For the last decade the AFC playoff picture has seemed to be a never-ending cycle of the Patriots, Steelers, Broncos, and every now and again the Ravens. However, this year there are some new teams to mix it up with the familiar faces. Will this year be any different, or will the Patriots have a cake walk to the Super Bowl yet again? With Week 13 ahead of us, let’s take a look at some AFC teams with Playoff hopes.
New England Patriots=Contender
Obviously. The Pats look like they always do, after some early season hiccups Tom Brady and the Patriots seem unstoppable once again. As long as the dynamic duo of Belichick and Brady are in New England they will always be contenders because as we know, Tom Brady does not age. People will try to make it seem as if the Pats aren’t the favorite, and say other teams have a more “complete” roster, don’t fall into that trap the Pats have always been, and will always be, the favorite of the AFC. Nick Wright is the king of that argument, and he is the worst.
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) November 28, 2017
The Steelers are contenders because they have to be, they always are. However, against the Patriots, history is not on their side. Could this year be different? The defense seems to back to performing at high level, they still have all the weapons on offense, but Big Ben always struggles with Brady and the Pats in big games. Is this the year that the Steelers dethrone the Patriots? Probably not, but we can always hope.
The Titans are just not ready to take that next step quite yet. The defense is just not up to par to be able to get the necessary stops in the playoffs. Take into account that they will most likely have to be on the road for tough games in the playoffs, Marcus Mariota is not going to be able to go into Foxboro or Heinz Field and out duel Big Ben or TB12 at this point in his career.
Kansas City Chiefs=Pretender
Remember when the Chiefs spanked the Patriots in their Week 1 matchup and Alex Smith seemed to have finally gotten away from his “game manager” mentality? Good Times. Alex Smith and the Chiefs have come back down to Earth in a big way following their early season success. Alex Smith is back to looking like Alex Smith, and losing Eric Berry was obviously a big hit to their defense. The only way I can see KC making some noise is if they find a way to clinch home field advantage, but I cannot see that happening this year. Chiefs fans have had their hearts ripped out since the beginning of the season, but my boy Feits saw this coming from a mile away.
See you in the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/w0onRjmKl4
— Feitelberg (@FeitsBarstool) September 8, 2017
If we can all come to grips with the fact that Pats are the team to beat in the AFC, then the Ravens are absolutely contenders. The Ravens always play the Pats extremely well, and this season doesn’t seem like it would be any different. Baltimore’s defense is performing at a high level, and if you get Joe Flacco in the playoffs, watch out, because who knows what he could do. Since regular season Joe Flacco is elite, Playoff Joe Flacco might as well be Joe Montana.
YOU BET YOUR ASS the Jacksonville Jaguars are contenders, and it is because of one man and one man only, BLAKE BORTLES. I guess their defense is decent, and their running game is passable, but Blake Bortles is the real reason. Bortles>Brady has a nice ring to it.
In the fourth year of his NFL career, Blake Bortles remains undefeated in 35/50 states (70%): AL, AK, AR, CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, ID, IL, IA, KS, KY, ME, MN, MS, MT, NC, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and WY. pic.twitter.com/neRazPXf7u
— Blake Bortles Facts (@BortlesFacts) November 27, 2017
They’re the Buffalo Bills, that is all. #BillsMafia
As much as I would love to see Andy Dalton lose yet another Wild Card Weekend game, and Marvin Lewis somehow keep his job, I just can’t see it happening. But rest assured, Marvin Lewis will still be the Bengals Coach next season because he is for some reason, unfireable.