NFL News: AFC Teams in Each Division most likely to improve in 2014
Garry looks at the AFC at the teams most likely to improve in 2014
2014 NFL Season
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As the NFL season 2014-2015 approaches, teams are in the process of retooling their respective rosters. All of the teams that played in a mediocre level last season need to increase their chances of winning games by adding through the draft, free agency, trade and resigning vital positional players. However, those teams who played in the playoffs enhance their rosters also just to compete.
Let's look at the teams most likely to improve in each of the divisions in the AFC.
In the NFC East, there's no team that will likely be scrutinized than the New York Jets. Acquiring Michael Vick as the possible starting quarterback indicates that the Jets are ready to fight against the New England Patriots for the divisional supremacy. If Vick will not be the starter, then he can mentor the youngster Geno Smith in the way he should play as a mobile quarterback.
The Jets were 8-8 last season and they missed the playoffs. They struggled offensively because of quarterback problems. With the enhancement of the quarterback position, Jets are expected to be in the playoffs again.
Jets General Manager John Idzik understands the situation by getting former Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker to the group. He also acquired former Raiders Jocoby Ford. In the draft, he made sure to lock former Oklahoma Sooner Jalen Saunders.
With the receivers like Decker, Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson, Stephen Hill and Saunders and with a dual-threat quarterback, the Jets are formidable contenders in the division.
Baltimore Ravens will rise up in this division after failing to play to the expectations of the fans last season. Coming off a Super Bowl season, the Ravens played without urgency at all, losing their final two games. With 8-8 record in 2013, the Ravens will do better in 2014.
Gary Kubiak was acquired as the new offensive coordinator to magnify the offense which couldn't get into rhythm in the running by averaging 3.1 yards per carry, worst in the NFL. The problem was not only on the ground but also in the passing. For some reasons, quarterback Joe Flacco threw 22 interceptions, dead last in the AFC, far from his Super Bowl season. He had a career-low of 6.4 yards per attempt. The offensive line was lax that Flacco was sacked 48 times.
The addition of Steve Smith and Owen Daniels can spark up the passing game of the Ravens. For this reason alone, it can open up the running game with running back Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce.
The Houston Texans recorded a dismal 2-14 in 2013. It was a surprise to all on what really happened to the collapsed of the Texans after garnering back-to-back AFC South titles. The Texans won their first two games but they eventually faded, losing 14 in a row.
Though the Texans may not capture back the AFC South, they will play better and they will have a shot at the playoffs. The addition of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and running back Andre Brown can intensify the offense. Also, if running back Arian Foster, who played only eight games last year, is healthy, then the Texans will be the dark horse in the division.
The San Diego Chargers ended the regular season winning four games in a row. Chargers seek to keep the momentum going in 2014 as the players have to learn the system second-year coach Mike McCoy.
Furthermore, quarterback Philip Rivers will be much comfortable this season as he knows his teammates better. Rivers will have a new offensive coordinator Frank Reich this year.
I believe the Chargers will be a threat to the Broncos in the division.
USA TODAY Sports