AFC playoff chase 2021

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
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Apr 12, 2005
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I just want the Pats to win their next 3, KC to lose one game, and make that fucking trip to Miami completely irrelevant.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Mar 5, 2007
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They'll win out. They'll limit the run in Indy and make Carson Wentz try to beat them (ha ha), the Buffalo game will be tough but the Pats will take care of business at home, Miami's been beating loser teams lately (except the Ravens, I guess), and they're not losing to JAX.
 

RedOctober3829

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Jul 19, 2005
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deep inside Guido territory
Looks like Tennessee has the easiest schedule left of the 4 division leaders.
Pats
at Indy 7-6
vs. Buffalo 7-5
vs. Jags 2-10
at Miami 6-7
Combined W-L: 22-28(.440)

KC
vs. LV 6-6
at LA Chargers Thursday night 7-5
vs Pittsburgh 6-5-1
at Cincinnati 7-5
at Denver 6-6
Combined W-L: 33-26-1(.550)

Tennessee
vs Jags 2-10
at Pittsburgh 6-5-1
vs. SF 6-6
vs. Miami 6-7
at Houston 2-10
Combined W-L: 22-38-1(.360)

Baltimore
at Cleveland 6-6
vs. GB 9-3
at Cincinnati 7-5
vs. LAR 8-4
vs. Pittsburgh 6-5-1
Combined W-L: 36-23-1(.600)
 

luckiestman

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Jul 15, 2005
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The defense is too good to let Indy beat them coming off a bye. I'm as confident about this game as I am against Jax. It's the two division games that give me pause.
I think Colts will be the Pats toughest game left but Colts like to blow games they should win so Pats can get it.
 

Cellar-Door

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Aug 1, 2006
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People are really underrating TEN, probably because they had a terrible game against us, but that was driven in part by a ton of injuries and some real bad fumble luck. At the same time they ran for 240 yards on 31 carries. They won't play another defense as good as ours until the playoffs, and they are getting a lot of injured players back. They could easily win out, and then be a real beast in the playoffs if Henry is back.

Edit- also that game against us was a lot closer than people remember I would guess. It was a one score game in the 3rd when they fumbled, and then they threw a pick inside the 5. They were a couple bad plays from taking it to the wire.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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Apr 7, 2006
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Looks like Tennessee has the easiest schedule left of the 4 division leaders.
Pats
at Indy 7-6
vs. Buffalo 7-5
vs. Jags 2-10
at Miami 6-7
Combined W-L: 22-28(.440)

KC
vs. LV 6-6
at LA Chargers Thursday night 7-5
vs Pittsburgh 6-5-1
at Cincinnati 7-5
at Denver 6-6
Combined W-L: 33-26-1(.550)

Tennessee
vs Jags 2-10
at Pittsburgh 6-5-1
vs. SF 6-6
vs. Miami 6-7
at Houston 2-10
Combined W-L: 22-38-1(.360)

Baltimore
at Cleveland 6-6
vs. GB 9-3
at Cincinnati 7-5
vs. LAR 8-4
vs. Pittsburgh 6-5-1
Combined W-L: 36-23-1(.600)
It's pretty remarkable - with every team in the AFC except three being at least decent, it's really just about who gets the most "easy" games and the rest of them are all difficult. Tennessee gets two, but I'd argue the Patriots do as well since they get the Jags and the bye with a W in hand already. Plus Tennessee has lost to two of the three "easy" games they've played so far this season.

Baltimore is so screwed though.
 

johnmd20

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People are really underrating TEN, probably because they had a terrible game against us, but that was driven in part by a ton of injuries and some real bad fumble luck. At the same time they ran for 240 yards on 31 carries. They won't play another defense as good as ours until the playoffs, and they are getting a lot of injured players back. They could easily win out, and then be a real beast in the playoffs if Henry is back.

Edit- also that game against us was a lot closer than people remember I would guess. It was a one score game in the 3rd when they fumbled, and then they threw a pick inside the 5. They were a couple bad plays from taking it to the wire.
Tennessee isn't the same team without Henry. They just aren't. They are solid still but not dangerous. Henry was a game changer. Better than Taylor, or any RB in the league.
 

Cellar-Door

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Tennessee isn't the same team without Henry. They just aren't. They are solid still but not dangerous. Henry was a game changer. Better than Taylor, or any RB in the league.
Sure, but they don't need to be the same to beat JAX, HOU, MIA, PIT, SF. When healthy their defense is good and when healthy their offense is decent without Henry. They beat the Rams and Saints two pretty good defenses, and scored about 25 ppg, without Henry. They just can't be down Henry, Brown, Jones, half the O-line and a bunch of key defenders, they lack depth.

The Titans just need to hold on until Henry comes back (currently projected somewhere between week 16 and the first week of the playoffs), and that weak schedule means they have a real shot in every game.
 

johnmd20

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Sure, but they don't need to be the same to beat JAX, HOU, MIA, PIT, SF. When healthy their defense is good and when healthy their offense is decent without Henry. They beat the Rams and Saints two pretty good defenses, and scored about 25 ppg, without Henry. They just can't be down Henry, Brown, Jones, half the O-line and a bunch of key defenders, they lack depth.

The Titans just need to hold on until Henry comes back (currently projected somewhere between week 16 and the first week of the playoffs), and that weak schedule means they have a real shot in every game.
Henry coming back off of a broken foot and two months of rest is probably not going to be the same Henry.
 

luckiestman

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Jul 15, 2005
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really they are 2 teams in the AFC head And shoulders above and its NE and KC
Don’t think I agree. They may be the top 2 but I don’t get a feeling of dominance from either (still games to play though where they may become dominant).
 

BigSoxFan

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Henry coming back off of a broken foot and two months of rest is probably not going to be the same Henry.
Clearly not but they were also without AJ Brown and Julio in the Pats game as well. Julio may be more of a name at this point but AJ is a real difference maker when healthy. We’re not quite at the point of my annual “who do you not want to play” in the playoffs post but I think I’d rank Tennessee up there given the quality of their coaching and the matchup. But at this point I don’t really have a clear preference like I normally do. Every team is flawed and there are no AFC juggernauts.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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FO stuff isn't the be all and end all but Tennessee is 22nd in DVOA and its not because of their recent results as they're 21st in weighted DVOA. They have some great wins this season but their record probably flatters them.

For me KC and Buffalo are easily the two best other teams in the conference. Beyond the Patriots getting the #1 seed, I just want the playoff matchups to work out so that we don't have to play them both.
 

BigSoxFan

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FO stuff isn't the be all and end all but Tennessee is 22nd in DVOA and its not because of their recent results as they're 21st in weighted DVOA. They have some great wins this season but their record probably flatters them.

For me KC and Buffalo are easily the two best other teams in the conference. Beyond the Patriots getting the #1 seed, I just want the playoff matchups to work out so that we don't have to play them both.
They had a 4 game stretch where they beat Buffalo and KC at home and then followed it up with road wins at Indy and the Rams. That’s pretty impressive.

But I tend to agree that Buffalo and KC are probably better. End of the day, give me Tannehill over Mahomes and Allen. The latter two can just go cheat code on you and there’s not much you can do about it. Tannehill really can’t.
 
Aug 9, 2015
400
Henry coming back off of a broken foot and two months of rest is probably not going to be the same Henry.
You’re probably right—and his injury has been a real bummer for the league, generally—but I would not underestimate the guy. He doesn’t seem subject to the usual laws of physics or biology.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Mar 24, 2008
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Not just on SoSH, but she are people in general so high on the Colts being a really good team? Is it the Buffalo win?

Wins:
Dolphins
Texans X2
49ers
Jets
Jaguars
Bills

I have no reason to think that game is nearly as rough due NE as Buffalo is. Wentz is nowhere near the talent of Allen.
 

Silverdude2167

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Oct 9, 2006
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Not just on SoSH, but she are people in general so high on the Colts being a really good team? Is it the Buffalo win?

Wins:
Dolphins
Texans X2
49ers
Jets
Jaguars
Bills

I have no reason to think that game is nearly as rough due NE as Buffalo is. Wentz is nowhere near the talent of Allen.
They should have beat the Titans and Ravens and played the Rams and TB close.

Now they do seem to have an issue holding leads. They led Baltimore by 19, Ten by 14 (blew that lead in the 2nd Q), and TB by 10 at half.

Their season story is a lot like the Pats (slow start, coming on strong), but I would say their best win is better than any of the Pats, but the Pats have more "good wins".
 

k-factory

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Dec 22, 2005
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Not just on SoSH, but she are people in general so high on the Colts being a really good team? Is it the Buffalo win?

Wins:
Dolphins
Texans X2
49ers
Jets
Jaguars
Bills

I have no reason to think that game is nearly as rough due NE as Buffalo is. Wentz is nowhere near the talent of Allen.
They’ve been nearly as hot as the Pats as of late. 6-2 in their last 8 including narrow losses at Tennessee where they limited Henry to 68 yards and 0 TDs, and TB where they were tied with 3 mins and change on the clock. Plus that Buffalo win wasn’t a squeaker- they destroyed them.
They’ve found an identity and Taylor is a load. And it’s a road game (tho surprisingly Indy is 2-4 at home so far). Indy will also be coming off a bye and Reich is proving to be a very good game planning coach. This is the Patriot’s toughest remaining game imo.
 

JMDurron

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Jul 15, 2005
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IND may have an interesting dilemma with the new season length - how do they ride Taylor enough to snag a WC spot, but not so much that they wear his tread all the way down before January? I wonder how consistent his usage will stay down the stretch.
 

TSC

SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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Oct 25, 2007
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Between here and everywhere.
IND may have an interesting dilemma with the new season length - how do they ride Taylor enough to snag a WC spot, but not so much that they wear his tread all the way down before January? I wonder how consistent his usage will stay down the stretch.
With 4 games left, he's already had 9 more rushing attempts than last season. I'm not sure what a reasonable increase is year over year -but he's projected for a 25% increase in workload if he averages the 18 or so touches over the last few games he's had all season.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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With 4 games left, he's already had 9 more rushing attempts than last season. I'm not sure what a reasonable increase is year over year -but he's projected for a 25% increase in workload if he averages the 18 or so touches over the last few games he's had all season.
That's a ton of touches. And load management doesn't really seem like a priority for the Colts, given that he just had 32 carries in a 31-0 win over one of the worst teams in the league last weekend.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I don’t think Indy will manage his workload much, or have the luxury of doing so. They’re likely going to be fighting for their playoff lives into Week 18, and I don’t think Reich is thinking much about how Taylor will look in a month, much less in 2 years because of his workload. He’s trying to win now and his job performance/security won’t be measured on workload management for a RB.
Hell, he got shit for not giving him MORE carries in the Tampa game.

To wit, how much shit has Vrabel really gotten for riding Henry?
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
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Jul 15, 2005
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Not just on SoSH, but she are people in general so high on the Colts being a really good team? Is it the Buffalo win?

Wins:
Dolphins
Texans X2
49ers
Jets
Jaguars
Bills

I have no reason to think that game is nearly as rough due NE as Buffalo is. Wentz is nowhere near the talent of Allen.
I’m pretty high on the Colts because I like how they play in both their wins and their losses. But unlike the Ravens this year the Colts find ways to lose which is not good.

I’m a little biased in that even though I’m traditionally a Colts hater (old days division rival and I’m a Manning hater, as a player, back to Tennessee days) I have liked how they play since Reich got to Indy.
 

RG33

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Nov 28, 2005
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I think the Colts will be a formidable opponent because of their defense and OLine, but I struggle being super concerned with a fairly one-dimension offense that BB will focus on shutting down with the alternative option being Carson Fucking Wentz against a fairly healthy BB defense. The Pats will find a way to score some points, and the odds of them shutting down Taylor and Wentz making mistakes seem pretty good to me.
 
Aug 9, 2015
400
I think the Colts will be a formidable opponent because of their defense and OLine, but I struggle being super concerned with a fairly one-dimension offense that BB will focus on shutting down with the alternative option being Carson Fucking Wentz against a fairly healthy BB defense. The Pats will find a way to score some points, and the odds of them shutting down Taylor and Wentz making mistakes seem pretty good to me.
Seems right to me. Can Indy play mistake free against Pats for 60 minutes? Maybe, but I wouldn’t expect it. What scares me is Taylor in the red zone in what’s likely to be a low possession game. Or Reich gadgeting up a few pass plays to get TDs instead of FGs and that being the difference in a close game.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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Taylor is awesome. Reich knows what he is doing. Their defense is solid. And Wentz, though inconsistent at times, is capable of big games. I mean, he's got a 22:5 TD:INT ratio. He's pretty good, or at least he can be.

This will be a very difficult game, unless the Colts play poorly, which is possible. They've had some stinkers this year.
 

tims4wins

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Jul 15, 2005
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The North is shaping up to be a fascinating finish. The Ravens are really struggling and banged up. Unsure on Lamar’s status too. And their schedule is a total bear.

Meanwhile the Chiefs have found their mojo again. Their schedule is tough but 12-5 looks reasonable / attainable.

Still feels like the Pats are in the driver’s seat for the one seed - 12-5 ought to be good enough.

As I am typing this the Ravens recover the onside kick, so TBD. Browns gonna Brown.

Edit re Lamar

View: https://twitter.com/adamschefter/status/1470144301229395972?s=21
 
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jsinger121

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Jul 25, 2005
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So if TAM holds on to beat BUF, then regardless of whatever else happens, 12/26 is a hat & t-shirt game for the Pats.
Thats not the case I believe. The Patriots have to win next week to set up that hat and tshirt game.
 

Scoops Bolling

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Jun 19, 2007
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There is a 0% chance the Bills don't run the ball a single time in the first half with a RB a if not for what happened last week. I don't believe for a second that McDermott isn't doing this except as a reaction.
 

shawnrbu

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With losses today and 12/26, the best BUF will end up is 10-7. With a win on 12/26, the worst NE will end up is 10-7. NE wins the tiebreaker with 2 wins vs. BUF.
Miami could still finish 10-7 and would have the tiebreaker over the Patriots. A three way tie at 10-7 would likely come down to the common games tiebreaker.
 

jsinger121

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Jul 25, 2005
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With losses today and 12/26, the best BUF will end up is 10-7. With a win on 12/26, the worst NE will end up is 10-7. NE wins the tiebreaker with 2 wins vs. BUF.
But if Miami wins out and New England loses to Indy, Jacksonville (hypothetically) and Miami then New England would not be the division champion. That’s why the game against Indianapolis is important because it would eliminate Miami from a late division run.
 

staz

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The cradle of the game.
Miami could still finish 10-7 and would have the tiebreaker over the Patriots. A three way tie at 10-7 would likely come down to the common games tiebreaker.
But if Miami wins out and New England loses to Indy, Jacksonville (hypothetically) and Miami then New England would not be the division champion. That’s why the game against Indianapolis is important because it would eliminate Miami from a late division run.
Ah yes, effing Miami. I stand corrected.
 

j-man

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Dec 19, 2012
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up to date
1 ne 9-4 likely 12-5
2 kc 9-4 likely 13-4
3 Tenn 9-4 likely 11-6 or 12-5
4 Balt 8-5 likely 10-7
5 LAC 8-5 likely 11-6
6 buff 7-6 likely 10-7
7 cle 7-6 likely 9-8
8 indy 7-6 likely 9-8
9 den 7-6 likely 10-7 or 9-8
10 ciny 7-6 likey 9-8
11 mia 6-7 likey 9-8 or 8-9
12 vegas 6-7 likey 8-9
13 pitt 6-6-1 likey 7-9-1
 

tims4wins

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But if Miami wins out and New England loses to Indy, Jacksonville (hypothetically) and Miami then New England would not be the division champion. That’s why the game against Indianapolis is important because it would eliminate Miami from a late division run.
Why would Miami be the division winner in a 3 way tie scenario? All 3 teams would be 2-2 against each other and 4-2 in the division. Is the next tiebreaker common opponents or conference record? Or are you saying if Pats and Miami tie at 10-7 and Buffalo finishes 9-8, Miami wins due to H2H wins over Pats?

Edit: ESPN playoff machine tells me Pats win 3 way tie at 10-7. So Miami would need Buffal to finish 9-8
 
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wilked

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Jul 17, 2005
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I don’t think the chiefs are likely to win out. I’d say likely they drop a game. To be likely to win 4 games in a row you need to be 10+ point favs on each.

Chiefs are a 3 point fav at the moment vs Chargers

Then they get Steelers / Bengals / Broncos.

I’d say they likely finish 3-1, same as I expect Pats to finish. Pats own the tiebreaker.

Titans have the easier schedule, Steelers / 49ers / Dolphins / Texans, and are the team that worries me on the fight for the 1 seed
 

IdiotKicker

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Regardless of how you slice it, especially with only the single bye, this is going to be a ridiculous last 3 weeks in the AFC. 5 teams have a chance to be the top seed. There are 8 more teams fighting for the last 2 playoff spots. Only the Jets, Texans, and Jaguars are completely eliminated at this point. There is almost nothing that is set in stone, and basically every game next week has playoff implications because the Jaguars play the Texans. This is a fantastic playoff race.
 

koufax32

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Dec 8, 2006
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BUF has beaten one team with a current winning record (KC).

KC has beaten three* (CLE, GB w/o Rodgers, heavily depleted DAL)

NE has beaten four (TEN, LAC, BUF, CLE).


In 100 simulations, I wonder which AFC team reaches the SB the most. You’d have to think NE, right?