The AFC is always a competitive conference. With teams like the Texans, Ravens, Steelers, and Patriots at the top of the heap, the league is full of good contenders. So who will win the AFC in 2012? Who will represent the conference in the Superbowl? That is a good question and it is one that demands a long, hard look. There are many teams that could potentially come out on top. This year, it is going to be the surprising bunch in Houston. The Texans have what it takes to win the AFC in impressive fashion.
It starts with quarterback play
The Texans used to be an air show. Matt Schaub came over from Atlanta and put up impressive numbers in his first couple seasons with the team. Though Schaub probably is not the focus anymore, he is a good enough quarterback to lead the team to the AFC title. Schaub was injured a year ago, but he appears fully health in advance of this campaign. He will make enough plays down field to help the Texans overcome the rest of the conference in the march toward the big game.
Offensive balance matters
Many Superbowl participants get there because they have good balance on offense. This is certainly true for the Texans. They have arguably the best running game in the NFL. With Arian Foster leading the way, the Texans have the ability to pound people on the ground in the second half. They also have a serviceable backup in Ben Tate to carry the load when Foster gets tired. This makes for a formidable and balanced attack. With Andre Johnson still an elite threat on the outside and the Foster/Tate duo running behind a good offensive line, the Texans get it done on offense.
Their division makes it simple
The Steelers will have strong competition in their own division. The same is true for the Broncos and the Patriots. For the Texans, though, the path to the playoffs is a little bit easier. The Texans just have to beat out the Titans, Colts, and Jaguars in order to claim one of the top four seeds. The Colts show promise but they are breaking in a new quarterback. The Jaguars don’t have the QB play to make it to the playoffs. The Titans are intriguing, but they look like a slightly less effective version of Houston. This is a primary reason why the Texans will run all the way to the Superbowl in 2013.
The AFC is full of good teams. Could the Patriots repeat as AFC Champs? They certainly could. Would anyone be surprised if the Ravens made it all the way? How about Peyton Manning’s team in Denver? These are all very good choices. The Texans, though, are uniquely positioned to make a run to the big game. With solid QB play, a great running game, and an emerging defense, Houston is the cream of the conference’s crop.
Posted by Wunderdog’s trusty sidekick ” Wundercat “