Last season: Lost Super Bowl to you-know-who.
Over/under wins: 11
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 15 at Pittsburgh. Beat the Steelers at home last year in a thriller.
Three things: Tom Brady needs 3,841 yards to become the fourth quarterback with 70,000. Brady led the league with 4,577 last year. Peyton Manning (71,940), Brett Favre (71,838) and Drew Brees (70,445) are ahead of him. … Wide receiver Julian Edelman is out for the first four games with a PED suspension. Edelman missed last season after tearing his ACL in the third preseason game. … With Matt Patricia off to Detroit, Brian Flores will run the defense. His title is still linebackers coach, though. Flores, a linebacker at Boston College, was Big East all-academic in 2003.
Key number: 7. Consecutive years the Patriots have reached the AFC championship game. They've also reached it 12 times in the 16 years Brady has been the starting quarterback, winning eight. Astounding.
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Last season: 9-7, snapped a 17-year postseason drought.
Over/under wins: 6
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 3 at Minnesota starts a stretch of four road games in five weeks.
Three things: Nathan "can't find a" Peterman (Pearl Jam reference, kids) will start at quarterback, even though the Bills drafted Josh Allen with the No. 7 overall pick. … Buffalo, Detroit and Cleveland are the only teams that haven't won a division title since the NFL realigned in 2002 when Houston came into the league. … The Buffalo News called LeSean McCoy the offensive MVP of training camp. McCoy, who turned 30 in July, averaged a career-low 4.0 yards per rush in 2017.
Key number: 20. Age of middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, the 16th overall pick out of Virginia Tech. His brother, Terrell, was taken by Pittsburgh with the 28th pick. They are the first set of brothers to be selected in the first round of the same draft.
Last season: 5-11. Been seven years since last postseason berth.
Over/under wins: 5.5
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 15 against visiting Houston in one of those Saturday games during which we should be holiday-shopping but instead are watching football.
Three things: Rookie Sam Darnold, the No. 3 pick, is the starting quarterback. … New offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, after he was fired by the Bears in 2012, hiked the 3,000-mile Continental Divide Trail. It was a five-month odyssey, which probably makes working in the New York pressure-cooker – with a rookie quarterback — a relative breeze. … Temple product Robby Anderson is entering his third season after posting 63-941-7 in 2017.
Key number – 17. Years difference between this year's Week 1 starting quarterback (21-year-old Darnold) and last year's (Josh McCown, then-38).
Last season: 6-10, started out 4-2 but then the wheels came off.
Over/under wins: 6.5
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 12 at Indianapolis, where RB Frank Gore spent the last three years. Is he a Hall of Famer?
Three things: For a guy who's just 37-40 in his career as a starter, Ryan Tannehill is sure being counted on heavily by the Dolphins after he missed all of 2017 with his second significant knee injury. Behind him are (yawn) David Fales and Brock Osweiler. … Gone are DT Ndamukong Suh, C Mike Pouncey and WR Jarvis Landry; here are DE Robert Quinn, Gore and WR Danny Amendola. Feels like a lot more lost than gained. … Rookie Mike Gesicki had a great training camp and looks like the next solid tight end out of Penn State.
Key number: 4. Running backs with more career rushing yards than Gore (14,026), who turned 35 in May. Gore is 75 yards behind Curtis Martin and 1,243 behind Barry Sanders. Emmitt Smith (18,355) and Walter Payton (16,726) are 1-2.
Last season: 12-4, but 45-42 loss in divisional round to Jaguars had Chuck Noll spinning in his grave.
Over/under wins: 10.5
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 11 at Jacksonville for the reason stated above.
Three things: Disgruntled running back Le'Veon Bell skipped training camp for the second consecutive season. In 2017, it took him three games to shake off the rust before he put up 144 yards at Baltimore in Week 4. … Temple product Tyler Matakevich is among those tasked to replace Ryan Shazier at inside linebacker. … Randy Fichtner, the quarterbacks coach for eight years, was promoted to offensive coordinator after Todd Haley was let go. Haley is the OC in Cleveland, which will host Pittsburgh in Week 1.
Key number: 32. Ben Roethlisberger's career high for TD passes in a season (2007, 2014). Thought that number would have been higher. Carson Wentz had 33 last year.
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Last season: 9-7, gagged away a playoff spot by losing at home to Cincinnati in Week 17.
Over/under wins: 8
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 16 at L.A. Chargers figures to have significant playoff implications.
Three things: The Ravens have missed the playoffs each of the last three years and four times in five seasons since winning the Super Bowl. They traded up to get Lamar Jackson, ostensibly to someday replace QB Joe Flacco, who is beginning his 11th season. … Brought in wide receivers Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead to boost a passing offense that was 29th last season. … Quirk in the schedule. That loss to Cincinnati in Week 17 allowed Buffalo to grab the final playoff spot. Baltimore's first two games this season are against Buffalo and at Cincinnati.
Key number: 16. Years Ozzie Newsome has been the Ravens general manager, since becoming the NFL's first African-American GM in 2002. He will step down after this season.
Last season: 0-16, joining the 2008 Lions as the only teams to post a doughnut in a 16-game season.
Over/under wins: 5.5
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 3 vs. New York Jets. Realistic shot for a win against Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold. The Brownies might even be favored.
Three things: No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield will hold a clipboard as veteran Tyrod Taylor will start at quarterback. The Browns are 1-31 over the last two seasons. … Myles Garrett, the No. 1 pick in 2017, had seven sacks in 10 games last year and had a strong camp. … Star wide receiver Josh Gordon will play in Week 1 despite missing training camp for mental health counseling.
Key number: 161. Number of targets new wide receiver Jarvis Landry saw last season with the Dolphins. The Browns leader in 2017 targets among wide receivers was Ricardo Louis with 61. Louis is out for the year with a neck injury.
Last season: 7-9, started 0-3 and could never get above .500.
Over/under wins: 6.5
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 15 vs. the Oakland Raiders, who reportedly were kicking the tires for a trade in the spring for Bengals bad-boy linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
Three things: Cleveland gets ridiculed, but Cincinnati is just as much of a punchline in this division. The Bengals are coming off consecutive losing seasons, haven't won a playoff game since Boomer Esiason was in his prime, and still stuck with coach Marvin Lewis. … Bill Lazor, who coached quarterbacks in Chip Kelly's first season with the Eagles, is in charge of an offense that was last in the league in total yards and 31st in rushing. … The Bengals will host Pittsburgh in Week 6 and close the season at Pittsburgh. Those games are usually bloodbaths.
Key number: 67.4. Receiving yards per game last season for star wide receiver A.J. Green, a career low.
Last season:- 10-6, won division title and advanced to conference title game for the first time in 18 years.
Over/under wins: 9
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 2 vs. New England. The visiting Jags had the Patriots on the ropes in the AFC championship game.
Three things: The Jags, 3-13 in 2016, enter this season with a lot more expectations than a year ago. They are 0-8 all-time against Tom Brady, including three postseason games. Brady has 19 TD passes, two interceptions and a 113.93 passer rating in those games. Yo. … Lost projected No. 1 wide receiver Marqise Lee to a knee injury in the third preseason game. Will lean on former Colt Donte Moncrief and youngsters Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook. … Return 10 of 11 starters from a defense that ranked second in points and yards allowed. The exception is linebacker Paul Posluszny, former Penn Stater who retired.
Key number: 12. Wins, including postseason, Blake Bortles led the Jaguars to last season. He had a total of 11 combined in the previous three years.
Last season: 4-12, season unraveled when rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson tore his knee in practice before Week 9.
Over/under wins: 8.5
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 1 at New England. Nothing like a stiff test early.
Three things: Deshaun Watson has recovered from a torn ACL that sidetracked what was a promising rookie season (19 TD passes in seven games). The Texans were 1-8 after Watson got hurt. … Star defensive end J.J. Watt also is healthy again. He's missed most of the last two seasons with various injuries. … Julie'n Davenport, a second-year left tackle out of Bucknell by way of Paulsboro High, is part of the reworked offensive line. Davenport started the final two games in 2017.
Key number: 7. Touchdown receptions for Will Fuller (Roman Catholic) while Watson was quarterback. He had zero TDs and played hurt for most of the games without Watson.
Last season: 9-7, won a playoff game for the first time since the Steve McNair days.
Over/under wins: 8
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 4 against the Eagles. Marcus Mariota against Carson Wentz deserves prime time, but it's a 1 o'clock start.
Three things: The postseason win wasn't enough to save head coach Mike Mularkey's job. Officially, it was called a mutual decision. Yeah, OK. Because coaches always walk away from jobs where young, franchise quarterbacks just won their first playoff game. … Mike Vrabel, who had been the Texans defensive coordinator, is a head coach for the first time. … Cornerback Malcolm Butler, last seen in tears during his stunning benching in the Super Bowl, signed a five-year deal with Tennessee that included $24 million guaranteed. Butler will get a crack at his old coach in Week 10 when the Patriots visit.
Key number: 13. Number of touchdown passes last season for Marcus Mariota, fewest of his three-year career. He also ran for five, a career high.
Last season: 4-12, led at halftime in seven of those losses. Talk about bad Luck.
Over/under wins: 7
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 3 at Eagles. Colts head coach Frank Reich returns to the Linc.
Three things: There's optimism in Indy, where the new head coach brings with him a Super Bowl ring and a terrific track record of developing quarterbacks. If Andrew Luck can stay healthy, they should be able to turn things around. … Picked offensive linemen in the first (Quenton Nelson) and second rounds (Braden Smith). Nelson was the first O-lineman taken, which is unusual for a guard. … Running back Marlon Mack strained his hamstring in preseason, and his status for the opener is unclear. Mack is expected to be the featured back now that Frank Gore is in Miami. Mack, in his second season out of South Florida, gashed Temple for 230 rushing yards in 2015.
Key number: 57. Number of catches No. 1 receiver T.Y. Hilton had in last year's Luck-less season. He had 91 the year before.
Last season: 9-7, nearly overcame an 0-4 start to make the playoffs.
Over/under wins: 9
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 6 at Cleveland. The Browns are 1-31 the last two seasons. Their only victory was in 2016 when they beat the visiting Chargers.
Three things: The only team in the division that retained its head coach and offensive and defensive coordinators, the Chargers also bring most of the same roster back hoping that last year's 9-3 finish will carry into 2018. … Did add Miami center Mike Pouncey, who was quickly impressed with Philip Rivers. "I just like that he knows everything that is going on each and every play," Pouncey said. … The Chargers are going with Virgil Green as the starting tight end after losing Hunter Henry to a torn ACL in the spring. Green played in Denver the last seven years and was primarily a blocker.
Key number: 2020. Year the stadium they will share with the Rams opens at Hollywood Park. Until then, they're stuck in a 30,000-seat soccer facility.
Last season: 10-6, won back-to-back division titles for the first time in team history and then fizzled out in the first round.
Over/under wins: 8
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 11, on a Monday night, against the Rams in Mexico City.
Three things: Even Andy Reid got a jolt of adrenaline at the idea of second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes' taking over. Mahomes will surely have growing pains, but one look at that 69-yard touchdown pass he threw in the preseason makes Reid's excitement understandable. The ball traveled 68+ yards in the air. … Kendall Fuller, acquired in the deal that sent Alex Smith to Washington, is being counted on to replace two-time Pro Bowler Marcus Peters as the Chiefs' No. 1 corner. … NFL rushing leader Kareem Hunt (1,327 yards) might see even more work in the passing game. He was third on the team with 53 catches last season.
Key number: 1-4. KC's postseason record under Reid.
Last season: 6-10, took such a dramatic step back that they whacked popular coach Jack Del Rio and brought back Chucky.
Over/under wins: 8
Most interesting non-divisional game: Week 1 vs. the Rams. Jon Gruden's first game as Oakland's coach since the 2001 postseason. That contest, by the way, was the historic Tuck Game.
Three things: Traded the team's best defensive player – disruptive lineman Khalil Mack – and a second-round pick to the Bears for two first-rounders in a deal that was met with some social-media profanity by Raiders players. … There is a link on the Raiders website with a live camera fixed on the stadium as its being built in Las Vegas. They're moving out of Oakland in 2020. … The Raiders will play four games in prime time, including twice in December. Over/under for those games is 40.5 camera cutaways to Gruden.
Key number: 31,384. Miles the Raiders will travel this season, most in the NFL. They will have three games in the Eastern time zone (Miami, Baltimore, Cincinnati) and play Seattle in London.
Last season: 5-11, after starting 3-1. It was miserable.
Over/under wins: 7.5
Least interesting non-divisional game: Week 7 at Arizona is the Thursday night game that week. Should be dozens of people tuned in.
Three things: Hoping that Case Keenum ends the quarterback roulette the franchise has played since Peyton Manning retired. … Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders still are the top two receivers, but rookies Coutland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton are in the mix. Hamilton, Penn State's all-time receptions leader, lost his signature dreadlocks during rookie haircut day. … Another weapon for Keenum should be second-year tight end Jake Butt, who missed his rookie season with a torn ACL.
Key number: 26. Number of sacks No. 5 overall pick Bradley Chubb had at North Carolina State, which broke the record held by 2006 No. 1 overall pick Mario Williams. The Broncos should improve on the mediocre 33 sacks they had last year.