Who Will Be Crowned AFC Champions in 2015

AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Denver Broncos

Now that the NFL season is under way, analysts have watched enough of the teams to have a good idea which of them has a real chance to win the AFC Conference. While a key injury, especially to a quarterback, could change the situation, it’s easy to tell who the great teams are. Here are the four most likely AFC champions for 2015.

New England Patriots

The last time the Patriots were punished by the NFL for a video scandal, they let their on-field play do the talking. The 2007 Patriots became the first team in 35 years to finish a regular season undefeated. So, the NFL might take away draft pick compensation for the Deflategate scandal, but they can’t stand in the way of Bill Belichick’s football genius.

Now that Tom Brady has won his appeal, he won’t receive a suspension. With 16 games featuring him as quarterback, the Patriots will once again field one of the most prolific offenses in the league. Even with the other teams in the AFC East improving, New England is still the class of the AFC. If you enter a weekly draft league like DocSports.com, they’re always your best bet.

Denver Broncos


As long as Peyton Manning has a pulse, Denver is a playoff team. Manning, unfortunately suffered a serious injury in a meaningless regular season game last year that limited what he could do in December and January. At 39 and coming off this injury, people wonder if Manning might finally be at the end of his storied career.

This is a good time to remember that Brett Favre was a pass away from a Super Bowl appearance at 39, and Manning has surpassed Favre in virtually every meaningful NFL stat. Don’t count him out until his retirement ceremony.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger has helmed the Steelers since 2004. His early successes in reaching the Super Bowl might feel like forever ago, but he’s finally got the weapons on offense to return his team to glory. Le’Veon Bell led the AFC in rushing yardage last season while Antonio Brown led the entire league in receptions and receiving yardage.

Plus, the Steelers finally appear capable of providing a pass rush. They’ve spent recent first round selections on Jarvis Jones and Ryan Shazier. Both players received acclaim in college for their ability to play in the opposing team’s backfield. Combined, they’re a potent linebacker tandem, which means the Steelers are getting back to their roots as a modern version of the Steel Curtain.

Kansas City Chiefs

Alex Smith is the perfect quarterback for an Andy Reid offense. He plays smart and never gets greedy. He’s the ultimate game manager, taking what the defense gives him. That’s why the Chiefs played the entire 2014 season without a touchdown reception for a wide receiver. People mock that strategy due to the fantasy sports mentality that drives football analysis. What few of them appreciate is that Smith won over 63 percent of his first 30 starts as a Chief. When he starts, the Chiefs are likely to win.

This looks like another great season in the AFC. The four favorites are lining up to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs. The team that gets it is most likely to play in the Super Bowl.