Season Predictions

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2022 NFL playoff predictions: Will Chiefs be dethroned in uber-competitive AFC West?

NOTE: All betting lines -- listed alongside each team -- are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and are current as of 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, Sept. 1.

AFC EAST CHAMPS

Rank
1
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
-230

UNANIMOUS SELECTION


Why Kurt Warner chose the Bills: This team was 13 seconds away from being the favorite in the AFC Championship Game, and Buffalo enters this season with what many believe is the most talented roster in the NFL. With a superstar QB in Josh Allen, depth on both sides of the ball and difference-making offseason additions like Von Miller and Rodger Saffold, the Bills are not only primed to win the AFC East, but also to make a serious run at representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. 

AFC NORTH CHAMPS

(15 votes: Bhanpuri, Blair, Cersosimo, Edholm, Filice, Grant, Hall, Hanzus, Parr, Patra, Reuter, Ross, Shook, Smith, Trotter.)


2) Cincinnati Bengals (+160) | 10 votes: Battista, Bergman, Chadiha, Mariucci, Rank, Rosenthal, Sessler, Tomlinson, Warner, Zierlein.


Why Marcas Grant chose the Ravens: On paper, the Ravens are still one of the most talented teams in the league. On the field, they just need to stay healthy enough to show it.

AFC SOUTH CHAMPS

(19 votes: Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Chadiha, Edholm, Filice, Grant, Hall, Hanzus, Parr, Patra, Reuter, Rosenthal, Shook, Smith, Tomlinson, Warner, Zierlein.)


2) Tennessee Titans (+170) | 6 votes: Cersosimo, Mariucci, Rank, Ross, Sessler, Trotter.


Why LaDainian Tomlinson chose the Colts: With the pain of a Week 18 collapse engrained in their memory all offseason, the Colts ditched Carson Wentz and brought in Matt Ryan. Now with a veteran quarterback who can still produce at 37 years old, an explosive run game and a top-10 scoring defense from a year ago, Indianapolis climbs to the top of the division for the first time since 2014. 

AFC WEST CHAMPS

Rank
1
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
+175

(12 votes: Battista, Bergman, Cersosimo, Edholm, Filice, Hall, Mariucci, Parr, Reuter, Rosenthal, Ross, Warner.)


2) Los Angeles Chargers (+220) | 11 vote: Blair, Chadiha, Grant, Hanzus, Patra, Sessler, Shook, Smith, Tomlinson, Trotter, Zierlein.

T-3) Denver Broncos (+275) | 1 vote: Rank.

T-3) Las Vegas Raiders (+600) | 1 vote: Bhanpuri.


Why Gregg Rosenthal chose the Chiefs: I think the Bills, Chiefs and Chargers have the three best rosters in the AFC. The tie between the final two teams goes to the Chiefs for the AFC West crown because they are the Chiefs. (And their defense and offensive line should make up for the loss of Tyreek Hill.)

AFC WILD CARD TEAMS

We asked voters to pick the three wild-card teams from each conference, ranking their picks from 1 to 3 based on where they project the squads to land in the pecking order. Here are the vote totals for the AFC:

Table inside Article
RankTeamWC Team 1 (3 pts) WC Team 2 (2 pts) WC Team 3 (1 pt)
1)Chiefs (36)11 VOTES: Bhanpuri, Blair, Chadiha, Grant, Hanzus, Patra, Sessler, Smith, Tomlinson, Trotter, Zierlein1 VOTE: Shook1 VOTE: Rank
2)Bengals (28)4 VOTES: Cersosimo, Hall, Ross, Shook8 VOTES: Blair, Edholm, Filice, Grant, Parr, Patra, Reuter, SmithNO VOTES
3)Ravens (18)3 VOTES: Battista, Bergman, Warner4 VOTES: Rank, Rosenthal, Sessler, Tomlinson1 VOTE: Zierlein
4)Chargers (17)4 VOTES: Edholm, Filice, Reuter, Rosenthal1 VOTE: Battista3 VOTES: Cersosimo, Hall, Warner
T-5)Broncos (14)1 VOTE: Parr4 VOTES: Bhanpuri, Chadiha, Hanzus, Ross3 VOTES: Battista, Sessler, Shook
T-5)Raiders (14)1 VOTE: Rank3 VOTES: Bergman, Hall, Warner5 VOTES: Mariucci, Patra, Ross, Smith, Tomlinson
T-7)Colts (7)1 VOTE: Mariucci2 VOTES: Cersosimo, TrotterNO VOTES
T-7)Dolphins (7)NO VOTES1 VOTE: Zierlein5 VOTES: Bhanpuri, Chadiha, Edholm, Rosenthal, Trotter
T-9)Patriots (3)NO VOTES1 VOTE: Mariucci1 VOTE: Hanzus
T-9)Steelers (3)NO VOTESNO VOTES3 VOTES: Bergman, Filice, Parr
T-9)Titans (3)NO VOTESNO VOTES3 VOTES: Blair, Grant, Reuter

NFC EAST CHAMPS

(23 votes: Battista, Bhanpuri, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Edholm, Filice, Grant, Hall, Hanzus, Mariucci, Parr, Patra, Rank, Reuter, Rosenthal, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Smith, Tomlinson, Trotter, Warner, Zierlein.)


2) Dallas Cowboys (+135) | 2 votes: Bergman, Blair.


Why Marc Ross chose the Eagles: It feels like a two-team race between Philadelphia and Dallas, but while the Cowboys have taken a step back (SEE: Amari Cooper trade, Tyron Smith injury), the Eagles boast one of the most improved and talented rosters in the league after dealing for receiver A.J. Brown, signing free-agent linebacker Haason Reddick and drafting Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean. It's not a stretch to think the ceiling for Philly is the Super Bowl -- depending, of course, on the growth of Jalen Hurts.

NFC NORTH CHAMPS

Rank
1
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
-170

(24 votes: Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Chadiha, Edholm, Filice, Grant, Hall, Hanzus, Mariucci, Parr, Patra, Rank, Reuter, Rosenthal, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Smith, Tomlinson, Trotter, Warner, Zierlein.)


2) Minnesota Vikings (+250) | 1 vote: Cersosimo.


Why Chad Reuter chose the Packers: The Packers will miss All-Pro receiver Davante Adams this fall, no doubt about it. But they play a manageable schedule and will rely on an improved running game and defense to win their fourth straight division title.

NFC SOUTH CHAMPS

(18 votes: Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Edholm, Grant, Hanzus, Mariucci, Parr, Rank, Reuter, Ross, Shook, Smith, Warner, Zierlein.)


2) New Orleans Saints (+320) | 7 votes: Filice, Hall, Patra, Rosenthal, Sessler, Tomlinson, Trotter.


Why Nick Shook chose the Buccaneers: The Buccaneers have a ton of questions along the offensive line, but they also have the magic elixir known as Tom Brady, as well as a bevy of weapons for him to utilize. This is far from a guaranteed outcome, but many have paid for betting against No. 12 before. In Brady's age-45 season, there's no reason to believe any of the other NFC South teams will unseat the king.

NFC WEST CHAMPS

(18 votes: Battista, Bergman, Blair, Grant, Hall, Hanzus, Parr, Patra, Rank, Reuter, Rosenthal, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Smith, Tomlinson, Warner, Zierlein.)


2) San Francisco 49ers (+160) | 7 votes: Bhanpuri, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Edholm, Filice, Mariucci, Trotter.


Why Adam Rank chose the Rams: The Rams seemed to really enjoy their Super Bowl championship. I mean really enjoy it. But they also did some work this offseason, bringing in a few veteran players who'll keep them atop the division. Allen Robinson is about to be unleashed for perhaps the best season of his career, despite already being one of the best in the game. And then there's Bobby Wagner, who should enjoy the kind of late-career resurgence Hulk Hogan had when he became Hollywood Hogan.

NFC WILD CARD TEAMS

We asked voters to pick the three wild-card teams from each conference, ranking their picks from 1 to 3 based on where they project the squads to land in the pecking order. Here are the vote totals for the NFC:

Table inside Article
RankTeamWC Team 1 (3 pts)WC Team 2 (2 pts)WC Team 3 (1 pt)
1)Cowboys (30)7 VOTES: Filice, Grant, Mariucci, Reuter, Shook, Smith, Tomlinson4 VOTES: Battista, Parr, Ross, Trotter1 VOTE: Zierlein
2)49ers (29)4 VOTES: Hanzus, Parr, Sessler, Zierlein6 VOTES: Hall, Rank, Reuter, Rosenthal, Smith, Tomlinson5 VOTES: Battista, Grant, Patra, Ross, Warner
3)Saints (23)3 VOTES: Bergman, Ross, Warner4 VOTES: Bhanpuri, Chadiha, Edholm, Hanzus6 VOTES: Blair, Cersosimo, Mariucci, Parr, Shook, Smith
4)Vikings (17)1 VOTE: Patra4 VOTES: Blair, Grant, Warner, Zierlein6 VOTES: Bergman, Edholm, Hanzus, Reuter, Rosenthal, Trotter
5)Rams (16)4 VOTES: Bhanpuri, Chadiha, Edholm, Trotter2 VOTES: Cersosimo, MariucciNO VOTES
6)Buccaneers (13)2 VOTES: Hall, Rosenthal3 VOTES: Filice, Patra, Sessler1 VOTE: Tomlinson
7)Cardinals (9)2 VOTES: Battista, Blair1 VOTE: Shook1 VOTE: Sessler
T-8)Bears (3)1 VOTE: RankNO VOTESNO VOTES
T-8)Packers (3)1 VOTE: CersosimoNO VOTESNO VOTES
T-8)Panthers (3)NO VOTESNO VOTES3 VOTES: Bhanpuri, Filice, Rank
11)Eagles (2)NO VOTES1 VOTE: BergmanNO VOTES
T-12)Commanders (1)NO VOTESNO VOTES1 VOTE: Hall
T-12)Lions (1)NO VOTESNO VOTES1 VOTE: Chadiha