NFL: A Look At Each AFC Playoff Team

Week 17 and over which means the playoff teams and seeds are confirmed. What teams have a shot at winning the Superbowl and what teams don’t.

AFC:

Number 6 seed, Cincinnati Bengals –

The Bengals were a big shocker this year because nobody predicted them to be in the playoffs this year, but AJ Green and Andy Dalton carried this Bengals team right into the playoffs. The only reason why Bengals made the playoffs was because the Raiders lost. If they didn’t Titans would be in their spot right now because the Titans won their last game of the season. The Bengals this year were 6-2 one point and first in their division, but the only reason they were in first was because they never played Steelers or Ravens yet. The Ravens and Steelers beat the Bengals four times combined this year ( hence the reason why the Bengals were 3rd in their division). The Bengals might be a playoff team this year but they aren’t one that’s going far. Every game they play will be on the road and they will have to play either Steelers or Ravens again most likely if they want to get into the Super Bowl. Luckily for the Bengals, they are facing a soft 3rd seed team because they lost not one but two QBS this year. Maybe they’ll get on a roll in the playoffs just like teams like the Jets and Packers did last year, but that seems unlikely right now. Prediction: 1 and done team.

Number 5 seed, Pittsburgh Steelers –

This is such a trend out of the AFC North, a wildcard team in their division is just as dangerous as the number 1 team. The Steelers started out their season slow, but they bounced right back and now are looking like a Superbowl team. That was when they were healthy, though. With Big Ben about 60 percent and their top runningback’s status questionable. Prediction: Lose in AFC Divisional game.

Number 4 seed,  Denver Broncos –

It wouldn’t be fitting if this Broncos team didn’t back-door into the playoffs. Now the question is if they can get some of that Tebow magic that has been gone ever since the Patriots gave them a reality check. The thing that blows for this team is they have to face the Steelers in the first round. If they win that game, then I believe it proves that there’s a  higher-power helping this Broncos team out when they need it the most. Prediction: 1 and out

Number 3 seed, Houston Texans-

This team looked like they could contend with the top dogs of the AFC, but that was when they had Matt Schaub. TJ Yates has done a lot for a nobody, but it hasn’t been quite enough for them to finish over .500 with him to close out the season. The playoffs has had a trend that favors teams that run the ball and play good defense, but in this different NFL game I believe you need a QB to win games. Prediction: Get to a AFC Divisional game but lose.

Number 2 seed, Baltimore Ravens

This Ravens team is two different teams depending on where they play. If they play at home, they are world-beaters. If they play on the road, they look beatable.  If they play all their games at home, I believe they will make it to the SB, but I see them facing the Patriots in the AFC championship game. Joe Flacco must step up in the playoffs if this team wants a shot of making to the SB. I don’t see him stepping up to the plate, though. Prediction: Lose in the AFC championship game.

Number 1 seed, New England Patriots

The Patriots offense cannot be stopped. That’s the best way to sum up that offense. Tom Brady will methodically pick out match-ups and read a defense until the defense melts. It really doesn’t matter what defense this offense plays because they’ll light them up either way. Their defense cannot stop an elite QB, though. The only way you can actually stop the Patriots’ offense is if its on the sideline. If a team can methodically move the football on this defense, they have a recipe of beating the Patriots. A perfect example of this working to a tee was the Steelers-Patriots game where Big Ben just dink and dunked it down the field with check downs and slant passes. You cannot count out Bill Bellichick’s creative mind of defense and the wrinkles and schemes he can add. Since a team needs a great QB to beat the Patriots, I think they will make it to the Superbowl. Other than Big Ben, whose banged up and looks anything-but-great, there’s no other QB in the AFC who is great. Prediction: Make it to the Superbowl.

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