AFC Half Season Grades

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Here are my AFC Half Season Grades.

New England Patriots

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AFC East

New England Offense is outstanding Defense is average. A-

Miami Offense is very inconsistent Defense is consistently bad C-

New York Jets This team is not going anywhere. D

Buffalo This team is in for a long couple of seasons. D

AFC North

Pittsburgh The Offense finally got going. The Defense needs to get better. B

Cincinnati I have no idea how the have 5 wins. Offense struggles & Defense is worse. D

Cleveland Fired the HC & OC That says it all. F-

AFC South

Houston Defense is nearly back & Watson is getting better. B-

Tennessee This team can’t get out of its one way on Offense. The Defense has stats but can’t play. D

Jacksonville This team is a mess on both sides. Bortles struggles & so does the Defense. C-

Indianapolis has Luck and nothing else. D

AFC West

Kansas City Offense is outstanding. Good thing O scores a lot because D gives up a ton of them. B+

LA Chargers Rivers is great. Run gm is top 10. OL is OK. Defense is better but needs a pass rush. B-

Denver The Offense is below average. Keenum is not getting it done. Run gm is solid. Defense gets sacks & picks. C

Oakland The team is a total mess caused by Gruden who has traded 2 of the best players. F–

  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 13th, 2018
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on AFC Playoff projections

AFC Playoff projections

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You might think your team has a chance to make the playoffs, well they don’t. Here’s my AFC Playoff projections.

AFC Playoff Projections

AFC Teams that have no chance for the playoffs
AFC East
BF Traded away the only QB that got them into the playoffs in 17 years 0 chance to get to playoffs
MI Have a WR playing QB. ENOUGH SAID.
NJ They were 5-11 and have a D that has aged out.
AFC North
CL The team is better but still not good enough to get into the playoffs. 0-16 last year
CN RV Dalton has not led CN to a win in the playoffs in his career. He won’t this year either.
AFC South This is the most competitive division in the AFC.
IN Luck is back but the D, OL and run game are no better.
TN Marcus Mariota and the DBS are the issue that will keep TN out of the playoffs.
AFC West
DV Even Case Keenum won’t make up for a bad DB and a bad DL.
KC The combination of a bad HC and a new QB keeps KC out of the play offs.
OK Derek Carr and the D will keep OK out of the playoffs this year,
Teams that are IN.
NE Great to play in a very weak division.
PT The D is a problem but the passing and running games will score a lot of points.
Bubble but likely in
JK The D gets JK into the playoffs with a little help from the OL & Foutnette.
HO Watson leads HO to a wild card birth.
LC The pass rush and Rivers get LC into the big dance.
Close but no Cigar
BA Joe Flacco and a bad D prevent BA from getting into the playoffs again this year

AFC South lineup Grades

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My line up grades for the NFL AFC South teams for the 2018 season. You need to keep these grades close by when you select your teams for the coming year.



AFC South
QB Deshaun Watson
If Watson can survive the season, he will be fine. A-
RB Lamar Miller
Miller was horrible last yr with 21y his longest run. D
WR DeAndre Hopkins & Will Fuller V & Braxton Miller
Hopkins is outstanding. Watson deserves better from Fuller & Miller B
TE Stephen Anderson
Anderson is barely OK. C
OL lt Julie’n Davenport lg Zach Fulton c Nick Martin rg Senio Kelemete rt Seantrel Henderson
Watson deserves better in the OL than this group. Henderson was 3rd string in BF. D
DL Le J.J. Watt nt D.J. Reader re Joel Heath
Watt was hurt most of 17, putting pressure on Clowney. Rest are nothing special. C
lb slb Whitney Mercilus lilb Zach Cunningham rilb Benardrick McKinney wlb Jadeveon Clowney
Mercilus was hurt but Clowney is outstanding. B
DB lc Johnathan Joseph rc Aaron Colvin fs Kareem Jackson ss Tyrann Mathieu FA
Signing Mathieu helped but Watson needs to score a lot of points to keep HO in the game.
QB Andrew Luck or Jacoby Brissett
No luck in Indy last year. Brissett was decent. B with Luck C without him.
RB Marlon Mack
Mack is not good & runs behind a bad OL. D
WR T.Y. Hilton & Ryan Grant
Hilton is fine, Grant not so much. C
TE Eric Ebron FA & Jack Doyle FA
Both are solid and can catch. B
OL lt Anthony Castonzo lg Quenton Nelson R c Ryan Kelly R rg Braden Smith R rt Austin Howard FA
The rebuilt OL can’t be worse. D
DL le Denico Autry FA lt Grover Stewart rt Al Woods re Jabaal Sheard
Jabaal Sheard is fine the rest is not good. D
lb slb John Simon mlb Antonio Morrison wlb Najee Goode
Morrison is the best of this group. Rest are not good. D
DB lc Quincy Wilson rc Kenny Moore fs Malik Hooker ss Matthias Farley
All are green but Matthias Farley is the best here. C-
QB Blake Bortles
Bortles is at best middle of the road. C
RB Leonard Fournette
He is top 10 RB. A
WR Marqise Lee & D.J. Chark R & Donte Moncrief FA
Is this grp holding Bortles back or is this grp the problem? D
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Young and rising. C+
OL lt Cam Robinson lg Andrew Norwell FA c Brandon Linder rg A.J. Cann rt Jermey Parnell
Norwell helped but the OL still below average. C-
DL le Yannick Ngakoue lt Marcell Dareus rt Malik Jackson re Calais Campbell
Rebuilt DL is better. B+
lb slb Myles Jack mlb Blair Brown wlb Telvin Smith
Jack & Smith are as good as any OLB. Brown not so much. A-
DB lc A.J. Bouye rc Jalen Ramsey fs Tashaun Gipson ss Barry Church
2 probowlers & 2 guys B+
QB Marcus Mariota
He had a down year last season but played well in the playoffs. C-
RB Derrick Henry & Dion Lewis (rec)
Lewis is too small to be a 25 carry a game back. Henry must carry the load. C
WR Rishard Matthews & Corey Davis &Taywan Taylor
Matthews is OK but the rest are not good.
TE Delanie Walker
He is a top 5 TE. A
OL lt Taylor Lewan lg Quinton Spain c Ben Jones rg Josh Kline rt Jack Conklin J
OL was better last year, after a shaky year in 16.  B-
DL le DaQuan Jones nt Bennie Logan FA re Jurrell Casey
Casey is fine the rest are not good. B-
lb lob Derrick Morgan lib Wesley Woodyard rib Rashaan Evans R rolb Brian Orakpo
Woodyard is outstanding. Rest are OK at best B-
DB lc Logan Ryan rc Malcolm Butler fs Kevin Byard ss Johnathan Cyprien
Byard is OK the rest need to prove themselves C
  • Author:
  • Published: Jun 23rd, 2018
  • Category: NFL Football
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Top 4 issues facing AFC South teams.

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Colts Stadium

  AFC South
4 Frank Gore was well past his “use by”date & was cut. Can one of the worst OL’s get the run game going again?
3 Can the rebuilt WR group give the O some pop?
2 IN used 4 draft picks on D. Can the 3rd worst D get off the field often enough to help the team?
1 No Luck last year at all & he is not throwing the ball yet. Will Andrew Luck be able to play this year?
4 JK Cut WR Herns & TE Lewis. Can the receivers group recover from those losses?
3 The D was 2nd in points allowed but lost MLB Paul Posluszny. Can it reach that level again?
2 RB Leonard Fournette was outstanding last yr. Can he produce that level this year?
1 Is Blake Bortles the real deal & franchise QB or not?
4 Can TE C.J. Fiedorowicz play this year with 3 concussions last year?
3 J. J. Watt suffered a tibial plateau fracture. He is the key to the D. Will he be able to play like he did in 17 prior to J?
2 The Run game was a huge disappointment. The didn’t draft or sign a RB. Can R Lamar Miller revive the run game?
1 Can a really bad OL keep Q Deshaun Watson healthy?
4 TN cut R DeMarco Murray. In 3 starts Derrick Henry had 1 good gm. Can RB Dion Lewis get the run gm going?
3 Can CB Malcom Butler solve the passing yardage the D gave up last year?
2 The D was middle of the road last season. TN traded up to get ILB Evans & OB Landry. Did they do enough to get to PO?
1 Q Marcus Mariota had a down season last yr. Can he get back to 26 to 30 TD passes this season?
  • Author:
  • Published: Apr 11th, 2018
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Top 5 Questions facing the AFC South teams.

Top 5 Questions facing the AFC South teams.

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No team suffered more injuries than HO did last year.
5 Can R Miller get back the explosion he lacked last season?
4 How will the rebuilt Dbackfield play?
3 Can the D avoid the flood of injuries that it suffered last year?
2 Can the OL improve to protect Watson & help the run game?
1 Can Q Watson stay healthy through a full season?
IN has one asset—Luck & they are not sure he will be healthy
5 Where will the pass rush come from now that IN cut Johnathan Hankins?
4 Can IN get the run game going after cutting Gore?
3 Will the D improve enough to give IN a chance to win games?
2 Can the OL improve to protect Luck & help the run game?
1 Will Andrew Luck be able to start the season?
JK played well last yr on D but the O was below average.
5 Can the addition of LG Norwell lift the performance of the OL?
4 Who will replace Posluszny at MLB?
3 Will RB Fournette produce as much as he did last season?
2 Will the D play as well as they did last year?
1 Can Q Bortles improve to get JK to a SB?
TN did very little in FA & still have holes to fill. Can they depend on rookies to fill them?
5 Can R Murray or Henry get the running game back to above average this season?
4 Will the WR depend on rookies this year because they did little in FA.
3 Will the D play as well as last year or regress this season?
2 Can the OL improve to protect Mariota & help the run game?
1 Will Marcus Mariota ever be the QB they need?

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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at  Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts.  You can hear the previous shows on


  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 3rd, 2017
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Top 5 Questions facing AFC South Teams

Top 5 Questions facing AFC South Teams

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HO 5 Can the pass D hold up to get the Texans deep into the playoffs?
4 Will Jadeveon Clowney provide the pass rush opposite Watts?
3 Will WR Will Fuller take pressure off WR Hopkins?
2 Can the Run game become a force without a QB?
1 Who will play QB this year?
IN 5 Can the run D ever stop anyone?
They added DT Hankins, DE Sheard, DT Woods, OLB Simon.
4 Can Indy build a run game to take pressure off Luck?
Will Frank Gore continue to run like Al Gore?
3 Will the D backfield improve enough to get IN back to the playoffs?
2 Can the improved O line protect QB Luck 44 sacks last year?
1 Can QB Luck stay healthy all year? Concussions & surg on shoulder kept him out.
When will he be ready to play after surg on throwing shoulder?
JK 5 Is this the year that JK finally improves? Many said last year but it was not.
4 Can the additions on D improve the performance?
They added CB Bouye, DE Campbell, SS Church, & ILB Cole & OLB McCray
3 Will RB Chris Ivory finally provide a run game?
2 Can the rebuild O line protect Bortles better than last year?
1 Is QB Blake Bortles the QB of the future or will they draft a new guy next year?
TN 5 Can DeMarco Murray get 1000 yrs behind a reshuffled O line?
What impact will DC Dick LeBeau & O line coach Russ Grimm have this year?
3 Can TN improve the pass D adding CB Ryan, SS Cyprien, & SS Trawick?
2 Can TN find anyone that can catch besides Matthews?
1 Will Mariota become the QB TN hoped he would be?


That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on

He also edits .

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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