May 3, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin oversees drills during Steelers rookie mincamp and orientation at the UPMC Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

AFC power rankings: Who can challenge Chiefs, Ravens?

The AFC is home to The Kansas City Chiefs, the best team in football. After winning Super Bowl LIV, there’s little argument to be made otherwise, especially with 20 of 22 starters returning, including a 24-year-old superstar quarterback in Patrick Mahomes.

However, most agree the Baltimore Ravens are the 1A in the race to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Many Vegas books have them either tied with the best odds to win it all, or with Kansas City slightly ahead.

But who can challenge these teams come January for AFC supremacy? Let’s rank ’em out.


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14. Jacksonville Jaguars

This would take a miracle. Literally, Gardner Minshew would have to enjoy an MVP-level season.

13. Cincinnati Bengals

The argument here would be for Joe Burrow being incredible alongside Joe Mixon, A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. The problem with that argument? The defense.

12. New York Jets

Maybe the Jets compete in the wide-open AFC East, but that’s it. There’s no way Adam Gase and Sam Darnold are beating Baltimore or Kansas City.

11. Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders didn’t dramatically improve their defense, and last year they allowed 68 points in two games against the Chiefs.

10. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are still rebuilding, but they’re clearly on the upswing. Miami would need Tua Tagovailoa to be a generational talent to make a dent in 2020, though.


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9. New England Patriots

Bill Belichick is the best coach ever. Jarrett Stidham will render him largely irrelevant.

8. Houston Texans

Deshaun Watson commands respect, but Bill O’Brien has completely torpedoed him.

7. Los Angeles Chargers

Tyrod Taylor and Justin Herbert are likely going to hold back a very talented roster. Plus, the Chargers are in a brutal division.

6. Cleveland Browns

The Browns have ample talent, but can first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski get all of it on the same page?

5. Indianapolis Colts

Philip Rivers is the key here. If he can find the relative fountain of youth, there’s hope for a revival in Indy.

4. Tennessee Titans

Ryan Tannehill needs to be really good and Derrick Henry must do a quality impression of Earl Campbell, but Tennessee showed it can compete with the big boys.

3. Denver Broncos

Denver has talent on both sides of the ball. However, is Drew Lock ready to tangle with Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes? Doubtful.

2. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo is loaded defensively. If Josh Allen takes a leap in his third year, the Bills are legitimate contenders in the AFC.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have the best shot to knock off Baltimore or Kansas City. Ben Roethlisberger’s health is a major linchpin, but the defense is great, the weapons are good and the head coach is a future Hall of Famer.

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