3 AFC playoff teams who will disappoint and miss the postseason in 2024

Could these three AFC teams miss the playoffs in 2024 after making it in 2023?
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills / Al Bello/GettyImages

The amount of talented teams currently in the AFC Is just mind-boggling, so some surprising teams could find themselves on the outside looking in during the 2024 NFL Season. It's actually a shame that there are only seven playoff spots available, as the AFC would be quite fun if, let's say, 12 teams made the postseason.

Every year, there always seems to be a new team in the playoffs and teams who didn't get in after being in the previous year. With the NFL a parity-rich league, there will always be this variation present. Many AFC teams have undergone a good bit of change this offseason, some for the better, and some for the worse.

Let's look at three AFC playoff teams who will disappoint and miss the postseason in 2024.

3 AFC playoff teams who will disappoint and miss the postseason in 2024
Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers were not nearly as good as their record indicated they were in 2023. They had a negative point differential and did not average 20 points per game. Sure, they might have upgraded a QB temporarily with Russell Wilson, but their ceiling as a team is quite low. The offensive line is shaky on paper, and their defensive line is filled with guys who are getting older.

While the Steelers have never finished with a losing record in the Mike Tomlin era, they also have not won a postseason game since 2016, and their recent years have been just barely above water. Until the Steelers either find a high-end QB or part ways with Tomlin, they'll stay at this level.

There are also more than seven teams who are better than the Steelers heading into the 2024 NFL Season, and they weren't even one of the seven best teams in the AFC last year. They might stumble a bit in 2024 and find themselves out of the playoffs.

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills are clearly in a bit of a new era. They had to part with several veteran players this offseason in an effort to strengthen their cap situation. Their biggest hits have come at wide receiver, as both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis are no longer in the picture. Their WR room is currently one of the weakest units in the NFL, and Josh Allen is someone who throws a lot of interceptions.

I do think we are going to see some regression from Josh Allen in 2024, and heck, the defense could take a step back, too. With Aaron Rodgers perhaps returning to his old form in 2024, the Bills might end up being a third-place team, as both the Jets and Dolphins are more talented on paper.

Do not be surprised if you see the Bills struggling at times in 2024. This might be a bit of a reset year for the team.

Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns might have a Deshaun Watson problem, folks. Is Watson all of a sudden washed up? He just might be. He's played and started in 12 games for the Browns thus far, and while Cleveland has gone 8-4 in those starts, Watson has thrown 14 touchdowns againste nine interceptions and has earned a lowly passer rating of 81.7. He's also only completed 59.8% of his passes.

What is going on with him? Folks, if he continues to play like this in 2024, the Browns aren't going anywhere, and their defense can only do so much. Their backup QB is now Jameis Winston, who is fine backup. But the AFC is only getting better, and the Browns simply need better play from Deshaun Watson if they want to be a viable team for the long-term.

There is a chance that Watson is just not his old self anymore, and Jameis Winston might not be much better if he gets a chance as well.