With the 2007 NFL season kicking off on Thursday, this is the perfect time to look at the upcoming year and what fans can look forward to. The AFC Preview is today and the NFC Preview will be coming out in the next couple of days as well.
In the AFC East, the Patriots should win this division easily. New England upgraded its receiving core with Randy Moss and Wes Welker. The defense is healthy for the first time in years and RB Lawrence Maroney is ready for a breakout year. Also, the have Tom Brady. Expect the Pats to be playing until the very end. Besides the fact that the Pats have no glaring weaknesses, the rest of the division is not exactly overpowering. The Jets are relying on inconsistent QB Chad Pennington, and do not have a threatening running game. Their defense is better than last year, but don’t expect another magical season like last year. The Bills lost some major players in the off-season, especially running back Willis McGahee. Yes, the Bills upgraded their offensive lines to strengthen their running game. Unfortunately, the lack of a significant RB is going to leave the Bills out of the playoffs. The defense also is quite shaky, leaving more question marks in Buffalo. The Dolphins have 37-year old Trent Green as their quarterback and 30-year old Joey Porter at running back. The defense is slightly improved, and the receiving core is as well, but Green and Porter are simply too old to carry a team for an entire season. The Patriots will run away with the division with the Jets and Bills vying for a Wild Card, and the Dolphins just waiting for next year.
- Baltimore Ravens
- Cincinnati Bengals*
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Cleveland Browns
One of the tighter divisions in the NFL, the Ravens and Bengals will be fighting for the division crown until the very end. The Ravens have a phenomenal defense, but the season will depend upon how Steve McNair and Willis McGahee play. Entering his second season in Baltimore, McNair should have a great understanding of the offense. McGahee is entering the prime of his career. If McNair can play at a high level all season, this is a very dangerous team. The Bengals though, may actually be the better team, but Chris Henry’s suspension may cost them. With the running back out for eight games, Cincinnati will have to depend up Carson Palmer for the bulk of the offense. The Bengals’ defense is inconsistent on paper, and will also have to step up to help Palmer make up for Henry’s absence. Ben Roethlisberger had a bad year last season, specifically throwing a lot of interceptions, and the Steelers missed the playoffs. After replacing Bill Cowher, the Steelers are hoping to regain their championship form. Unfortunately, even if Roethlisberger protects the ball better, the running game and defense are not quite good enough to make this team a playoff contender. They may stick around at the beginning of the year, but will not be able to sustain high-quality play all season. The Browns are not in a position to win this season, but winning years are not far off. Picking up Jamal Lewis, improving the offensive line, and a solid draft leaves the future looking bright for the Browns. The defense is also improved, and the team will at least be competitive this season, though nowhere near the playoffs.
- Indianapolis Colts
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Tennessee Titans
- Houston Texans
The Colts should win the AFC South again, but expect the Titans and Jaguars to make them work for it. With Peyton Manning on the field, the Colts should be fine with Joseph Addai as their number one running back. The defense is mediocre, but the Colts should still be able to put up big numbers and outscore their opponents. Having said that, the Jaguars recently named David Garrard their starting quarterback, surprising the league. Garrard played well at the end of last year and in the preseason this year, but many there are still many questions about if he can lead a team in the NFL? A great defense and very good running game make the Jaguars a scary team, but the season will likely depend upon how Garrard plays. For the Titans, Vince Young enters the year more experienced and ready to carry his team. He would have taken this team to the playoffs and farther had Pacman Jones not been suspended for the entire season, destroying the Titans’ entire running game. The defense is not terrible, but without a running game. the season does not look bright for Tennessee. The Texans enter the year with Matt Shaub as their QB, a big risk-reward guy, and do not have much of a running game. However a young defense should be extremely talented and ready to keep games pretty low scoring. Yet even if Shaub plays unbelievably, the rest of the team will be too inexperienced to make a real playoff push.
- San Diego Chargers
- Denver Broncos*
- Oakland Raiders
- Kansas City Chiefs
The Chargers are stacked with talent, Ladanian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, and Phillip rivers just on the offensive side of the ball. The defense is also very good with Sean Merriman holding down the line. The Chargers had a championship team last year, and some of the best talent in the league, yet they folded down the stretch. If they can avoid the collapse they had last year, this team is a dangerous Super Bowl contender. The Broncos though, could pose a slight threat in the division if Jay Cutler plays well. The receiving core is solid for the young QB and Travis Henry should provide a consistent running back for the team. An upgraded secondary gives the Broncos a good defense. The team isn’t perfect, but it is solid enough at each position to make the playoffs. The Raiders need to sign Jamarcus Russell to clean up their quarterback position first, and then think about winning games. With Dominic Rhodes and Lamont Jordan sharing time as the running back, the Raiders are pretty solid there. The defense still needs a lot of work and a depleted receiving core will not help whoever ends up being the Raiders’ starting QB. This team will improve on last year’s disastrous season, but don’t expect the Raiders to be contending for the playoffs any time soon. The Chiefs have no real QB and Larry Johnson will not be able to carry this team by himself. After letting Trent Green go, the Chiefs have Damon Huard and Brodie Croyle left to play quarterback. Larry Johnson is a great running back, but an aging line will not help his play. The defense is improving, but getting around their quarterback dilemma is just not possible. The Chiefs hope Croyle will be a future franchise player, but the keyword there is future. The Chiefs will not be winning games or looking at the playoffs this year or the next.
* = Wild Card
2 thoughts on “2007 AFC Preview”
Go GIANTS BABY HA HA 18-1!!!
HEY MATTBURRIL more like 18* and DONE without CHEATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AFC devisonal Preview:
NFC dev. prev.
Worst record in the league-Falcons.
*-could be in the playoffs/will be in the playoffs.
Sorry Matt, I just can’t pick your Giants to go without Michael Strahann. But hey can we both like the Colts??????