AFC Playoff Chase

j-man

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1 Buff 3-1 best team on paper
2 KC 2-1 right now the only team to have a shot to beat buff in buff
3 jax 2-2 afc south favs peteterson has done a great job
4 cle 2-2 will fall down this list
5 mia 3-1 likely headed for a slight fall
6 balt 2-2 harbaugh goes by the numbers too much
7 ciny 2-2 should win the north
8 lac 2-2 on talent shouild win 12 games but their coach will cost 2 games
9 tenn 2-2 unlees they beat jacksonvillie twice not getting in
10 den 2-2 talent to win 10 but their coach will lose two of those
11 nyj 2-2 in a nomal year jets couild win 9 but with how good mia/buff are now are capped at 6/7
12 indy 1-2-1 ryan looks off unless taylor has a 1'800 yard season they are going nowhere
13 ne 1-3 depends how long mac is out needs to go 5-1 in next 6 to have a shot
14 vegas 1-3 at best they are a 9-win team but only gets denver 1 more time unlikely to beat KC LAC and 2-4 in div will not make it
15 pitt 1-3 season over couild lose the next 4
16 hou 0-3-1 this is a 4 win team at best
 

Jungleland

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J man, I think you're underrating both LA and TEN. Pretty decent chance both of them make the playoffs, I think.
 

Ale Xander

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Playoff chase? We’re 4 games in

Jax 3 and Cleveland 4?
What?
 

deanx0

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Guys, it's clear that he's listing the 4 division champs first and frankly, Jacksonville has shown more in the first 4 games than the eventual AFC North winner. Remember from previous years, this is a weekly list that changes, so I think the placement is accurate for now.
 

luckiestman

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Jul 15, 2005
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Playoff chase? We’re 4 games in

Jax 3 and Cleveland 4?
What?

I enjoy it. Lets us all see how wrong we are. I was thinking of doing a best first-quarter/half of games takes thread. McDermott obviously being a terrible coach who would never think to practice with a wet ball was a great one when the Bills were losing.
 

DeadlySplitter

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So there's only two teams above .500 in the AFC after week 4 (and it's the likely AFC Championship matchup)? That's a yikes.
 

j-man

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ok
week 5 update
1 Buff 4-1 a win next week means a 70 % shot at the 1 seed
2 KC 3-1 a win tonight and next week makes them the afc fav
3 Balt 3-2 my q is can harbargh/jackson win in the playoffs
4 Tenn 3-2 the best of a bad lot
5 lac 3-2 a lot of talent here
6 nyj 3-2 if the jets can win 1of the next 2 games they will be a factor
7 mia 3-2 couild be looking at a long loseing steak
8 Indy 2-2-1 unlees their o-line get fixed they will not win more than 7
9 ciny 2-3 the fav for the 7 seed right now
10 ne 2-3 couild win the next 5 games
11 cle 2-3 too up/down for me
12 jax 2-3 they are much better than last year but need to learn to win
13 den 2-3 looks like a 7 win team but if they win next mon night a big if will be in the wild card race
14 lv 1-3 the more i watch them the more they look like 6-11
15 hou 1-3-1 3 more wins max
16 pitt 1-4 3 or 4 more wins max
 

streeter88

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Look at the Jets at #6 - woah - first time they’ve been a factor since 2015 with rookie coach Todd Bowles and Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick!

@j-man I see the Pats have traded places with your Broncos. I wish better for the rest of your team's 2022 campaign. I hope Russ heals fast...
 

Ferm Sheller

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week 5 update
1 Buff 4-1 a win next week means a 70 % shot at the 1 seed
2 KC 3-1 a win tonight and next week makes them the afc fav
3 Balt 3-2 my q is can harbargh/jackson win in the playoffs
4 Tenn 3-2 the best of a bad lot
5 lac 3-2 a lot of talent here
6 nyj 3-2 if the jets can win 1of the next 2 games they will be a factor
7 mia 3-2 couild be looking at a long loseing steak
8 Indy 2-2-1 unlees their o-line get fixed they will not win more than 7
9 ciny 2-3 the fav for the 7 seed right now
10 ne 2-3 couild win the next 5 games
11 cle 2-3 too up/down for me
12 jax 2-3 they are much better than last year but need to learn to win
13 den 2-3 looks like a 7 win team but if they win next mon night a big if will be in the wild card race
14 lv 1-3 the more i watch them the more they look like 6-11
15 hou 1-3-1 3 more wins max
16 pitt 1-4 3 or 4 more wins max
No significant quibbles with this list -- I think that you've pretty much nailed it. Says a lot about the conference that Baltimore could reasonably considered to be the third-best team.
 

luckiestman

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Look at the Jets at #6 - woah - first time they’ve been a factor since 2015 with rookie coach Todd Bowles and Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick!
We’re a lot more talented and better than we have been but we still have a long way to go. Pats are a bad matchup for us with that strong run game and good D. I have and remain to be high on the young QB based on his physical traits but he still plays young and this defense is week up the middle. If the D can get you in passing downs they are trouble for the QB but they can’t always do that. Stefanski called a game that dominated us. We stole the win but could not stop Cleveland.
 

j-man

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Look at the Jets at #6 - woah - first time they’ve been a factor since 2015 with rookie coach Todd Bowles and Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick!

@j-man I see the Pats have traded places with your Broncos. I wish better for the rest of your team's 2022 campaign. I hope Russ heals fast...
me too also awful coaching and major inj have hurt the broncos as well we have lost 4 of our top 10 players for the season
 

j-man

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Dec 19, 2012
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i am a little early with this

but denver plays tomm

1 Buff - 5-1 winning @ KC puts them in the divers seat
2 KC 4-2 this looks like a 12-13 win team
3 Ciny 3-3 i just do not trust Balt over the long haul
4 Tenn 3-2 allready beat indy once
5 NYJ 4-2 winning in pitt gb maybe Den very inpressive
6 NE 3-3 couild win the next 4 likely 3 AFC East teams get in
7 Indy 3-2-1 couild be anyone for the 7 spot
8 Balt 3-3 wildey up/down
9 LAC 3-2 so much talent but if they lose tomm they will be in a deep hole will be 7 with a win tomm
10 Mia 3-3 this is a 9-10 win team IF they can get QB seatted
11 Vegas 1-4 other than the 2nd haif vs zona been very good
12 Den 2-3 some will say too high here but IF they can win the next 2 will be 8-3 7-4 with 6 games left and denver is a team u cannot predict week/week 2 plays from 4-1 2 plays from 1-4 8 with a win tomm
13 Pitt 2-4 only the afc north winner will make it their D will have to carry them
14 Cle 2-4 i cannot get a read on cle they look like 5-12 to me
15 Jax 2-4 they are a year away they just have to build on their foundion
16 Hou 1-3-1 they are in a dream spot after 22 2 top 7 picks in a qb heavy draft if they like mills then they couild trade down for more 1sts to inprove their talent
 

AB in DC

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Feels like there's a huge gap between 2 and 3 and again between 10 and 11. I don't see much difference among any of the 3-10 teams.
 

luckiestman

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Feels like there's a huge gap between 2 and 3 and again between 10 and 11. I don't see much difference among any of the 3-10 teams.
I agree about the first part but not sure about the second huge gap. Going to take a while for these teams to sort out .
 

AB in DC

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For what it's worth, FO (DAVE) has Baltimore really high (even higher than KC), following by some combination of MIA, CIN, NE, and...Jacksonville?? So perhaps the tiers aren't as clear I thought.
 

j-man

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1 Buff 5-1 still the favs
2 KC 5-2 shouild go 6-0 in afc west will be 1 or 2 seed
3 tenn 4-2 this is what happens when u have good coaching
4 Balt 4-3 i think ciny is better but they have the tiebreak
5 NYJ 5-2 they are back but need a qb
6 ne 3-3 they shouid beat chi
7 ciny 4-3 this is a sleeper team
8 mia 4-3 there are up/down
9 LAC 4-3 good team but denver level of coaching
10 Indy 3-3-1 they are snakebit at qb
11 Vegas 2-4 will win 8-9 games but unlikely to make playoffs
12 pitt 2-5 scrappy but looks like a 7-win team
13 cle 2-5 their coach gets too cute with playcalling
14 jax 2-5 they are growing every week
15 den 2-5 watching this team on offense is like a trainwreck
16 hou 1-4-1 they lost to denver
 

Koufax

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Liking your write-ups, J-man. Thanks for doing this.
 

BaseballJones

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Pretty clear to me that Buffalo is the best team in football, with the best player in football.

#2 offense in points scored
#1 offense in yards gained
#1 defense in points allowed
#1 defense in yards allowed

Allen: On pace for: 66.9% completions, 8.3 y/a, 5,610 yds, 48 td, 11 int, 677 rush yds, 6 rush td

I mean, that would end up being a season totaling nearly 6,300 total yards and 54 touchdowns. Absolutely unreal.
 

j-man

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week 8
1 Buff 6-1 heavy fav would be fav aga philly right now rating 1-100 = 96
2 KC 5-2 their sch will make sure they are locked in the 2 seed = 94
3 Tenn 5-2 they are sneaky good but no qb no shot at a ring 89
4 Balt 5-3 they are a great reg season team but can they win the big one tune in jan 87
5 mia 5-3 they can score with anyone but they need a qb long term 86
6 NYJ 5-3 great def but also big qb q = 83
7 Ciny 4-3 this is the only team that can crash the Buff/kc afc champ game 83
8 LAC 4-3 all the talent in the world but weak coaching will limit them 81
9 NE 4-4 opp plom in ne all-world coaching but 8-9 win talent 80
10 Indy 3-4-1 NO QB no o-line weak skill pos talent other than taylor 75
11 DEN 3-5 all world def but no off no change = 73
12 Vegas 2-5 no o-line up/down off looks like 6 wins here = 71
13 Jax 2-6 if they can cut the miastakes down chouild be really good in 23 = 70
14 cle 2-5 better than their rec couild win 8 = 68
15 pitt 2-6 a mess here looks like a 5 win team 63
16 hou 1-5-1 will have 2 top 6 picks couild be good in 24 = 62
 

DJnVa

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Pats win this weekend and Bills beat the Jets and Pats are in playoff spot.

DESPITE MAC JONES! [/sosh]
 

cshea

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Pats win this weekend and Bills beat the Jets and Pats are in playoff spot.

DESPITE MAC JONES! [/sosh]
I think that loss to the Bears is going to kill them, but we'll see. That was a win they needed to bank. The last 7 games are brutal. Best they can get to entering that stretch is 6-4, and I don't think anything is a given with the team at this point. If they do win those games, means they likely need to go 4-3 at a minimum to qualify.
 

BaseballJones

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They've got to get to 6-4, obviously. But then, in order of most winnable to least winnable (IMO):

- vs. Mia
- at Ari
- at LV
- vs Cin
- at Min
- vs Buf
- at Buf

THOUGH....that last Buffalo game might be meaningless for the Bills. They have the tiebreaker over KC, and they very well may be in a place with the #1 seed sewn up by week 18. It's possible that the Pats could catch a real break there.

I see three very winnable games there off the top. Of course they could lose to any of them, but let's assume they take care of business. Then they'd just need to win one of those last four to get to 10-7.

I mean, a TON of work to do, clearly. But I see a path there. It would be SO much easier if they had beaten the Bears, but oh well.
 

Bowhemian

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I think that loss to the Bears is going to kill them, but we'll see. That was a win they needed to bank. The last 7 games are brutal. Best they can get to entering that stretch is 6-4, and I don't think anything is a given with the team at this point. If they do win those games, means they likely need to go 4-3 at a minimum to qualify.
I don't think the last 7 games are as brutal as you think.

@Vikings-Vikes are playing well, but will that continue?
Bills-little chance of a win
@Cards-IF the Pats can contain Murray, should be a win. But that is their bugaboo lately
@Raiders-playing shitty, but JMcD seems to thrive in these "revenge" games
BTW, I suspect the Pats will head to Arizona and stay out west until after the Raiders game
Bengals-depends on Burrow and Chase's health, could go either way
Dolphins-will Tua still be alive as the calendar flips to 2023?
@bills-slim chance, but only if the Bills are really tanking it

I don't think it is overly optimistic to see the Pats going 3-4 or 4-3 in that stretch
 

Mystic Merlin

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I think that loss to the Bears is going to kill them, but we'll see. That was a win they needed to bank. The last 7 games are brutal. Best they can get to entering that stretch is 6-4, and I don't think anything is a given with the team at this point. If they do win those games, means they likely need to go 4-3 at a minimum to qualify.
10 wins would be a near mortal lock to qualify for a WC spot. Heck, 9 wins may very well get you the last WC spot.
 

BaseballJones

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Let's assume the following:

AFCE: Buffalo (#1 seed)
AFCW: KC (#2 seed)
AFCS: Ten (#3 seed)
AFCN: Bal (#4 seed)

That leaves the three wild card spots for the following teams (realistically):

Mia: 5-3
NYJ: 5-3
NE: 4-4
Cin: 4-4
LAC: 4-3

Now, here are their remaining schedules:
Mia: at Chi, vs Cle, vs Hou, at SF, at LAC, at Buf, vs GB, at NE, vs NYJ - three easy games, three hard games, and three 50/50 games (GB/NE/NYJ)
NYJ: vs Buf, at NE, vs Chi, at Min, at Buf, vs Det, vs Jax, at Sea, at Mia - five difficult games (six if you count at NE), and three easy games
NE: vs Ind, vs NYJ, at Min, vs Buf, at Ari, at LV, vs Cin, vs Mia, at Buf - two difficult games (at Min, vs Buf), a bunch of 50/50 games (including at Buf IF Buf already has the bye clinched)
Cin: vs Car, at Pit, at Ten, vs KC, vs Cle, at TB, at NE, vs Buf, vs Bal - five difficult games and four 50/50 games (the Cle game might be in the "difficult" category because Burrow has never beaten them)
LAC: at Atl, at SF, vs KC, at Ari, at LV, vs Mia, vs Ten, at Ind, vs LAR, at Den - four difficult games, four 50/50 games, and one easy one (at Ind)

I could see:

Mia: 10-7
NYJ: 9-8 or 8-9
NE: 9-8
Cin: 8-9
LAC: 8-9

I mean, I think 9-8 very well could get NE into the playoffs, depending on tiebreakers.
 

Cellar-Door

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Let's assume the following:

AFCE: Buffalo (#1 seed)
AFCW: KC (#2 seed)
AFCS: Ten (#3 seed)
AFCN: Bal (#4 seed)

That leaves the three wild card spots for the following teams (realistically):

Mia: 5-3
NYJ: 5-3
NE: 4-4
Cin: 4-4
LAC: 4-3

Now, here are their remaining schedules:
Mia: at Chi, vs Cle, vs Hou, at SF, at LAC, at Buf, vs GB, at NE, vs NYJ - three easy games, three hard games, and three 50/50 games (GB/NE/NYJ)
NYJ: vs Buf, at NE, vs Chi, at Min, at Buf, vs Det, vs Jax, at Sea, at Mia - five difficult games (six if you count at NE), and three easy games
NE: vs Ind, vs NYJ, at Min, vs Buf, at Ari, at LV, vs Cin, vs Mia, at Buf - two difficult games (at Min, vs Buf), a bunch of 50/50 games (including at Buf IF Buf already has the bye clinched)
Cin: vs Car, at Pit, at Ten, vs KC, vs Cle, at TB, at NE, vs Buf, vs Bal - five difficult games and four 50/50 games (the Cle game might be in the "difficult" category because Burrow has never beaten them)
LAC: at Atl, at SF, vs KC, at Ari, at LV, vs Mia, vs Ten, at Ind, vs LAR, at Den - four difficult games, four 50/50 games, and one easy one (at Ind)

I could see:

Mia: 10-7
NYJ: 9-8 or 8-9
NE: 9-8
Cin: 8-9
LAC: 8-9

I mean, I think 9-8 very well could get NE into the playoffs, depending on tiebreakers.
No clue why you would eliminate the Browns, Broncos or Colts who are all 0.5 to 1 game back of the CIN and NE (and the Browns in particular just beat CIN and have a major QB upgrade coming). All those teams are at the same level right now (expect maybe the Dolphins who are a much better team in the games Tua was healthy than those he missed part or all of).
 

BaseballJones

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No clue why you would eliminate the Browns, Broncos or Colts who are all 0.5 to 1 game back of the CIN and NE (and the Browns in particular just beat CIN and have a major QB upgrade coming). All those teams are at the same level right now (expect maybe the Dolphins who are a much better team in the games Tua was healthy than those he missed part or all of).
Just because I drew the line somewhere.
 

j-man

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No clue why you would eliminate the Browns, Broncos or Colts who are all 0.5 to 1 game back of the CIN and NE (and the Browns in particular just beat CIN and have a major QB upgrade coming). All those teams are at the same level right now (expect maybe the Dolphins who are a much better team in the games Tua was healthy than those he missed part or all of).
denver is not getting in indy has a 5% chance at best

i like the trade of chubb just wish it was to the NFC like Minn or/DAL/NYG
 

j-man

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Let's assume the following:

AFCE: Buffalo (#1 seed)
AFCW: KC (#2 seed)
AFCS: Ten (#3 seed)
AFCN: Bal (#4 seed)

That leaves the three wild card spots for the following teams (realistically):

Mia: 5-3
NYJ: 5-3
NE: 4-4
Cin: 4-4
LAC: 4-3

Now, here are their remaining schedules:
Mia: at Chi, vs Cle, vs Hou, at SF, at LAC, at Buf, vs GB, at NE, vs NYJ - three easy games, three hard games, and three 50/50 games (GB/NE/NYJ)
NYJ: vs Buf, at NE, vs Chi, at Min, at Buf, vs Det, vs Jax, at Sea, at Mia - five difficult games (six if you count at NE), and three easy games
NE: vs Ind, vs NYJ, at Min, vs Buf, at Ari, at LV, vs Cin, vs Mia, at Buf - two difficult games (at Min, vs Buf), a bunch of 50/50 games (including at Buf IF Buf already has the bye clinched)
Cin: vs Car, at Pit, at Ten, vs KC, vs Cle, at TB, at NE, vs Buf, vs Bal - five difficult games and four 50/50 games (the Cle game might be in the "difficult" category because Burrow has never beaten them)
LAC: at Atl, at SF, vs KC, at Ari, at LV, vs Mia, vs Ten, at Ind, vs LAR, at Den - four difficult games, four 50/50 games, and one easy one (at Ind)

I could see:

Mia: 10-7
NYJ: 9-8 or 8-9
NE: 9-8
Cin: 8-9
LAC: 8-9

I mean, I think 9-8 very well could get NE into the playoffs, depending on tiebreakers.
GREAT write up
miami is a lock for 5 or 6
i have CINY/NE game in week 16 as a play in game winner gets 6/7
jets will be out unlees they can get to 10

my guess
MIA 5
CINY 6
NE 7
 

j-man

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on Denver sch
@ TENN 40% unlees tannyhill is out then 50%
Vegas 51%
@ Car 53%
@ Balt 30%
KC 35%
ZONA 55%
@RAMS 50%
@ KC 30%
LAC 50%

3 lean wins 2 tossups 3 losses 1 unknown TENN
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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AFC by Tiers

Tier 1 - Legit contenders: Buf, KC
Tier 2 - Can contend, but some things have to go right: Mia, Ten, Cin
Tier 3 - Can contend, but only if a bunch of things go right: Bal, LAC
Tier 4 - Can be a playoff team: NE, Ind, NYJ
Tier 5 - Maybe will be an 8-9 win team if things break right: Cle, Den, LV
Tier 6 - Yuck: Pit, Jax, Hou

I put Baltimore below teams like Ten, Cin, and Mia, only because Mia added nice pieces, Ten looks like they're very solid, and Cincy went to the SB last year and we know what Burrow can do in the playoffs. I just think that more has to go right for Baltimore to make it than it does for Mia/Ten/Cin, though people may certainly disagree with me on that.
 

wilked

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Titans are in the wrong category. See Week 2 for evidence, see their opponents for further support. They are in tier 3 or 4.
 

Jungleland

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I have significantly more faith in Baltimore than Cincinnati, to me they’re a tier 2 team. Tennessee feels a little high, but to me they straddle the 2/3 line more than they belong in tier 3 outright. Henry is that good and their coach, defense, and if healthy QB are all adequate.

Burrow (and whatever combo of at least two of Chase Higgins Burrow) is good enough that Cinci has to be ahead of the Patriots, Broncos, and Jets by default, but I honestly think all 3 are better everywhere else.
 

sodenj5

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AFC by Tiers

Tier 1 - Legit contenders: Buf, KC
Tier 2 - Can contend, but some things have to go right: Mia, Ten, Cin
Tier 3 - Can contend, but only if a bunch of things go right: Bal, LAC
Tier 4 - Can be a playoff team: NE, Ind, NYJ
Tier 5 - Maybe will be an 8-9 win team if things break right: Cle, Den, LV
Tier 6 - Yuck: Pit, Jax, Hou

I put Baltimore below teams like Ten, Cin, and Mia, only because Mia added nice pieces, Ten looks like they're very solid, and Cincy went to the SB last year and we know what Burrow can do in the playoffs. I just think that more has to go right for Baltimore to make it than it does for Mia/Ten/Cin, though people may certainly disagree with me on that.
I would personally flip Baltimore and Cincy. Cincy has real issues on offense and without Chase, it might go south for them in a hurry.

I have no idea how or why Baltimore has been so good on offense, but they have. Bateman is done for the year, the RBs have been in and out of the lineup. But they’re #2 in offensive DVOA. Adding Smith is fine. I don’t know if adding an off-ball LB moved the needle that much, but he will help.
 

pappymojo

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AFC by Tiers

Tier 1 - Legit contenders: Buf, KC
Tier 2 - Can contend, but some things have to go right: Mia, Ten, Cin
Tier 3 - Can contend, but only if a bunch of things go right: Bal, LAC
Tier 4 - Can be a playoff team: NE, Ind, NYJ
Tier 5 - Maybe will be an 8-9 win team if t Cle, Den, LV
Tier 6 - Yuck: Pit, Jax, Hou

I put Baltimore below teams like Ten, Cin, and Mia, only because Mia added nice pieces, Ten looks like they're very solid, and Cincy went to the SB last year and we know what Burrow can do in the playoffs. I just think that more has to go right for Baltimore to make it than it does for Mia/Ten/Cin, though people may certainly disagree with me on that.
I would say the Chargers and Colts are in the tier 5 and the Browns, Broncos, Raiders, Steelers, Jaguars, and Texans are all in the tier 6 (yuck).
 

nattysez

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Cincy, LAC and LV all have enough talent to rip off a bunch of wins, but it's getting late early for those teams.
 

luckiestman

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Cincy, LAC and LV all have enough talent to rip off a bunch of wins, but it's getting late early for those teams.
Cincy is down Chase and Awuzie. Awuzie was incredible against the Jets and he is out for the year. I think Burrow is great but that’s tough.
 

Rudy's Curve

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Cincy is down Chase and Awuzie. Awuzie was incredible against the Jets and he is out for the year. I think Burrow is great but that’s tough.
Yeah, that's the killer. Awuzie has a year and a half of shutdown play under his belt now and that's simply irreplaceable. I think they can survive without Chase for two more games - they'll have a better gameplan with a full week to prepare without him and the offensive struggles Monday look a lot different if the Higgins PI early is called and Mike Thomas doesn't drop a wide-open pass, but I don't know how they have a prayer of stopping KC or Buffalo without Awuzie. As OFT said above, it's probably just not their year. I think they can still get in, but it's tough to see another run.