2011 Sports with Balls Show AFC Predictions

The air is crisp, the temperature has dropped a few degrees and sports bars everywhere are stocking up on chicken wings.  What else could that mean but the 2011-12 NFL Season is right around the corner.  As we get ready for the Packers and Saints to kick off the season this Thursday night, here are the Sports with Balls Show AFC Predictions:

Each member of the SwBS staff submitted a ballot, which was tabulated to form consensus picks. Individual Division, Wild Card, Conference Champion and Super Bowl Champion picks for each staff member can be viewed at the bottom of the page.  

An asterick (*) denotes a consensus division winner.

AFC East

1. New England Patriots* – “There is little reason to believe that the Pats won’t dominate once again in the regular season.  With weapons at every position, sometimes 2-3 deep on the depth chart, the offense is scary.  The defense should be improved between the veterans who have been brought aboard as well as the young guys with another year of experience under their belt.  The question will be whether or not the Belichick/Brady combo can win a playoff game for the first time since 2007.” – Mike O

2. New York Jets – “The Jets had the Pats number in the postseason last January, and they add a red zone threat in Plaxico Burress that has haunted New England in the past.” – scottyb4

3. Miami Dolphins – “In 2010 Miami’s 30th ranked offense severely held the Dolphins back, wasting one of the better defenses (6th overall) in the NFL. Miami addressed their lack of scoring (17.1 ppg) by adding RB Reggie Bush and rookie C Mike Pouncey to a unit already consisting of Jake Long, Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess. The inconsistent play at quarterback is what will hold the Dolphins back, unless Chad Henne can take his game to a new level expect no better than a third place finish.” – williamfucich

4. Buffalo Bills – “In a division with AFC heavyweights New York and New England, the Bills don’t really stand much of a chance. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a mediocre QB at best and their receiving corps led by Steve Johnson is merely above average. They may finish ahead of Miami, but cellar dweller of the AFC East is more likely.” – brandonapter23

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers* – “Lawrence Timmons, who signed an extension during the preseason, is a budding star at ILB and leads an always stout defense. QB Ben Roethlisberger has perhaps his finest group of wideouts and enters 2011 without off season “drama” hanging over his head for the first time since 2008.  Master motivator Mike Tomlin has a stinging loss to the Packers last year in Super Bowl XLV to keep the Steelers focused in 2011.” – williamfucich

2. Baltimore Ravens – “Until the Ravens win a playoff game on QB Joe Flacco’s shoulders or Flacco beats a Steelers team with Roethlisberger under center, I’m not a believer they can win the division or the Super Bowl.” – warrencroxton

3. Cleveland Browns – “Cleveland lost a handful of close games in 2010, if they add some consistency and finish out games in 2011 the Browns should see the win total climb to 8 or 9.  The future is looking up in Cleveland with left tackle Joe Thomas locked up to a long term contract and Colt McCoy developing into a true starting quarterback in the NFL.” – Mike O

4. Cincinnati Bengals – “The Bengals 2009 playoff appearance feels as if it were a decade ago. With Chad Ochocinco traded and Carson Palmer retiring, this is a major transition period in the Jungle with rookie QB Andy Dalton under center.” – sherms18

AFC South

1. Indianapolis Colts – “Even if Peyton misses a game or two due to off season neck surgery they are still the class of the AFC South. With a record tying 9-straight playoff appearances as well as 9-straight double digit win seasons, until someone rips the division crown from the Colts, you have to put them at the top.” – scottyb4

2. Houston Texans – “Will the recent ‘trendy pick’ Texans finally live up to the hype by bolstering their 30th ranked defense with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the 3-4 scheme, CB Johnathan Joseph and draft pick J.J. Watt? Well if a distant second place finish is living up to the hype, then yes.” – sherms18

3. (tie) Jacksonville Jaguars – “Despite how things look on paper the Jags always seem to find a way to keep themselves relevant into the final weeks of the NFL season. Jacksonville brought in Aaron Kampman, Paul Posluszny and Drew Coleman to help stabilize the 28th ranked defense.  Meanwhile the offensive veterans will try to stay healthy for all 17 weeks.” – Mike O

3. (tie) Tennessee Titans– “With Chris Johnson’s contract issues finally behind them, the Titans can move forward behind new QB Matt Hasselbeck and new head coach Mike Munchak.  Hasselbeck will have Nate Washington and Kenny Britt as quality options at receiver when opponents stack the box against Chris Johnson.” – brandonapter23

AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers* – “Despite passing for 4,000 yards and having a QB rating over 100 each of the past three years Philip Rivers never seems to be mentioned in the discussion of top NFL Quarterbacks.  With targets like Malcom Floyd, Vincent Jackson (this year to start the season) and Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates (healthy after an injury-plagued 2010) expect another big year from Rivers. It will be a tight divisional race but the Bolts should secure the division crown.” – brnadonapter23

2. Kansas City Chiefs – “Jamaal Charles and Kansas City surprised everyone last year by taking the West crown. They’ll fall back to Earth, but are still the 2nd best team in the division.” – warrencroxton

3. Denver Broncos – “John Fox was a smart pick to replace the cocky Josh McDaniels as head coach; however, instability at the quarterback position and an aging defense means success won’t come overnight for the Broncos.” – sherms18

4. Oakland Raiders – “Despite going 6-0 within the AFC West and finishing at 8-8 in 2010 the Raiders still seem like a franchise in turmoil. New head coach Hue Jackson walks into a situation where his starting quarterback is Jason Campbell, their offensive line has major issues and his defense lost their best player in CB Nnamdi Asomugha. Knowing Al Davis, expect Terrelle Pryor to make a start at some point, after serving his 5-game suspension, if Campbell falters in any way.” –williamfucich

Individual SwBS Staff Picks:

brandonapter23

AFC East – New England Patriots

AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC South – Houston Texans

AFC West – San Diego Chargers

Wild Cards – Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens

AFC Seeding – 1. PIT 2. NE 3. HOU 4. SD 5. IND 6. BAL

AFC CG – New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC Champion – Pittsburgh Steelers

Super Bowl – Philadelphia Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Super Bowl Champion – Philadelphia Eagles

Mike O

AFC East – New England Patriots

AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC South – Houston Texans

AFC West – San Diego Chargers

Wild Cards – New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens

AFC Champion – New England Patriots

Super Bowl – New Orleans Saints vs. New England Patriots

Super Bowl Champion – New Orleans Saints

scottyb4

AFC East – New England Patriots

AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC South – Indianapolis Colts

AFC West – San Diego Chargers

Wild Cards – New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens

AFC CG – New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC Champion – New England Patriots

Super Bowl – Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots

Super Bowl Champion – New England Patriots

sherms18

AFC East – New England Patriots

AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC South – Indianapolis Colts

AFC West – San Diego Chargers

Wild Cards – New York Jets, Oakland Raiders

AFC Champion – Pittsburgh Steelers

Super Bowl – Atlanta Falcons vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Super Bowl Champion – Pittsburgh Steelers

warrencroxton

AFC East – New England Patriots

AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC South – Indianapolis Colts

AFC West – San Diego Chargers

Wild Cards –  Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets

AFC Seeding – 1. NE 2. PIT 3. SD 4. IND 5. BAL 6. NYJ

AFC CG – San Diego Chargers vs. New England Patriots

AFC Champion – New England Patriots

Super Bowl – Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots

Super Bowl Champion – Green Bay Packers

wfucich

AFC East – New England Patriots

AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC South – Indianapolis Colts

AFC West – San Diego Chargers

Wild Cards –  New York Jets

AFC Seeding – 1. SD 2. PIT 3. NE 4. IND 5. NYJ 6. HOU

AFC CG – San Diego Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC Champion – Pittsburgh Steelers

Super Bowl – Atlanta Falcons vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Super Bowl Champion – Pittsburgh Steelers

—————————————————————————————————

-The 2011 SwBS NFC Predictions can be found here.

-Also check out the Sports with Balls Radio Show 2011 NFL preview, on air at 2 p.m. today, here.

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4 thoughts on “2011 Sports with Balls Show AFC Predictions

  1. Pingback: 2011 Sports with Balls Show NFC Predictions « Sports With Balls Blog

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