By Eric Schmidt

It is Labor Day weekend and as any long time reader of mine knows, I never make my season predictions until the final preseason games have been played. There are simply too many injuries and too many player moves that can impact the season outcome in the final two weeks of the preseason. I’ll let the experts at the major networks and websites make their picks the second week of August. In the last 5 seasons, I have correctly picked the Super Bowl winner three times, swung and missed once and last season had Green Bay and the Patriots playing in the Big Game. I was just a few minutes away from seeing that happening.

So let’s take a look at how I think the AFC is going to shake out this season.

AFC East-

New England Patriots– 11-5 Tom Brady gets his day in court but many people didn’t realize what the trial was actually about. Reggie Wayne was an upgrade at the receiver position?

Miami Dolphins 10-6 After tens of millions wasted in free agency, Joe Philbin gets a lifeline in 2015 and saves his job.

Buffalo Bills 9-7 Head coach Rex Ryan goes from one team with a good defense and no quarterback to a team with a better defense and no quarterback.

New York Jets 6-10 If it weren’t for the Washington Redskins, this would be the most dysfunctional team in the league.

AFC South-

Indianapolis Colts 12-4 Head coach Chuck Pagano is rumored to be on the hot seat after posting a 33-15 regular season record while going to the playoffs each season? I’m sure he could find work after next year if he’s fired.

Houston Texans 8-8 No quality quarterback play from this squad. Running back is an issue despite a massive defensive front.

Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11 The team still needs to add some pieces to make it work.

Tennessee Titans 4-12 No serious weapons for the rookie quarterback to play with.

AFC West-

Denver Broncos 12-4 Gary Kubiak comes in as the new head coach with a run heavy offensive mindset and a back in C.J. Anderson that looks like he might be the answer to keep Peyton from having to throw 600 times in the regular season.

San Diego Chargers 8-8 The Chargers keep looking for the next LaDainian Tomlinson. Ryan Mathews wasn’t him. Melvin Gordon? Unimpressive in preseason play.

Kansas City Chiefs 7-9 QB Alex Smith is simply not going to be the quarterback to get head coach Andy Reid back to the Championship game.

Oakland Raiders 4-12 This team has been a work in progress since their beatdown in the 2002 Super Bowl, it continues in 2015.

AFC North-

Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5 QB Ben Roethlisberger is at the top of his game currently. He has a massive stud receiver in Antonio Brown and a great supporting cast. RB LeVeon Bell is suspended a few games, but this team recovers.

Cincinnati Bengals 10-6 When does Marvin Lewis start feeling some heat? Does this guy have pictures of the ownership having sex with farm animals? Win a playoff game already.

Cleveland Browns 6-10 Another season, another quarterback change, or six for the Browns. A solid defense going to waste.

Baltimore Ravens 6-10 QB Joe Flacco might be spectacular in big games but he has to have a supporting cast in order to get there. He doesn’t have it this year. Rookie WR Breshard Perriman hasn’t seen a snap all preseason. Number one receiver is 36 years old.

The 2015 NFC Predictions are listed right here.

 

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