My division winners:
AFC North - Baltimore Ravens
Ever since his college years the statement has been "man if Lamar Jackson actually had talent around him he'd be great." Well, he has a decent level of talent around him and he's taking the NFL by storm this year. Will defenses solve the LJack formula or will he be a terror in a currently struggling division; Steelers have no healthy qb, Bengals need a new qb, and Mayfield is in the sophomore slump HARD.
AFC East - Patriots
Easiest pick to make each year. They have an insane defense this year which is bailing out Tom Brady's aging and lack of talent at the receiver position. Gordon hurting himself stopping a pick-6 has made their skill level apparent and it's not strong. The Antonio Brown signing makes more sense when looking at their current group of pass catchers. Fortunately, Tom is still the GOAT and they actually have a slew of serviceable running backs. If they don't win the whole show this year it'll be because of their injury plagued OL and weak OT play.
AFC South - Texans
Watson is still playing behind a sub-par OL and that has to be a priority in the off season. With a decent OL he's a top 10 if not top 5 quarterback in the league. Their defense isn't as stellar as it once was and the buzz around JJ Watt has faded; paired with the departure of lazy-man Clowney. They still have a solid defense and some talent at the receiver positions which help them compete with the gunslingers of the NFL.
AFC West - Chiefs
I hope Patrick Mahomes keeps this same level of play going through his entire career and stays healthy for 10+ seasons. This dude is fun to watch and it's baffling that he wasn't a bigger name in college football. Andy Reid still hasn't shown he can win the big game but I think the Chiefs have meticulously built an extremely well built roster. They could use some help on defense but we, as Auburn fans, are well aware that sometimes a high octane offense means giving up a handful of points on defense.
Not really any hot takes for the AFC as I don't picture any of the current divisional winners dropping their lead. Teams to watch that aren't going to win their division include the Jaguars and the Bills. The Bills have looked good so far and the Jags are consistently on the cusp of being a decent wild-card tier team. When does Foles make his return?
NFC North - Vikings
I'm not a Vikings fan after the way they handled Carlson. Still, the Packers have a roster in desperate need of a rebuild. Their defense is serviceable but Rogers has been struggling at times and isn't getting any younger. Their receiver talent after Adams isn't great and their run game isn't impressive. The Vikings roll as far as Kirk Cousins can take them. He's been the butt of jokes but he can turn it on and really make the Vikings look like contenders.
NFC East - Panthers
Kyle Allen has really resurrected the season for the Panthers who started (0-2) and looked like potential tanking candidates. I do believe Cam will get the starting job back once healthy even if Allen hasn't lost a game yet at that point in the season. Their OL is sub-par but the DL has lead the league in sacks and pressures. Linebacker Shaq Thompson is finally looking like the guy they drafted him to be and Bradberry/Jackson/Cockrell have looked solid at corner. Safeties aren't great but their defense can be a force when not going into conservative-zone-coverage mode. CMC is a legitimate MVP candidate. The Saints are the real competition here and how Bridgewater performs really determines who will win.
NFC South - Cowboys
Dak has bad days but ultimately has an amazing OL and a star running back as well as some athletic receivers. The Eagles have been in a constant funk since their Super Bowl appearance and Wentz still hasn't been able to return them to their dominant form. It's likely the Cowboys take the claim of the division and have to pay Dak stupid money to stay with them.
NFC West - 49ers
Might be the best team in the NFL. They have done a tremendous job rebuilding the cluster trash fire that the program had become.