Here are my projected standings for the AFC after going game by game for all 272 regular season games for the 2022 season.
The Bills are, right now, the best team in the NFL. It’s the first time that I’ve had an AFC team ahead of Kansas City heading into a season in four years. The Bills have the second-best quarterback in the NFL under center, an elite weapons group, an elite defense, and a great head coach. They should be in a great position to win their division and finish with a top seed.
We’ve already reviewed every game of the Chiefs’ regular season but let’s do a general overview. Many people are counting the Chiefs, for some reason, despite their proven track record and elite talent on offense. Yes, they lost Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu but they still have Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, an elite offensive line, an elite head coach, and a defense loaded with young talent. They’ll for sure be in the playoffs and should be in line to win the division again.
This may be a little bit of a surprise to have Baltimore winning the AFC North but I don’t view it as such. The Ravens were the #1 seed in the AFC after Week 12 of last season before collapsing due to Lamar Jackson’s injury. They had an amazing draft and have a great coach/QB combo. They’ll definitely be in the playoffs.
The AFC South will either be won by the Indianapolis Colts or the Tennessee Titans. Houston and Jacksonville don’t have a chance to come out on top this year. I was never high on the Titans last year but I’m also not as low on them this year compared to other people. Losing Harold Landry hurts but they still have a great Front 7 without him, Mike Vrabel is a good coach, Ryan Tannehill is a good QB, and their running game should still be an asset with Derrick Henry.
It may be a surprise to have the Bengals not winning the AFC North but I think a super bowl hangover (similar to the Chiefs last season) may cost them a second straight division title. They added to their secondary with the Daxton Hill selection and bolstered their offensive line but I feel that they overachieved last season so the additions could very well cancel out the potential regression.
The Chargers have a serious argument to be one of the five best teams in the entire NFL. They have the quarterback and a defense loaded with talent. They’ll be very good and whether that will translate into playoff success will remain to be seen.
Personally, I don’t buy the Colts as one of the best teams in the AFC, due to their lack of weapons and slightly overrated defense/secondary, but they’re still a very good team nonetheless. Matt Ryan is a definite upgrade over Carson Wentz and they could be the team that most benefits from the AFC West being so good since that will push out Denver from the playoffs in this scenario.