2014 NFL Preview: AFC

Andy Livingston

old football players

Yeah, we know it’s hard to care much about a league that disciplines marijuana tokers more harshly than wife beaters, but we have 17 fantasy football leagues we need to maintain and just used the word ‘tokers’ in a sentence. Point is—whether we want to admit it or not—even the least-caring sports fans have some vested interest in our real national pastime. With that in mind, we’ve given the NFL a once-over to determine what we can expect from each team. And in an effort to make this list as universal as possible, we’ve given them all a movie by whose standards we are to judge them. Today we break down the AFC in (literally) no particular order. Check back tomorrow to see what we think of the senior circuit.

Denver Broncos

2013 Record: 13-3 (lost in the Super Bowl)

Film Scale: The Shining

Please Wes Welker, just retire.

Peyton Manning will scream “OMAHA” until Eli can hear it across the country, their secondary will still be scorched even though they dumped last year’s squad, but they’ll probably be back in the Super Bowl again so the media can foam into microphones about them.

2014 Prediction: 12-4

Tennessee Titans

2013 Record: 7-9

Film Scale: Country Strong

Hey Titans fans, you’ve got Jake Locker for an entire season mere minutes of playing time! Then you’ll have Josh McCown to hand off the ball to someone not-named Chris Johnson and your defense will do something akin to defensin’. Bud Adams will now be watching the team from the great skybox in the, uh, sky and giving double birds to everyone on earth.

2014 Prediction: 6-10

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

2013 Record: 4-12

Film Scale: The Paperboy

At least Blaine Gabbert isn’t around anymore. Jags front office is expecting us to believe Blake Bortles won’t replace Chad Henne at quarterback by Week 3 and maybe something scrappy will come out of the Great Ditch of Jacksonville, but until then, you’re still wondering why this team is around.

2014 Prediction: 4-12

Houston Texans

2013 Record: 2-14

Film Scale: Dazed & Confused

Matt Schaub and Gary Kubiak are gone. Ryan “I left Harvard for this?” Fitzpatrick will disappoint somewhere around mid-season and new coach Bill O’Brien will have him living out of a garbage can because it’s the “right way to win football”. That defense is ridiculous. JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney in the box at the same time should be sanctioned by a UN Peace Keeping committee for all the carnage they will leave on the field.

2014 Prediction: 3-13

Indianapolis Colts

2013 Record: 11-5

Film Scale: Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas

Andrew Luck is a gross spit monster whose game crumbles in the playoffs, but Colts fans are used to that move. Owner Jim Irsay was pulled over with almost $30,000 in cash and a duffel bag filled with pills. And he takes to twitter like a guy with an egg avi and 4 followers. That division is in the toilet competition-wise and Luck will have another solid regular season before making everyone in Indiana weep like it’s the third act of Hoosiers .

2014 Prediction: 12-4

San Diego Chargers

2013 Record: 9-7

Film Scale: Cheaper By The Dozen

Quarterback Philip Rivers’ wife had their seventh kid during the season. He’s basically growing his own offensive line, because he will need the bodies. There’s no other offensive scheme than letting the screaming face come up with something. Frank Reich is their new offensive coordinator and he gets automatic points for a game played over twenty years ago.

2014 Prediction: 8-8

Kansas City Chiefs

2013 Record: 11-5

Film Scale: Is there a Kool-Aid Guy movie?

Andy “Oh yeahh” Reid will draw up plays to pass on every down because at this point his brain shuts down when someone mentions “game management.” And the quarterback throwing it up is Alex Smith, the most mundane starting QB name ever uttered. The weird thing is Andy Reid teams will always be competitive and will be pretty good, but when they blow it, they blow it super hard. No indication that won’t change this season.

2014 Prediction: 12-4

Oakland Raiders

2013 Record: 4-12

Film Scale: The Sandlot

Al Davis’ son, Mark, is a chip off the old block and there’s no way the Raiders won’t be residing in Los Angeles or San Antonio or a Walmart parking lot somewhere in Nebraska. Especially with Matt Schaub at the helm and a stadium that can’t bother to put grass on the field. The best Raiders defense is in the parking lot of the stadium.

2014 Prediction: 3-13

Baltimore Ravens

2013 Record: 8-8

Film Scale: The Stepfather

Even the most diehard Ravens fans won’t admit Joe Flacco is worth his contract, but choose to compare his contract against every other quarterback contract instead. Ray Rice is human garbage and the Ravens public relations tried to outdo the Washington Football Club in the Most Tone Deaf publicity race.
Steve Smith got cut and will go out there trying to distance himself from that move by going HAM.

2014 Prediction: 10-6

Pittsburgh Steelers

2013 Record: 8-8

Film Scale: How High

The Stillers change nothing, still have the bloated bag of ickyness under center and the guy with the cool hair in the secondary. They still have Mike Tomlin who was throwing himself onto the field in a desperate attempt at advance coaching last season. Oh, and both of their running backs got busted driving while high. They’ll still get to beat up on the Browns and the Bengals and will show up to at least one of the games against the Ravens, but they’re not good.

2014 Prediction: 6-10

Cincinnati Bengals

2013 Record: 11-5

Film Scale: Troll 2

They paid Andy Dalton something like $400 million dollars to throw interceptions all game because Marvin Lewis is the camp counselor who is too old to still be doing that job. But in the winters you just paint houses or stuff, so you don’t even have to get a real job, maaaan. If Dalton could figure it out, they have a bonkers receiving core, but I think the guys head is a wreck from all the Skyline chili.

2014 Prediction: 9-7

Cleveland Browns

2013 Record: 4-12

Film Scale: The Grifters

Between an owner dancing in front of fraud charges,  Johnny Manziel openly taunting the world to take a hit at his knees and a front office that just got cleaned out, and the best they could pull is Mike “Who?” Pettine and Kyle “Nepotism” Shanahan. Maybe Pettine will burn his playbook after a couple of awful weeks and they could get something together, but the Gods seemed to have taketh away when they gave LeBron back to Cleveland.

2014 Prediction: 2-14

New York Jets

2013 Record: 8-8

Film Scale: Blue Velvet

The Jets had a big free agent chase this off-season, wanna guess who? I’ll save you the trouble, it was Fireman Ed. Their superfan who leads a cheer of chanting four letters. And he still turned them down. Oh and Rex Ryan is still there! They’ve got quarterbacks who will probably split the season behind a good offensive line, but almost no other offensive weapons, so Michael Vick might try and revive the  pre-conviction era, which will be worth watching on some level.

2014 Prediction: 8-8

New England Patriots

2013 Record: 12-4

Film Scale: Shattered Glass

Their quarterback is a charmless Zach Morris and the head coach is Patrick Bateman. They also have a tight end who is currently on trial for murder. But don’t let anyone tell you this isn’t the classiest organization in the league! It’s the Patriots, they’ll rack up 12 wins in their sleep and if another scandal breaks out, they’ll go even harder.

2014 Prediction: 13-3

Buffalo Bills

2013 Record: 6-10

Film Scale: Pitch Black

How to summarize the Bills? The longest playoff drought? The drunk fans at the Ralph who sometimes fall down the stands and crush others beneath them? That their biggest celebrity fan last year was Toronto Mayor Rob Ford? Or that Jon Bon Jovi tried to get the team on the cheap? If EJ Manuel can stay healthy, he will be in beast mode, but Sammy Watkins just came out as still injured, so that’s one less weapon.

2014 Prediction: 7-9

Miami Dolphins

2013 Record: 8-8

Film Scale: Bully

Tampa Bay had MRSA, the Jags were such a joke, their season upgrade concerns a guy named Bortles and yet it’s the Dolphins who burned an 8-8 season because the team was being run like a post-apocalyptic gang from a Steven Seagal movie. Ryan Tannehill, if he is protected, could be really good this year. I can’t imagine this season being as catastrophically weird as last season for the Fins, but there’s always a chance.

2014 Prediction: 9-7

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