AFC Playoff Predictions


Now that training camp is here and the first preseason game was canceled, it’s time to give our playoff predictions for the NFL season.  We’ll start with the American Football Conference as we give you the four division champions and two wildcards.

AFC East Champion- New England Patriots- Although I don’t believe that New England will have the division title wrapped up by Thanksgiving, it feels wrong to pick anyone else to win the division as long as Tom Brady is available for 12 games and Bill Belichick for 16.

AFC North Champion- Pittsburgh Steelers- As tough as it is to make a case for the Steelers without Martavis Bryant for the season and without Le’Veon Bell for the first four games (probably), it’s even tougher to make a case for anyone else.  The Bengals lost Hue Jackson as well as Marvin Jones and Mohamad Sanu, and they won’t be quite as explosive on offense.

AFC South Champion- Indianapolis Colts- As much as I’d love to pick Jacksonville here, the Colts have the best quarterback in the division and perhaps the best head coach (by default).  Even with Andrew Luck missing half of last season, Indy only finished one game out of first place.

AFC West Champion- Kansas City Chiefs- Alex Smith is better than most think, mainly because he “stays in his lane.”  The Chiefs can’t win a game when they’re down by two scores, but with their pass rush and running game they won’t have to.  

AFC Wildcard #1- Buffalo Bills- The longest non-playoff streak in the NFL is finally over.  Tyrod Taylor is a poor man’s Cam Newton and the Bills have a plethora of weapons on offense.  Rex Ryan will have the defense playing much better in Year 2.

AFC Wildcard #2- Cincinnati Bengals- This was a tough call between the Bengals and Jaguars, but in the end Cincinnati has a better roster.  The Bengals should rely more on running and defense this season and that will allow them to get eliminated once again on the opening weekend of the postseason. 

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.