Sep
12

2009 NFL Season Predictions AFC (Matt's picks)

Author Matt Trollinger    Category Articles, Football     Tags

AFC EAST

1. New England Patriots

2. Miami Dolphins

3. Buffalo Bills

4. New York Jets

There seems to be a general feeling among analysts of the league that Tom Brady has fully recovered from his knee injury.  His play this preseason tends to confirm this, he passed for 307 yards and 4 TD’s.  Skins fans saw first hand that Brady and Randy Moss are ready to get things started again (they connected for 2 TD’s that game).  If Brady really is fully recovered, there’s no doubt the Pats will win their division.  As Mark said, Leigh Bodden and a HEALTHY Shawn Springs make for a strong cornerback duo.  

The Dolphins added Jennifer Lopez apparently, so that should help them.  I don’t think the Jets will be able to go farther than the Bills with Mark Sanchez as their quarterback.  For the Bills to end up higher than 3rd in the AFC East, Terrell Owens will have to be as productive as his honeymoon days in Dallas.  

AFC South

1. Tennessee Titans

2. Indianapolis Colts

3. Houston Texans

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

No major changes from the Titans last year to expect a fall from their division champ status.  Kerry Collins can still get it done and Tennessee has a dream of a running back combination.  With Albert Haynesworth leaving through free agency, the Titans will probably need to blitz more often.  This could change things, but probably not dramatically.  The Colts may take some time to get used to life without Tony Dungy, but I don’t see Peyton Manning letting them fall too far.  

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Baltimore Ravens

3. Cleveland Browns

4. Cincinnati Bengals

The Steelers are still the team to beat in this division (and in the NFL).  Their offensive line looked dominant the other night against the Titans and the defense is still going to be one of the top units in the league.  

The only real challenger, Baltimore, had a shot to take out the Steelers in the playoffs last year but fell short.  Baltimore and Pittsburgh are two teams that pride themselves on defensive strength but have exceptionally gifted quarterbacks.  The development of Joe Flacco may catapult the Ravens to the top of the AFC North as long as their defense remains healthy.  

Cincinnati does not seem to be going anywhere.  Cleveland looks like they’ll be starting Brady Quinn as QB which will be exciting to watch.  I think Quinn will have a decent year to grow with some highlight reel plays along the way, but not enough to get the Browns to the playoffs.

AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers

2. Denver Broncos

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. Oakland Raiders

San Diego is still star-studded and will easily claim this division this year.  Denver is a team in major transition with a new coach and a new (not so great) quarterback.  Denver will be kicking themselves all year for not being willing to take Campbell in the Cutler trade.  Kansas City will see some improvement this year with Matt Cassell bringing stability to the QB position.  That is of course if Cassell can stay upright most of the year.  

Oakland’s top pick in the draft Darrius Heyward Bey has world class speed and actually came to camp on time(unlike Michael Crabtree with the 49ers).  Heyward Bey will be fun to watch if they can figure out how to get him the ball.  On defense the Raiders are stronger than you’d think with an all pro cornerback in Nnamdi Asomugha and now with the trade for  DT Richard Seymour, the Raiders might surprise some people.

Playoff Predictions

1. New England Patriots

2. Tennessee Titans

3. New England Patriots

4. San Diego Chargers

5. Indianapolis Colts

6. Baltimore Ravens

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