AFC Playoff Picture Predictions From Week 13

We are currently 5 weeks away from the end of the season and each game becomes more and more vital to the eventual entrees of the playoffs. After a bit of research for each team we give each playoff team (with the two teams on the hunt) a quick summary along with a forecast of how the rest/ end of their season will go.

  1. The Miami Dolphins (9-3): With Tyreek Hill having a historic season at wide receiver and Mike McDanimal being one of the greatest offensive coaches of all time, it’s easy to see why the Dolphins are looking to get a bye when the playoffs arrive. The ‘Fins have a sneakily tough schedule ahead of them, so don’t be surprised if they slide down the chart as the Dolphins have struggled against tougher competition.
  2. The Baltimore Ravens (9-3): The Ravens have scored 22 rushing touchdowns and have only allowed 4. This alone screams great defense. Like many teams on this list, the Ravens’ defense carries their team. If Lamar Jackson can produce, this team will be very scary in the postseason even with the hardest schedule left to play in pro football.
  3. The Kansas City Chiefs (8-4): Even in a down year from Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs remain a dominant team to be feared later in the season. They have a lax schedule moving forward; the best team they play before the playoffs is a middling Chargers team. The Chiefs could easily win out and get Andy Reid that bye week. However, after losing to the Green Bay Packers last week, one has to wonder if the Chiefs are actually actually the team we assume/expect them to be.
  4. The Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4): After a close-call injury to Trevor Lawrence (a high-ankle sprain that could’ve been an outright break), the Jags need to be careful. They are just one game ahead of the Minshew-led Colts and the Stroud-led Texans. With Lawrence’s ability to play in games moving forward–not to mention the effect an injury might have on his production–is uncertain. Add an injury to WR Christian Kirk, and you shouldn’t be surprised if the Jags don’t stay in playoff contention for long.


  1. The Cleveland Browns (7-5): This Browns team has a very large amount of heart. They’ve injuries to key players yet have continued to have a pretty good season. 2023 could easily continue to be a shockingly good season without their QB Deshawn Watson and RB Nick Chubb. They’ve had 4 different QBs this season and it seems Joe Flacco will play for them for the foreseeable future. If he can manage the game and not throw picks the Browns will find a way to win games.
  2. The Indianapolis Colts (7-5): Minshew MAGIC! Gardner Minshew has done just enough to give the Colts a chance to see the sweet light of the playoffs. With a very light schedule ahead of them, the Colts are a prime team to move up in the standings. After this season we have to wonder what this team could have been with an electric Anthony Richardson at QB and what his and Minshew’s futures hold.

  3. The Houston Texans (7-5): C.J. Stroud is fantastic and Will Anderson is blossoming. The Texans seem to be poised to become a dynasty if Nick Caserio continues to piece together the support Stroud needs to win big games. Stroud makes his teammates great, he makes amazing throws, and the rookie QB could easily make the playoffs. The Texans have a MVP tier QB on a rookie deal who could very well win the Texans first Super Bowl before his 5th season.



  1. The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6): Yikes. The defense is historically amazing and Kenny Pickett has shown that he can win games down the stretch. Now that Pickett is out for the year, this team’s offense is going from really bad to being the worst in a long time. Mitch Trubisky is just not a QB that should be in the playoffs. If this was college football, they would be shut out of the playoffs and sent to a bowl in upstate Wyoming. We saw that Thursday night with the Steelers losing to the now three-win Patriots, causing them to fall out of their playoff spot. But if the Steelers can get a few Ws in the remaining games, we get to see how far an amazing defense can carry a team in the modern NFL.


  1. The Denver Broncos (6-6): Sean Payton (along with new ownership) has done wonders for the Broncos. After a very lame-duck start of the season the Broncos suddenly find themselves in playoff contention. QB Russel Wilson is producing a quietly great season and has given this struggling franchise some new hope. Together the coach and QB have turned a 1-5 season into an exciting season where there is a real chance you see Denver football played in mid to late January.