Broncos, Patriots remain supreme in the AFC

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots congratulates Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos after the...

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots congratulates Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos after the Broncos defeated the Patriots during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:55 PM ET

When the 2012 NFL season ended, most people thought the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks would rule the NFC in 2013.

After both clubs loaded up with star players via free agency and trades the next spring, doubters came on board.

Sure enough, the Niners and Seahawks clashed in the NFC championship game this past January — with Seattle rallying to win 23-17. Two Sundays later, the Seahawks crushed the AFC champion Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

This NFL season, which kicks off Thursday, it’s hard not to draw the same kind of conclusion about the top two teams in the AFC.

The Broncos and New England Patriots, AFC finalists in January, already would have been popular picks to square off in a rematch on Jan. 18. But in following the 49ers/Seahawks trajectories of the year before, the Broncs and Pats in March loaded up on star players.

Big time.


Videos

Photos