AFC East: The Patriots have gone on a 4-1 run after losing their first game of the season. The offense production has been great for the Patriots, but their defense has been a huge question mark so far, this year. The Buffalo Bills have started strong at 3-2, but need quarterback Tyrod Taylor to continue to lead the offense. Don’t expect much from the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets who aren’t necessarily competing this year, but both have put up strong performances so far.
Pick: New England Patriots
AFC North: The Pittsburgh Steelers bounced back from an abysmal 30-9 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a 19-13 win against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers need to have strong wins like Kansas City to continue to make a push for first. One of the main things to look for is the consistency of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Coming off the worst performance of his career with five interceptions in week five, Roethlisberger threw for a touchdown and an interception in week six. The Cleveland Browns are proving that old habits do not die hard with an 0-6 start to the season. At least they get a great pick again this year, just like every year…
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC South: The AFC South is a true toss-up division with all four teams contending for first place. With the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans sitting at 3-3, the race for first can go in any direction. The Texans suffered the loss of defensive end J.J. Watt which could send them trending downwards. Look for the Jaguars Defense to be a difference maker in the division race.
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars
AFC West: The Kansas City Chiefs have gotten off to a strong start behind the breakout performance of rookie running back Kareem Hunt. The Denver Broncos need to rely on their defense to continue their 3-2 start. Inconsistencies for the Los Angeles Chargers and the injury of Oakland Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr have led to their 2-4 records.
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs
NFC East: The Philadelphia Eagles have broken away from the pack with a 5-1 start to their season thanks to the strong performance of quarterback Carson Wentz. The New York Giants have been a surprising bottom dweller with a 1-5 start to their season thanks to the injury of star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. They have a long way to go if they would like to make the playoff push they were projected to make at the beginning of the season.
Pick: Philadelphia Eagles
NFC North: The Green Bay Packers playoff hopes have been marred by the injury of starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. While 4-2, the Packers need to rely on their running game and defense to pull out wins. The Minnesota Vikings have quarterback Teddy Bridgewater back in action after being out last season and the beginning of this season after dislocating his knee. With Mike Glennon out as starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears, they are now able to let rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky work with the offense and prepare for next season.
Pick: Minnesota Vikings
NFC South: The NFC South is another toss up division. The Carolina Panthers currently lead the division at 4-2, but the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons currently both sit at 3-2. The Saints need their running back combo of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara to pick up the weight of their struggling defense and score. Falcons starting quarterback Matt Ryan has had mixed results in recent performances and needs to step up as the leader of the team.
Pick: Carolina Panthers
NFC West: The Los Angeles Rams have flourished with the success of second year quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley. They currently sit on top of the division at 4-2. The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals could be interesting wild card competitors as both teams are playing consistent at 3-2 and 3-3 respectively. The San Francisco 49ers are in a race with the Browns for who is going to get the first round pick this year.
Pick: Los Angeles Rams
– Sean Lynch