Almost a 3rd of the NFL season is gone and a clearer image is slowly starting to emerge of the place the 16 AFC franchises are at.
The New England Patriots are firmly on the best way to a different divisional title and few would guess in opposition to them assembly the Kansas City Chiefs within the AFC Championship for the second consecutive season, whereas the Cleveland Browns are but to reside as much as the preseason hype.
Fans of the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets, in the meantime, are in all probability wanting ahead to the offseason after a string of dismal performances.
So, primarily based on the primary 5 weeks of the season, which AFC groups can we anticipate to see within the playoffs?
The Patriots have gotten off to their finest begin since 2015 and their fourth-best of the Bill Belichick period. If that sounds ominous, it is as a result of it’s.
New England is 5-Zero and will feasibly arrive into the Week 10 bye with a 9-Zero file. Whether the Patriots can emulate their 16-Zero season from 2007 stays to be seen—they face a tough stretch between Week 11 and 14—however an 11th consecutive divisional title seems a formality.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the Patriots have a 99 p.c probability to achieve the playoffs and an 88 p.c probability to win the division.
Behind them, the Buffalo Bills’ possibilities of enjoying soccer in January stand at 78 p.c after a outstanding 4-1 begin, whereas the Dolphins and the Jets are destined for an additional disappointing season after shedding their first 4 video games.
The Cleveland Browns started the season as 6/Four to win the division for the primary time since 1989—when it was referred to as AFC Central—however have did not reside as much as expectations to this point.
Cleveland is 2-Three and is struggling to combine its shiny new weapons in its offense. In his second 12 months within the NFL, Baker Mayfield is experiencing the form of rising pains he had averted final season and hasn’t been helped by a porous offensive line.
FiveThirtyEight ranks the Browns’ probabilities to make the playoffs at 48 p.c, whereas Baltimore’s stand at 61 p.c. The Ravens are 3-2 and at the moment are 67/100 to win the division, after starting the season at 3/1.
Baltimore’s protection has been uncharacteristically weak, however the Lamar Jackson-led offense has to this point offset these points—no different AFC workforce has scored extra factors than the Ravens.
Pittsburgh is right down to its third beginning quarterback in six weeks after accidents to Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph and is about for a second consecutive season with out playoff soccer after successful simply as soon as in its opening video games.
Cincinnati, in the meantime, is 0-5 and in dire straits.
The AFC South is arguably essentially the most open division within the league. The Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts lead the division with a 3-2 file and their possibilities of reaching the playoffs stand at 58 and 53 p.c, respectively.
Houston started the season as 14/5 favourite to win the division and is now down at 3/2, whereas the Colts have moved from 5/1 to 7/4.
The Texans have the fourth-hardest schedule within the NFL and has already traveled to Los Angeles to play Chargers and to New Orleans, with back-to-back highway video games in opposition to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Colts arising in Weeks 6 and seven.
Indianapolis has already performed and gained in Kansas City and bar a visit to New Orleans in December, its schedule will get simpler between now and the top of the season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans, in the meantime are 2-Three and each have a 20 p.c probability of reaching the playoffs.
Despite shedding at house to the Colts in Week 5, the Kansas City Chiefs stay the overwhelming favourite to win the division.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the Chiefs have an 82 p.c probability of topping the AFC West and a 90 p.c chance of constructing the playoffs.
A repeat of final season AFC Championship Game in opposition to the Patriots seems on the playing cards and the end result of their Week 14 assembly might decide who will end because the convention’s top-ranked workforce.
The Oakland Raiders have put the Antonio Brown fiasco firmly behind them and are 3-2, however their playoff chances are high as little as 28 p.c, largely due to having the toughest schedule within the NFL.
Oakland nonetheless has to play the Packers, Texans and Chiefs on the highway this season.
The Chargers, in the meantime, started the season as 19/10 second-favorite to win the division after going 12-Four final season however at the moment are out to 7/1 after shedding three of their first 5 video games.
Their playoffs probabilities stand at 23 p.c after shedding at house to Denver on Sunday, whereas the Broncos are 1-Four and want a minor miracle to achieve the postseason.