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AFC playoff race: Ranking the five 10-5 teams and their chances of making a deep postseason run


#When it was revealed this past offseason that the NFL would be adding two additional playoff spots, there were mixed reactions. #On one hand, adding another team per conference in the postseason certainly adds excitement, but on the other, only one team would get a first-round bye and there are certain years where that added playoff spot would not necessarily add extra competition. #Take last season, for example; not many people would be excited to watch a .500 #Pittsburgh #Steelers team continue to play without #Ben #Roethlisberger, or a struggling #Los #Angeles #Rams team. #This year, however, is different. #We need that extra spot in the playoffs — especially when it comes to the AFC.

There are five 10-5 teams in the AFC entering the final week of the regular season, and one club is going to be on the outside looking in when the playoff bracket is finally established. #If the #Baltimore #Ravens, #Indianapolis #Colts, #Cleveland #Browns, #Tennessee #Titans and #Miami #Dolphins all win this #Sunday — which I deem as likely — then it will be the #Colts who are given a long offseason. They would become just the third 11-win team in NFL history to miss the playoffs. The #Colts could get in if they win and one of their fellow AFC playoff hopefuls loses, so all is not lost just yet in #Indy, but are the #Colts better at this point in the season than a few of these other 10-5 teams? #And could they be a candidate to make a deep postseason run?

#Below, we will rank the five 10-5 teams and examine which ones have the best chance to make a deep run in the postseason. #But first, let’s take a look at their chances to make the playoffs, win the #Super #Bowl according to #William #Hill #Sportsbook and then their chances to win the #Super #Bowl according to #SportsLine data scientist #Stephen #Oh’s simulations.

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#Ravens

90.4%

+1200 (7.7%)

7.05%

#Titans

88.5%

+2500 (3.8%)

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2.50%

#Colts

76.2%

+3000 (3.2%)

2.39%

#Browns

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73.4%

+5000 (2%)

1.03%

#Dolphins

71.5%

+5000 (2%)

0.88%

5. #Miami #Dolphins

#It’s hard not to love #Brian #Flores and his defense, but this #Dolphins team might be a year away from being able to make a run in the postseason. #You also have to wonder what’s going on with the quarterback situation. #During the #Dolphins’ #Week 16 matchup against the #Las #Vegas #Raiders, #Tua #Tagovailoa completed 17 of 22 passes for just 94 yards and a touchdown before he was benched for #Ryan #Fitzpatrick. “#Fitzmagic” then threw for 182 yards and a touchdown while leading the #Dolphins on a miraculous comeback which was capped by an absurd no-look pass for a gain of 34 yards, and then a game-winning field goal. #Yes, #Fitzpatrick is a great “relief pitcher,” but I don’t know how that will work in the playoffs. #Miami’s offense was sporadic down the back half of the schedule, which is why I think the #Dolphins aren’t ready to shock the world just yet.

#Craving even more NFL coverage focusing on previews, recaps, news and analysis? #Listen below and subscribe to the #Pick #Six podcast for a daily dose of everything you need to follow pro football.

4. #Indianapolis #Colts

#It’s so unfortunate that the #Colts are likely going to miss out on the playoffs because they were the only team in the NFL to lose to the #Jacksonville #Jaguars — in the season opener! I understand that’s not the lone reason #Indy finds itself in a precarious spot, but it’s hard not to look back at #Week 1 and wonder what could have been. #When you look at the #Colts’ schedule, they have won just three out of seven games this season against teams still eligible for the playoffs. #While injuries hurt them during their most recent loss to the #Steelers, they still blew a 24-7 lead to a team that struggled to move the ball against the lowly #Cincinnati #Bengals the week prior. #After #Roethlisberger failed to throw for 200 yards in his past two matchups, he exploded for a season-high 342 yards and three touchdowns against #Indy, and did so with a concerning knee injury. I don’t see the #Colts making a deep postseason run if they somehow make it in.

3. #Cleveland #Browns

The #Browns deserve plenty of credit for what they were able to accomplish this season. They put together their first double-digit win campaign since 2007 and first-year head coach #Kevin #Stefanski has established one of the best rushing offenses in the league. #When it comes to their status as legitimate contenders, however, some questions do remain. #How many good wins have the #Browns recorded this year? They took down the #Colts, 32-23, in #Week 5 and then blew past the #Titans in #Week 13 by a score of 41-35. #Those are pretty good victories considering that they were against two opponents mentioned in this list, but they have more bad losses than good wins. They were swept by the #Ravens, lost to the #Steelers by 31 points, lost to the #Raiders by double digits and then of course fell to the #New #York #Jets this past week. #It’s true that #Baker #Mayfield didn’t have any wide receivers, but that’s not what caused him to fumble three times during the game. #If this team can establish tempo with #Nick #Chubb and #Kareem #Hunt and ride them to victories, then they could surprise people in the playoffs. I still think that they are just one year away from major success — when everyone is back healthy.

2. #Tennessee #Titans

The #Titans made it all the way to the AFC #Championship game last year thanks to the heroics of #Derrick #Henry. They now have that postseason experience, which is why I have them ahead of #Cleveland on this list. #Last year, they rushed past the #New #England #Patriots and upset the #Ravens, but then ran into a buzzsaw that was the #Kansas #City #Chiefs. #This team reminds me a lot of last year’s team, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. The #Titans fail to generate pass rush and also struggle to cover downfield. They rank dead last in the league with 15 total sacks and have the fifth-worst passing defense with an average of 271.9 passing yards allowed per game. #We saw that on full display this past #Sunday, when they were throttled by the #Green #Bay #Packers, 40-14. #That’s why I don’t think they will win the #Super #Bowl this year, but they are capable of winning one or two postseason games. #If the #Titans get out to an early lead, they can dominate clock with #Henry and then just slowly wear you down. I view #Ryan #Tannehill as the X-factor for how the #Titans will fare in the playoffs this year. #He completed just 15 total passes in #Tennessee’s first two postseason games last year, so could we potentially see a more balanced offensive attack in the playoffs this time around? #Will it help or hurt the #Titans? #It should be fascinating to watch.

1. #Baltimore #Ravens

I agree with #Oh’s numbers in the sense that the #Ravens have a much better chance to win the #Super #Bowl than any of the four other 10-5 teams. #It doesn’t seem too long ago when the #Ravens were dealing with their three weeks in hell. They were upset by the #Patriots, lost to the #Titans in overtime and then dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak that led to their third straight loss against the #Steelers. The #Ravens were able to rebound after that series of unfortunate events, however, and that’s what matters. #Baltimore won its next four games — including a wild shootout in #Cleveland — and it appears the #Ravens will make the postseason for the third straight year. #While their last two regular-season wins over the #Jaguars and the #New #York #Giants aren’t going to impress anyone, they were still able to bounce back after a rough stretch and they are currently on their longest win streak of the season. #That’s important for a potential contender entering the playoffs, as momentum can be everything. I also like that J.K. #Dobbins has finally become a legitimate part of the offensive game plan. #He has recorded double digit-touches in each of the last five games he has played in, and has scored a touchdown in each of the past five contests as well. #Lamar #Jackson and #Co. have thought about that playoff loss they suffered last season for a full year now, and they know not to take anything for granted.





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https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/afc-playoff-race-ranking-the-five-10-5-teams-and-their-chances-of-making-a-deep-postseason-run/

#AFC #playoff #race ##Ranking #teams #chances #making #deep #postseason #run

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