As the 2023 National Football League regular season ended, the playoffs began. Starting on January 9, each team will compete in head-to-head matchups, and the winner of each game will advance to the next.
The Wild Card games include:
- Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers
- Los Angeles Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
- Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills
- New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings
- Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After all the Wild Card games end, the winning teams will move on to the divisional round.
Once the divisional round winners are decided, the National Football Conference (NFC) /American Football Conference (AFC) championship game will be played to determine the Super Bowl teams representing their conference.
In the AFC, seven teams clinched the playoffs, with the Kansas City Chiefs earning the bye week. With their bye week, the Chiefs will automatically advance to the Divisional Series.
The AFC teams playing in the Wild Card games are the Chargers, Jaguars, Dolphins, Bills, Ravens, and Bengals.
Milo Wegmann, sophomore, predicts, “Jaguars over Chargers, Bengals over Ravens, and Bills over Dolphins.”
If his prediction plays out, the Divisional Series in the AFC would be:
- Jaguars vs. Chiefs
- Bengals vs. Bills
Wegmann said, “Chiefs will beat Jaguars, and Bengals will beat Bills,” in the divisional rounds.
Wegmann’s AFC championship game would be the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.
Last year’s AFC championship was the Bengals vs. the Chiefs as well, with the Bengals winning because of a last-second field goal.
Regardless, Wegmann said, “Bengals over Chiefs.” He predicts the same result as last year, and the Bengals will return to the Super bowl.
Every AFC team in the playoffs has at least three total losses. This means they all have their weaknesses that could end their season.
Weggman, an NFL Fanatic, states what he believes to be each AFC team’s weakness:
Los Angeles Chargers: “The Chargers have an inconsistent offense that doesn’t provide the points needed to win. And every game their offense either plays up to standard or below average.”
Jacksonville Jaguars: “Trevor Lawrence has some shining moments to help lead the offense down the field, but ultimately struggles more than he succeeds.”
Baltimore Ravens: “The Ravens have dealt with injuries all season long, the most substantial being Lamar Jackson. Without their starting quarterback and key players on the defense, they have been playing poorly.”
Cincinnati Bengals: “Every Bengals box score I see, they always dominate in the first half of the game, but then lack for the rest of the game.”
Miami Dolphins: “The Dolphins are horrible without their team captain, Tua Tagovailoa.” Unfortunately, Tagovailoa has been ruled out for the Dolphins Wild Card game due to concussion protocol.
Buffalo Bills: “The Bills have been the most consistent team in the NFL and don’t have many flaws. But in the games they lost, Josh Allen often played poorly.”
Kansas City Chiefs: “The Chiefs offense has been elite all season, but their run game has been average compared to other teams. If their passing game suffers, then the entire offense will shut down.”
The winners of each game will be the team who can turn their weaknesses into strengths and take advantage of other teams’ weaknesses.
To read more about NFC predictions, go to the companion article linked here.
Hi, I am Andrew Miller and I am a sophomore this year. I am the best writer taking this class, so always come to me for the best stories.