We are less then a week away from opening night for the 2010 NFL season. The beginning of a new season brings hope for all teams that they possibly could become division champions and go to the playoffs.
Although all teams carry this hope into the season, as the year progresses, teams fall out of contention and in the end, only four teams can be division champions.
Here are the four teams that will win their respective divisions in the AFC in 2010.
With a great defense and added pieces to the offense, the Jets will be hard to stop this season. The only stumbling block could be whether or not quarterback Mark Sanchez takes the next step this year.
It's hard to count out Brady and the Patriots, but their defense is suspect.
The Dolphins are still young, and they have some major problems in their secondary.
The Bills, well they're the Bills. Enough said.
The Bengals bring back pretty much the same defense that was able to stop almost everyone in the North division. Plus they add Terrell Owens to play across from Chad Ochocinco. They will win this division by one game.
The Ravens will be their toughest competitor for the North title, but without Ed Reed to anchor their defense for the first several weeks, they will be vulnerable to the pass.
Cleveland has no chance. Period.
Pittsburgh will struggle without Big Ben for the first four games and dig themselves a hole out of which they won't be able to climb.
Until Peyton Manning retires, this is the Colts' division to lose. The AFC South is going to be a battle for second place.
The Texans and Titans will battle for second place. The key for both teams is the play that they get from the quarterback position. Who ever plays better, Young or Schwab, will be the decisive factor on who will be second fiddle to the Colts.
The Jags have a solid defense every year it seems and, with one of the best running backs in the league in Maurice Jones-Drew, they should be competitive, right? David Garrard is not an NFL quarterback and until the Jags figure that out, they will only be mediocre.
This is the most debatable of the division winners, but the Chiefs have the pieces to do it. With a workhorse back in Thomas Jones, a great young middle linebacker in Derrick Johnson, and rookie ball hawk Eric Berry, this team could have all the playmakers it needs.
A record of 9-7 or 10-6 should win this division and that is not an outrageous expectation for the Chiefs.
The Chargers are a popular pick to win the division, but without top target Vincent Jackson and a veteran running back, the offense could struggle.
The Broncos and Raiders will battle for the basement, with both lacking top-tier wide receivers.