NFL Playoff Predictions for 2022: Select Each AFC, NFC Division Winner and Wild Card Teams

There will be even more significant signatures in this long NFL season, and a few more interesting changes. But the first opportunities to add talent – especially young and cheap talent – are over.

Injuries will inevitably play a key role in the outcome of many 2022 seasons. Of course, we don’t know much more. But mostly, these lists are what they will be. The prospect of adding a player changing the season – especially for a team with a competitive roster – will be pretty bleak from now until the mid-season exchange deadline. Development and change from here on out must come largely from within.

It is not too early to start evaluating these teams. In many cases it is who they are and who they will be. Vegas has given you plenty of opportunities to potentially cash in, and I’d go ahead and wait for the schedules to be released later this week at this point if anyone bets (I could also gather a little more information about what’s worth), things are obviously starting to crystallize.

So I started thinking more and more about the upcoming season and about the teams that I believe are best designed to appear in the postseason. In some cases, that doesn’t seem to make sense. And in many others, it is much harder to predict. In the end, celebrities will not be missing. I guess this field will end up pretty much at the top, but with an unprecedented amount of blockbuster transactions changing the balance of power – at least on paper – I certainly expect some new teams to bring down the fun as well.

AFC Division

East – Accounts: This is roughly the easiest. The Patriots pushed them a year ago, but New England haven’t done much to impress me this off-season and I could see them coming back from a year ago. In fact, I don’t think he will finish second in the division this year. I think they are Dolphins (more on them later). But back to Buffalo. I believe this is the best schedule in football and will be the most complete team in the conference, right there with the Chiefs. They are out of power after recent playoff failures. This could be their time.

North – Bengal: This was no coincidence. This team is full and will be a problem for a long time. I like what they did to strengthen the defense in the draft and what they did to strengthen the offensive line in free play. They bring back more than enough of last year’s cast, much of which is still just scratching the surface. They will also be a hot ticket for the first time in a long time, and The Jungle is prepared to be a harder place to play opponents.

South – Colts: This was not particularly difficult for me either. Matt Ryan will be a QB upgrade and while it’s not enough for me to watch them as competitors in the Super Bowl, it solidifies for me at the top of the division. The Titans are quasi-recovering on the move and appear to be on a plateau with Ryan Tannehill at the center. The Colts can handle the ball damn well, and the defense is pretty solid. They play in a weak division and will capitalize on after the collapse a year ago.

West – Chiefs: This is the best division in football. Maybe not so close. I could make a case for any of them in the postseason. But I still believe Kansas City is a top club. They rebuilt the offensive line in 2021 and I believe they have done enough to improve the defense this year. Yes, they lost Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu, but I bet they stay a little more balanced in attack and, unlike the rest of the division, are tested for the playoffs.

AFC wild cards

Broncos: The Russell Wilson factor is real. His presence changes everything for this long-standing franchise. All that speed and talent in the ranks of catching passes will make a step forward. This team will no longer feel like they are lagging behind by 10 ball games. The defense will be freer to gamble with the right franchise QB on the list.

chargers: Brandon Staley should be a better coach in his second year. This is undoubtedly a better offensive line. Justin Herbert has an abundance of weapons. The defense needs to be better in recent years. Injury error may recur, but the increase in ownership provided by high spending this off-season will help significantly. They had deceived me before; maybe it will again. But I buy them in the playoffs.

ravens: I was very close to putting Dolphine here. Miami beat the Ravens last year and was among the most handsome teams in the NFL in the second half of the season. But Baltimore are returning to a number of key associates after injury, Lamar Jackson will give the advantage, and the defense has nowhere to go except after last season’s debacle. I don’t see the pass bite needed for the title challenge, but they aren’t losing six games in a row either.

NFC division

East – Eagles: Last year’s playoff appearance surprised many, but the 2022 division title should not. Jalen Hurts will have every chance to advance with an upgraded cast around him. AJ Brown will change the way teams can defend them. The defensive line has new depth. The rest of the division revolves around my estimation. Stopping their running game is a bear and they can now capitalize more if you stack the box. Ball control can take you to a division title, especially in NFC Least. At +250 to win the division I see value here.

North – Vikings: I believe Green Bay’s best time to win the Super Bowl is over. I’m not buying a WR group. Long in the tooth in critical areas. They lost some recently dominant players like Z’Darius Smith. Too many lost or overly cured draft selections from recent years are hampering census development. The Vikings will have a completely different atmosphere with the disappearance of Mike Zimmer. They still have enough talent in defense – especially forward – to be dangerous and attack will be a problem. The first-year coach and head coach are not under real pressure yet. The team will play hard. It seems you can get this around +300.

South – Buccaneers: Well, not much justification is needed here. Tom Brady’s retirement took about 29 hours, the band is actually reunited and while Bruce Arians will be missing as head coach, Todd Bowles will be just fine. He will push for another Lombardi.

West – Rams: This seems to be the weakest of these divisions lately. Arizona is having a bad turbulent off-season and has not shown any post-season moxie. Seattle replaced Wilson. The 49ers will go with Trey Lance. And the title defenders will add another one or two veterans by the deadline to further maintain their chances of a repeat. They are far from finished.

NFC replacement cards

packers: Aaron Rodgers will bring them back to the playoffs, but the numbers will fall from a year ago.

saints: The defense is legitimate and a lot of elite talent remains even when there is no Sean Payton. It will be hard to beat them at home. Jameis Winston will be just fine in QB and they will also be able to throw the ball at almost anyone. I think they also give the Bucs – a team they play very well with – a race for the division. At +450 this might be worth considering.

cardinals: This is for me the current coin toss between the Cowboys, Cardinals and 49ers. They all have warts and imperfections and I don’t see much separation from them. Arizona is probably good enough for 9 wins so I’ll lean in that direction. If the 49ers had ridden Jimmy Ga, I would have gone their way, but it’s time for Lance and I dread that learning curve in freshman year. And Dallas seems to be in decline, with questions already being asked to the expert staff.

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