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  • Originally posted by Castiron View Post

    What makes you think the AFC wiil be more competitive? Who do you think is gonna be better (other than Indy if Luck is right)?
    I think the AFC West should be better as a whole. Houston should be better without the 4000 injuries that they had last year. Tennessee will at least be competitive. If Luck is healthy, he's dragged that awful Colts team to the postseason before. That's a big step up from the 3 competitive teams in the conference last year.
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    • Originally posted by Castiron View Post

      What makes you think the AFC wiil be more competitive? Who do you think is gonna be better (other than Indy if Luck is right)?
      Originally posted by steelers_pens_fan View Post

      I think the AFC West should be better as a whole. Houston should be better without the 4000 injuries that they had last year. Tennessee will at least be competitive. If Luck is healthy, he's dragged that awful Colts team to the postseason before. That's a big step up from the 3 competitive teams in the conference last year.
      Pretty much this. Although I think the Deshaun Watson expectations are a little higher than is realistic, they did a lot with a little in the draft, and will be way better than last year so long as they aren't decimated by injury. If Watson comes close to meeting expectations and Watt, Clowney, Mercilus, and Kevin Johnson all return to pre-injury form, they'll have a really well rounded team.
      Luck has sat out an entire year, and now the Colts look like they can halfway protect him, so I expect them to be way better as well. If he returns to form with a decent OL, they're contenders.
      Mariota ought to restabilize this year, and the Titans have a very deep roster. If they don't make too drastic a shift in the scheme, they should be ready for a deep push.
      Carr should get the Raiders back on track.
      Chargers are pretty stacked, so if Rivers has something left in the tank, they could be good.
      Chiefs went through a lot of rebuilding, but should still be solid, and Broncos could bounce back a bit if Keenum keeps up last year's performance, but they're probably on the bubble at best.
      Steelers are always in it, as are the Pats, and the Jets and Browns look to be on the right track to getting towards .500, anyway. I really like the Jets' DL.

      TLDR: AFCS should be a four way race, AFCW has two really good teams on paper, along with potentially two bubble teams, AFCE and AFCN are predictably boring, but may have a shift in the near future with aging QBs leading the relevant teams.

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      • Expectations for Watson really are through the roof. We'll see what happens. I kinda think the AFCW is a big cluster. I don't believe in Gruden or that roster, outside of Carr, Mack, and the O-line, at all. I'll be interested to see how the Titans defense looks with Lebeau no longer there and how much Pees improves things.
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        • I figure the Chiefs get Eric Berry back, which more than offsets their odd shuffling of CBs. Plus, I think Mahomes is going to be good. He'll have Hunt to lean on, and he won't have much of an issue going deep to Hill. Plus Kelce is a good security blanket. The Broncos could go either way. They took some defensive hits over the years and Keenum has to prove he's not a one hit wonder. The Raiders have some nice pieces, though we'll see about Gruden. He's been out of the game for a bit. Chargers look good, but they have been snakebitten over the years. It's already started with Henry. Plus, only like 3 people will watch them, so...

          Compared to last year though, it's a step up. KC and maybe LA could be threats that actually stay consistent all year. The Raiders shouldn't be terrible, and though my expectations for Denver are low, I don't think they will be horrible or anything.

          Watson's expectations are high, but he's got a really solid team around him. Unless he completely bottoms out they will be good. Tennessee will be worth watching, too. The other two teams go as far as their QBs take them. This is gonna sound like crazy talk, but I don't expect New England to be as dominant this year. Brady and Gronk are always a headache and tend to be enough to carry the team, and their defense is good though not great. But beyond the horse**** of 12 and 87, nothing about them is overly frightening. They will still win their division though, as Buffalo will step back, the Jets will be better but not good enough to challenge for the division, and the less said about the Dolphins the better.

          The AFCN should be weak. Steelers should win it with their offensive firepower alone, though their defense simply won't be good enough for a deep push unless a lot of young players step up in a big way. Their DB coach already seems like a massive improvement, with the players talking about a greater emphasis on man coverage and film study. Makes you wonder what Carnell Lake was actually doing. Baltimore seems to be constantly banged up. This will be a transitional year for them, as I see Jackson getting in before the end of the year. Flacco is pretty much a lame duck. I'm still not the biggest believer in their receivers, though they have improved a bit. Depending on Jackson's success, they could either be a headache or an afterthought down the road. Cleveland should be better, but up is literally the only direction they can go from here. Cincy is in purgatory, never good enough but never changing.
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          • Charlie's not too impressed with what Houston has done for Watson's pass protection (see his 2019 mock today).
            ~

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            • Originally posted by ifthethunderdontgetya View Post
              Charlie's not too impressed with what Houston has done for Watson's pass protection (see his 2019 mock today).
              ~
              Well, did they do anything for his pass pro? If they did, I don't remember it.
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              • Originally posted by Castiron View Post

                Well, did they do anything for his pass pro? If they did, I don't remember it.
                Sort of. They picked up Zach Fulton, Senio Kelemente, Martinas Rankin, and Seantrel Henderson. Got rid of Giacomini and Sua-filo. Davenport going into his second year is probably an improvement. They still look weak at right tackle and right guard, but it should be an improvement in theory, and Rankin may develop into a starting right tackle. It's a lot of reshuffling though. Starters are probably Davenport, Fulton, Martin, Kelemente, and Henderson. Which means three new starters on the line, with one carryover only having a half season as a starter, so they may take some time to gel.

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                • Originally posted by Daniel View Post

                  Sort of. They picked up Zach Fulton, Senio Kelemente, Martinas Rankin, and Seantrel Henderson. Got rid of Giacomini and Sua-filo. Davenport going into his second year is probably an improvement. They still look weak at right tackle and right guard, but it should be an improvement in theory, and Rankin may develop into a starting right tackle. It's a lot of reshuffling though. Starters are probably Davenport, Fulton, Martin, Kelemente, and Henderson. Which means three new starters on the line, with one carryover only having a half season as a starter, so they may take some time to gel.
                  Funny thing is, I heard a lot of people say that Rankin would be best at center. Also, I'd feel better with Davenport at RT. The rest of that line looks....not good.
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                  • Originally posted by Castiron View Post

                    Funny thing is, I heard a lot of people say that Rankin would be best at center. Also, I'd feel better with Davenport at RT. The rest of that line looks....not good.
                    Yeah. Fulton is good, Martin has been good so far, and Davenport was inconsistent as a rookie. He did look solid at the season's end though. I think they'll end up with a somewhat below average to average O-line this season. I don't think Rankin is going to fix much myself.

                    On paper, the Titans should win the division. They had a great offseason (upgraded CB, NT, OLB, and potentially ILB) and absolutely dominated AFCS games last season(they lost one game total, to Houston, the week Mariota was out with an injury).
                    All of the other teams could hit or miss depending on injuries, but my second pick would actually be the Colts, as I think Luck will play and play fairly close to form after having this much time to heal. And adding Nelson and Smith in the draft really ought to stabilize their line.

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                    • I think Houston would take below-average-to-average on the OL after last year haha. Im not sure theyve quite yet surpassed awful, but it does come down to health sometimes
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                      • I'll believe Houston's line doesn't suck when I see it. BOB should be able to cover up some of it by moving Watson around, but still. No idea who comes out of that division. Jags are the champs, but I expect them to take a step back, Tenn seems to want MM to take the reins, Houston is a mess, and Indy is owned by Irsay. Yeesh.
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                        • Seems like Damarious Randall has about 800,000 jerseys to buy if the Cavs beat the Warriors. Nice job getting the fanbase behind you, DR.
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                          • For some reason, reports state that Incognito will not be charged in the gym incident.
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                            • Originally posted by Castiron View Post
                              For some reason, reports state that Incognito will not be charged in the gym incident.
                              Checking himself in for psychiatric care? Or just no one wanting to deal with a case against him?
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                              • What ever happened to Jonathan Martin? Wasn't Incognito the one he claimed bullied him or whatever?

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