AFC contender stats through 12 games.
We're at the final four game stretch of the season. There are no more BYE weeks. The film is out and there is very little to hide with scheme. The stats are going to give a decent picture of what teams are.
Let's look at some:
Total offense: 1st
Give/Take: -4 (bottom third of the league)
Total Defense: 27th
Two ways to look at this. One is the defense is bad. We give up a lot of points and a lot of passing yards. Losing Elvis Dumervil for the season and the injuries and suspension of Von Miller really did a number on our defense. I also think that we are 10-2 with a -4 turnover ratio speaks to some of this - but not all. Yes, teams have to pass more on us to keep up. Yes, we've had some turnovers. But at the end of the day, we are what we are. I think if we can get that number in the teens - especially the scoring part, we can be good enough to win a championship. But until then, don't hold your breath.
Total offense: 16th
Give/Take: +14 (league best. Next closest in conference is New England at +8)
Total Defense: 21st
How the mighty have fallen. The Chiefs are a wild card team and may only win 1 or 2 more games. I fully expect their final games to even out as they continue to play starting QB's. They have given up 30+ points the last several games. Their special teams and defense has continued to help them inflate what is still a mediocre offense with little talent. The Chiefs are who we thought they were. Their record is indicative of facing bad teams and their turnover margin - remember they were barely beating many of those teams at home.
Total offense: 9th
Give/Take: +8 (2nd best in AFC)
Total Defense: 20th
The Patriots were all set up to be one of the most balanced teams going into the playoffs. Then their injuries on defense really set them back. They can't stop the run and have been outscored in the first half of the last few games by 50 points. Still, they are a big threat and are balanced enough to do damage and go all the way in a very weak AFC.
Total offense: 12th
Total Defense: 6th
The Bengals losing Atkins was a huge blow - similar to the Patriots losing
Wilfork Cottonspork. They do have all the elements to win their division, though with a two game lead and four games to play. They are a very underrated team.
Total offense: 20th
Total Defense: 22nd
If there's one team that isn't looking so hot it is the Colts. Andrew Luck has leveled off quite a bit. And while still a good player, he hasn't taken the step that other elites do in their second year (Manning, Brady, and even Russel Wilson). Obviously losing Reggie Wayne was a huge part of that. But so was trading for a recently benched Trent Richardson. Still, the Ravens looked similar last year and got hot at the right time. They can beat anyone, but they can also lose to anyone and look like they have lost some of their mojo.
Total offense: 11th
Total Defense: 1st
I wanted to throw this out there for comparison. The Seahawks are a total juggernaut. Everything is pretty much where you want it. And don't be fooled by Wilson's meager passing yardage. They run the ball a lot because they have a lead and Wilson himself will take off at a moment's notice. He's like a rich man's Jake Plummer. And like Plummer his teammates love him. If we make it to the Super Bowl, it is probably going to be the Seahawks. The only thing that gives me hope is their issues in the secondary and they'll have to play on a neutral field.
I could have put up numbers for the Panthers and Saints as well, but I wanted to focus on probably AFC opponents we will see in the playoffs.
We can get where we need to, but some things need to improve. We need to play better pass defense. DRC coming back will make a HUGE difference. Also we need to really work on turnovers. We've been trying all year but it just isn't happening. If we can get those things up, we have a decent shot to go all the way. Especially if we have home field.
Last edited by Kaylore; 12-03-2013 at 11:08 AM..