— Any weekly power rankings can tell you where teams stand right now. But how will the NFL landscape look at the end of the season? Here's a look at where we think the AFC teams will finish this season, and how they've looked in the first half.
16. Buffalo Bills: 0-8; Predicted Finish: 2-14
What’s gone right: It's hard to find a lot right about an 0-8 team, but the Bills have found a decent passing game with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. Steve Johnson has developed into a legitimate No. 2 receiver opposite Lee Evans. They've lost to three winning teams in successive weeks by nine combined points.
What's gone wrong: The decision to change to a 3-4 defense was an unmitigated disaster. They've changed back to a 4-3 scheme, but now have mismatched parts. The lack of development from rookie running back C.J. Spiller and another disappointing draft class is a long-term concern.
What's coming up: Buffalo didn't address the quarterback position last offseason, so Bills fans are already excitedly talking about potential saviors with the No. 1 overall pick.
15. Denver Broncos: 2-6; Predicted Finish 5-11
What's gone right: The concern for much of the offseason in Denver was on Kyle Orton and his lackluster receivers. The passing game — especially Brandon Lloyd — is the only part of the team that has exceeded expectations.
What's gone wrong: The offensive line is in shambles. A once-promising young tackle combination of Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris has disappointed, even when Harris was healthy. The defense gets run over regularly, and the offense struggles in the red zone because there's no running game.
What's next: The Broncos still have five division games left and two games against the NFC West. They can rally to win 3-4 of those games, which should be enough to save Josh McDaniels' job.
14. Cincinnati Bengals: 2-6; Predicted finish: 5-11
What's gone right: Rookie pass-catchers Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham look like they will be weapons to rely on for years to come.
What's gone wrong: The Bengals show the fine line between winning and losing in the NFL. The team isn't much worse than last year, but the schedule is much tougher; they aren't getting breaks; they are a remarkably top-heavy team whose reserves get exposed. There are legitimate questions whether consistently inconsistent Carson Palmer can ever be a top-10 quarterback again.
What's next: The Bengals are too good to get blown out, but not smart enough to beat quality opponents. A ridiculously tough schedule will make it impossible to rally. Marvin Lewis is a free agent at the end of the year.
13. Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-4; Predicted finish: 6-10
What's gone right: The Jaguars have improbably stayed alive in the playoff picture. Tight end Marcedes Lewis has emerged as one of the league's best. The Jaguars beat the Colts at home, which was hardly guaranteed even with the best Jaguars teams. Best of all, the Jaguars are selling out games at a time the franchise's future in Jacksonville is in question.
What's gone wrong: In their four losses, the Jaguars have lost by an average of 25 points-per-game. The secondary — which changes starting safeties every week — is giving up an obscene 8.7 yards-per-attempt, easily worst in the league.
What's next: This team has overachieved to get to 4-4 at the midway point. But three of their wins came against the league's very worst teams (Denver, Buffalo, Dallas) and the schedule gets tougher. This defense can't hold up.
12. Cleveland Browns: 3-5; Predicted finish 7-9
What's gone right: Despite a revolving door at quarterback, the Browns stay competitive every week. They blew out the Saints and Patriots with great play-calling, a strong running game, and an improving defense. The offensive line has to be regarded as one of the league's best and the team found a feature back in Peyton Hillis. It's early, but Colt McCoy shows some promise.
What's gone wrong: The Browns couldn't close out games against the Bucs, Ravens or Chiefs. They could be in the playoff race. The team spent a lot of resources in the secondary, but still give up a lot of passing yards. The organization still lacks premier talent on defense despite playing solid team ball.
What's next: The Browns will play too competitively for Eric Mangini to lose his job. Cleveland has some winnable road games on the docket. Playoff contenders coming to Cleveland (Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New York Jets) should beware.
11. Oakland Raiders: 5-4; Predicted finish 7-9
What's gone right: An offseason focus on the running game has paid off. The Raiders have a top-three rushing attack, with Darren McFadden looking like a top-five pick. A doormat for almost a decade, the Raiders beat the Broncos and Seahawks in successive weeks by a combined score of 92-17. Their overtime win against the Chiefs was the club's most significant in a decade.
What's gone wrong: Louis Murphy is the only wide receiver to step up, and he's hurt. The team is still capable of stink-bomb games on the road (38-10 loss in Tennessee; 17-9 in San Francisco).
What's next: The win over Kansas City may wind up a high point for the season. Road games in Pittsburgh, Kansas City and San Diego will be tough. They have home games against the Dolphins and Colts. Oakland got fat on a weak schedule, but that's about to change.
10. Houston Texans: 4-4; Predicted finish 7-9
What's gone right: The Texans have appeared tougher mentally, making furious comebacks to beat the Redskins and Chiefs. Houston blew out Indianapolis in Week One. Coach Gary Kubiak finally found a premier running back in Arian Foster.
What's gone wrong: This is the worst defense of the Kubiak era. The secondary is at the bottom of the league in yards allowed and touchdowns allowed. The team is dead last in turnovers forced. Houston needs Matt Schaub to play like an MVP candidate to survive, and he's declined since last year.
What’s next: There's a feeling this team is ready to get over the hump, but we don't see it. It's just not a playoff-quality defense and there are many playoff-quality opponents left in division and out (Philadelphia, New York Jets, Baltimore.)
9. San Diego Chargers: 4-5; Predicted finish 9-7
What's gone right: Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates are playing better than ever. Many of the defensive breakdowns from last year have disappeared, with cornerback Quentin Jammer playing at a Pro Bowl level. Kevin Burnett and Shaun Phillips have given the team a pass rush again. A three-headed rushing attack is much improved from a year ago.
What's gone wrong: A series of mind-numbing special teams miscues and untimely turnovers torpedoed the first half. Because of Vincent Jackson's holdout and injuries at wide receiver, the Chargers have been stuck starting practice-squad players. Philip Rivers' protection has often failed him at key times. Did we mention special teams?
What's next: Outside of a Week 12 visit to the Colts, the rest of the schedule is manageable. But the Chargers picked the wrong year to fall behind in a deep AFC. This may turn out just like 2005, where a late season run by Drew Brees fell short of a playoff berth.
8. Miami Dolphins: 4-4; Predicted finish 9-7
What's gone right: Chad Henne has developed, and Brandon Marshall has fit into the offense seamlessly. The team has managed a difficult schedule with four road wins in five games. The team's young linebacker group has exceeded expectations, with former CFL player Cameron Wake a premier pass rusher.
What's gone wrong: They lost back-to-back home games in the division to the Jets and Patriots. That will be tough to recover from. All four losses are in conference. Injuries have thinned out an imposing defensive line. The Ronnie and Ricky running game has shown signs of attrition.
What's next: Weeks 15-16 (at home to Bills, Lions) looks tasty, but will the Dolphins still be in contention? This is a better team than the one that won the division two years ago, but they probably have to win in New England and/or New York to make the playoffs.
7. Baltimore Ravens: 6-2; Predicted finish 11-5
What's gone right: Anquan Boldin has proven even better than advertised and Joe Flacco's development is on schedule. Haloti Ngata is playing great defense. The Ravens won a game they absolutely had to in Pittsburgh on a terrific last-minute drive.
What's gone wrong: The Ravens' defense hasn't quite been the same. They have been susceptible against the run and gave up more than 500 yards to the Bills. The running game has struggled at times; they are among the league's worst in yards-per-carry.
What's next: Some very good teams could be left out of the AFC playoffs, so the Ravens have to be careful with some landmines on their schedule. Week 13 against Pittsburgh looms large.
6. Indianapolis Colts: 5-3; Predicted finish 11-5, wild card
What's gone right: Peyton Manning is still Peyton Manning. Dwight Freeney is still Dwight Freeney. Wide receiver Austin Collie and cornerback Jerraud Powers have stepped up in their second seasons.
What's gone wrong: A cavalcade of injuries in every area of the roster have hurt the team's margin for error. Dallas Clark isn't coming back and Bob Sanders may not either. The Colts also haven't solved their annual issues — they can't run or stop the run. They are beatable on the road.
What's next: The Colts are simply a different team at home, and they have five games left at Lucas Oil Stadium. Unfortunately, the three roadies are tough (New England, Tennessee, Oakland.) Indy's two early division losses could wind up costing the team a home playoff game or even a playoff spot. They may have to sweep Tennessee to win the division.
5. New England Patriots: 6-2; Predicted finish 11-5, wild card
What's gone right: The stats on both sides of the ball say the Patriots aren't great, except the two stats that matter most — points and wins. New England does not turn over the ball, has been great in the red zone, and generally played smarter than its opponents late in games. It’s a familiar formula for this organization.
What's gone wrong: Losing to the Jets the first time around means it will be very tough to win the division without beating New York in Foxborough. The Patriots have a young defense that can still be exploited, especially in the secondary.
What's next: This is a good Patriots team but is one bound to have some ups and downs with many young players. They aren't 14-2 good. The schedule remains challenging with the Steelers, Colts, Jets, Bears, Packers and Dolphins ahead. The division could come down to tiebreaks. The wild card could come down to a head-to-head win over Baltimore.
4. Kansas City Chiefs: 5-3; Predicted finish 10-6, AFC West champions
What's gone right: The "rebuilding" process got fast-forwarded because a fantastic rookie class and elite special teams. Romeo Crennel has turned the Chiefs' defense into a balanced, solid-tackling unit. Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles are among the best combinations at running back in football. Brandon Flowers has played like an All Pro cornerback.
What's gone wrong: The team still hasn't proven it can beat playoff-caliber opponents on the road. Even though Matt Cassel has avoided turnovers, the passing game is still rarely a weapon.
What's next: A soft schedule (three games left against the NFC West) should help the Chiefs fend off the Raiders and Chargers. They are too balanced on both sides of the ball to collapse.
3. Tennessee Titans: 5-3; Predicted finish 11-5, AFC South champions
What's gone right: Defensive line coach Jim Washburn has worked his magic again, turning a no-name defensive line rotation into one of the best in football. Rookie Alterraun Verner gives the team a second quality cornerback. The Titans have stretched the field whether Vince Young or Kerry Collins was at quarterback. Wins against the Giants and Eagles proved the Titans are tough.
What's gone wrong: Teams are loading up to stop Chris Johnson and have been effective at times. The vaunted offensive line hasn't played as well in the running game. Picking up Randy Moss made a lot of sense for the team, but he's only replacing an injured Kenny Britt. Coughing up a late lead to the Broncos at home could haunt the team.
What's next: The Titans have five division games left and no cupcakes. They need to gain ground in a three-game homestand before finishing in Kansas City and Indianapolis.
2. New York Jets: 6-2; Predicted finish 12-4, AFC East champions
What's gone right: Mark Sanchez and LaDainian Tomlinson helped carry the team early while the defense was less than dominant early. The Jets swept the initial AFC East round-robin, which gives them the edge in the division. Mark Sanchez has won more games with his passing than expected. Unlike previous Jets teams, they are winning games in which they get outplayed.
What's gone wrong: The defense has been dominant in spurts but hasn't lived up to last year's standard. Their blitzes and third-down pass rush has especially been suspect. Sanchez has been good overall but is prone to streaks.
What's next: The Jets should be favored in every second-half game except visits to the Steelers and Patriots. They easily could be 9-2 heading into Foxborough, with that game deciding the division.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 6-2; Predicted finish 13-3, AFC North champions
What's gone right: They went 3-1 without Ben Roethlisberger because they own best defense in football. The Steelers remain almost impossible to run on, and their linebacker group is better than ever with the emergence of Lawrence Timmons. Running back Rashard Mendenhall continues to improve.
What's gone wrong: A loss to the Ravens at home kept the division race close. Roethlisberger and the team's offensive line struggle to pick up blitzes. Some cracks have shown in the Pittsburgh pass defense.
What's next: A lot of heavyweight fights are on the docket. The Jets and Patriots visit Pittsburgh, while the Steelers have their Ravens rematch in Baltimore. The rest of the schedule is manageable. The Steelers still look like the best team in football.