I saw Adam Schein’s Bold Predictions which included an insanely bad ranking of AFC contenders and I thought I’d make mine with a caveat, injury.
The AFC is stacked and we all know it. About 8 teams have a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl at this point. Nothing goes as planned however, so what that means is that many teams will fall short due to an injury or getting the dreaded "injury bug". Although I hate to see any player hurt and hope none of these guys gets hurt it is what it is.
For this exercise I’ve eliminated choosing a QB since we ALL know that losing your starting QB is gonna doom your season. No one except a fanatic thinks that if Wilson, Allen or Mahomes gets hurt and misses significant time than that team is going anywhere.
I think by choosing the player most likely to destroy the teams hopes is a great exercise in exposing how well or how poorly the GM has constructed the roster. Ok, let’s have some fun in June. The list below is how I stack the NFL with the player named and explanation to the side.
- 1. Bills. Well, it’s obviously Diggs because I had to choose someone. With that even if Diggs goes down the Bills wouldn’t be severely impacted. They’re the deepest, best team in the NFL and it’s not even close.
- 2. Bucs. Mike Evans. We all saw the offense stall when they lost some WR’s. Brady is all about familiarity, take that away and it’ll be tough.
- 3. Broncos. The WR core of Denver is going to be epic and they’re deep enough to absorb a hit, so it’s Javonte Williams. If Williams goes down two things will happen, first opposing defenses will overplay the pass and let Gordon beat them since he’s not scaring anyone at this point. He’s a great secondary back that should be used in key situations for 10 or so really effective plays, but he’s no longer a primary back and is injury prone. If we use him as a primary or even 1B, Gordon will then get hurt ending our running game, play action and our chances. This is a massive flaw in the GM’s thinking.
- 4. Colts. Nelson. He’s the glue for the entire line and if the line goes so does the run game and Ryan. The Colts are going to be a scary team.
- 5. Raiders. Jacobs. The Raiders are gonna be a tough out if they have a balanced attack and Carr is gonna have a career year. They can stand to lose any of Waller, Adam’s or Renfrow because of the depth more so then their run game, that said, watch out.
- 6. Chargers. Mike Williams. Chargers are loaded though.
- 7. Eagles. A.J. Brown. He gives them a shot and he’ll take it away. They’re a solid team but he’s the key.
- 8. Rams. Kupp. Could go Darnold as well, but Kupp had a monster year last year and Donald was aided tremendously by the addition of Miller in the playoffs. I doubt they’ll have a great year again. They barely won a few games and really "caught lightning in a bottle" and it won’t happen a gain.
- 9. Chiefs. Any WR. Look, Kelce is the obvious choice but he’s going to have a down year anyway. Defenses will blanket him with Hill gone so it’ll be up to the other WR’s to keep the D’s honest. Any of them go down and it’s over.
- 10. Bengals. Chase. I think the Bengals will have a mediocre year no matter what.
- 11. Packers. Aaron Jones. Rodgers always gives them a shot but the packers make this list because they’re in the NFC. If they’re in the AFC they wouldn’t make the playoffs and if they were in the AFC West they’d finish last. Other then Rodgers they don’t have a good team.
- 12. Patriots. Trent Brown because I have to pick someone. There’s no one on the Patriots roster that can’t be replaced. That’s either a good thing or a bad thing depending on perspective, but Belichick has constructed a really balanced team that likely needs 2 more years top really compete.
Teams with no real chance but pundits and their marketing departments want us to think so.
- 1. Ravens. Name a player that scares anyone without the letters "Lamar Jackson " in their name.
- 2. Miami. The Tyreek Hill trade is awful. It’d be great for a contender, which Miami isn’t, or if your QB was ( pick one) Wilson, Allen, Carr, Watson, etc etc …….Which Tua isn’t. Boneheaded move by the GM based solely on marketing.
- 3. Browns. First, Watson hasn’t played in almost 18 months, might miss another few weeks due to suspension and is now in an entirely new offense, no one should expect much his first 6-8 games. Also, if Watson is suspended for the season they are a 3 win team.
- 4. Cardinals. This team will implode, don’t believe any hype.
- 5. Cowboys. LMFAO. No. Just no.
- 6. 49’ers. Ain’t gonna happen. They’ll make some noice because it’s the NFC but their window has closed.
No one else needs to be discussed.
Some of these teams have such glaring weaknesses that it’s akin to a tire falling off a car. Others, like the Patriots and Bills are built really, really well. To me that shows a lot about how good the GM is.