Now that 11 weeks have passed before the start of the 2022 NFL regular season, it’s time to really turn our attention to the playoff picture. However, there is still a lot to play in football and nothing is set in stone. From the way the season has gone so far, it looks like we’re ready for an exciting race to the finish line.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans may have established themselves as the best teams in their respective divisions, but the other two are up for grabs. Especially AFC East! All four teams in the division have won at least six games. Is it possible for all four to make the postseason? Remember that there are now three places with wildcards. Which teams competing for these places have the most chances?
Let’s talk about the playoff picture. Below we list the current AFC division leaders and then rank the current wild card contenders:
Current heads of AFC divisions
They may change, but here are the top four seeds right now:
- Kansas City Chiefs (8-2)
- Miami Dolphins (7-3)
- Tennessee Titans (7-3)
- Baltimore Ravens (7-3)
AFC Wild Card Contenders Ranking
1. Buffalo Bills (7-3)
How far will Buffalo go this season?
Well, it’s obvious. Despite currently being seeded 5th, the Bills still have the shortest chance of winning the Super Bowl (+380 in Caesars Sportsbook) and are still favorites to win the AFC East. (-220). Buffalo is statistically ranked second in the NFL in offense and second in scoring.
Last week against the Cleveland Browns, Billy scored 30 points for the fifth time this season. This is tied with the most 30-point games in the NFL. Rookie running back James Cook posted a season-high 86 yards, while linebacker Matt Milano went crazy. I’m still surprised by Josh Allen’s elbow injury, but the Billies are clear Super Bowl contenders.
2. New England Patriots (6-4)
How far will New England go this season?
The Patriots and New York Jets gave us one of the roughest games on Sunday’s list, although Marcus Jones recorded an incredible 84-yard game-winning touchdown with five seconds left in the trade. Mac Jones was criticized for his play, but he completed 23 of 27 passes for 246 yards. This is the highest completion percentage he has had this season (85.2%). I didn’t think he was too bad. The Patriots’ defense was really upside down in this game. They fired Zach Wilson four times, pressured him all day and only allowed 103 yards on offense! Two of those 103 yards came in the second half, seriously.
As with the San Francisco 49ers, I think the Patriots are candidates for big second-half success. Remember last year they won seven games in a row from weeks 7 to 13. This solid defense will help them in the fight for the playoffs.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)
How far will Cincinnati go this season?
The Bengals are the reigning AFC champions for a reason, and they really want to win the division. Do you remember what record the Bengals had last year when they broke up? 5-4. Just like this season. Sinsi ended the 2021 campaign 5-3 and then, of course, had that amazing Super Bowl.
Cinsi has suffered some rough losses this season but has been 6-2 in the last eight games after starting the year 0-2. The Bengals have also scored 30 or more points in four of their last five games. The offense has looked great for the last few weeks and then J’Marr Chase is back.
4. Los Angeles Chargers (5-5)
How far will Los Angeles (LAC) go this season?
The Chargers gave the Chiefs everything they had in prime time on Sunday night, but Patrick Mahomes was too good. Injuries have ruined this team, but they have a pretty easy schedule. Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Josh Palmer and Austin Eckeler can do some funny things on offense. I’m not saying the Chargers are Super Bowl contenders, but they’ll be in the playoffs until the very end. Herbert needs to keep an eye on steals and Los Angeles needs to start winning some of those three-point games. The Chargers have lost eight games by three points or less over the past three seasons. This is second in the NFL behind the Bengals (10).
5. New York Jets (6-4)