When asked by a local reporter if the Browns were Super Bowl contenders, Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry provided the above answer. Most NFL experts agree, why not the Browns? This roster is loaded. Last week I compared the Browns to the best team in the AFC, the Chiefs, position group by position group. But how do the Browns stack up against the rest of the AFC? It’s time for an AFC power ranking list.
- Kansas City. Still the team to beat in the AFC. They have the best quarterback, the best tight end, one of the best wide receivers in the NFL and a good defense. How far they go depends on how quickly their new offensive line comes together.
- Buffalo Bills. One year ahead of the Browns in their progress. The Bills weren’t very busy in the off-season but didn’t need to be because they have a complete roster. Starting QB Josh Allen has improved every year he’s been in the league and is a top ten QB. Their secondary does have some question marks.
- Cleveland Browns. The Browns wasted a year with the Freddie Kitchens experience. Had they not, they would be number two on this list. If defensive coordinator Joe Woods can get the defense to gel quickly, look out. Expect NFL Coach of the Year Kevin Stefanski to improve on an already top-five offense. This is the most talented Browns roster I’ve ever seen and I’m old as dirt.
- Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens drafted wide receivers (again) and patched up their offensive line. However, their defense took a few losses in the pass rush department in free agency. Good news, for the third year in a row the coaching staff says they’re going to play QB Lamar Jackson under center more. I’ll wait and see who this good news benefits.
- Tennessee Titans. The trade for WR Julio Jones was a bold, all-in move by the Titans. It’s Super Bowl or bust. The loss of their offensive coordinator might be a factor plus I still have questions about their defense, the right side of their offensive line and their kicking game. Do they have a kicker?
- Indianapolis Colts. Finished 2020 in the top ten in both offense and defense. That’s a sign of good coaching. Their only question mark is at the quarterback position and that’s the most important position. Which Carson Wentz will show up? Very good first year Wentz or last year’s Wentz, who was an interception machine.
- Los Angeles Chargers. Franchise quarterback, check. Potential top ten offensive line in pass blocking to protect the said quarterback, check. An underrated defense, check. However, QB Justin Herbert is under his second offensive coordinator and head coach in two years. This team might be a year away.
- Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins front office is building around QB Tua Tagovailoa, or are they going to trade for Deshaun Watson? My bet is on Tua. The Dolphins have nice pieces on the roster to help their young quarterback, but like the Chargers, they’re a year away.
- New England Patriots. Patriots fans must feel like they were on Oprah, you get a free agent and you get a free agent and you get a free agent. Most money spent in an off-season by an NFL team. Coach “hoody” did get his quarterback of the future, but as for this season, Cam Newton is loaded with fork marks.
- Denver Broncos. Good offensive line, good wide receivers and a good defense. Again, broken record time, their only question mark is at quarterback. If the Broncos don’t trade for Aaron Rogers and I don’t see the Packers giving in to Rogers, it’s either Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock. Oh boy.
- Pittsburg Steelers. Everyone said the Steelers needed to fix their offensive line, so they fell in love with a pretty damn good running back and drafted him in the first round. Then everyone said, well they’ll draft an offensive lineman in the second round, and they drafted a tight end. Aging quarterback, bad offensive line and a defense that might be in decline doesn’t bode well for the Steelers. As a Browns fan, I’m not going to sit around and cry about it.
- Las Vegas Raiders. It has become apparent to me that Raiders head coach Jon Gruden doesn’t like Raiders GM Mike Mayock. Gruden gets rid of 60% of a pretty good offensive line and replaces them with inferior players. Add to that, the Raiders ignore fixing their defense. If anyone knows what Jon Gruden is doing, please explain it to me like I’m a five-year-old.
- Cincinnati Bengals. There’s no denying QB Joe Burrow and WR Ja’Marr Chase have a special relationship on the football field. If Burrow can stay upright, the Bengals will score a ton of points. But can he stay upright? On day two of the draft, the Bengals did trade down and select an offensive lineman. However, they plan to play him at guard and he’s never played guard. Don’t ever change Cincinnati, keep being you.
- New York Jets. The smartest move the Jets made was hiring head coach Robert Saleh. He’ll change the culture and improve the defense for the Jets. GM Joe Douglas had a very good off-season adding pieces for rookie QB Zack Wilson. The Jets are moving in the right direction.
- Jacksonville Jaguars. Will head coach Urban Myer succeed in the NFL where other former college coaches rarely succeed? If Tim Tebow takes up a roster spot on opening day, no. The Jags offensive coordinator said this week the team hasn’t decided on who their starting quarterback will be going into training camp. Wait. What? Number one draft pick Trevor Lawrence is a very good quarterback with the skills that translate to the NFL. WR D.J. Clark should have a pro bowl year. The Jaguars won’t be picking first in the 2022 draft.
- Houston Texans. The Texans will be picking first in the 2022 draft. Texans GM Nick Caserio was a very busy man in the off-season. Can a team improve its depth but also make their staring lineup worse in an off-season? Ladies and gentlemen, the 2021 Houston Texans. The Texans could be the first team in NFL history to go 0-17.
As I said earlier, this is the most talented Browns roster I’ve ever seen and this is my opinion on how the AFC stacks up against the Browns going into training camp. I know opinions are like crazy uncles, we all have one (present and accounted for). If you disagree, let me know, I value other opinions. You can’t hurt my feelings, I’m a Browns fan.