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Thread: AFC Playoff predictions

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  1. #1

    AFC Playoff predictions

    I hate when I'm watching any kind of picks show and someone takes last year's winners. It's like cheating. They have a built-in excuse, "how could I not take (insert team here) after how well they played last year". Last year each conference had a 50% turnover in playoff teams, so that's our rule. You can only keep 3 playoff teams from last year. Harder than it sounds in the AFC.

    As a long-time Cincinnati resident, even I can see that the Bengals are the first team off the board.

    I have to keep the Chargers and Colts. Chargers are a strong team in a weak division. The Colts are, well, the Colts. 12+ wins each of the last 7 years.

    Now it gets hard. I can only keep 1 of the remaining 3, Ravens, Patriots and Jets. The Ravens won 9 last year and had a great off-season. I can't imagine them not making the playoffs, but if I keep the Ravens I have to have the Dolphins (or Bills) win the East. I like the Pats and Steelers slightly more than the Ravens and Dolphins, I think.

    East: Patriots
    North: Steelers
    South: Colts
    West: Chargers

    The Jets, Ravens and Bengals are out for the wildcard by rule. I like Chris Johnson, but the Titans' defense scares me. Chad Henne scares me more.

    WC: Titans
    WC: Texans

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    A new member of your site after listening to Cris on Bill Simmons podcast a few days ago. Look forward to seeing how your site grows as you move forward towards the NFL season. As a Dolfan, interested in reading more from you on what exactly "scares" you about Henne? I would argue that he's going to be one of the keys to Miami's return to the playoffs this year (along w/Mike Nolan a D-coordinator). He won 7 of his 1st 10 starts in '09 and finishes with almost 61% completion percentage throwing to a bunch of #3's and #4's. A lousy defense and injuries that exposed depth issues was the reason for the 3 gm losing streak to close out the season. Another year of natural growth and having Brandon Marshall will get Henne to a 85-90 rated QB this year.

  3. #3
    I just don't trust him. He has the arm to be a solid QB, but he looks overwhelmed at times (as all young QBs do). He threw more INTs (14) than TDs (12) last year, with 6 of the INTs coming in the final 4 games with the playoffs on the line. I agree that he didn't have the best WRs last year and Brandon Marshall will definitely help, but, for this year at least, I still don't see him as a guy that you can trust to win games. The bottom line is that he's a 3rd year QB, beginning his 2nd year as a starter. A QB with less than 1 year starting experience is always going to scare me unless he did something really remarkable in that 1st year, and Henne didn't.

  4. Andy, Hey!

    I'm new to the site and also a Dolphin fan. I can appreciate your opinion on HENNE. I can. I just accept it within the context of this thread which is PICK AFC PLAYOFF TEAMS. Now granted, HENNE has a lot to prove the league as far as being a winner in the post-season (and directly being the reason for the wins) but so do a LOT of other young QB's you have going to the show!

    Are you saying that The Steelers (without their starting QB for at least 4 games - possibly 6) are going to end up in the playoffs OVER the Miami Dolphins? I don't think so!

    In the AFC race, these are the teams that will be vying for a playoff spot near the end -

    AFC EAST - DOLPHINS, PATRIOTS, JETS
    AFC NORTH - RAVENS, BENGALS, STEELERS
    AFC SOUTH - TITANS, TEXANS, COLTS
    AFC WEST - CHARGERS

    I think this year the Patriot's Defense drops them into a 10-6 team, that Mark Sanchez's inconsistency drops The Jets to a 10-6 team as well and that it's The Dolphins with Mike Nolan's Defense, Marshall and Henne and Ricky and Ronnie who take the AFC East with an 11-5 record.

    I think the Ravens take a HUGE step with Anquan Boldin and win the division outright with The Bengals close on their heels thanks to that great defense! I think The Steelers go 8-8 and are OUT of the playoffs this year altogether and that Rothlisberger ends up in Oakland for the 2011 season opener!

    I think the Colts will win their division again but not with 12 wins, with 11. In fact, don't be surprised if this year they TIE with The Titans and it comes down to tiebreakers and such! The Titans have a stout "d" and a running game to go with an up and coming QB. That's just like the JETS and DOLPHINS. Except that Vince Young and Chad Henne will succeed and Mark Sanchez will not. He doesn't have the arm necessary to play in the Northeast. For that you need a Jim Kelly or Dan Marino or John Elway Arm. Even Phil Simms had more arm than Sanchez. So, in this division the Colts and Titans tie and The Texans slide horribly back to sub-500 due to injuries and awful defense.

    Finally the west... What can you say? The Chargers have it SO easy! They could win that division and be a sub 500 team! However, they are a very GOOD team that's about to get even better now that LT is gone and out of the picture!

    So who goes?

    In my opinion,

    AFC EAST - Miami Dolphins
    AFC NORTH - Baltimore Ravens
    AFC SOUTH- Indianapolis Colts / Tennessee Titans
    AFC WEST - San Diego Chargers

    WILDCARDS - New England Patriots & whomever DOESN'T win the South (Colts or Titans)

    That's how I see it based on the schedule as well!

    Now one more thing about HENNE and SANCHEZ...

    Who exactly believes or is saying that noodle arm MARK SANCHEZ will have a BETTER year than cannon armed HENNE? Hahaha!! Not only will HENNE have a monster year passing (25 td's or more) but Ronnie Brown & Ricky Williams will both have incredible years running! AGAIN! And all thanks to the nightmare opposing defenses will have covering and accounting for Brandon Marshall. Yes! He makes THAT big of a difference! No more 8 and 9 man fronts for the Dolphins to have to run into. If they see that, Marshall will burn them alive!

    The Jets are gonna suffer setbacks because of some bad decisions they've made and because they have a coach who gambles TOO much.

    The Jets replaced their running backs and I'm glad to say, not with "upgrades". LT is done and has NEVER rushed well against a Dolphin team. So do you like the Jets over the Dolphins for the playoffs based SOLELY on the performance of their DEFENSE?

    Because I think you'll find that The Jets "D" is gonna be good but not as effective this year and totally break down against BRANDON MARSHALL when they play the Phins. If they single cover MARSHALL, even with REVIS, Marshall is going to get the best of that matchup. Revis is an excellent corner but Marshall is a GREAT player. One on one and Marshall wins that battle 7 times out of ten. If the Jets DOUBLE Marshall and still decide to play pressure "D" then Henne will beat them this year as he did last year! With pinpoint passing into the flats and open areas the blitz leaves behind! Look for Davone Bess and Camarillo to have HUGE success if Marshall is doubled and Rex (Pass Me A Donut) Ryan decides to play BUDDY BALL.

    This isn't some WILD prediction, it's what HAPPENED last year! Henne only had ONE truly bad int (an overthrow) in those meetings and (if you noticed) faced the Jet pass rush with calm and poise.

    So anyway, those are my thoughts! Wondering what you think! GO DOLPHINS!!

  5. #5
    I'll give this a shot.

    I think there will be very little argument that the Colts will win their division. I believe they've won it for about 50 consecutive years at this point (or at least, it's felt that long). The Ravens are my pre-training camp favorite to win it all (mostly guessing, but I really think that team is good). So those two have to be in. As for my third team left, the Patriots I think will continue to rebound and just do better (also, because I trust Denver more than Miami, though I do think San Diego will probably still win that division. But that's not part of the game, is it?)

    So, the division winners are Ravens, Colts, Patriots, and Broncos, and I'll even go as far as saying in that seeding.

    Two wild cards: Can't pick the Chargers, Jets or Bengals by rule. I worry that everyone might be picking the Texans, which never seems to work out for that team. But, they are improving and have quite a few pieces there, especially on offense. I don't fully trust their defense yet, but they're probably good enough to get a wild card. And, out of consistency with my surprise team of the year pick, I'll go off the board and say the Raiders jump in and take a slot. That team made some good moves this off-season, and overall has a team that I think is very intriguing.

    So, in short: Ravens, Colts, Patriots, Broncos, Texans, Raiders.

  6. #6
    I felt the same way about the Texans. They are the trendy wildcard pick and, for whatever reason, those bandwagon teams rarely live up to expectations (same reason I didn't take the Jets). You get bonus points for picking the Raiders, that's bold.

  7. #7
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    A great QB makes great receivers. It's a chicken vs. the egg argument, but a quarterback makes those around him better. If a quarterback needs "great" receivers to just throw more TDs than INTs, I don't think that QB is all that great.

    The better question is how great does Henne have to be for the Dolphins to compete? Great does not necessarily mean effective, but playoff teams need to aim for a 2:1 ratio of TDs:INTs. Last year, for example:

    Of the 11 teams that threw 13 INTs or less, nine of them made the playoffs.

    Of the 12 teams that threw for 27 TD passes or more, eight of them made the playoffs.

    Nine teams had a 2:1 ratio last season, seven of them made the playoffs. The Giants and Steelers had 2:1, but missed the playoffs - is it a coincidence both of those teams are quarterbacked by the last two Super Bowl champions prior to the Saints?
    The 12 playoff teams averaged 27 TDs to 13 INTs. And that's with the Jets' horrendous 12:21.

  8. And you honestly think that BRANDON MARSHALL who made Kyle Orton look like an NFL QB all of the sudden isn't going to elevate and positively affect HENNE's game? You know, you're looking at 12 TD's and 14 picks as if THAT defines him! It does not! What he does THIS year with a stout OL, a good running game NOT facing 9 man fronts and a receiving corps with a true #1 receiver for the first time since freaking IRVING FRYAR, THAT will define him! And I think he throws 25 or more td's and less than 10 picks. That he takes a HUGE step forward in his development and guides the Phins to the Playoffs in 2010 - 2011. How deep they go who knows! But Henne will BE THERE and his int to td ratio will be excellent. Mark my words!

  9. #9
    perezferia must be Gus Johnson's screen name.
    “There is an old saying about the strength of the wolf is the pack, and I think there is a lot of truth to that. On a football team, it's not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.”--Bill Belichick

  10. #10
    That's great research but might be a little misleading. Losing teams tend to throw more INTs. They throw more, the defense knows they're going to throw and they have to take more chances to get back in the game. Using Henne as an example, he threw 10 INTs when the Dolphins were behind vs only 3 when they were leading. So, speaking of chicken and egg, do teams lose because they throw more INTs, or do they throw more INTs because they lose? Probably a little of both.

    It does show that you need a QB that takes care of the ball in order to come from behind, another reason to distrust young quarterbacks.

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