Over the past week or so, we have been previewing the upcoming NFL season by taking a look at the league divisions. Today we wrap up our previews of the AFC divisions by going over the wide-open AFC West. (To view previous NFL previews, click on any of the following division names: AFC East, AFC North, AFC South)
Top Broncos Games of 2012
No team changed its identity as much as the Denver Broncos did this offseason. Gone is quarterback Tim Tebow, who dominated the headlines all of last season; he has been replaced by future Hall of Famer — and arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time — Peyton Manning. Tebow led the Broncos with his rushing, but now with Manning at the helm, Denver will feature one of the league's best passing attacks. Look for a Bronco wide receiver to have a breakout season.
Projection: The Broncos won the AFC West with an 8-8 record last year. They should improve by a few games in 2012 and narrowly beat out the Chargers for the division crown.
Football is now officially just two weeks away, and as the season gets closer, we have been previewing each of the NFL's eight divisions. So far, we have covered the AFC East (Click here to view) and the AFC South (Click here to view); today we shift to the AFC North, perhaps the league's toughest division.
For more than a decade now, the Baltimore Ravens have been known for their defensive prowess, and during that time, they have seemingly had the same cast of characters, and 2012 is no different. Linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed are back again, and the team's defense should continue to be one of the league's best. The offense will be relying on running back Ray Rice as well as quarterback Joe Flacco, who needs to continue to improve if the Ravens want to find postseason success.
Projection: The AFC North is one of the most difficult to predict, but with their great defense and All-Pro running back Ray Rice, the Ravens should be in the postseason and should be favorites to win the division title.
The NFL season is now just 17 days away from kicking off on September 5, when the Dallas Cowboys face the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. As the season continues to draw closer, we will be continuing to preview the NFL's divisions. Last week, we previewed the AFC East; today we will take a look at the AFC South.
After nine seasons without a playoff appearance, the Houston Texans were finally able to break through last season, winning the AFC South with a 10-6 record. The team was riddled with injuries last year, with many of the team's biggest stars missing a significant amount of time. Houston returns with many of their key players this season; the most notable exception is DE Mario Williams, who signed with Buffalo.
Projection: If the Texans can stay away from the injury bug, most notably QB Matt Schaub and RB Arian Foster, they should be able to take home the division crown.
The 2012 National Football League season is just a few weeks away now, so over the next few weeks, we will look ahead to each division and see how each team projects. First up: the AFC East.
Very few teams made as many waves as the Buffalo Bills did this offseason. The team signed the top free agent on the market, defensive end Mario Williams, to a $100 million contract, the largest in franchise history. They then went out and further bolstered the defensive line by signing DE Mark Anderson, who had 12.5 sacks last season for the Patriots. It is widely believed that the Bills made these moves in order to put pressure on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has owned the Bills for the past decade.
Projection: After finishing 6-10 in 2011, the Bills hope the improved defense will have them competing for a Wild Card spot in 2012.
The NBA and NHL seasons are over. Baseball is in its dog days of summer, with many fans losing hope for their team's chances. But this week marks the beginning of NFL training camp and sports fans everywhere are looking forward to the upcoming NFL season.
Rookies from the across the league have already reported to their team's camps, but this week marks the official start when veterans arrive to get ready for 2012.
Here are some of the things to keep an eye on as training camp gets underway:
What to Watch For
Peyton on the Rocky Top - After missing last season due to a serious neck injury, quarterback Peyton Manning left the Colts to join the Denver Broncos - the same team that was led by the ridiculously popular Tim Tebow just a year ago. Now the Broncos will be featuring a brand-new offense and this year's Broncos training camp will be important for Manning and his receivers to get on the same page. Oh, and one more thing about Tebow...