Steelers tested.
Each of our previews looks at team offense, defense, special teams, the 2016 draft, coaching and management as well as past performance. Use this AFC 2016 Overview page to connect to our individualized previews focusing on each of the 16 AFC teams. Simply click on the team name in the Projected Finish section for each division. For information on the NFC, please link here to connect with our overview of that conference.
Our AFC 2016 Overview of the East sees the New England Patriots poised to once again win the division. They will have some competition from the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. The Jets may be the sleeper team in this division, while the Bills’ stock may be overpriced. Rex Ryan has defensive issues. Where does Miami fit in the mix? A first-time coach, weak D, and questionable running game place them last. This is really the Patriots division to lose. Chances are they will not do so.
The AFC North will be a battle between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers with an upstart Baltimore Ravens teams trying to get into the mix. We expect Cincy to clinch the deal this year with Pittsburgh getting a Wild Card berth. Baltimore should make a decent comeback after a tough 2015. The Cleveland Browns see Hue Jackson come in as coach. The former OC for the Bengals has his work cut out for him.
The AFC South looks to be the Houston Texans division in 2016. According to our AFC 2016 Overview, the Texans are loaded and ready to bring it. The addition of Denver QB Brock Osweiler to the Texans and a speedy receiving unit will generate a lot of offense. The Colts, who have to have some concerns regarding Andrew Luck’s durability, will be less competitive than expected while the Jacksonville Jaguars will see starting QB Blake Bortles reach a new maturity level. The Jags could be an important for in the AFC South this season. The Tennessee Titans are a work-in-progress. They will show improvement but will continue to struggle.
Will the Denver Broncos repeat? Considering their quarterback situation and the way in which the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders have improved, the conclusion of our AFC 2016 Overview is “no.” It’s true that the Broncos still have a stellar defense, but so too does Kansas City. Plus, the Chiefs have some potent offensive tools as well as Any Reid as head coach. Oakland could be the surprise team in the division if QB Derek Carr can continue to improve. The San Diego Chargers have defensive and coaching questions.