FansofFans Projected 2022 AFC Playoff Picture

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We have officially hit the halfway mark of the 2022 NFL season, entering into a pivotal Week 9. At this point in the season, we know which teams are pretenders, and which teams are contenders, and with this info we can efficiently predict the what the playoff picture will look like for both conferences. Today we will look at the AFC contenders. Check out our list of NFC contenders here.

 

(Current Playoff Picture)

Projected Playoff Standings

1. Buffalo Bills (Projected 14-3)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (Projected 13-4)

3. Tennessee Titans (Projected 12-5)

4. Baltimore Ravens (Projected 11-6)


5. Miami Dolphins (Projected 12-5)

6. LA Chargers (Projected 11-6)

7. Cincinnati Bengals (Projected 10-7)

 

The Bills have been incredibly dominant this season, with QB Josh Allen playing MVP quality football. It’s hard to see this team losing too many more football games, but with matchups against the Patriots, Bengals, Vikings, and Dolphins, there may be a maximum of 2 losses in there somewhere, if any. The Kansas City Chiefs are carrying their division, and don’t seem to have any competition with their closest competitor dealing with injuries. Despite a few games against a steady Titans team, a Joe Burrow led Bengals squad that swept this team twice in 2021, the Chiefs should have no issue chugging away at the 2nd overall spot. Speaking of the Titans, while AJ Brown seems to be thriving in Philadelphia, the Titans don’t seem to be showing any sign of slowing down, especially with their rushing attack led by Derrick Henry. Last week, Henry rushed for 200 or more yards for a sixth time in Sunday’s 17-10 win over the Houston Texans, matching an NFL record set by Adrian Peterson and O.J. Simpson. This guy is a running machine, and this Titans team will go as far as Henry and his legs take them. This 2022 Baltimore Ravens squad has almost been an invert of the 2021 team, gaining players on the backend of the season as opposed to losing them. The trade deadline brought top off-ball linebacker Roquan Smith to the team, and Tyus Bowser, as well as 2nd round pick David Ajabo are also returning. JK Dobbins is recovering from a second surgery, but is set to join the team later, and newly acquired safety Marcus Williams should also be returning in a few weeks. The only concern is the season ending injury to Rashod Bateman, but let’s hope that with the addition of veteran Deshaun Jackson, this team looks more like the 2019 version of themselves that went 14-2 with an MVP at quarterback.

As far as the Wildcard teams, the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers, and Cincinnati Bengals are the teams to watch. All 3 teams are currently 1-1.5 games out of first place in their respective divisions, but are probably unlikely to take the lead anytime soon. The Chargers already have a lost to KC, and are currently dealing with injuries to their top receiving options in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.  At this point they are just trying to tread water until the team gets healthy again. The Cincinnati Bengals are keeping up with the Ravens, but similarly, they have already lost the head to head game, and now they too are dealing with injuries to both WR Ja’maar Chase and CB Chidobe Awuzie. The Bengals still have games against all 4 current division leaders, as well as Brady and the Bucs, and the Ravens have the easiest strength of schedule remaining for the year. The Miami Dolphins have the easiest path to taking over their division, as they have already beat the Bills, and they have looked every bit the competitor with Tua behind center. But right now, the Bills are looking way too dominant to give up 1st place in the division.

 

What say you? Who do you think will make the playoffs in the AFC, and which teams will win their divisions or make it in the Wildcard rounds? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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[…] We have officially passed the halfway mark of the 2022 NFL season, entering into Week 11. At this point in the season, we know which teams are pretenders, and which teams are contenders, and with this info we can efficiently predict the what the playoff picture will look like for both conferences. Today we will look at the NFC contenders. Check out our AFC contenders here. […]

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