The Bills were a very talented team last year, and were one bad overtime rule away from making the AFC Championship. Considering they greatly improved their weaknesses this offseason, paired with the fact that they have the easier schedule in terms of rest, and I think they could earn the No. 1 seed this year.
The Colts should be favored to make the playoffs since they have a good coach and a very talented, balanced roster that would be considered a Super Bowl contender if Andrew Luck didn't retire. Matt Ryan isn't in his prime anymore, but he should be an upgrade over Wentz, so perhaps they'll finally get quality quarterback play this year. They should definitely win the division since the Titans only got worse this offseason while the rest of the division still sucks, and since they have the easiest strength of schedule in the AFC, I could see them getting a high seed.
I could easily see a team like the Chargers or Broncos win the AFC West due to their offseason additions, but I'm going to give the edge to the Chiefs since they still have best head coach-quarterback pairing in the division. However, since they lost some quality players in the offseason like Hill and Mathieu, and have the fifth-hardest strength of schedule to go along with playing in a now stacked division, I don't think they'll be able to repeat as the No. 1 seed.
The Ravens did lose their best wide receiver in Hollywood Brown this offseason, but their offense relies more on their running backs and tight ends anyway, and they have one of the easiest schedules in the AFC, so I could see them making the playoffs. Even though I want to give the edge to the Bengals for winning their division since they did such a great job addressing their weaknesses in the offseason, it will be difficult for them to do so with their third-hardest strength of schedule.
Similar to the Colts, the Broncos have had a talented squad for a while now, and the only thing they've been missing has been a quarterback. Now that they have Russell Wilson, they should definitely be capable of making the playoffs. Unfortunately for them, they still play in a division with Patrick Mahomes, so winning the AFC West will be difficult. However, they still have the talent to be a Wild Card contender, and with an average strength of schedule, I could see them getting as high as the fifth seed here.
The Dolphins have a very talented roster, and barely missed out on the playoffs last year. Unfortunately they probably won't be able to win their division due to the Bills being a legit Super Bowl contender, but they did address their needs well enough to be considered a Wild Card contender this year.
The Chargers have one of the most talented rosters in the AFC, especially after their offseason acquisitions, but unfortunately for them they still play in the stacked AFC West, and have the 10th-hardest strength of schedule. With that being said, I still think they should be able to sneak into one of the Wildcard spots.
You hate to see it, but it does look like the Bucs are in a great position not only to win the division, but also to earn the No. 1 seed. They have practically the same team that is only a year removed from winning the Super Bowl, and I'm sure they'll be extra motivated to win another with this most likely being Tom Brady's final season. Having the fourth-hardest strength of schedule won't make things easy for them, but they have enough talent to compensate.
The Packers were lucky to convince Aaron Rodgers to come back, since as long as they have him they should always be considered a threat to make the playoffs. While they do have the talent to win their division again, it will be difficult for them to repeat as the No. 1 seed with all of their offseason losses. However, having one of the easiest strengths of schedule in the NFC should help offset that.
The Eagles were good enough last year to barely make the playoffs, and considering they have one of the easiest strengths of schedule in the NFL, I could see them earning a higher seed this time around. In fact, since the Cowboys only got worse this offseason, while the Eagles improved tremendously, I could even see them winning the division.
The Rams still have a very talented team, so they should be able to win their division again, but considering they have the hardest strength of schedule in the NFL, it will be difficult for them to earn a higher seed than this.
The Cowboys lost a good amount of talent this offseason, but they're still a good team that made the playoffs last year, and they have the easiest strength of schedule in the NFL, so I think they should be able to earn one of the Wild Card spots.
The Vikings have had the talent of a playoff contender for years now, but they've failed to capitalize on that talent due to Mike Zimmer and Kirk Cousins holding them back. While they're unfortunately still stuck with Cousins, they finally moved on from Zimmer, so they should expect some improvement. They also have one of the easier strengths of schedule in the NFC, so they should be considered a Wild Card contender.
The Saints did lose their head coach and some of their key players in free agency, but they did a good job keeping the rest of the band together. Winston isn't great, but he's also not terrible, and they return almost the same coaching staff as they had with Sean Payton. They also had a solid draft, and getting Thomas back should help them make one of the Wildcard spots. However, they do still have one of the top 10 hardest strengths of schedule, so it will be difficult for them to finish with a higher seed than this.
Wild Card round
This is a very tough match-up to predict, since both teams have very talented and balanced rosters. However, experience is often key in the playoffs, so I'll give the edge to the Colts since they have the much more experienced coach and quarterback.
This would be an exciting match-up, not only because this would be Tyreek Hill's revenge game, but also because the Dolphins almost upset the Chiefs the last time they played. However, like I said before, experience matters a lot in the playoffs, and the Chiefs have the more experienced coach and quarterback.
For whatever reason, the Ravens have made it a habit of choking in the playoffs in recent years, so I could see them doing so again here even though they're at home. Wilson is the much more experienced quarterback, and the Broncos have just as much talent, if not more, as the Ravens, so I see them getting the win here.
The Saints blew out the Packers last year, but that was with Payton as their coach, and they were in Jacksonville. This time around, the Packers will have the more playoff-experienced coach, and will be at home, so they should get the win here. However, I would not be surprised at all to see them once again choke in the playoffs, especially since they won't have the benefit of a first round bye like they've had in previous years.
This is a very interesting matchup, since both coaches are inexperienced, and their teams are evenly matched in terms of talent. I could honestly see this going either way, but I gave the edge to the Vikings since they have the more playoff-experienced quarterback.
The Rams are the better team on paper, and are at home, so I see them getting the win here.
Another interesting match-up that could go either way, I'm giving the edge to the Bills here because of their home-field advantage.
The Colts have the talent to win this one at home, but unfortunately for them, I trust Mahomes over Ryan to push his team to the conference championship.
The Buccaneers are the more talented team, have the more experienced coach and quarterback, and are at home, so it's difficult to see the Vikings getting the win here.
Like I said before, as long as the Packers have Rodgers, they'll always be a threat to win a Super Bowl. Unfortunately for them, their offseason losses will have to catch up to them eventually, and it will most likely happen against a more talented team. So even though the Packers are at home, I don't think they have enough experience at wide receiver for them to be able to beat the talented Rams here.
Conference Championship round
If this game is anything like last year's playoff matchup between these two teams, then we're in for a show. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, I don't see them winning the rematch, since the Bills are at home, and are the more talented team on paper.
These teams are very evenly matched, but I'm giving the edge to the Buccaneers since they're at home, and will be motivated to win a ring for Brady.
This would be a very fitting Super Bowl for many reasons. The first is that if the Bills win their first Super Bowl, it will be very fitting that they do so against their old arch-nemesis in Brady. The second is that if they lose yet another Super Bowl, it will be even more fitting that it was against Brady. While I would love to see Brady add another Super Bowl loss to his resume, I just don't see it happening. Once he's in the Super Bowl, Brady rarely ever loses, and when he does it's never to young superstar quarterbacks like Allen, it's to average ones like Eli Manning and Nick Foles. So unfortunately for the Bills, their Super Bowl curse continues with yet another loss, only this time it's at the hands of their most hated rival.