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This is it, the final post of predictions with the AFC East and North represented here, without further adieu.

AFC East

1. New England Patriots

Strength: New England has been well-known for it's high octane offense in recent memory with a vary of pieces availible to them, from a running based offense, to an air-it-out type of onslaught with WRs to quick-strike efficency with TEs and RBs, but the one constant is Tom Brady. Even at 37, he is still an elite QB with plenty of toys to work with and an emphisis on lighting up scoreboards, they are very hard to stop, as long as they stay on the field of course.

Weakness: There isn't any major weaknesses with this team personnel wise, but at 37, Brady doesn't have much time to get another ring, not to mention that they have a habit of fading away in the playoffs, it's like a fly that they can't swat anymore for a variety of reasons. Urgency might be the biggest motivator, but the Pats have only so much left in the tank at this point. That said, do not write them off just yet, they still got it, the thing is, can they pull it off again after 10 years?

Overall: Considering how weak this division is, they should have no problem winning the AFC East by Thanksgiving or just after. They know that the biggest prize lies in the dead of winter, if they can get there that is. 12-4

 

2. Miami Dolphins

Strength: Their roster overall might be one of the better ones out there in terms of talent. Even with the bullying scandal decimating their O-line, they were literatly a stones throw away from making the playoffs, so they have enough to make a playoff run if they can get it together, but...

Weakness: Team chemistry is a huge problem, partly because either there are too many egos running amok there unchecked, or at the very least can't seem to work consistently on the field, which creates serious flucations between the team, and it doesn't really help that the offense isn't exactly that explosive either but that can be managed, working together is the sticky part.

Overall: Tannehill is a decent enough QB who can get better. That said, he alone isn't going to carry this team very far if the rest of the team doesn't get their heads out of their ass and actually ball when it matters most, that's going to take a while, unfortunately. 9-7

 

3. Buffalo Bills

Strength: They are actually quite strong on key positions such as WR and D-line, and this is one of the very few places where they got it right, the problem is that the rest of the team seems to drive them down because of their inadequate play, making their contributions moot.

Weakness: Even with a good D-Line {if slightly overrated} and WRs, they can't get themselves out of a rut because they make bad decisions everywhere else. The secondary lost Jarius Byrd for New Orleans, and they haven't exactly proven that they can hold anyone when it matters most. Also, EJ Manuel isn't exactly setting the world on fire at QB, and while the jury is still out on him, it doesn't look good if he can't improve fast.

Overall: There is a celing that they can't seem to crack at all, and even with the moves that they make for talent, it's essentially fingers in a dike at this point, considering that they have no direction, no real sense of team-building or even an inferiority complex that never seems to go away. Some time, it's got to matter, but unless EJ gets really good soon, then the future will be pretty bleak, again. 6-10

 

4. New York Jets

Strength: There isn't much, but they have been known for having strong defenses carry them through thick and thin. This is solely the reason why they made it to a couple of AFC championship games just a few years back, but ever since then, they have been more of an anchor than an asset, and it doesn't help that Rex Ryan is virtually worthless when it comes to offense and is totally reliant on defense and lucky breaks to save his ass.

Weakness: There is virtually no offense to work with, and Geno Smith is going to get the brunt of this, unfairly in my opinion. Let's be honest here, the best WR they had the last 5 years or so was Braylon Edwards, which honestly isn't saying much, and ever since then, they have neglected this position for so long, it's basically on the level of Cleveland and Jacksonville for worst WR corps out there today.

Overall: Dysfuntion, lack of offensive proless and constant amounts of false hope and lies simply add up. They are basically Old Yeller at this point, they need something to be taken out of their misery, but in this case, a serious purging might be necessary for this toxic dump of a franchise. 3-13.

 

Now on to the AFC North.

 

AFC North:

1. Cincinnati Bengals

Strength: The Bengals are in rareified air right now, no longer the doormats or big top circus that they once were. By having one of the most balanced rosters on offense and defense, they aren't exactly hurting for talent or direction.

Weakness: One would say that Andy Dalton would be considered a weakness to this team, but I disagree, teams with lesser QBs have won playoff games and even the Super Bowl with marginal QBs at the helm. In fact, it's nothing to do with personnel, but with a stumbling block that seems to shadow over them come playoff time, and it's rather disturbing that it has been this long since their last playoff win. This time though, there are no more excuses, either they do some damage in the playoffs or expect Marvin Lewis to be out.

Overall: This is the only team in that division that actually has both an offense and defense worthy of playoff contention. For whatever reason, Pittsburgh and even Baltimore are trendy picks, but they are dangerously underestimating Cincinnati, something tells me that they only going by name recognition and not what's on the inside, I would think we would be over this by now, but I guess not. 10-6.

 

2. Baltimore Ravens

Strength: Whether or not Joe Flacco would be considered an elite QB is arguable in terms of winning, but he's been the best QB they ever had by a mile. {Going back to Bernie Kosar when they were the old Browns} Unlike their old namesake, the new persona that exists in Baltimore has proven to be consistent with building a winning team, and with a QB at the helm that won them many playoff games and a Super Bowl, they'll have something to say before the end of the season.

Weakness: Past success doesn't equal future success, especially when everyone else {even the Browns to some extent} has improved rapidly. It doesn't help that they completely gutted their roster last year, and stumbled down the stretch because of this. While they have improved it somewhat, they have a ways to go before they can seriously compete again. 9-7

 

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

Strength: Identity, There really isn't much that needs to be said. They are built on strong defense and an efficent running game, something that has stood the test of time with them, and they are trying to bring that back again.

Weakness: There are a lot of holes for a team that has a strong identity, such as a dismal secondary, lack of serious WRs threats beyond Brown and inability to get turnovers when it is needed the most, and it doesn't help that Roethlisberger turns the ball over often, essentially becoming a roll of the dice every time he throws the ball. Once upon a time, he was regarded as a clutch player with a knack for comebacks, but that was years ago, and now he's essentially the AFC version of Tony Romo, not something you want to be in.

Overall: It's disturbing, but not surprising that pundits are giving them the benefit of the doubt in winning this division when it's proven that they just don't have the horses to do so. As with Baltimore, just because you won in the recent past doesn't mean that future suceess is guaranteed, and this will bite them in the ass again. 8-8.

 

4. Cleveland Browns

Strength: Ugh... The only thing that keeps the Browns from being 0-16 caliber is their defense, particularly their secondary. Too bad that most teams end up exposing them anyway given the chance, or if they have success in the running game.

Weakness: Too many to honestly list, but let's rattle off the biggest ones here. They are known for ruining careers of QBs either through their play or sheer stupidity of their front office, virtually no eye for talent, or even for building talent beyond a few players, no consistency at head coach, GM and everywhere else for that matter, etc. Let's not kid ourselves, Brian Hoyer sucks as a QB and will soon be replaced by Johnny Manziel, essentially repeating the cycle again when Manziel gets flattened. Even attention whore QBs deserve better than to be in a place where the future would be suited for Warhammer 40,000, pretty damn bleak.

Overall: This is the kind of team that deserves to go 0-16, and has every right to do so, but somehow they win some games that they shouldn't and be better than what they truly are. 4-12, and that is being merciful on my part.

 


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