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NFL 2013 AFC Second Half Predictions

NFL 2013 AFC Second Half Predictions

Nov 13, 2013

The 2013 NFL is just about passed the halfway point and the playoff place and division title battles are becoming just that little bit clearer. Week 11 (of 17) kicks off on Thursday with the Indianapolis Colts visiting the Tennessee Titans and every game means that just little bit more at this late point in the season.

Here’s a set of predictions for each of the division title races along with the wildcard scenarios.


East – New England Patriots

A lot of people are looking at the next couple of games as a potential stumbling block for the Patriots. They travel to face the Panthers on Monday before hosting the Broncos the next week. Even two losses in those games won’t be enough to open the door. New England’s schedule after that is relatively easy and the New York Jets don’t look like a team ready to drop its Jekyll and Hyde act just yet.

North – Cincinnati Bengals

The loss to Baltimore this past week leaves the door open. The Ravens and Cleveland Browns are now 4-5 chasing Cincinnati’s 6-4. Still, the Bengals have home match-ups against both of their division rivals left on their schedule. They should win enough games to emerge from this division.

South – Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck and the Colts defense both bummed out against an under-rated St Louis Rams team. Thursday’s game against Tennessee suddenly takes on a new importance. Fortunately, the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars and ragged Houston Texans ensure that Indy’s division is just plain winnable. Expected victory on Thursday will all but confirm it.

West – Denver Broncos

Yes the Kansas City Chiefs are the toast of the NFL enjoying a 9-0 record, but no it will not last. Kansas City has not beaten a team with a winning record so far this season. They still have to play their tougher two division rivals Denver and the San Diego Chargers twice in the next seven weeks. Their other games come against the Colts, the Redskins and Oakland Raiders. Oakland are the only guaranteed win in that category.

Wildcards – Kansas City and New York

The Chiefs might have a losing record over their final seven games, but even if they do they will have the best non-division winning record in the AFC. The rest of the competition isn’t strong with Tennessee, Baltimore and New York the obvious competitors. The Jets schedule is relatively easier with two games against the all over the place Miami Dolphins, one against the Buffalo Bills, one against the ‘whose our quarterback’ Browns. The Jets have enough structure and two great lines to emerge with that second wildcard spot and they will be a handful in the postseason.

Playoff Predictions:

The AFC is tough to predict because the obvious contenders (Denver and New England) have significant questions to answer over the next few weeks. The Patriots have major holes to fill on defense while desperately hoping that Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola can stay healthy enough for the offense to fire. Meanwhile, the Broncos defense has struggled in recent weeks. Peyton Manning has some injury concerns and the invincible team looks beatable especially outside of Denver.

Still there isn’t an obvious challenger to this likely conference championship match-up. The pick here is for New England to take home the better record and go to the Super Bowl courtesy of home field advantage.

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