NY Giants Rush: AFC Power Rankings
By Anthony Carillo | Featured Columnist
1. Denver Broncos
Unless Peyton Manning completely falls off, or until someone dethrones the AFC champs, they will stay at number 1.
2. New England Patriots
The Patriots have surrounded Tom Brady with quality talent, and hopefully a healthy Gronkowski. If their defense plays up to their potential, what an AFC title game that will be in the Brady vs. Manning saga.
3. Cincinnati Bengals
Can Andy Dalton lead this team to the promise land? The front office thinks so by signing him to a long term deal. Losing WR Marvin Jones for the first few weeks will hurt, but Cincy will win the AFC North division.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
Losing explosive playmaker Dexter McCluster hurts, but they may have found an even better replacement in rookie DeAnthony Thomas. If that defense stays dominant, and Charles stays healthy, Kansas City will be a tough out in the playoffs.
5. San Deigo Chargers
The Chargers are filled with young talent. WR Keenan Allen looks to have a breakout second season, and Phillip Rivers looks poised to take this team back to the playoffs.
6. Indianapolis Colts
Who can argue with a quarterback that flat out wins? No-one that’s who. Since Andrew Luck was selected first overall, he has done just that; win. Some changes on the defense and Robert Mathis’s suspension will hurt, but this team should run away with the AFC South.
7. New York Jets
The Jets have a gigantic question mark at cornerback, but that ferocious front 7 will keep them in games. Will Geno Smith, now surrounded with weapons, take strides forward and take this team over the 8-8 hump? Only time will tell, but I am putting my money on the Jets making the playoffs.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers
If the Steelers did not start off absolutely horrible, they would have made the playoffs. With an aging defense, Pittsburgh may go through some injury troubles, but at the end of the day, this time they will make the playoffs.
9. Baltimore Ravens
Joe Flacco has a new offense, and a new veteran in WR Steve Smith that is out to prove that he still has it. The ravens are always a tough team, and this year will be no different.
10. Buffalo Bills
EJ Manuel is in his second season as quarterback, and bringing in rookie WR Sammy Watkins will help a lot. The loss of Jarius Byrd to free agency stings, but bull-rushing bills front 4 with get the job done. Not quite a playoff team yet, but pieces are being placed for future playoff runs.
11. Tennessee Titans
New head coach Ken Whisenhunt loves Jake Locker. Time will tell how long that love connection will last.
12. Oakland Raiders
The raiders when back to their old ways, signing proven veterans to short deals and trying to catch lighting in a bottle. It may have worked in years past, but with the speed of the game getting faster and faster, it could turn out to be the wrong decision.
13. Houston Texans
Can Brian Cushing stay healthy? Can Arian Foster stay healthy? When does aging WR Andre Johnson’s numbers start to fall? When do they start rookie QB Tom Savage? A lot of questions surround the Texans, but if everyone stays healthy, they are one of the toughest teams out there.
14. Cleveland Browns
Who starts week 1, Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel? There is no other way to say this but, the Browns are the Browns. Until they finally have a quarterback to lead that team, they will continue to struggle. Possibly losing their start WR Josh Gordon for the season doesn’t help either.
15. Miami Dolphins
Having five new starting offensive lineman raises a lot of question marks for me. Ryan Tannehill has been decent thus far in his career, but has he matured enough to put this team on his back and lead them to victories?
16. Jacksonville Jaguars
Blake Bortles has looked like an NFL QB so far into training camp, but they are committed to letting him sit and learn behind veteran Chad Henne. With a young core of talent that the Jaguars brought in via the draft, this may, once again, be a year where we discuss the Jaguars and another top 5 selection.