Every single AFC team with a realistic shot to make the postseason has a huge question or weakness. And since we're this late in the NFL season, those issues will be with them the rest of the way. I think the type of competition we've seen from the AFC this year is awesome for football. Even the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens, the only double-digit win team in the conference has issues.
And those issues are with every single playoff contender in the conference, so I think the playoff matchups could end up being hugely competitive, even down to the 2nd vs. 7th seed matchup during Wild Card weekend. We truly rarely see Wild Card teams make a ton of noise in the postseason, and I think that theme is going to hold true in the NFC.
I mean, it's clear that the best teams in the NFC are the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, who are likely going to earn the first and second seeds. The Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions are a tier below them, but the latter teams are clearly a step above the rest of the teams in the NFC. I'd truly be shocked if these four teams weren't the final four in the NFC.
But the AFC is much different:
The Baltimore Ravens have given up second-half leads with ease, and will Lamar Jackson's health hold up late into the season? The Miami Dolphins are getting bitten by the injury bug and can't beat good teams. The Kansas City Chiefs have an inept second-half offense and a bad WR room. The Jaguars feel painfully average...
The Browns are devastated by injuries and are without their starting QB. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts are on their backup QBs and don't do anything particularly well... I think you see my point. Below them, teams like the Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals, and Buffalo Bills are all battling for playoff spots, but each team brings their own weakness, too.
This is going to shape up to be a very fun playoff for the AFC. You could truly argue for about five teams to represent the conference in the Super Bowl. In the coming weeks, we'll begin to see the AFC playoff picture get clearer.