Thought this would be worthy of its own topic...
Yeah they may have overreacted to the AFCCG (and the loss in NE). Yes their run D was horrible and overall their D was really bad but like you said the one thing they could do was rush the passer (but not in the AFCCG). Now they might not even be as good at that and the secondary could be worse.
Which AFC contenders have improved this offseason?
Jaguars - Foles may not be the answer, but he's better than Bortles.
Debatable whether they're a contender but I think the Ravens are a better team than last year.
I don't know if they improved, but the Colts are definitely poised to improve in the very near future.
As to the Chiefs, I had read a comment on PFT that got me thinking. I can't easily verify that this is true but it kind of makes sense. The idea is that they let Houston and Ford go to free up money to sign Hill long term, but then Hill's latest incident came out and they were screwed. So the trade for Clark while it certainly appears to be an overpay can make sense if you match DEs and WRs as similarly valued. For example, if you squint, the Clark trade and the Clark contract are both kind of in line with both the Browns trade for OBJ and OBJ's contract.
Hard to classify Cleveland or Jacksonville as contenders. I agree on the Colts I think.
Good question. I'd definitely agree that the Colts have improved. The Texans and Chargers essentially treaded water in free agency (minor losses or net downgrades when all moves are considered), which is a good situation when you're already a pretty good team and still have a draft class to add.
I think the Steelers clearly got significantly worse and both the Chiefs and Patriots also got worse but with the extent of that decline highly dependent on what happens with Tyreek Hill and whether Gronk returns.
I'm not sure either Baltimore or Cleveland are true contenders but the former got a bit worse and the latter obviously got a lot better.
The Colts have a good-to-great QB, some talented playmakers, and a solid o-line, and lots of cap space. I can see that they might be trying to build slowly now to put themselves in position to take advantage of a post-Brady/post-Belichick AFC in a couple of years. What I would be worried about is that extra cap space and how it will be impacted when the CBA runs out. As I understand it teams have to use a specific percentage of the cap space over a four year period. Unused cap-space on an annual basis rolls over into the next year, but it needs to be used within that four year period or there's a penalty. So, it seems like the Colts will have to spend money next year, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I don't consider an ideal position to be in. They might end up having to spend more $$ on lesser talent just to increase their four-year spending. Again, not a bad thing, more just kind-of getting put into a position where they have to spend money.
I agree with Jacksonville. I probably putting too much into their 2017, but I have no idea how you can not classify Cleveland as a Contender. Finished 7-8-1 last season with a rookie QB and went 5-2 in their last 7 games. They may be the third best team in the AFC.
Playoff team? Sure. Contender? Meh
Well in that case the only two AFC contenders are KC and New England and both got worse this offseason, so kind of a silly question then.
I disagree, I think Houston and Indy are contenders. San Diego as well.
Agreed ... and there's likely to be one team (like the Colts last season) who will emerge as well