Is the AFC the NFL's new powerhouse conference?
For years, the NFC has widely been considered the better of the two conferences. However, after three weeks of action, many teams have stood out in the AFC. Is it now time to consider the AFC as the superior conference?
After three weeks of action, there are four undefeated teams in the AFC. The Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, and Kansas City Chiefs all have an unblemished record. We also can't ignore the 2-1 Baltimore Ravens, who went 14-2 last season, or the 2-1 New England Patriots, who have won double-digit games in 17 consecutive seasons. Are all six of these teams legitimate Superbowl contenders?
After going 10-6 and making the playoffs last season, it appears that the Buffalo Bills have gotten even better. The Bills ranked top three in yards allowed per game each of the past two seasons. If their offense could step up, they could potentially be a Super Bowl contender. Thanks to the acquisition of Stefon Diggs and the emerging play of Josh Allen, the Bills offense has continued to get better. No one will want to play the Bills in January if Josh Allen continues to play at an MVP level.
The Steelers were a competitive team last season despite Ben Roethlisberger only appearing in two games. With the two-time Super Bowl winner returning and a defense that ranked 5th in yards allowed per game last season, the Steelers had very high expectations entering this season. With an undefeated record, the Steelers have lived up to those expectations so far.
The Tennessee Titans shocked everybody by appearing in the AFC title game last season. Will Ryan Tannehill get even better now that this is his second year in Tennessee's offense? If so, the rest of the AFC better watch out.
Kansas City Chiefs:
Since the Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl champions with an undefeated record, they should be favorites to win the Lombardi Trophy yet again. If you needed to be reminded about the greatness of Patrick Mahomes, he just threw for 385 yards and accounted for five touchdowns against the Baltimore Ravens, one of the best defenses in football.
Don't let their loss on Monday night to the best team in football fool you, the Ravens are a very good football team. If Lamar Jackson continues to strengthen his accuracy as a passer and improves the way he plays in the playoffs, the rest of the NFL is in trouble.
New England Patriots:
The Patriots want to show the world that they don't need Tom Brady to be a dominant team. I had my doubts about the Patriots offense because of Cam Newton's mediocre play since his MVP season and their lack of talented wide receivers. However, Newton has played well through three games. Additionally, the Patriots were inches away from defeating the Seahawks in week two and currently beating undefeated.
The AFC's four undefeated teams and the Ravens and Patriots have all gotten my attention so far this season. If these six teams can continue to play at this level, the AFC playoffs will be very interesting.