The AFC after 4 weeks: 3 teams are a cut above the rest

While a number of squads are still trying to find their identity and put up consistent results, there are three teams that have separated from the pack as the AFC's top contenders.

Video Transcript

VOCH LOMBARDI: What's up, y'all? It's Voch Lombardi. Watch every second of the NFL season, when and where you want it, only on The Zone. After four or so games, you can really get a good idea for what a team is. And what I'm going to do is every four games, take a look at these standings and give my thoughts and opinions, if anything has changed based on my previous thoughts this offseason, or if the team was a playoff team last year, like the Patriots, and I think they're not going to be a playoff team this year. This is where I'm going to give these updates every four or so weeks.

I know we've got 17 games now and that makes things weird. But it is what it is. We're going to start with the AFC right now. So I'm just looking at the AFC East starting off. We know the Bills were going to be a returning team, but I think the Bills are going to try to come back in a different type of fashion. It's them and the Kansas City Chiefs for who's the best team in the AFC.

So the Bills are going to be in that fight. But boy, who would have thought that the Dolphins are also going to be in that fight? Now, this Tua Tagovailoa thing, a lot more information has to happen. So I will hold my tongue until we get all the information on that. And trust me, we're going to talk about it when it's time to.

But just the Dolphins and the success that they've seen, it's almost like they've turned themselves into a contender. Not overnight, right, but they've built the pieces that made them a contender over the past few years. They traded those draft picks and a lot of those picks went to places I didn't like, but whatever, right.

They've built the team and they were just kind of missing that piece. They were missing the coach that can elevate Tua Tagovailoa. And now Tua is going to come back and he's going to be healthy and they're going to continue to go on that streak. Now, will him missing a couple of games, and I imagine he's going to miss a few depending on how seriously they take the protocols with him, the Dolphins have an opportunity to kind of fall in the standings a little bit.

If they are 3 on 1 right now, the Bills are 3 and 1, then they kind of have a chance to keep this thing close. But I'll tell you what's not going to happen, the 2 and 2 Jets and the 1 and 3 Patriots are not going to catch them. And then we move on to the AFC West. And it's interesting, the AFC West, because everybody looked at it going into the season, everybody looked at the AFC West as the best division in football.

And it is so strange, not even strange because I feel like I felt like this. We can pull up those tapes. Kansas City Chiefs, they're at the top. We know who they are. Pat Mahomes is on his revenge tour. It's fine. I know they lost to the Colts. Let's just pretend that didn't happen. But besides that, the Chiefs have been as advertised. I think that they're going to stay on this path of being great.

The Chargers who are 2 and 2, I think they have the ability to work themselves out of this 2 and 2 funk, so I got a little faith in them. But what's weird is that the Broncos are 2 and 2, but I think they played the worst football out of everybody. I just watched the Broncos and they can't get things going on offense. Russell Wilson makes me sick. Javonte Williams, their running back, who he's tore his ACL now. That's going to be a big blow for them.

But the upsetting part about it is that they really wasn't using him appropriately anyway. Javonte Williams is supposed to be the bell cow of that offense, or at least from the running back position. But they just couldn't wait to get Melvin Gordon involved. They couldn't wait to get Boone involved. So I mean, I'm not saying that this is what they wanted. You know, nobody wants injury, especially from their best running back.

But they're going to get a lot of Melvin Gordon moving forward. So it's just one talented piece from the Broncos offense that goes away. And they need all the help they can get on offense. And the Raiders have just been a disaster. Even though the Raiders have beat the Broncos, but the Raiders have given up 100 points of this season, right. And you expect the Raiders defense to be a little better than that.

But you look at the Chargers defense, they've given up 108. And those are dudes that have spent quality money and draft equity to get dudes, right. So it's a little strange. It's a little strange to me. But I think at the end of the day, we just got to let some more games happen. I think the Chargers will eventually catch up. They will eventually catch up. And I the Chiefs will stay on top.

The AFC North just looks every bit of ridiculous, as it should. Now this is another situation where I feel like time will tell. We just got to keep playing games. We'll see what happens. It's only been four games. I think the Bengals will be fine because they are working themselves out of their rut. They didn't have a preseason. They looked terrible versus the Cowboys. They damn they're tied versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. They basically gave that game away.

But the Bengals had a little bit of redemption and they're catching up. I think over the next four or so games, will we'll see the Bengals making progress. And you know, Lamar Jackson really wants his money. But the problem with Lamar Jackson wanting his money, quarterback is a results based business. You either win or you lose. It's not how good you are, right. You know?

Well, to be fair, it is how good you are. But in terms of public perception, right. OK, well Lamar Jackson is playing fantastic. But if you're 2 and 2, who cares. We're not going to give Lamar Jackson the proper credit. But the Ravens aren't 2 and 2 because of Lamar Jackson. They're one of the best offense in the league. They're 2 and 2 because of that Ravens defense. They don't typically look like a Ravens defense.

They got some young dudes that need to develop and get better, but goodness, if they play better then the Ravens would probably be 4 and 0 and Lamar Jackson would really put the Ravens in a bad spot in terms of getting their money. The Browns are probably going to be bad for the next four games, so I'm not going to talk about them too much.

And then we have the AFC South. I have nothing to say about them besides the idea that the Tennessee Titans should be better than what they are. I don't think they make the playoffs this year. And if the Jaguars keep playing consistent football, in which they've outscored the Tennessee Titans and played better defense than them. I think the Jaguars should be the only team coming out of AFC South. But it's only been four games, we'll see.