Believe it or else, after the conclusion of play on Sunday, the NFL preseason will be over, and fans will wait 10 days before the season opener on NBC/Peacock (Tampa Bay vs. Dallas). Extending the season to 17 regular season games over 18 weeks means cutting the preseason to three games for most teams, and everyone gets an extended break before the season begins.
Let's take a look at the AFC in part one of our preview.
Defending champion Buffalo hasn't missed a beat, completing a perfect preseason by shutting out Green Bay earlier today, 19-0. Unseating them will be difficult. However, no one expected the Jets to also go unbeaten in the preseason, finishing 2-0-1 after a 31-31 draw with Philadelphia (no overtime) on Friday. Maybe hiring Robert Saleh (San Francisco) as head coach was the right call. Rookie QB Zach Wilson (Brigham Young) has opened some eyes, mostly in an upset over Green Bay last week. New England may have their heir apparent to Tom Brady, albeit a year late, in rookie Mac Jones (Alabama). Cam Newton may have to play over his head to stay in Foxborough, or open a yogurt stand at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots could also finish 3-0 if they beat the Giants tomorrow night. Miami may have just been lapped out of a playoff spot.
Projected order of finish:
There are rumors surrounding Houston trading scandal-scarred quarterback DeShaun Watson, but so far, nothing's happened. Color him gone by the trading deadline at the latest, especially if the Texans are out of the postseason picture early. With Philip Rivers now coaching high school football, Indianapolis acquired injury-prone Carson Wentz (Philadelphia), and let Jacoby Brissett walk. Not a good idea, as Wentz is already hurt. That opens the door for Tennessee, as I don't think Meyer & Lawrence will be enough of a difference to allow the Jaguars to win the division.