NFL Writer Makes Interesting (Non-Patriots) Pick For Best Team In AFC


October 1, 2019

Many believe it’s a two-horse race for AFC supremacy this season.

NFL Network’s Michael Silver, however, sees it a bit differently.

The New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs both are off to 4-0 starts. New England’s defense is right up there with the best in football, while Patrick Mahomes is putting together one hell of an encore performance to his MVP campaign. But despite how impressive both teams have looked, Silver is going in a different direction with his pick for the top team in the conference.

“So let’s see. Patriots, Chiefs. I’m sticking with my preseason AFC pick because they’re coming off a big Sunday. That’s right, the Cleveland Browns,” Silver said Monday on NFL Network’s “The Aftermath.” “I’m not giving up just because of a rough start. You heard Baker Mayfield after the game say, ‘Everybody wanted to put us in the trash.’ Not me, Baker. I’ve got your back. They have so much talent. They’re doing this with the whole secondary injured and Odell Beckham hasn’t really cranked it up yet. To me, he’s the key to everything. One of the best players in football, they stole him in a trade. Once they can realize his potential, this offense can be flat-out scary and can compete with those two juggernauts (Patriots and Chiefs).”

After being all the rage in the offseason, the buzz around the Browns quickly was subdued as the team struggled out of the gate. But if Cleveland can continue to play like it did Sunday in Baltimore, it has a chance to become one of the top teams in the AFC. The Browns also will benefit from a relatively light regular-season schedule the rest of the way. Pairs of matchups against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals still await, as do tilts with the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals.

One upcoming battle that certainly won’t be a cakewalk, however, is a Week 8 visit to Foxboro. If Mayfield and Co. manage to take down the reigning champions on their own turf, we might have to start taking Silver’s take seriously.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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