32 Teams, 32 Bold Predictions: Part 1 AFC

Over the course of the next two days ProPlayerInsiders will preview the NFL Season by making a bold prediction, projecting the record, and picking a fantasy MVP for each of the 32 teams. Up first is part 1 and the AFC. (Click here for part 2 and the NFC)


New England Patriots

Bold Prediction: With many of Tom Brady’s favorite targets on other teams, injured, or incarcerated the Patriots might need a superstar to emerge on defense. Luckily, Chandler Jones is ready to make the jump from first round draft pick to perennial Pro-Bowl player. Jones will nearly triple his sack total from his rookie season (6) with 15 sacks.

Projected Record: 12-4

Key Game: Week 12 vs. Denver (Sunday Night Football)

Fantasy MVP: Rob Gronkowski

Player Tweet: @StevanRidley So fresh, I pressed my socks! pic.twitter.com/gUM5VPnVRh

Miami Dolphins

Bold Prediction: With all of the hype surrounding Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill flew under the radar despite starting all 16 games and throwing for over 3,000 yards. Tannehill only threw for 12 touchdowns last season one less than his 13 interceptions. This season, Tannehill will double his touchdown total while maintaing a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio.

Projected Record: 8-8

Key Game: Week 15 vs. New England

Fantasy MVP: Lamar Miller

Player Tweet: @Wallace17_daKid Watchin the hall of fame speeches this is amazing I can only imagine how those guys feel!! #HardWorkPaysOff

Buffalo Bills

Bold Prediction: Since Jim Kelly retired after the 1996 season the Bills have had ten different starting quarterbacks. During his career Kelly played in four Pro-Bowls. None of the ten players who have started a game for the Bills since Kelly have represented the team in a Pro-Bowl. On Sunday, EJ Manuel will be the eleventh player to start a game for the Bills since the Kelly era ended. Manuel wont end the Bills QB Pro-Bowl drought this year, but he will be named the Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

Projected Record: 6-10

Key Game: Week 1 vs. New England

Fantasy MVP: CJ Spiller

Player Tweet: @StevieJohnson13 bout to bless somebody at Walmart. (Whoever behind me in line won’t be paying for anything they have.) #thxbuffalo

New York Jets

Bold Predication: Many were surprised when the Jets decided to bring Rex Ryan back for another season as the team’s head coach. Fewer would be surprised is Ryan was the first coach fired this season. It will be interesting to see if the Jets stick with Ryan when his team is 0-9 entering their bye week. 

Projected Record: 2-14

Key Game: Week 2 at New England

Fantasy MVP: uhh… pass

Player Tweet: @DeeMilliner28 Ready to grind with my @nyjets teammates! Tell me about wearing the Green and White #Jets #AboutOurColors #spon @Tide


Cincinnati Bengals

Bold Prediction: The Bengals have made the playoffs the last two seasons and have been promptly eliminated by the Houston Texans in the first round both times. Not this year. For the first time since 1988 the Bengals will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Projected Record: 11-5

Key Game: Week 10 at Baltimore

Fantasy MVP: AJ Green

Player Tweet: @jharrison9292 Whats up with Miley Cyrus?

Baltimore Ravens

Bold Prediction: Last season the Ravens won the Super Bowl. This season the Ravens will miss the playoffs. 

Projected Record: 9-7

Key Game: Week 1 at Denver

Fantasy MVP: Ray Rice

Player Tweet: @EKD92 Nice guys finish last in this jungle so I’m done being nice. Good Fellas will do!

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bold Prediction: The Steelers spent the summer trying to determine who the lead back in their offense would be. Rookie Le’Veon Bell was drafted in the second round for that purpose but injuries limited him to only four carries in the pre-season. Jonathan Dwyer was cut. Felix Jones was brought in for depth and Isaac Redman was named the team’s week one starter. Redman will remain the starter when Bell returns from injury and will be the only running back on the team to rush for 1.000 yards. 

Projected Record: 7-9

Key Game: Week 13 at Baltimore (Thanksgiving Night)

Fantasy MVP: Isaac Redman

Player Tweet: @L_Bell26 Finally regular season is here…& not only that, them SPARTAN DAWGS get to go crazy tomorrow! can’t wait to see how my boys lookin..

Cleveland Browns

Bold Prediction: Since the NFL returned to Cleveland for the 1999 season the new Browns have struggled to land stars with their first round picks. Tim Couch, Courtney Brown, Brady Quinn, and Kamerion Wimbley are examples of first round picks that didn’t pan out like the team had hoped. This season Joe Haden, Joe Thomas, Trent Richardson and Phil Taylor (all former Browns first round picks) will make the Pro-Bowl. 

Projected Record: 7-9

Key Game: Week 5 vs. Buffalo (Thursday Night Football)

Fantasy MVP: Trent Richardson

Player Tweet: @joehaden23 Enough is Enough! These grown men have 2 stop with the SELFIES!!!!!!


Houston Texans

Bold Prediction: Arian Foster has lead the team in rushing and scored double digit touchdowns in each of the last three seasons. Foster enters this season with a lingering back injury and because of this (and the greatness of Adrian Peterson) Foster has lost his grip on the top pick in most fantasy football leagues.If you passed on Foster in your league you made the right call. In 2013, Ben Tate not Foster will lead the Texans in rushing. 

Projected Record: 11-5

Key Game: Week 9 vs. Indianapolis (Sunday Night Football)

Fantasy MVP: Ben Tate

Player Tweet: @ArianFoster It’s been fun, twitter! Time for me to leave the digital realm. Be the light you want to see on the earth. Peace.

Indianapolis Colts

Bold Prediction: In 2011, Reggie Wayne caught only 75 passes for less than 1,000 yards. Last season, Wayne rebounded with 106 catches for over 1,300 yards. Andrew Luck has been really good for Wayne and Wayne has been good for Luck. This season, Wayne continue his revival and set new career highs in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. 

Projected Record: 9-7

Key Game: Week 7 vs. Denver (Sunday Night Football)

Fantasy MVP: Reggie Wayne

Player Tweet: @AhmadBradshaw For all y’all believers,  just know tht I will b ready to rock.  Come regular season.  So, thank u, and keep believing.  God-bless!

Jacksonville Jaguars

Bold Predication: Is Blaine Gabbert a bust? It seems a bit early to decide. Gabbert is only 23 years old and has already started 25 NFL games. To say Gabbert has struggled would be an understatement but he wouldn’t be the first QB to struggle his first couple of seasons before eventually entering the Hall of Fame. Sure the point of this is to be bold, but I’m not crazy enough to predict Gabbert will be a Hall of Famer. However, Gabbert will throw for 3,000 yards and have a quarterback rating over 100.

Projected Record: 6-10

Key Game: Week 8 vs. San Francisco

Fantasy MVP: Maurice Jones-Drew

Player Tweet: @CecilShortsIII Everybody a coach on twitter now huh??? Stick to your day job please

Tennessee Titans

Bold Prediction: Like the Jaguars, the success of the Titans hinges on the development of a young quarterback. Like Gabbert, Jake Locker has struggled to justify the Titans making him a first round selection. This season, Locker will continue to struggle and will not throw for over 300 yards in any of the Titan’s games. 

Projected Record: 4-12

Key Game: Week 11 vs. Indianapolis

Fantasy MVP: Chris Johnson

Player Tweet: @ChrisJohnson28 Hello world never let em see ya sweat. #NOPRESSURE


Denver Broncos

Bold Prediction: The Broncos and Peyton Manning were one completed Hail Mary away from the AFC Championship game last season. Manning should be healthier this season and is loaded with weapons from sideline to sideline. Von Miller will miss the first six games of the season because of suspension, Elvis Dumervil is in Baltimore and Champ Bailey has already been ruled out of the opener. The Broncos defense is in trouble. Don’t worry, the Broncos will still host the Bengals in the AFC Championship game but they will fall short of the Super Bowl. 

Projected Record: 14-2

Key Game: Week 16 at Houston

Fantasy MVP: Demaryius Thomas

Player Tweet: @ErikDecker87 The attacking squirrel! Jess is on the table while I ran inside and shut the door..haha sorry babe! http://instagram.com/p/a6KlAeLc2Q/ 

Kansas City Chiefs

Bold Prediction: A lot was made of Adrian Peterson’s incredible return from ACL surgery but many overlooked the 1,500 yards that Jamaal Charles sprinted for in his ACL comeback. Charles is healthier this season, Andy Reid has taken over the coaching duties, and Alex Smith will stabilize the quarterback position. With that said, Charles will rush for over 2,000 yards this season. 

Projected Record: 9-7

Key Game: Week 3 at Philadelphia (Thursday Night Football)

Fantasy MVP: Jamaal Charles

Player Tweet: @jcharles25 Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

Oakland Raiders

Bold Prediction: Since making his NFL debut in 2008, Darren McFadden has not been able to play more than thirteen games in a season. He has only rushed for more than a 1,000 yards once and has never rushed for more than 7 touchdowns. The Raiders are a team that is due for something to go right and McFadden’s health will be that thing. McFadden will play all sixteen games, gain over 2,000 yards from scrimmage, and score 15 total touchdowns.

Projected Record: 4-12

Key Game: Week 3 vs. Denver (Monday Night Football)

Fantasy MVP: Darren McFadden

Player Tweet: @TerrellePryor Dreams! When you fail mentally, keep on pushing, don’t listen to that person on your shoulder saying U Can’t! Because WE CAN. #dreamcatchers

San Diego Chargers

Bold Prediction: The Chargers might struggle to score points but their defense has some good talent up front. Dwight Freeney signed a free agent contract after a disappointing end to his career in Indianapolis. Plenty think Freeney is out of gas, but I still think he can play. This season Freeney will have double digit sacks for the first time since 2010.

Projected Record: 4-12

Key Game: Week 1 vs. Houston (Monday Night Football)

Fantasy MVP: Ryan Matthews

Player Tweet: @danny_woodhead Nothing like playing HORSE on my daughters bball hoop #stillakid #heatedcompetition #mancave

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