AFC Roundtable


This NFL season has been ridiculous. People thought the AFC was going to be dominated by a few teams but there have been some real shockers this season. There are a few specific teams in the AFC who have stood out because of their important and ridiculous moves, shattered expectations, or poor play that as fallen short of expectations.

Cincinnati Bengals (8-4, 2nd AFC North)

The Bengals are coming off their first Super Bowl appearance since 1989 and looked pretty rough to begin the season after starting 0-2. Since the rough start, the Bengals have crawled their way back to the top of the AFC. This comes after an incredible 5-2 run to get them back into position to contend for another Super Bowl appearance. Ja’marr Chase and Joe Burrow still play well together and could both be Pro Bowlers. 

Denver Broncos (3-9, last in AFC West)

The hometown Broncos…what is going on? The Broncos blew so much money and potential talent to get Russell Wilson, just for him to be a bottom five quarterback. The Broncos were being labeled as a Super Bowl contender this preseason. Unfortunately, there is not much good to say about the Denver Broncos. They are figuratively bleeding out from general manager George Paton’s decisions. These scars will be around for quite some time as the Broncos may have to pivot after another subpar season.

Miami Dolphins (8-4, 2nd in the AFC East)

The Dolphins definitely won the Tyreek Hill trade. Hill is on pace to break the NFL single season receiving yards record with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. Tagovailoa came off a rough season and is now one of the best QB’s in the league with Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill as his receiving threats. 

“The Dolphins are a young contending team that I think they will be a real contender in the next few years,” said Dolphins fan and A-West sophomore Dillon Cheer. “In the race for the division it’s definitely between us (Dolphins) and the Bills. We should win in the Wild Card round but most likely we’ll get knocked out in the divisional.”

Miami has been a pleasant surprise contender this season and they are filled with potential and have good odds to win the AFC championship in the next 5 years. 

New York Jets (7-5, 3rd in AFC East)

Did anyone expect this from the Jets? Did anyone expect the Jets to be good? Sauce Gardner can be elite at times but he is highly overrated. The only category he is a top 10 DB in is interceptions, and he is in 10th. Zach Wilson averaged less than a foot per play in his last start. Conversely, in Mike White’s only start this season, he statistically became part of the second best game by any Jets quarterback at home all-time. White had a 149.7 passer rating, 315 yards, and 3 touchdowns while completing almost 80% of his passes. The east is by far the best division in the AFC and the rest of the league should look out.

Kansas City Chiefs (9-3, AFC West division leader)

There were a lot of questions about the Chiefs this off season; could Patrick Mahomes play without Tyreek Hill? Is there even a chance that the Chiefs win the west? Can the Chiefs compete in the AFC anymore? Well, all those questions were answered; Mahomes doesn’t need Hill. The Chiefs will win the west. They are in first place in the AFC. The only worry for the Chiefs is the Bills. If they face the Bills in the playoffs, they should be worried. Other than that, they have proved how good they actually are and that Mahomes is legit. With all bias removed, Mahomes should be one of the top canidates for league MVP.

Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1, 2nd in AFC South)

What are the Colts doing? First they fired their winning head coach, Frank Reich, who has a career coaching record of 45-35-1. Then they hire Jeff Saturday, a man with zero coaching experience who has worked as a commentator, as the interim head coach. Matt Ryan is at the end of his Hall of Fame career and Jonathan Taylor may have been a one year wonder. A lot of unanswered questions still persist about the Colts. 

Other big events going on in the AFC

Deshaun Watson is coming back for the Browns soon; which is a whole story in itself, Josh Allen is currently playing through an elbow injury so he is struggling, and Derek Henry is the best running back in the NFL. 

The AFC has been so chaotic this season. The teams we expected to contend aren’t contending and the teams we didn’t expect to contend are contending. A good quote to sum up the AFC this season comes from former 49ers right guard Randy Cross, “The NFL is like life, full of idoits.”