KC Chiefs: Predicting each game of the 2023 season

How well will the defending Super Bowl champions perform in the 2023-24 regular season? What will their final record be and where will they finish in the AFC standings?

Aug 13, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) calls
Aug 13, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) calls / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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Here are my projected standings for the AFC after going game by game for all 272 regular season games for the 2023 season.

1. Kansas City Chiefs: 14-3

Not much to discuss here. 14-3 is good enough to earn the #1 seed in the conference the high-majority of the time. The Chiefs won't have a turbulent-free season, but they are the favorites to be the #1 seed in the AFC this season.

2. Cleveland Browns: 12-5

I know for a fact that many people reading this just did a double-take. Yes, I have the Cleveland Browns finishing with the second-best record in the conference. They have a quarterback in Deshaun Watson who was once elite, a talented skill-position group, a good offensive line, and a defense with star power. They also don't have a terribly difficult schedule. Whether being the #2 seed translates into a deep playoff remains to be seen, but don't be surprised if they end up winning the AFC North this season.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: 11-6

Many people expect the Jaguars to run away with the AFC South this season, but I am not one of those people. Although, I have them winning their division again, similar to last year, I think it will come down to the final week of the season against Tennessee.

4. Buffalo Bills: 11-6

I am one of the many people who expect the Bills to take a step back this season, but I'm not so sure that will translate to them failing to win their division or even missing the playoffs entirely. They have (by far) the best quarterback in their division and the other three AFC East teams also have serious question marks.

5. Cincinnati Bengals: 11-6

I personally believe the Bengals are the second-best team in the AFC, but that won't necessarily translate into winning their very tough division. Despite deep playoff runs in each of the last two seasons, the team has started has started slowly both years and that may not change thanks to a Joe Burrow calf injury. Even though they may start slow, they will catch fire at some point.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers: 11-6

I don't care what anyone says, Mike Tomlin is one of the best coaches in the NFL and it's not debatable. I'm a believer that Kenny Pickett will take the next step in his development. Led by TJ Watt, their defense should be very good. They're not Super Bowl contenders, but they will be relevant down the stretch.

7. New York Jets: 11-6

How much Aaron Rodgers has left in the tank remains to be seen, but it's an objective fact that he's an upgrade over Zach Wilson. The Jets nearly made the playoffs last year despite having to play Wilson, Mike White, and Joe Flacco at quarterback.