Here are the 14 teams they predict will make the playoffs as predicted by The Athletics’ NFL experts. Every writer and editor was asked to pick the seven teams from each conference that they believe will compete for a chance to play in the Super Bowl in Arizona.
There is no connection between these predictions and who they think will win the Super Bowl or each division. The question was simply: Will (insert team name here) make the playoffs? It’s an important exercise because, as we know, making the playoffs is often a gauge of a team’s success. There are only a few teams (hello, Kansas City, Buffalo, and Green Bay) with such high expectations that only making the playoffs would be considered a disappointment.
In an article published last week, The Athletics’ NFL experts predicted the divisional winners. We will look at expert picks for offensive and defensive rookies on Tuesday. We will examine their MVP and coach of the year picks on Wednesday. Before Thursday Night Football kicks off, our Super Bowl picks will be unveiled.
AFC and NFC are broken down for simplicity’s sake.
In 2022, two teams that missed the AFC playoffs last season are expected to make it, according to The Athletics’ expert pickers. Due to injuries, the Ravens’ season was sabotaged by the Chargers last season. There is less confidence in the Colts to make the playoffs, but there also seems to be a consensus that the AFC South will be won by them.
On the Bubble
Our experts agree that there are five strong teams at the top of the AFC: the Bills, Chargers, Chiefs, Bengals, and Ravens. This is why everyone splits their votes for the AFC wild card winner.
Competing for the No. 1 pick
There aren’t any surprises in this group. There has been a lot of discussion about the Dolphins this offseason, especially since Tyreek Hill joined the mix. As a result, our experts don’t expect the Dolphins to make their first playoff appearance since 2016. It may be out of reach before Deshaun Watson returns until Game 12, but the Browns’ roster is strong from top to bottom.
According to the consensus, the top four teams in the NFC aren’t a surprise. They are all considered Super Bowl contenders and the best teams in their respective divisions. Can anyone imagine the shock of seeing these four teams play each other in the divisional round of the NFC Championship in January? It is always key to winning the NFL to have good quarterbacks. In last year’s playoffs, all four teams made it.
Fighting for Wild Card
According to The Athletic, these five teams will compete for the three wild-card spots in the NFC. Although each team has its own set of questions, they all have the talent to put together a solid season and make the playoffs. There are new coaches on these two teams. Last year, the Eagles, 49ers, and Cardinals made the playoffs. Before losing to Los Angeles in the NFC Championship Game, San Francisco upset Dallas and Green Bay. Trey Lance will be the new starting quarterback for the 49ers.
Competing for the No. 1 draft pick
The Lions are one of the most surprising teams on this list. Our experts don’t believe Detroit has much chance of competing in the NFC North or making the playoffs. The Lions faced the fifth toughest schedule last year, and they’ll face the fifth easiest one this season. There will be three games against Panthers, Seahawks and Jaguars, and two games against Bears. We may be buying into the “Hard Knocks” hype, but the Lions’ public perception may be higher than ours.