The Chiefs will have it rough going through the AFC slog. However, as a battle-tested veteran team, they will return to their former glory.
AFC West: 1 Chiefs, 2 Broncos, 3 Chargers, 4 Raiders
Not only do the Chiefs have the best quarterback (Patrick Mahomes) in the division, but they also have the best head coach (Andy Reid), tight end (Travis Kelce) and defensive player (Chris Jones).
Not to insult the other teams and their rosters. All three other competitors still make the playoffs as wild card teams.
AFC North: 1 Bengals, 2 Ravens, 3 Steelers, 4 Browns
The Bengals have the best QB, weapons in the division and the biggest improvement for a position group in the NFL with their OL. The other teams are close but aren’t able to make the playoffs.
AFC East: 1 Bills, 2 Dolphins, 3 Patriots, 4 Jets
The Dolphins are closer than the others but the Bills roster is much more talented. It also doesn’t hurt the Bills to have a candidate for the best player in football as their QB. Dolphins and Patriots fight for a wild card spot till the very end, but just miss out on the playoffs.
AFC South: 1 Colts, 2 Titans, 3 Jaguars, 4 Texans
The Titans just lost their star pass rusher Harold Laundry and the Colts massively upgraded at QB. Commanders QB Carson Wentz is an accident waiting to happen and new Colts QB Matt Ryan is a veteran, steady hand and former MVP. Indianapolis has a great roster and now has an advantage over the Titans.
The Titans are close to the wild card round but them and the other two teams miss the cut for the playoffs.
NFC West: 1 Rams, 2 49ers, 3 Cardinals, 4 Seahawks
Three of the four teams will make the playoffs, the Seahawks will be the only ones who miss it, and the Rams will win the division. Not only are they the defending Super Bowl Champs, but the Cardinals can never put together a complete season and the 49ers QB, second year Trey Lance, is starting for the first time.
NFC North: 1 Packers, 2 Vikings, 3 Bears, 4 Lions
The Vikings have the most talent in the division. The only problem is the Packers have an all-time great at QB in Aaron Rodgers and this is why they will win the NFC North. The Lions and Bears are afterthoughts, their rosters don’t have good enough personnel to compete.
NFC East: 1 Eagles, 2 Cowboys, 3 Commanders, 4 Giants
The Eagles and Cowboys are very similar in terms of coaching and talent. The reason the Eagles will win the division is because they have a second place schedule, while Dallas has a first place one.
Schedules are set up with six games in division, four games against an AFC division, four games against another NFC division, a game against the other conference for game 17 and three games against the teams who also finished in the same place in their divisions. It’s all based on the season before.
The Commanders and Giants, like the Lions and Bears, are irrelevant in the race to win the division. The Cowboys on the other hand will make the playoffs as a wild card team.
NFC South: 1 Buccaneers, 2 Panthers, 3 Saints, 4 Falcons
While Tampa’s OL is a mess they still have more than enough talent to win the division. The Falcons are rebuilding, the Saints don’t have Sean Payton anymore and the Panthers, while very talented, have questions about their coach Matt Rhule and new QB Baker Mayfield.
AFC Wild Card: 2 Chiefs W vs 7 Raiders L
The Chiefs Offense will have more success than the Raiders Offense. I trust the Chiefs Defense much more than the Raiders D. The Raiders are great on the defensive line with new addition Chandler Jones and his new partnership with Maxx Crosby. But they’re weak at linebacker and in the secondary, it will cost them.
AFC Wild Card: 3 Colts W vs 6 Chargers L
When every possession counts, aggressive minded head coaches can run into trouble. It would also be Justin Herbert’s first postseason. Young QB’s usually struggle when getting a taste for the playoffs for the first time. There’s just many more questions about LA than Indy. Indy is complete and more experienced than LA.
AFC Wild Card: 4 Bengals L vs 5 Broncos W
This is Cincinnati’s worst matchup. The Bengal’s strength is offense through the air, while the Broncos defensive strength is their secondary. Russell Wilson levels the playing field as the new $245 million man and now they have the offense necessary to pull off this upset.
NFC Wild Card: 2 Eagles L vs 7 Cowboys W
The Cowboys always have the pressure of being “America’s Team” and defending home field. This time is the opposite however, they will be underdogs and expected to lose. This will keep them loose and ready to finally win a playoff game, after four years. I also trust Dak Prescott more than Jalen Hurts.
NFC Wild Card: 3 Buccaneers L vs 6 49ers W
The 49ers secondary weakness is less of a concern for SF than the OL is for Tampa. Regardless of who’s on the field, if Tom Brady gets pressure up the middle he’s not the same QB. The OL was a strength of there’s, but it’s no longer the case. As long as Brady doesn’t have time, the 49ers secondary won’t be affected.
NFC Wild Card: 4 Packers W vs 5 Cardinals L
The Cardinals always start hot and end cold. Literally every Kliff Kingsbury team has done this, even while he was at Texas Tech. I don’t trust Kingsbury and Kyler Murray to put them in the best possible place to succeed. It also doesn’t help having to play on the “Frozen Tundra” at Lambeau.
AFC Divisional Round: 1 Bills L vs 5 Broncos W
Denver wants to run the ball. Especially when the playoffs start and the weather takes a cold turn, running the ball is effective. While the Bills play in a cold weather state and deal with heavy snow all the time, their team is set up to throw all over the field. Their only run game is Josh Allen.
Not only does Denver have a secondary to matchup with the Bills weapons but sometimes the best defense is keeping the opposing offense off the field. The Broncos will play a possession game. Wilson got plenty of coaching in Seattle on how to manage a game, he won’t cost them. Turnovers is how this strategy is beat.
AFC Divisional Round: 2 Chiefs W vs 3 Colts L
As Tyreek Hill is now in Miami with the Dolphins, the Chiefs have more versatility to their scheme. Their OL is now a strength for them instead of a weakness, if needed they can run straight threw the DL. Also, it helps to have the best QB, head coach, weapon and defensive player on the field (apologizes to Shaquille Leonard and DeForest Buckner).
NFC Divisional Round: 1 Rams L vs 7 Cowboys W
For the most part all Cowboys games are close, especially playoff games. They always have a chance to win. This is why I think they’ll upset LA, Dallas has nothing to lose and has the star power to match them.
Both teams are equally talented, but both have a weakness at OL and the Rams have a massive advantage at head coach. Rams HC Sean McVay is the new age, Mike McCarthy is part of the old guard. Conventional thinking would say the Rams win in a blowout, but Dallas has a knack for hanging around till the very end.
NFC Divisional Round: 4 Packers W vs 6 49ers L
Rodgers gets revenge on the 49ers and makes it back to the NFC championship game. As long as the special teams unit doesn’t implode, the Packers should be able to advance. While SF is the more complete and talented team, GB has a massive advantage at QB.
AFC Championship: 2 Chiefs W vs 5 Broncos L
The Broncos luck runs out, they are a great matchup for Kansas City but fall short of the Super Bowl. When splitting hairs between two closely talented teams, who has the better QB, head coach, weapon and defensive player matters. KC has an advantage in all.
NFC Championship: 4 Packers W vs 7 Cowboys L
Since Rodgers entered his prime he’s 5-1 against Dallas. His total stats are 67.6 completion percentage, 1,940 yards passing, 11 touchdowns, an interception and QB rating of 99.7. He’s not losing to the Cowboys.
Super Bowl: 2 Chiefs W vs 4 Packers L
Patrick Mahomes has been unfairly criticized this offseason and the Chiefs haven’t won the championship in a while. Sounds like a “nobody believes in us” championship run.
While both teams have a stalemate at QB and head coach, the Chiefs have the more complete roster and the best weapon and defensive player on the field. The Chiefs return to Super Bowl glory.
Make sure to continue to follow the NFL here at Gridiron Heroics, here’s an article on why the Patriots specifically will not make the playoffs.
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