And now to the 2nd half of our Season 1 preview, the AFC.
Where to start? How about a fantastic QB & electrifying WR's in the AFC East - the Miami Dolphins from 1984!!
Ok, maybe Marino is retired now but taking a closer look at our current fair weather 'Fins and people could indeed be referring to Miami as fantastic and electrifying. Why i hear you ask? Simple really, Ryan Tannehill could be Marino-esque and Mike Wallace is already far better than Clayton and Duper from the 80's. Mr Tannehill needs guidance from his new Head Coach Harps and is currently making young QB errors trying to force passes into areas fit only for squirrels.
2 concerns about the Dolphins roster - i do not see a playoff group of linebackers here, and the incredible Brent Grimes cannot shut down 2 receivers at once. There you go Coach Harps, a little scouting tip for you there. However, there are 3 cpu teams residing in the AFC East so take all the 'W's while you can as when someone takes over New England, Buffalo and the Jets it will be somewhat tougher.
I like the look of this Miami team and Coach has 2 choices - to win now trade early for 2 or 3 top players, or build through the draft for next season. Either way Harps will have a shot, just got to decide whether thats sooner or later?
Coach Kevy has a task at hand, let's not beat around the bush sitting stubbornly in the middle of the Black Hole. Or black holes may be more appropriate as this is not the strongest Raider roster i've ever seen. However, it's not a lost cause as players like Denarius Moore and Dazza McFadden can score from anywhere. I also like the Raiders secondary with quality in depth and if Coach can get to grips with a regular QB i expect them to start knocking a few out the ballpark! And here lies the puzzle for the black & silver - QB to pass or QB to run? That is the question.
The Chiefs are stacked with talent, particularly on D but have a similar problem to the Raiders at QB. Coach StaticGator has 1 win under his belt but really needs Dwayne Bowe to step up and be a true No1 receiver as teams will soon start keying on Jamaal and the TE's. Personally i'd persevere with Alex Smith who is certainly good enough to win games if used right - and with King Charles running the rock KC should be aiming high this season. Playoffs for sure!
San Diego - cpu
Denver - cpu, although a new HC may be hopping on the Mile High bandwagon very soon.
Coach Warrior gets his first bite at the HC cherry in SML and is clearly learning fast. I will help your learning curve - THROW THE GODDAMN BALL TO A.J. GREEN!
This will be a tough division and as is the norm for rookie HC's you are likely to find your team behind in several games, so an affective pass attack would come in very handy. AJ is one of the best Madden receivers in the league so get him the ball and let the scary front 7 do their thang. Playoffs are 50/50 at the moment but if Dalton can play like …… er ……. someone else the Bengals could just make it to the post season party.
Ah, my favourite team with brown helmets!!! Coach Fledermaus is 1-1 and is clearly wondering the same thing as us - Weeden, really?? Over Hoyer???
That said, Josh Gordon is class and there is much talent here. The Browns desperately need a running back super-quick or this may be a rebuild year quicker than you think. The Browns have strength in all areas but a one-dimensional offense must be avoided and at all costs. Unlike some AFC teams the Browns have got the short straw schedule wise so i expect Coach to build through the draft as wins may be tough to come by. Stick with it and be positive - it's only the Vikings up next.
THe Steel Curtain is long forgotten and Coach ShidBeStudying is endeavouring to rectify that. With a 2-1 start the future is bright. However, the cpu is a good barometer but Ben will have to keep hold of the ball a bit longer if Pittsburgh are seriously pushing for the playoffs. Turnovers kill you and whilst the Steelers have a strong ground attack Wheaton and Sanders will need to help Antonio Brown out much more. I am concerned about Troy - is he past it? We'll know in approximately 14 weeks!
Baltimore - currently cpu but the Wiley Old Fox AfroDizzyMac's appointment has been confirmed. This will be a fun division for sure.
The Colts have created their own Luck, literally. And what a talent he is! A fine offense is in Indianapolis and Coach DBJosh has chosen Ahmad Bradshaws' speed over T-Rich's power to control the ball. With Reggie, DHB and TY Hilton the Colts will score - but can the D do enough when the time comes. Coach has passed his early tests and sits proudly at 2-0 and face a serious test next against the mighty 49ers. Game of the week for me. Indianapolis need to be watched, probably all the way into the playoffs.
And finally, the reigning SML Champions Coach LTown's Titans. The Champ will be adorning us in SML with his presence soon and will no doubt be reminding us all of a certain running back. Tennessee have an aggressive defense and are the benchmark in the AFC when LT returns. In the meantime lets hope there are plenty of Music City injuries.
Jags - cpu
Texans - Coach Pastinator will hopefully return soon.
It is difficult to make my ridiculously accurate predictions as several coaches will be returning soon but at what stage? There are already a few early front runners but i'll wait till the midway point before i let y'all know who is honoured with my Superbowl Soothsaying!
Play hard, little people.