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2021 AFC Wildcard Race...Seeds 5-6-7 (1 Viewer)

Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
Los Angeles Chargers (7-5): They could still challenge for the Division but they are now a full game behind KC, they do have an advantageous schedule down the stretch with very winnable match ups NYG, KC, @Hou, DEN, @LV and outside of KC which is home, I really don't see them as being underdogs in any of the other 4 match ups. 10-7 at worst I would think. 11-6 in play for the top WC seed if they cannot steal the Division away from the Chiefs

Cincinnati Bengals (7-5): Up and down team that can look great one week and then have you scratching your head the next. Not sure why Burrow has been largely grounded of late. SF, @Den, BAL...that's not easy and you can't just put every match up vs Denver as an auto-win the rest of the way, the Broncos are 6-6 for a reason and starting to find some mojo in Javonte Williams. No chance the Bengals slip from 7-5 to 7-8 and fire up the coaching hot seat? KC @Cle the final 2 weeks, my money is betting AGAINST the Cincinnati Bengals right now, you could argue they tailspin to 7-10 but even a fall to 8-9/9-8 seems pretty likely unless they really can get it together down the stretch. 

Buffalo Bills (7-5): Another team that started off hot and has been in a tail spin of late with several teams nipping on their heels, this Bills team could find themselves in hot water quickly. You have to think they have 3 wins left on the schedule vs CAR, ATL and the NYJ all at home, the Panthers and Falcons will freeze to death before they even step foot on the field. Buffalo fan will shake their heads but they likely are going to cruise into 10 wins, they still have a chance vs TB and @NE but I feel if they win one of those games that they will somehow drop one of the others. 10-7 seems like a good spot for them to land with many questions about how far they can go into the Playoffs. 

Outside looking in right now...

8-Pittsburgh: (6-5-1): All of their remaining opponents are at least in the Playoff discussion or have Playoff aspirations and I have seen enough of the Steelers to understand that anything above 8-8-1 is going to be a leap of faith, they might not make it even that far over the next 5 weeks @MN, TN, @KC, CLE, @Balt, good grief. 

9-Indianapolis (7-6): One of the stronger teams to come along over the last 4-6 weeks, clearly established themselves as a Playoff caliber team and IMHO could make a little noise because they have a strong potent running game even with OL injuries right now. NE and @AZ the next two weeks after their BYE(YES!) will tell just how good they are but should they win the next 2 weeks, I will not be surprised, the last 2 games LV and @Jax should both be Wins for them trying to get into the Playoffs. Despite losing to Tennessee earlier in the year they could find themselves in a Division push if they pull off a couple mild upsets the next 2 weeks. 10-7 is my projections but 9-8 is also a possibility and that opens up the board for others behind them. As of right now I would anticipate a LAC-BUF-INDY 5-6-7 for the Playoffs. 

10-11-12: LV-CLE-DEN all 3 of these teams are 6-6 for a variety of reasons but it seems illogical to project any of them to win out and make a huge Playoff push. Denver and Las Vegas are not playing good football, Cleveland has a solid 1-2 punch on the ground that gives them an edge. Vegas has suffered a lot of injuries and set backs in their skill positions. Long shot for any of these 3 teams to do what is needed to make s a serious push and leapfrog the teams ahead of them, almost would have to win out. 

And finally...

13-Miami Dolphins (6-7): The last of the potential Wildcard teams is never going to live down the JAX loss this season. I see them being able to win vs NYJ at home, then road games @NO(they stink right now) @TN(No Henry perhaps) and then a Week 18 Showdown to try and WIN OUT vs the New England Patriots, likely already division winners and resting their guys in Miami that weekend. Could the Miami Dolphins win 10 games and miss the Playoffs for a 2nd season in a row with double digit wins?

 

Dizzy

Footballguy
I think the Bills lose two more games... and it will probably come down who they are comparing to for the final spot. They lose that vs PIT but beat MIA twice already IIRC.

IND could be a spoiler here too. Shame they had some bad losses early, cause they might be playing the best out of all these teams right now.

 

Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
I heard the NFL was doing a No 7 seed for 2021 ONLY and were not committing to it long term. Here is why I think it will continue and be the new trend. 

They want to eventually go to a full 18 game schedule and I imagine that's at least 19-20 weeks, the story starts in early Sept and they want the season to wrap up now in almost Mid January, it's hard to keep all 32 fan bases interested and the more teams involved the batter the ratings across the country I'm betting. So that means we are likely to see a 3rd Wildcard team added permanently IMHO. 

-Early to Mid 90s, somewhere in there the NFL had a 2 Bye-Week schedule, ahead of it's time and one of the large criticisms was that the teams couldn't get their momentum going and the start n stop...well since then we've learned a lot about how to work a Bye schedule. Same team should not be OFF in Weeks 5 and 8 let's say but certainly hte NFL can figure out a way to make this work since they run Bye weeks into Week 14 and if they go to an 18 game schedule(which I hate-prefer 16 or less even) I would support and want the players to have a couple weeks off spread at least 6-8 weeks from their 1st Bye week. I can't see how that would cause the NFL to lose momentum. I think they already sandwich too many games into the 1:00 time slot on Sundays, it's archaic and people on the West Coast are barely out of bed or Church. 

-While I am on the topic, Thursday night needs to be moved to Friday Night Football and make it a full on party to kick off the weekend. The extra day off would benefit the players tremendously and make for a better overall experience for everyone including the fan base which is actually home and can stay up and watch the game. Bars and Restaurants would have a prime game to put up on their TVs, just a better overall marketing idea IMHO. 

 

Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
I think the Bills lose two more games... and it will probably come down who they are comparing to for the final spot. They lose that vs PIT but beat MIA twice already IIRC.

IND could be a spoiler here too. Shame they had some bad losses early, cause they might be playing the best out of all these teams right now.
That's why I pick the Buffalo Bills as at least the No 6 Seed in the Wildcard. I believe they will win the 3 games they need to, the next 2 weeks are brutal but mark my word, even with a short week to prepare they are going to try and come out on fire playing on a fast track in Tampa, they have playmakers too at WR and Tampa Bay has been volatile to the big play this year. 

Bills 10-7, that will be good enough and I don't think Pittsburgh can survive this schedule down the stretch if you read over those teams I listed, not a lot of wins left on their schedule, tonight would actually be one of their easier games left. 

 

Dizzy

Footballguy
That's why I pick the Buffalo Bills as at least the No 6 Seed in the Wildcard. I believe they will win the 3 games they need to, the next 2 weeks are brutal but mark my word, even with a short week to prepare they are going to try and come out on fire playing on a fast track in Tampa, they have playmakers too at WR and Tampa Bay has been volatile to the big play this year. 

Bills 10-7, that will be good enough and I don't think Pittsburgh can survive this schedule down the stretch if you read over those teams I listed, not a lot of wins left on their schedule, tonight would actually be one of their easier games left. 


Fully with you on PIT. I think they finish around 8-8-1... out.

I'm guessing CIN wins that division, BAL is a wildcard, and IND replaces BUF in the list above.

 
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Anarchy99

Footballguy
Current playoff chances . . .

538:
LAC - 78%
CIN - 44%
BUF - 72%
PIT - 18%
IND - 62%
LV - 9%
CLE - 21%
DEN - 17%
MIA - 11%

ESPN FPI:
LAC - 76.9%
CIN - 42.3%
BUF - 84.9%
PIT - 18.9%
IND - 52.6%
LV - 10%
CLE - 21.5%
DEN - 19.8%
MIA - 5%

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS:
LAC - 80.6%
CIN - 38.7%
BUF - 79.5%
PIT - 19.3%
IND - 62.5%
LV - 12.5%
CLE - 25.5%
DEN - 17.7%
MIA - 4.7%

As far as Dolphins / Patriots, NE could be fighting for the top seed and a bye. No way they sit anyone if that is the case (only one bye now).

 

SoBeDad

Footballguy
If Miami wins out, their playoff chances are >80%. If they lose one remaining game, <10%. I think they lose to NO and NE, but if they're still in it in the last game vs NE, and NE needs a win to secure a bye, it could be payback time for the Patriots from the last game of 2019.  An epic call from Kevin Harlan of 2 games, simultaneously. FitzMagic time:

https://youtu.be/PxkOG-WeLVo

 
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Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
Indianapolis Colts (8-6): Leading New England 20-0 going into the 4th this past Saturday Night, they are the most dangerous of the Wildcard teams at this point and they could possibly still be in the Division race although they lost twice to the Titans and would need multiple losses by Tennessee to have a chance. They will be facing AZ in the desert this week but that suddenly looks like a winnable game as Arizona is starting to tailspin a bi there at the end of the season, had control of the NFC West and 1st overall, hat has evaporated and they could slip into the WIldcard area soon.  

Los Angeles Chargers (8-6): Still like them as a cleat favorite to be the 5 or 6 seed in the AFC Playoffs. Chiefs will likely go to a 1-seed and that would put the Bolts on the road vs perhaps the weakest of the Division winners, say Cincinnati at the moment? 

Buffalo Bills (8-6): Things could get a little worse for the Bills if they lose at New England but since they haven't beaten a ton of team with decent records, it's likely they lose vs a Patriots team that had not tasted defeat in about 2 months. Odds are high Coach BB will have something special ready. Still have easy games to end the season as they face the Falcons and woeful Jets. 10-7 and I'm sticking to it. 

Baltimore (8-6)...I think they should overtake Cincinnati that won only scoring 15 this past weekend. Bengals won't make the Playoffs, my opinion. 

Cleveland (7-6)...soon to be 8-6. 

Pittsburgh (7-6-1) 8-8-1 has been my prediction, still think that's likely right. 

Miami (7-7)...climbing but might see the end coming in New Orleans next week on MNF. 

Denver (7-7)...9-8/8-9, either way they miss the Playoffs. 

Las Vegas (6-7)...6-8 soon enough.

 

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