We are approaching Week 11 of the 2023 NFL Season. Let's take an early look at the NFL playoff picture and make some early predictions. Right here you can view the current NFL playoff picture.
In the AFC, a whopping 11 teams have at least 5 wins, and currently, the 5-4 Houston Texans hold the seventh and final Wild Card spot in the AFC. The NFC is a bit different, though. Only six teams in the NFC have a winning record, and each team that currently sits out of the playoffs in that conference has a losing record.
It's a tale of two conferences. There is a ton of parity in the AFC, but the NFC is much weaker. However, I'd argue that the two best teams in football are the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. Well, we are approaching the home stretch of the 2023 NFL Season. Week 11 already kicks off on Thursday.
Let's predict which teams end up in the playoffs!
2023 NFL Playoff predictions heading into Week 11
AFC Playoff Prediction
1st seed: Kansas City Chiefs - Right now, even though the AFC is loaded, the Kansas City Chiefs seem to be the most consistent teams. There are valid questions with the second-seeded Baltimore Ravens and their ability to close out games. Lamar Jackson can also get turnover-happy, which is no good.
2nd seed: Miami Dolphins - Given that their remaining schedule is on the easier side, especially compared to the Baltimore Ravens, I think Miami ends up with the 2nd seed in the AFC. I'd expect their defense under Vic Fangio to turn the corner as we progress late in the season, and the offense is getting De'Von Achane back soon as well.
3rd seed: Baltimore Ravens - The Baltimore Ravens will get the 3rd seed in the AFC. This is a very good team with a shutdown defense and a dynamic quarterback. Their injury luck has been a lot better this year an John Harbaugh is a veteran coach that has coached tons of games late in the season with playoff implications
4th seed: Jacksonville Jaguars - The Houston Texans seem to be this year's version of the 2022 Jacksonville Jaguars, but I don't think they'll quite have enough to dethrone the Jags. The Jaguars are the best team in the division and have the best combination of coach/QB in the AFC South.
5th seed: Cincinnati Bengals - I get that the Bengals haven't looked great this year, but Joe Burrow is no worse than the 3rd-best QB in the NFL and this is a team that has made two-straight AFC Championship Games and has a Super Bowl appearance in 2021 as well. Among all the potential Wild Card teams in the AFC, I trust the Bengals the most.
6th seed: Pittsburgh Steelers - I cannot believe this Steelers' team is 6-3. I truly don't know how they do it. QB Kenny Pickett has been largely dreadful this year and the defense is good-not-great. This team has been outscored by 26 points and outgained in every game this year. However, being 6-3 gives them a near-certain shot to make the postseason.
7th seed: Denver Broncos - OK, I'm going to be a homer here. It's hard to not pay attention to what the Denver Broncos have done over the last month. They're 4-2 over their last six games and have won three in a row, two of which came against Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. The defense has done a complete 180 and has been one of the best units in football over the last month. The offense and Russell Wilson are doing enough to give the team a chance to win.
And with the Denver Broncos having two games coming up against Josh Dobbs and PJ Walker, I like Denver's chances to get to 6-5 in a couple of weeks.