1. NEW ENGLAND (predicted finish: 12-4)

The Patriots remain the standard in the AFC East and should be back in the final four once again.

2. N.Y. JETS (6-10)

They could make a playoff push if everything breaks right. The issue is that things rarely break right for the Jets.

3. MIAMI (7-9)

The revamped offensive line must come together quickly if Ryan Tannehill has a chance to lead this team anywhere.

4. BUFFALO (4-12)

There are too many new faces on the roster for the Bills to have faith in doing anything this season.



Andrew Luck should look even better with Reggie Wayne healthy. This could be the year the Colts become elite.

2. HOUSTON (9-7)

Last year was a fluke. Even with a new coach in Bill O’Brien, this team is far too talented not to rebound this season.

3. TENNESSEE (6-10)

Things are starting to come together for the Titans. It’s probably just too soon for them to get there.


Another team that has put together some talented pieces. But like the Titans, the Jaguars need a year to marinate.


1. CINCINNATI (10-6)

Andy Dalton is going to have to prove he’s worth his contract for this talented team to go anywhere.

2. BALTIMORE (9-7)

They’re still in transition, but they should be healthier than they were a year ago. Does Steve Smith have enough left?


The Steelers could make a run at the division title if their revamped running game harvests results.

4. CLEVELAND (5-11)

It doesn’t matter who plays quarterback if Josh Gordon isn’t on the field to catch passes.


1. DENVER (12-4)

The Broncos are still the class of the AFC and should make another run at the Super Bowl — if they survive a tough schedule.

2. SAN DIEGO (9-7)

Will Andy Reid really make that much of a difference? Well, they probably can’t do much worse, can they?

3. KANSAS CITY (6-10)

The Chiefs have lost some talent and haven’t replenished the coffers. Expect them to take a step backward.

4. OAKLAND (4-12)

The skid continues. It’s hard to find many things to get excited about when looking at the Raiders’ roster.


Wild-card round: Chargers over Bengals, Colts over Ravens

Divisional round: Patriots over Colts, Broncos over Chargers

AFC Championship: Patriots over Broncos

Super Bowl XLVIII: Seahawks over Patriots