Week 1 in review: AFC powerhouses leave much to be determined

Matt NewmeyerContributor ISeptember 11, 2008

  Coming into the 2008 NFL season, many expected the AFC to dominate the football world. The supernatural AFC featuring the almost undefeated Patriots, the rejuvenated Colts, the formidable Chargers, and the up and coming Jaguars. The AFC was surely set have a big season in the NFL. In week one, however, the New England Patriots' all-pro quarterback, Tom Brady, suffered a devastating torn acl and mcl. With the injury requiring surgery, he is sure to miss the entire season. Leaving his team, in the minds of most fans, crippled. The Patriots hope of avenging last year and winning the Superbowl is now gone. Then there are the Indianapolis Colts. With a star quarterback in Peyton Manning, and a hall of fame receiver in Marvin Harrison coming off injuries, the Colts were convinced they would be ready to go this season. Many around the organization felt that this year could once again be their year. However, in their first game against the disappointing Bears from a year ago, the Colts were dominated and lost 29-13. This loss coming at the hands of the Bears was surely devastating to the champions of two years past. The Bears, a team who wasn't even sure of their starting quarterback coming into the year, were by far considered underdogs in this week one match-up, but like Queen says, "another one bites the dust". Next we have the San Diego Chargers. Many chose them as their favorite this year, not only to make the Superbowl, but to win it. In week one they had the lead right down to the end when a scrappy Panthers team stole the game on a last second touchdown to win 26-24. Another case of an AFC powerhouse suffering a crippling loss. The Charger faithful were surely stunned. In addition to this we have the Jacksonville Jaguars. On the morning of February 3, 2008, I was sitting in my hotel in Glendale, Arizona, when I began to read the newspaper. It displayed to me that one NFL expert had already picked the Jaguars to make it to the following year's Superbowl. Although this came as a shock, I accepted it for the time being. Until, that is, this past Sunday. What was thought to be a very strong Jaguars team traveled into Tennessee to take on an underachieving Titans' team. The Jaguars were quickly pushed aside losing 17-10 in an important divisional game. Does this look like a Superbowl caliber team to you? All this has led to the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team not even considered a lock for the playoffs before the season, being considered the best of the conference. Does that sound like a powerhouse conference to you? Are these teams really as good as they are thought to be, or was it merely a bad week? The answer may be unsure for now, but it certainly appears to me that a power shift, at least for the time being, has taken place in the NFL.