2022 NFL Playoff Prediction
What a 2022 NFL season.
With upsetting moments and happy moments, this season had many exciting games. Many upset fans whose NFL teams were projected to be a playoff contender sadly failed and missed the playoffs once again; but many seemingly bad or average teams shockingly improved this season.
Through Week 13 in the NFL, it’s time to take a look at playoff predictions.
NFC PLAYOFF PREDICTION:
In the NFC the Bears, Rams, Saints, and Cardinals are all out. But thanks to a bad NFC South, the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons are still in the hunt to try to make the playoffs; and the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and Green Bay Packers have a very slim chance at a wild card spot. But my prediction will be that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will win the South and that all the NFC East teams will make it in as wild cards behind the Eagles, including the Cowboys, Commanders, and Giants.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (1ST NFC EAST–already clinched)
DALLAS COWBOYS (2ND NFC EAST)
NY GIANTS (3RD NFC EAST)
WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (4TH NFC EAST)
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1ST NFC NORTH)
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1ST NFC WEST)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (1ST NFC SOUTH)
AFC PLAYOFF PREDICTION:
In the AFC the Jags, Raiders, Browns, Steelers, Colts, Broncos, and Texans are all out. The Jets, Chargers, and Patriots are battling for the find Wild Card spot for the final wild card spot (#7 seed) which puts them in the hunt. I predict that the New England Patriots and New York Jets will sadly be out of the hunt and not make the playoffs, leaving the Chargers as the 7 seed.
BUFFALO BILLS (1ST AFC EAST)
MIAMI DOLPHINS (2ND AFC EAST)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1ST AFC WEST)
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2nd AFC WEST)
CINCINNATI BENGALS (1ST AFC NORTH)
BALTIMORE RAVENS (2ND AFC NORTH)
TENNESSEE TITANS (1ST AFC SOUTH)
Here are some teams I want to highlight who can go deep into the playoffs.
Kansas City Chiefs
One team that is not surprising to make it to the final stages of the NFL playoff runs is the Kansas City Chiefs. Many NFL fans were really concerned after trading their top wide receiver Tyreek Hill. But the Kansas City Chiefs were not worried about it and did what they knew coming to a current 10-3 record.
The Chiefs success continued this year because they made really great draft pick ups in the 2022 NFL Draft. One of the most underrated running backs, coming from Rutgers and getting picked up in the 7th round (pick 110) is Isiah Pacheco. I am not surprised by how he is playing this season. I knew this football player had so much potential with his speed and shiftiness to be a starter in the NFL, which he did with a really great RB room and knocked out Clyde Edwards Helaire to become a starter. A 1st round 2020 draft pick coming out of LSU, Helaire hasn’t had much of a chance because of injuries.
This team also has a really great offensive line. Also, two great LB that are making huge plays in Nick Bolton and Willie Gay both play really physical and aggressive on every play.
Travis Kelce, of course, carries a load for this team, making big plays along with Pacheco. These two players will be key factors to winning playoff games.
Not to mention Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback having a great season so far with not many key targets in the wide receiver spot. But Mahomes is what he is and manages to make huge plays this year. Players to look at in the playoffs are Patrick Mahomes, Isaiah Pacheco, Travis Kelce, Kadarius Toney, Trent Mcduffie, Skyy Moore, Marquez Valdes Scantling, Willie Gay, Chris Jones, Frank Clark, Nick Bolton, and Orlando Brown Jr.
After a rough start to the season, NFL fans were bashing the Bengals for having a slow start (0-2 record). This team never gave up and picked things up to become a playoff contender. After two straight losses they picked up the rhythm. Beginning in Week 9, this team won five straight through Week 13. Ja’Marr Chase does what Ja’Marr does and Joe Burrow is having a fun season so far. Joe Mixon who is doing a great job picking up where he left off last year, is a physical runner and a catcher in the back end, and on the go route he is explosive.
The Bengals defense surprised NFL fans with a top 5 defense this year by only allowing around 14 points in the second half. With so many underrated LB like Germain Pratt and Logan Wilson and defensive ends such as DJ Reader and BJ Hill who are the best run block stoppers. Also, when getting a shot to play, I think Dax Hill will have a key defensive role in the playoffs. Eli Apple who got re-signed to a 1-year deal is having a great season so far. Apple has a lot of hate throughout his career, but I believe he is the most underrated CB this year. Finally, rookie CB Cam Taylor Britt who is having a great season so far in his rookie year looks like a CB 1 for the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals will run it back to the playoffs. This team is explosive on both ends offense and defense with many key players on this roster who will make a great impact including Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Jamar Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd Jessie Bates, Samaje Perine, Cam Taylor Britt, DJ Reader, Trey Hendrickson, Logan Wilson, Germaine Pratt, Sam Hubbard, Jonah Williams, Hayden Hurst, Vonn Bell, Mike Hilton, BJ Hill.
What a shocking and surprising team for NFL fans, who did not expect the Dolphins making it to the playoffs this year. With a great offseason hiring former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel has become in their head coach.
Tyreek Hill paid a lot during the season and is having a great season this year with his QB Tua Tagovailoa also having one of his best seasons. Tua (who was called a bust through his rookie year and expected to not be good this year) proved his haters wrong due to the fact that he doesn’t have a long arm meaning he is not an explosive thrower and not a deep threat. It also helps having the best wide receiver duos in Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who both are passing 1,000 yards this year with their nasty routes, speed, and shiftiness with many explosive plays making their opponents double team Hill and Waddle.
Also picking up one of the best offensive lines is Terron Armstead who is having one of his best seasons this year as one of the best left tackles in this league, looking phenomenal; and looks like it is paying off for the Miami Dolphins. This Dolphins team is having a great offense and makes a huge gain of plays. They are an exciting team to watch. Also, having great key players on both offense and defense. Finally, they traded for Bradley Chubb from the Denver Broncos during the season and is having one of his best seasons so far in his career (mostly due to injuries).
Players to watch through the season and the playoffs: Tua, Jaylen Waddle, Tyreek Hill, Terron Armstead, Bradley Chubb, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, Xavier Howard, Christian Wilkins, Jaelan Phillips.
What a season the Philadelphia Eagles are having after being the first team to clinch and make it to the playoffs. They made huge splashes and shocking trades this offseason and also having one of the best draft picks this year and picking up many defensive players that made a huge impact on this defense this year. Trading for AJ Brown (Swole Batman) impacted the offense with DeVonta Smith (Skinny Batman) on the other side forming one of the best wide receiver duos this year, as both guys are making huge and exciting plays. AJ Brown who is doing great so far having these stats: 1,020 yards with 65 receptions and 10 touchdowns and with 15.7 yards averaging per catch. QB Jalen Hurts shocked the NFL world and fans as he had a lot of pressure on his hands, proving that he could be a MVP candidate. The stats this year says it all for him: 3,157 passing yards, 22 TD, only 3 INT, and finally a QBR of 70.4. Not many NFL fans are giving credit to a special player that is really impacting this playoff run.
I also believe that the running game on this team has one of the most underrated running backs in the league in Miles Sanders (ATT 204, 1,068 Yards, 11 TD, Avg per carry 5.2). Another key player to watch in the playoffs for this team is Quez Watkins with his deep threat and speed and finally with his shiftiness.
This defense is a top 5 this year with many key players who are really impacting this team this year making their offensive opponents struggle with really great underrated CB, DE, ED, LB, and especially their safeties. Trading for safety Chauncey Gardner Johnson was a shocking move this offseason for this team and fans due to the fact that they had Anthony Harris (who got released before the trade went public), but it has worked out well for Philly.
Players to watch in the playoffs are Jalen Hurts, Devonta Smith, Jordan Davis, AJ Brown, Miles Sanders, Darius Slay, Brandon Graham, Fletch Fox, Jordan Mailata, and finally Lane Johnson, and James Bradberry.
The Vikings are also shocking the NFL world by having one of their best seasons, with many exciting and surprising moments in the season. Quarterback Kirk Cousins had a great season with many huge and impacted plays in the line. With his #1 wide receiver Justin Jefferson, what can NFL fans say more about this stud and exciting player? Man, his stats: 99 receptions, 1,500 yards, 6 TD and finally averaging 15.2 yards per carry, and his film speaks for itself. I believe he is the number one WR in this league this year. What makes him special is his special talent such as hands, his speed, his routes are filthy, and his shiftness. He has impacted this team and is carrying a load on his back to make a run to the playoffs. These two special players are keys to watch in the playoffs.
This Vikings defense is special with many great talents around them. Patrick Peterson, still having his juice, is making huge interceptions on the line with many games such as the Bills game. Give credit to the Vikings for re-signing him because it took a few until someone picked him up cause he is too old and everybody wants a young player on their team.
Key players to watch in the playoffs are Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, Danielle Hunter, Brian O’Neill, and Harrison Smith.
San Francisco 49ers
What a season the 49ers are having. It is a great, and really, roller-coaster-of-a season at the same time, with two of their QBs out with injuries: Trey Lance, who was predicted to have a good season with what all NFL fans saw last year and how he played with a couple of opportunities, and also Jimmy Garoppolo, who had some great games with his time. Now it’s Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick in the draft, QB Brock Purdy’s opportunity to make something huge this season. So far with his opportunity he is starting on fire with the NFL world shocked and keeping an eye on Mr. Irrelevant, who has had two straight wins as a starter so far.
Making a huge splash during the season by trading for Christian McCaffrey who already impacted the running game, was really the missing piece for this offense who was struggling and only had a couple of pieces.
This defense is special, arguably top 2 or 3 in the league, with many talented players from LB, CB, DE, and safeties.
Players to look at the playoffs are Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Ayuik, Deebo Samuel, Nick Bosa, Jimmie Ward, Trent Williams, Dre Greenlaw, Talanoa Hufanga, Fred Warner, Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, and Azeez Al-Shaair.