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After a week off and before I embark on a real life job lets delve into the weaknesses of AFC contenders. Three teams and their biggest flaws. Ok now why is your bookies favorite team going to fail?
New England Patriots: Defense. The Patriots may have added Danny Shelton but other than that they really did nothing to improve what was an awful defense last year. There best defensive linemen may be Adrian Clayborn formerly of the Falcons and that’s a real problem. The Patriots lack a real pass rush. There best linebacker and defensive player is Don’t’a Hightower but he has major injury problems. The secondary is laughable, Stephon Gilmore struggled last year Jason McCourty is a second-string corner at best and your best safety is the aging Patrick Chung. To much is being made of the non-existent drama that is Brady and Gronk and not enough is being made of how bad this defense is. If the Patriots fall it won’t be because of the greatest QB and TE duo of our lifetime, it will be because of possibly the worst defense in the league, oh did I mention you also lost your defensive “mastermind” in Matt Patricia?
Pittsburgh Steelers: Linebacking core. Offensively the Steelers can make a case that they are the best team in the league. However, with Ryan Shazier out of the picture the defense has a major hole. Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt can be excellent pass rushers, but Vince Williams will not be the defensive stud that Shazier was. Without Shazier last year the defense went from top ten to bottom ten within a matter of weeks. If Ryan Shazier plays, there is no way the Jags drop 40 plus points on the Steelers in the playoffs. It’s a major weakness for the Steelers and one that could potentially hold them back from taking the next step.
Los Angeles Chargers: Injuries. The loss of Hunter Henry really hurt the Chargers but they should still be considered a contender. At every other spot on the roster the Chargers have no weaknesses. The only downfall of this team could be the so-called “Chargers curse” if the Chargers didn’t have an awful kicker last year they would have been a playoff team. If they stay healthy this year there is no doubt in my mind that in December they will be viewed as a contender.