After Week 1 and Week 2 of the National Football League’s regular season, analysts and I have gathered a new perception regarding the best teams in the AFC and who will win each division.
After the last season, many things have changed throughout the AFC and division winners may be different this year. Here is my list of the winners for each division.
- AFC North: Cleveland Browns
- AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs
- AFC East: Buffalo Bills
- AFC South: Indianapolis Colts
AFC North: Cleveland Browns
This prediction is quite possibly the most controversial one of the entire article and may be the most challenged; however, I stand confidently with my sentiments. The Cleveland Browns will surprise many teams and will turn the heads of many NFL viewers and analysts because they have enough firepower to take any team in the league head on.
Last season, the Browns made a strong run in the playoffs that ended in the Divisional Round as they lost by 5 to the amazing Kansas City Chiefs. The Browns were impressive and Baker Mayfield was impressive. The Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round even without their head coach Kevin Stefanski.
In Week 1, the Browns played the Chiefs and lost by only 4 points, 33-29. The Browns offense was able to keep up with the Chiefs behind young quarterback Baker Mayfield and Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb. And in Week 2, the Browns beat the Houston Texans by 10 points. The Browns offense looks borderline spotless but the weaknesses lie in the defense. If the Browns manage to improve their secondary, then they will easily take this division.
The Steelers, Bengals, and Raiders, the other three teams in the AFC North, all have significant weaknesses that the Browns do not. The Steelers are led by veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who lacks the vitality and arm strength he once had. The Bengals are behind a recovering Joe Burrow and a horrible offensive line. And the Ravens are torched with injuries including their three starting running backs. The Browns should capitalize on each team’s weaknesses in order to win the division.
AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have led the AFC West since 2016 and they have made the Super Bowl the past two years. And through this tenure, the Chiefs have not lost many significant pieces. In 2021, the Chiefs are the bookies’ favorites to win the 2022 Super Bowl.
The Chiefs offensive attack is too strong for most defenses. The passing attack led by Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce proves to be too much for teams. The Chiefs have yet to lose a game this season and this streak will continue.
So long as Patrick Mahomes remains healthy and Chris Jones, a potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate, continues playing at a high level, the Chiefs will easily win their division.
Though the Broncos, Chargers, and Raiders are all very good teams and may make the Wildcard spots, overtaking the Chiefs for the first spot in the west will be too difficult for these young teams.
AFC East: Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills won the AFC East last year and lost in the Conference Finals to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills have one of the strongest offensive attacks in the entire National Football League led by Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs.
The talent and skill on the Bills is widely known, so my reasoning is further centered around the weaknesses of the other teams in the East. Beginning with the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are now led by Jacoby Brisset after Tua Tagovailoa left the game in Week 2 due to a sudden rib injury. The Miami defense looked horrendous as they gave up 35 points and 300 plus total yards to the Buffalo Bills.
The Patriots are led by rookie quarterback Mac Jones who lacks experience and that big play effect that Josh Allen and the Bills have. Their defense is solid, which is why I expect them to come second to the Bills. And finally the Jets. Through his first two starts, rookie quarterback Zach Wilson has thrown 5 interceptions and the Jets have started 0-2. The team looks awful.
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts
Finally, I predict the Indianapolis Colts to win the South because they have every possible strength a division winning football team needs. The Colts acquired quarterback Carson Wentz over the offseason and he looks to help the team with his strong arm and quick legs.
Last year, the Colts statistically had the best offensive line which is why they succeeded so much in the run game. And last year, they had a top-10 defense as well.
The other teams in the division will put up a challenging battle, which is why I am the least confident in the prediction than my others. The Tennessee Titans could potentially overrun the Colts and win this division.