Thursday night, the NFL began its long and grueling season, and NFL fans bore witness to a gun show led by the hotshot himself, Josh Allen. With 250 yards and 3 total touchdowns, he carried a talented Bills team to beat the reigning Super Bowl Champions.
After the win, my gears started turning. The AFC feels like a very competitive conference this year, and many teams will make a bid for playoff contention. Of those teams, which 4 will end up on top of their divisions?
AFC East: Buffalo Bills
A fairly easy pick on my end, the Bills are at the top of my list. The Jets and Patriots will end up in the bottom half, with the main competition being the Miami Dolphins.
With preseason MVP favorite Josh Allen already balling out, his co-stars are finding the limelight as well. Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis put in the work, combining for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. The offensive weapons show immaculate strength, something that cannot be matched.
Their defense may be just as strong. Jordan Poyer is an elite safety, and their front 7 is easily the best in the AFC. Carlos Basham Jr. had a pick-off of a tipped pass as a defensive lineman on Thursday, which tacked on to their already impressive performance and gives me more confidence.
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts
The Titans are so freakishly good, I just believe that the Colts have them beat this year. Although Derrick Henry is back and Ryan Tannehill is good, it’s difficult to put them before Indy.
Matt Ryan is a huge step up at the quarterback position, highlighted by his intelligence and precision. His receiving corps is young yet talented, while the Titans may have the worst receiver room in the league.
The Colts’ defense is lockdown too, just proving more helpful for their bid to the AFC South. Without much competition, it’s a bit fo a gimme.
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens
I can’t see Joe Burrow replicate the season he just had. Although his receiving corps may be the best in the league (contrary to the Titans), Zac Taylor is still their head coach.
Lamar Jackson, when healthy, is an MVP-caliber player. His game is elite, and even with his best wide receiver gone, he has the potential to change the course of the Ravens’ season.
Bateman, Robinson, and Duvernay may be capable of stringing together a powerful season. I also think the one-two punch of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Davis may be strong and should help the Ravens edge out of close games.
AFC West: Los Angeles Chargers
Dark Horse MVP candidate Justin Herbert has the NFL on his side after the offseason his team had. After putting up career numbers and breaking records, he managed to come out with a completely revamped roster with more talent.
The additions of J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack make this team a top-tier contender for a Super Bowl in one of the most competitive divisions. Austin Ekeler is incredible as a 3-down back and can help a stacked team make a run for the best team in the AFC.