AFC Landscape

AFC WEST

Chargers Taking Charge

L.A. Chargers are sitting tied in first place in the AFC West but they don’t look too worried as they are used to this sort of competition from Denver. Led by the ageing Kirk Cousins they seem to be getting the job done despite his 4td to 5 int ratio and boasting a mere 80.9 Passer rating. They seem to be getting things done on the ground sitting 2nd in rushing yards per game.* Like a freight train Gordon just keeps going. But it’s not just the Offence that teams should worry about with this team. They are a monster on D as well. They have turned their team in to a no throw zone sitting 2nd in passing yards allowed, 11 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles and 18 sacks in just 6 games shows why anyone facing this team should be worried. Kirk cousins is on an absolute fortune, has been OTB for what seem like forever and contract is up at the end of the season, will the chargers look to trade or draft their new franchise guy. (I heard Flacco is available)

SC was calm and collect saying ¨We have a tough schedule this year so it was important we made a good start and at 5-1 going into the bye I think we have, the only downside is the long term injury to Keenan Allen whilst we don’t spam a particular receiver like some teams he is absolutely our go to guy when we need a game changing play and it’s an area we lack depth so he will be a big miss, on a more positive note our DB’s have been balling out notching ten picks through the first 5 games, we are also managing to finally pressure the QB with Rookie Chase Nicholson and Uchenna Nwosu having 5 sacks a piece so that is pleasing given it was our focus in the offseason.¨

Broncos Running Smoothly

From one big hitter to the next. I feel sorry for anyone stuck in a division with both Rob and SC (Trust me i’ve been there and it’s awful) The Broncos have somewhat came up short in their division never quite able to beat L.A. to the top spot, nevertheless the Broncos are no pushovers. They have multiple weapons on offense, with 3 out of 5 running backs currently over 100 yards in 6 games, they have 3 clear targets for their air game they show no signs of slowing down and will look to push the Chargers all the way for the 3rd season running now. All rob needs to focus on is making sure that there are no slip ups during the rest of the season as the AFC is becoming more competitive as whole.

Owner Rob was available for questioning after attending to his cows, this is what he had to say ¨Tough schedule with an offence in complete rebuild mode. Defence will have to carry the broncos this season. Hoping for a wildcard spot.¨

Big Trouble in Oakland

Oakland currently sit 1-5 and are struggling. They are currently middle of the pack or lower in all statistics both offence and defence. But don’t let the record fool you, they have played Chargers twice and broncos once, both of which are extremely hard to win, they have also faced the undefeated Panthers. Some might say 4 of thos 5 defeats were unavoidable. What the raiders need to focus on now is trying to string together some wins and get a bit of momentum going. Raiders need to find a way to minimise the interceptions that Carr is throwing, something that may be an issue due to pressure as the QB has been sacked 21 times this year. Trying to find a spark in a division with Rob and SC is tough. But putting on a show against the Panthers might be what they needed. As long as Daly doesn’t rage quit from the league again he may have the chance. (Although the saints are free so might be worth doing that and trying to get back in with New Orleans)

Not a lot of words for not alot of wins, when Daly was asked about the season he said ¨L¨

Chiefs are Just Starting

Kansas City Chiefs currently sit 3-2 in the AFC West and are starting to pick up what looks like momentum from their last 2 games. With the roster that they have I wouldn’t be too worried in Kansas about getting wins. With a WR that could rival Usain Bolt himself and two other WRs that if you blink you miss them. Kansas are probably sat on the best starting receiver core in the league. Along with that they have Kareem Hunt who is sat 4th overall in yards rushing. If you think it’s possible to run against this D then think again as they are currently 4th in rushing yards allowed.* It’s going to be hard but if anyone can push the Chargers and Broncos all the way it’s going to be the Chiefs.

Kansas Owner had a lot to say when prompted on the franchises season ¨Playing better as we go. Some really tough games coming up but feel they are winnable. Keeping the turnovers down will be key. Our run defence is one of the best in the league but we need to limit the passing game and do better on 3rd down. It all starts with the secondary. We made a trade for HaHa and he’s had a great impact so far but the rest of the secondary needs to step up.

In terms of offence, the run game has improved but needs to be more consistent. The pass game has also improved but we need to utilise the speed we have on offence. John McCain has so far been a success since we drafted him No1 but needs to keep the turnovers down but he’s getting better every week¨

AFC EAST

Remains of a Dynasty

The Patriots were once the most hated team in the NFL and the question on many lips were ¨what will they be without TB12¨ well the answer is they are 11-26 with one playoff appearance. How the mighty have fallen, no doubt a lot of people are happy in witnessing this downfall. They sit 1-4 on the season with a poor offence and defense. It’s hard to see how they get themselves out of this. However that being said in this division a playoff appearance is still a big possibility. They are a franchise who has big name players defensively they just need to give those players a chance. Perhaps look to add some studs offensively to turn their woes around.

Rhys was extremely talkative about his franchise when asked about the season. This is what he had to say ¨Despite being nearly 6 games in, it feels like I’m still finding my way into this season. Over the first two years of the sim, I’ve tried to move away from the older, more expensive players on the roster, and I’ve now changed the schemes to fit the remaining players plus the rookies I’ve drafted.

Im definitely noticing the drop off on defense. Hightower is a big loss in terms or bringing pressure on opposition QBs and, even though the rookie I drafted to replace him has a couple of sacks, he isn’t able to generate a pash rush as consistently against good OL.

As a result receivers are getting open from our corners and we’re giving up to many points. I’ve also regressed in terms of using LB to cover. My user guy is getting picked on more regularly.

On offense, I’m missing the safety net of Gronk. Kittle has started well, but he’s a different TE and so I’m working on expanding my knowledge of our playbook again rather than relying on old favourites.

What we are struggling with is having to catch teams up after they have put big leads up on us already. If I can get more stops and better field position, we’ll be in more games.

I hope to see the benefit of it next season overall. I have something crazy like 12 draft picks and I’m hoping to use some of them to bring a bit more quality in before the deadline. In the AFC East it all comes down to divisional games and I’ve only played one so far. My season really could still go either way.¨

Bills Limping along

Buffalo currently sit 2-3 in a division where no team has had a final winning record in the last two years. Buffalo boasted having wads of cash to spend and that’s yet to be seen in the improvements made. They were turned down in FA by Hudson despite offering 18 million more than the Ravens (I bet he regrets that now), perhaps this shows what the situation is like not just in Buffalo but the East all together. Positives that the bills can take is their defence statistically look good sitting 7th* in rush yards allowed, 12th* in pass yards allowed. They sit 19th* in rushing yards per game and 28th* in Passing they are looking for a spark to get things going in a division that is just as competitive as any other but for all the wrong reasons.

When the franchise owner Glyn was asked to comment he replied with ¨not much to comment on as I haven’t been present.¨

Seems even the owner doesn’t want to be in Buffalo.

Lights off in New York

The New York Jets, a city that never sleeps, a franchise that never wakes up. The Jets sit 1-5 and are currently last in both points scored per game and points allowed per game*. A team that seems for years has been in rebuild mode. A young ambitious QB who is just withering away in the Big Apple after the acquisition of Rodgers (A move that raised many eyebrows around the NFL). But like I keep saying in this division it’s anybody’s ball game, Jets need to focus and try string a few wins together. Do that and they instantly become a playoff talking point.

JB was asked to comment and this was his response ¨Despite being active in the trade market the Jets offensive woes continue. New starting RT mcglinchy (acquires from the 49ers) went down with broken ribs and is out for 4 weeks. Aaron Rodgers, added at QB for 1 of the Jets 2 first rounders, has been doing his best Petermen impression with 21 picks already this season. However there has been one bright spot – a stirring second half comeback against the Bills from 22-3 down to get the first win of my owner career.¨

Phins Swimming Backwards

The Dolphins two years ago topped the division and made the playoffs. Now they sit winless at the bottom of the barrel of the East. They are currently last in the league in most categories of yards per game and yards allowed per game*. It’s the sunshine state most of the year except for when these dolphins take the field on a sunday. One positive about the predicament this franchise find themselves in is that the only way is up. Get some studs down in Miami and keep them away from the party life and you’re back on track in the East. Give Miami something to party about again.

Like the Dolphins wins this season the Owner was nowhere to be seen.

AFC NORTH

Lack Luster Ravens

The 1-5 ravens have disappointed season after season only accomplishing a total of 12 wins in 38 games. Patience is growing thin in Baltimore with the AFC North side. On paper they have the players that are capable of winning. A QB with speed that seems unmatched by anybody else in the same position, going to waste. A team who are 5th in rushing yards per game*. A centre who was paid a fortune in the offseason not making much of a difference to the O-line and a defence that has some star studded players only managing 3 Interceptions and 4 Forced Fumbles in 6 games. The defence are 25th in passing yards allowed and last in running yards allowed. This team seems as though it would struggle to stop a snail, let alone some of the best athletes on the planet. Many holes in this team both offence and defence, it seems as though it’s going to be another miserable season in Baltimore and with no real receiving threat I can understand why.

When asked Ravens owner had this to say ¨It’s disappointing to be the whipping boys of the AFC North (again), we thought with big money targets in FA we would make a real go of it this year, unfortunately that doesn’t look likely. The fans deserve more and I would like to sincerely apologise to everyone¨

Business as Normal In Pittsburg

A team that for years were unsure what life after Big Ben would be like have their answer. Nick Ferguson is that guy, he stepped in and all worries were gone in The Steel City. A team that boast talents in all key positions and look somewhat unstoppable this season (apart from when they were beat by a guy who has 7 fingers). WIth big Nick leading the charge the steelers are 4-1 this season and going strong despite being low statistically in yards per game but top 5 in points per game. They were beat to the playoffs last year but only just, they seem more determined than ever to make sure that does not happen again. But in a division that was arguably the most competitive last season (41 total wins in the division) it won’t be an easy feature.

Owner Chris had this to say about his franchise ¨Overall it was a disappointment to not make it to the playoffs, however a decent draft and some big moves in free agency, it would be more of a disappointment to miss out this year. With that said, the talent around us in the division is so high, we can’t be embarrassed by missing out.¨

Current King of the North

The current king of the north boast one of the best statistical offenses in the league, 4th in points per game, 1st in passing yards* and 11th in rushing yards*. They have had a bit of a fluctuating start to the season, but the demolition of divisional rivals Baltimore have Cincinnati looking to press on and go playoff bound once more. A lot of attention has been brought to light that this team only has one player and his name is John Ross. He is an explosive receiver and they are utilising him perfectly but looking at the statistics they are more than a one man team and if they can start performing the way we know they can come january they will be preparing for the playoffs once more. For Cinci its onto the next game for now and try make up the ground on Pittsburg

Cinderella of the NFL

The Browns are the Cinderella story of the NFL, going from zero to somewhat hero. Going from 1 win in two years to 22 wins last two seasons accompanied by 1 superbowl appearance. The Browns have seemingly became an overnight sensation in the league. This season though they currently sit 3-3 having a real jekyll and hyde string of results. Mayfield is using his arm to get things done (Browns are 4th in passing yards)* but it feels as though the run game in Cleveland has gone AWOL (18th in rushing yards)*. Im sure they will be looking to rectify that and get back on the path to the superbowl.

Jimmy commented on his sides season by saying ¨Tough start schedule wise. 1 cpu loss. 1 sim loss. Massive win v Craig with a last sec FG. Need to go on a run to make playoffs

Resigned Njoku. Garrett still to sign. That will go to the wire. Maybe tagged.¨

Although to me that sounds like more excuses on their record than anything else. Only time will tell if this young side can get things going.

AFC SOUTH

Houston We Have No Problem For Now

The Texans are undefeated at 5-0 and some questions have been asked as to how. They have 4 offensive TDs and 1 defensive TD, how long can they keep this up. If they don’t find a way to start scoring they may see that 0 slip away from them. They will have to focus on getting their air game going along with what is a top 10 run game currently. The texans are a team that aren’t scoring many points but aren’t letting many teams score either, their D is currently 3rd* in points allowed and 4th* in passing yards allowed. We have seen teams in recent years ride their defence to the superbowl before and could see it happen again. This texans team has room to breath at the moment they just need to find a way to start slinging the ball. This division may end up being close. For now though the Texans are comfy at the top.

Texans owner addressed the issues with the franchise in this statement ¨Some of the texans wins have masked their offensive deficiencies and if they are to win the AFC South, and have a deep play-off run, they will have to stop throwing interceptions and start throwing touchdowns¨

Jaguars Chasing

Jacksonville are currently tied with Colts and Titans at 2-3 as they look to get something going to challenge the Texans. Its surprising that a team with one of the best defenses (on paper) are playing somewhat mediocre football. They have one of the most explosive running backs in the league in Fournette. The Jags have been consistent past two years not seeing themselves drop below .500 so it’s hard to see that starting this year. I would look out for this team to make a push as long as the defence starts showing up on game days. All the Jags need to focus on is getting that could be monster D going and they will be purring like a cat.

Griff commented on his sides season thus far ¨Hit and miss so far, played well against the bengals but not done the best against the Texans and Broncos, big injuries to key players slowed us down. Looking to push on for the rest of the season but will be tough to catch the Texans.¨

Colts Keeping Pace

Indianapolis Colts 2-3 like their divisional rivals seem to be shy of touchdowns this year and that might just be why they are sat .400. All it takes is for a momentum shift and then there’s a completely different story going on in the south. If the texans are unable to start going offensively then that will leave things wide open for the whole division to try make ground. However the colts are in the same predicament, they need to get things going otherwise the season will end before the new year, something they cant blame on deflated balls either.

Mikey had this to say ¨Hit and miss so far, need to stop turning the ball over so much on offence and become better in the red zone.¨

Titans Down But Not Out

Now we move to a team that sits at 2-3 but stats show another story, the Tennessee Titans. Arguably the most prolific offense in the South with 10 offensive TDs. Top 10 defense in passing yards and rushing yards allowed per game, the only issue that seems to let this side down is the points that they are allowing. This may sound a little silly but someone should tell the Titans that they can’t win if they allow the other team to score more points than them. Once they have the points they are allowing under control I would expect nothing less than them to start steam rolling trying to catch the Texans.