I don’t remember the last time the NFL off-season was this interesting. There have been so many star players traded or signing to Super Bowl contenders in the AFC. The AFC is without a doubt the strongest conference in football history as it stands today.
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The moves made so far has create an entirely new favorites for the Super Bowl. Most power rankings are based off how well a team looks on the field or how well the roster is put together. My power ranking is based solely on who has the best shot at winning the Super Bowl. Because the AFC has added great players some of the traditional favorites of the last 5-years will fall in the power rankings.
The Rams enter the Power Rankings at the top team in the NFL with the best chance at winning the Super Bowl. The Rams have added and subtracted a few players to the roster, but overall, the roster is pretty much intact. Although the AFC has boosted their rosters, the NFC has done nothing to boost their teams’ rosters besides the Rams. The Rams should have the easiest path to the Super Bowl as long as the injuries to key players stay to a minimal. The addition of wide receiver Allen Robinson to go along with Cooper Kupp makes the Rams receiving core even more dangerous than before. Robinson is an underrated wide out, but with the Rams he will shine.
Tampa Bay Bucs
The Bucs are now a year removed from their Super Bowl run and have kept the roster pretty intact as well. Like the Rams, the Bucs have an easy division to navigate to get to the playoffs. With the return of Tom Brady, the Bucs are prime for another run at a title without any true competition in their division.
The Bills return almost their entire roster and added Von Miller from the defending Super Bowl champion Rams. With Josh Allen under center, the Bills are heavily favorites to win the AFC East and take the AFC overall. For the last two years, the Kansas City Chiefs have been the achilleas heel to their success in the playoffs, but not anymore.
With Tyreek Hill being traded to the Dolphins, the Chiefs will have to get the former Steeler wide receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster, up to speed. The offseason is still in play, but the Bills have positioned themselves to be the best of them all. They’re positioned at #3 in the Power Rankings because of how difficult the AFC will be come playoff time.
The Chargers sit at #4 in the NFL Power Rankings because of the players they have added on defense to go along with one of the NFL’s best offenses. JC Jackson is a fantastic pick up in free agency. The Chargers will play in the toughest division in football inside of the toughest conference in football. JC Jackson at one point led the league in interceptions last season, and in a pass happy division like the AFC West, Jackson makes the Chargers secondary arguably the best in football. To go along with Jackson, the Chargers traded for Khalil Mack. Mack and Bosa will be meeting at Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, and Derek Carr all year. This could make the Chargers the most improved contender on this list.
Kansas City Chiefs
The headline of the week is the Chiefs trading their offensive weapon Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins for a few picks. At this point in the offseason, the Chiefs sit at #5 on the list. I believe the Chiefs will address the wide receiver position in the first round of the draft with that Dolphin pick. I like for the Chiefs to draft Jameson Williams out of Alabama. The receiver was undeniable the best receiver on the field this year. His speed won’t touch Hill, but he could be a solid replacement for the loss of talent. This season we will find out how great Mahomes really is without his best weapon of his career.
The defending AFC champions surprised the world when they ended up in the Super Bowl, but this is why we play the games on the field and not on paper. Joe Burrow earned the respect of the league in the Bengals playoff run and near Super Bowl win. I have the Bengals at #6 because they will have a tougher schedule and division to go through. The Ravens get back Lamar Jackson and every offensive weapon they lost before the 2021 season even began. The Cleveland Browns added Deshaun Watson and are expected to bring back wide receiver Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham. The Browns have had one of the better rosters in the NFL but lack the quarterback to get the job done. With Watson running the offense, the Browns should be contenders and the biggest problem for the Bengals.
Russell Wilson has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL for about a decade. The Broncos traded a little to the Seattle to get a franchise changer. The Broncos have a solid defense that will make it tough for teams to move the ball down the field; and with Russell running the offense, the Broncos could make a solid run at a championship in year 1. On paper, the Broncos look more formidable than the Chiefs, but we have yet to see what the team will look like when the season rolls around.
Las Vegas Raiders
The last team of the AFC West is this Power Ranking are the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders managed to make the playoffs last year due to a lot of dominos falling their way towards the end of the year. In 2021, the Raiders lost their top receiver and head coach for off the field issues but still made the playoffs. With the addition of the best receiver in the NFL, Devonte Adams, makes the Raiders almost as dangerous as any team heading into the regular season. If Carr and Adams can pick up from where they left off in college, the Raiders are in good hands and will end up in the playoffs.
We have come to a consensus that Lamar Jackson is the second coming of Michael Vick. The problem with this comparison is that the Ravens are doing the same thing the Falcons did when they had Vick. Expecting Jackson to carry the team every game without any upgrades to the offensive play calling. If the Ravens continue to run a shell offense, because they know Jackson can create something out of nothing, they will end up missing the playoffs.
The Browns are the winners of the “Watson Sweepstakes.” The upgrade at the quarterback spot puts the Browns exactly where they wanted to be, contenders instead of pretenders. Watson makes the Browns a destination franchise for veterans looking to get a Super Bowl ring. Although Baker Mayfield did get the Browns to a playoff once in his 4-years, the Browns offense has too much fire power for early exits or not making the playoffs at all. The AFC North looks like a difficult division to get through, but Browns have a roster and a savvy head coach to get the job done.