Let’s just admit it, a winning team makes any PR pros job that much easier. In the spirit of paying attention to standings, here is Packing the Stand’s first ever NFL playoff predictions. Let’s start with the AFC…
AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals. The AFC North is shaping up to be the toughest division in football. They have three legitimate playoff contenders with the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers. At the end of the day, I think the Bengals will win this tight race. Cincinnati has enough talent on both sides of the ball to overcome even mediocre play from the quarterback position.
AFC East: New England Patriots. It would be a shock if the Patriots fail to win the AFC East. Even with their tight end troubles, the Patriots are still far more talented and experienced than the other three members of the division. New England always seems to find a way to overcome adversity, and that’s how they’ve become a perennial powerhouse.
AFC South: Houston Texans. This will probably be a two horse race (pun intended) between the Texans and the Indianapolis Colts. However, it is difficult to pick against the Texans’ stellar defense and recent playoff success. Indy should challenge for the wild card, but this team is still only two years removed from a dismal 2-14 season.
AFC West: Denver Broncos. The Broncos may well be the largest division favorite in the entire NFL; with their only competition being the revamped, but still mediocre Kansas City Chiefs. A weak schedule and a potent offense should help the Broncos overcome Von Miller’s six-game suspension.
AFC Wild Card: Baltimore Ravens. While they are the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Ravens lost valuable players on both sides of the ball during the offseason. However, their combination of playoff experience and ability to win on the road should guide them into January.
AFC Wild Card: Kansas City Chiefs. A year ago, the Colts bounced back from a 2-14 season to make the playoffs. In 2013, I believe the Chiefs have the chance to turn it around and steal a playoff spot from that same Colts team. While Alex Smith is no Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, he’s a vast improvement over what the Chiefs have been trotting out lately. Also, a weak schedule should help the Chiefs sneak into the playoffs.
That’s it for the AFC predictions, NFC should be up as soon as I decide on a tight wild card race.