If the playoffs began today, the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets would secure playoff spots by winning the two AFC Wild Card spots respectively, but is that how it’s going to turn out come season end? Let’s take a look at the chances of each team making it to postseason.
Kansas City Chiefs: Right now, the Chiefs have the best shot at securing the first Wild Card spot. After starting the season 1-5, the Chiefs have made a huge turn around by winning 6 in a row and have put themselves in good position to finish the season strong. The last 4 games for the Chiefs look promising too, with San Diego, Baltimore, Cleveland and Oakland left to play, the Chiefs would not have to face another above-.500 team again this regular season.
- Prediction: The Chiefs maintain their Wild Card spot and go 3-1 in their last 4 games. However, I cannot guarantee much success in the postseason due to lack of pure offense. After losing Jamaal Charles to injury yet again, the Chiefs have been lucky enough to survive with their backups, however, I believe the lack of post season experience will haunt the Chiefs yet again.
New York Jets: The Jets currently hold the 2nd AFC Wild Card spot and are looking to expand on what has been a surprisingly good season under new head coach Todd Bowles and backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. The rest of the regular season for the Jets comes off as intriguing to me. They have Tennessee, Dallas, New England, and Buffalo left. With New England being the only one of those teams over .500, you might think things look promising for the Jets, however it is the JETS, so you never know. We’ve seen each of those teams play well as of recently, and two of them are still fighting for a playoff spot (Dallas and Buffalo), so I expect it to be tough for the Jets who have been nothing more than up-and-down this season.
- Prediction: The Jets go 2-2 in their last 4 games, and unfortunately fall out of playoff contention (assuming the Steelers out play New York). I believe even though the Titans and Cowboys have played somewhat decent recently, they win those games. However they drop the next two against New England and Buffalo, who have already proved themselves against the Jets earlier this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers are right on the edge of playoff contention behind New York and KC, and they still have a great chance on capitalizing this opportunity. The next 4 weeks for Pittsburgh are as follows: Cincinatti, Denver, Baltimore, and Cleveland. It’s a tough stretch filled with a couple of above .500 teams and some division rivalries, but I think the Steelers have a shot.
- Prediction: The Steelers go 3-1 in their last 4 games and secure a spot in the playoffs. I think they have a tough game against Cincinnati this upcoming week, and if there’s one they’ll lose, it’s that one. Besides that, I think they can squeak by Denver and win out the two division games left. With Big Ben back and looking great, the Steelers have a great opportunity to make a playoff run.
Buffalo Bills: The Bills currently sit at 6-6 under new head coach Rex Ryan this year. They’ve played well and have lost a few close games that have diminished their chances at making the playoffs, but statistically they still have a shot. Left on their schedule is Philadelphia, Washington, Dallas and New York (A). Three of the 4 of those teams are under .500, and the one that’s not (the Jets) have already fallen to Buffalo once this season.
- Prediction: The Bills go 3-1 in their last 4 games. I can’t exactly predict who they’ll lose that one game to, but I have a feeling they can win at least 3 out of the 4. Unfortunately, the Bills will be just a tad short of playoff contention yet again, and I know Rex won’t be happy about it.
Houston Texans: The Texans have had quite the up and down season, which explains their 6-6 record. As of recently, they are riding a hot streak in which they have one 4 straight, one of which was a huge win over, at the time, undefeated Cincinnati. It will be interesting to see if they can continue this streak. Houston still has to go up against: New England, Indy, Tennesee and Jacksonville. Besides the tough one this week against Brady and the Pats, Houston has a pretty good shot to end the season on a good note.
- Prediction: I think the Texans go 4-0 in their last 4 games. That’s right I said it. And you know what that means? The Texans don’t grab a Wild Card spot, but win the division!!! I think they can beat out the Colts and find themselves hosting a playoff game this winter.
Oakland Raiders: The Raiders are looking for their first playoff appearance since 2002, and unfortunately the road ahead looks pretty tough. The Raiders have Denver, Green Bay, San Diego and Kansas City left on their season schedule. It sounds rough, and by knowing it’s the Raiders…it’s going to be.
- Prediction: The Oakland Raiders go 0-4 in their last 4 games. Sorry Raiders fans! But what can you truly expect? The Raiders are slowly getting younger and better with new additions of Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, yet they seem like they are still a year or two away from making a real statement in this league. Raiders fans should be excited for what the future holds for this franchise.
Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins are also sitting at 5-7, and they also have a rough road ahead. The Giants, Chargers, Colts and a divisional matchup against New England is what lies ahead for Miami, and I think that’s going to call for a couple of tough weeks. The Dolphins haven’t had the season they hoped for, but they are lucky enough to still be in the hunt for a Wild Card spot.
- Prediction: The Dolphins go 1-3 in their last 4 matchups. They just haven’t played very good football all season and 3 of the teams ahead of them are looking to hop into the playoffs. It might be a bloodbath for the rest of the season for the Dolphins, and I think they will need to make many off-season changes to better prepare for next year.
Kyle Hirshkind is the managing editor for Full Press Coverage's New York Jets channel. Originally from Long Island, New York, Kyle has been an avid Jets supporter for 20+ years.