Here we are, the NFL playoffs are about to kick off, so here is how I rank the AFC of the 2016 NFL Playoffs.
6. Houston Texans
The Texans started off the season 1 and 5, and yeah they rebounded nicely but they play in the worst division in the NFL (AFC South), which is saying a lot considering how bad the NFC East was. out of their 9 wins only two impress me. Their win against Cincinnati and a victory against the Jets. Yes their defense is formidable, but their quarterback, Hoyer, is the worst of all of the playoff teams.
The Steelers have a few things going for them. They have Big Ben, who has plenty of playoff experience, and they have the best receiver in the game. Their ten wins comes with some impressive victories which include wins against the Broncos, a Dalton-less Bengals team (on the road) and the Arizona Cardinals. That being said, them losing DeAngelo Williams is enough to knock them down to 5. They already lost Le’Veon Bell to an MCL injury in November, so they are thin in their running back position. You combine that with the questionable coaching of the Steelers, and their so-so defense, and I think they are just too 1 demential to go into Cincinnati and beat them again.
Denver has a great defense and they go into the playoffs with a bye and the #1 seed. That being said, their 12 wins comes stacked with a number of improbable and slim victories that could have easily swayed in the other direction. Demaryous Thomas is not what he used to be, and it looks like Osweiller is out. Which means Manning is, and I haven’t seen anything all year from Peyton (9td’s / 17 Int’s) to show me that he can beat the great secondaries he will face in the playoffs.
Cincinnati has historically been bad in the playoffs, especially in the last 20 years. That being said this team looks different than those Carson palmer teams, and even the Dalton teams of recent years. Unfortunately Dalton is out and AJ McCarron is the Cincy quarterback. I think they will squeak past the Steelers today but I can;t see them beating the Pats at home next week.
They are coming into the playoffs red hot, they have won 10 in a row. Andy Reid takes some slack for his playoff record (10-10) but you can;t argue with what he has done with this defense. His defense is ranked 6 in the NFl in 2015 and third out of all of the AFC playoff team. They also have Alex Smith who I would take over Manning and anybody on the Texans, and a solid running offense. Look for the Chiefs to make it to the AFC Championship.
The Patriots limped into the playoffs, losing 4 out of their last 6. That being said they still got a bye and the #2 seed. If Denver can’t win, the Pats can see home field advantage in the AFC Championship. Their defense isn’t the best, but it is a really good one, and Edelman and Amendola coming back, the Patriots will be healthier and watch out for Brady and that offense. Especially Gronkowski, who is the best offensive, non-qb, player in the game, and now that it is do or die, you will see him running routes up the middle again.
Look for our NFC picks tomorrow