Who Takes Over The AFC?
Only 7:22 into the Patriots season-opener against the Chiefs, and the entire NFL season was sent into a spiral of questioning. As Tom Brady went down clutching his knee, fans nationwide started wondering; was that it? Did the Patriots just lose the league’s reigning MVP, and along with him, their playoff hopes?
Yes and most unfortunately, yes. With Tom Brady officially on injured reserve, the Patriots’ playoffs chances hinged on the inexperienced Matt Cassell. Tom Brady actually took over the Patriots, back in 2001, under similar circumstances, following a Drew Bledsoe injury. But Bledsoe was no Brady, and neither is Cassell. Brady started 22 games at the University of Michigan. Cassell? He spent four years backing up Heisman winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart.
So who becomes the AFC favourite now? Many people are saying the perennial underachievers, the San Diego Chargers, but with Shawne Merriman sidelined for the season, their chances seem grim.
Some other “experts” say the Jets instantly become not only the favourites to win their division, but the entire AFC. Apparently these experts forgot that the Jets went 4-12 last year, and even though they added Brett Favre, they still have too many holes to be Super Bowl contenders. Division maybe. Conference? Not a chance.
So who wins the conference? The Steelers. The Steelers have an explosive offence, with underrated Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, “Fast” Willie Parker at running back, and two stars at receiver, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes.
Not only do they have a great offence, which they didn’t when they won the Super Bowl back in 2006, but their defense is dominant. I know this from experience, as I watched the Steelers rip apart my beloved Texans in week one.