Now that we are almost at the halfway point of the season, it’s time to look at where the AFC Stands. Some of these teams are trending up and some are falling out of the AFC Playoff Picture.
1. Buffalo Bills (6–1)
Well, the Bills are just playing incredible football, they are real contenders to go to the Super Bowl and Josh Allen has been playing like an MVP so far. However, the Bills are weirdly 18th in red zone efficiency and third in the NFL in turnovers. This a weakness that might need to be fixed as they head toward the second half of the season, but the Bills are playing really good football.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (5–2)
The Chiefs are coming off of a bye week and got better. The Chiefs traded for Kadarius Toney, a former first-round wide receiver prospect out of the University of Florida and they seem to be prepped to make another move as we head toward the trade deadline.
Kansas City is only second because the two losses this year have been bad performances by the league’s best offense. But with the hardest part of the schedule out of the way, the Chiefs are in good shape to get into a groove and potentially take the number one seed for the Playoffs.
4. Baltimore Ravens (4–3)
“Lamar is truly a home run just waiting to happen. You never know when it’s going to come,” Ravens right guard Kevin Zeitler said. “It could be the darkest time — but boom! He is the sun coming just like that.”
Lamar Jackson is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league and after a hard-fought win over the Buccaneers, the Ravens seem to be playing pretty solid football right now. If the defense can fix the problems it had over the first half of the season, the Ravens should be a really good and dangerous team in the AFC.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (4–4)
The Bengals have been a very up-and-down team, they needed to be better if they want to keep up the pace of the other teams in their conference. A Super Bowl hangover seems to hang over this team right now, but Joe Burrow seems to be finding his confidence at the moment. He’s going to be without Ja’Mar Chase for the next three weeks at least and they play a lot of tough teams. If Burrow can steady the ship, the Bengals are one of the best teams in the AFC.
5. Miami Dolphins (4–3)
The first games of the season were very exciting for the Dolphins, they almost looked unbeatable, with Walden and Hill at the top of their games and Tua connecting with them so easily. Then, they had some bumps on the road, but they came back with some victories over the past two weeks. Injuries have plagued the Dolphins’ secondary, and as a result, their pass defense has been among the worst in the NFL.
6. New York Jets (5–3)
The Jets got their butts kicked by the Patriots, but they were able to hang with the Patriots throughout. Zach Wilson has been up and down recently, but he needs to play better in order for them to compete in the playoffs. The Jets’ defense has been playing great and will look to take on better teams in the second half of the season.
7. Tennessee Titans (5–2)
The Titans are still really good and seem to be heading in the right direction, they did recently play without Ryan Tannehill and still won the game easily. It’s hard to stop Derrick Henry and it seems like the Titans know this, they have been running the ball the most frequently in the league and are getting results. The Titans head to Arrowhead next week and if they can pull off the victory, they will be higher on the list.
8. New England Patriots (4–4)
The Patriots are the biggest shoulder shrug in the AFC, they are either really good or have been mediocre. The splitting of snaps at quarterback is a weird strategy and they might need to move on from Mac Jones if they are playing better without him. For now, they are in the wildcard race, but they need to figure out their identity to even think about the playoffs.
9. Los Angeles Chargers (4–3)
The NFL Media’s favorite preseason team has been a disappointment all season long, Herbert looks lost or uncomfortable and the defense is somehow worse than last season. The Chargers have a lot of talent and seem to have the right attitude, but they are just another disappointing team this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chargers fire Brandon Staley if things don’t improve.
10. Indianapolis Colts (3-4-1)
The Colts are just a mediocre team, for a team that had Super Bowl contender written all over it, they are just not good. Matt Ryan was finally benched for Sam Ehllinger this week and the Colts lost in last-second fashion against the Commanders. The Colts might move on from Frank Reich after this season unless they can find a way to contend.
The AFC is in a weird spot right now, and the playoff seeding might be set by Week 13. The top two teams in the AFC are set, but after that, it is hard to tell what teams are actually good or just good enough to make the playoffs.
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