2009 AFC Conference Future Odds and Predictions
As we get ready for the 2009 NFL season it is a good time to fully analyze each team’s chances this year. In the AFC you have your perennial favorites and the up and comers. Each year there are surprise teams, both good and bad.
Last season’s success is no guarantee for this year and it is possible to go from worst to first in today’s parity driven NFL.
Buffalo Bills: 25/1 Miami Dolphins: 25/1 New England Patriots: 9/5 New York Jets: 20/1
The East has been dominated by the Patriots until last season when the Dolphins shocked everyone, winning the division with an 11-5 record. Both the Jets and the Bills fizzled out toward the end of last year after strong starts so you cannot be sure what you are going to get out of them this season. Miami is not going to sneak up on anybody this year as we will find out if they are for real. With Tom Brady’s knee looking better and better every day, it appears New England is primed to regain the top spot and should win the East with relative ease.
Houston Texans: 20/1 Indianapolis Colts: 13/2 Jacksonville Jaguars: 20/1 Tennessee Titans: 12/1
The South is the most balanced division in the AFC as every team has a chance to win. Colts QB, Peyton Manning will have to adjust to life without Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison which could be a setback. Jacksonville still has a lot of talent and should be back to playoff form, but last year’s disappointing performance could still linger. The Titans have two Quarterbacks with questions marks (Kerry Collins’ age and Vince Young’s mind) set to lead their team. I think it is Houston’s turn to finally breakthrough in the South. They have shown moments of brilliance in the past and this may the year it finally all comes together.
Baltimore Ravens: 11/1 Cincinnati Bengals: 40/1 Cleveland Browns: 40/1 Pittsburgh Steelers: 9/2
The Steelers and the Ravens battled to the end last season with Pittsburgh not only coming out on top, but winning their sixth Super Bowl Title. Cincinnati and Cleveland have done nothing dramatic to improve their team this past off season, so it appears it will be a two horse race again in the North. The Steelers will not be able to avoid a Super Bowl hangover as Joe Flacco is the new Ben Reothlisberger leading Baltimore to the division title.
Denver Broncos: 20/1 Kansas City Chiefs: 35/1 Oakland Raiders: 45/1 San Diego Chargers: 6/1
Last year was the story of “how the West was won”. Barely, as the Chargers won the West with an 8-8 record. Denver imploded down the stretch and have continued on that path ever since. They drove away their star QB Jay Cutler and are now trying to the same to WR Brandon Marshall. Kansas City and Oakland will be improved, but still lack the necessary talent to turn things around this season. San Diego needs to jump out to a quick start to avoid the up and down season they had last year. With a ton of talent on offense and a solid defense, they should not only win the West, but be one of the top teams in the AFC.
2009 AFC Conference Prediction
My prediction for this year’s AFC Champion is the San Diego Chargers.
They have the most talent of any other team, and once they get on a role they know how to win, especially at home where they have a 20-4 record over the past three years.