Indianapolis Colts (14-2)
The Colts have improved steadily since the arrival of Andrew Luck, who by now is arguably the top passer in football. With a soft schedule and some excellent receivers — including aging newcomer Andre Johnson — Luck may set new league passing records. Indy, like the Steelers, will outgun the competition en route to the top of the AFC food chain.
Houston Texans (6-10)
Running back Arian Foster will miss the beginning of the season, leaving just Alfred Blue on an offense with little else to brag about besides rising wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. J.J. Watt and the Houston defense will need to carry this team a long way to achieve even eight wins, and it’s just too much to ask.
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)
The Jags won’t be bad forever, but they’re not done yet. Quarterback Blake Bortles will need to prove he’s worthy of being a franchise quarterback after a lackluster rookie campaign. His supporting cast won’t bail him out often, either. And the defense took a major hit back in the spring when No. 3 overall pick Dante Fowler Jr. tore his ACL.
Tennessee Titans (3-13)
Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota should not be expected to save this team. Not yet, anyway. It’s entirely possible this team is just as bad, if not worse, than the team that secured the second overall pick in the 2015 draft. At least they get to face the Jaguars twice and the Buccaneers once. They have to win at least one of those, right?