The 2024 NFL Playoffs are finally here and 14 teams will begin their quest for a spot in Super Bowl 58 next month. Below, we’ll take a look at the AFC bracket and see who will be representing the conference at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
2024 NFL Playoff Predictions
The Baltimore Ravens are the No. 1 seed in the AFC, securing the top seed and a first-round bye with a successful 13-4 record during the regular season. The AFC East champions are currently a +125 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook to win the conference and punch their tickets to Super Bowl 58.
The three Wild Card games will feature the No. 5 Cleveland Browns visiting the No. 4 Houston Texans on Saturday afternoon, the No. 6 Miami Dolphins visiting the No. 3 Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night, and the No. 7 Pittsburgh Steelers visiting the No. 2 Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon. The lowest remaining seed will visit the Ravens in the Divisional Round.
Wild Card Round
No. 2 Bills vs. No. 7 Steelers
Pittsburgh was able to MacGyver its way into the postseason, winning its final three games with Mason Rudolph at quarterback to sneak into the dance. However, no team was hotter than Buffalo down the stretch as it won its final five games to clinch the AFC East and the two-seed.
The Bills were 7-2 at home this season and while the game may not be pretty, I think Josh Allen and company get the job done in front of Bills Mafia.
No. 3 Chiefs vs. No. 6 Dolphins
Kansas City won the AFC West title yet again, but it was a bit more difficult than in years past. The Chiefs’ deficiencies at receiver were apparent during the back half of their schedule and the Patrick Mahomes-led offense sputtered at times. They’ll be hosting a Dolphins team that was electric on offense but struggled against other playoff contenders in the regular season. Look no further than when they lost to this very Chiefs team 21-14 in Week 9.
In Round 2 of the Tyreek Hill Bowl, I’ll predict Miami pulling off a stunner in Arrowhead Stadium and handing the defending Super Bowl champions an unceremonious Wild Card exit.
No. 4 Texans vs. No. 5 Browns
Cleveland impressively won 11 games despite cycling through multiple starting quarterbacks this season, eventually picking up former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco off the street. Meanwhile, Houston was the biggest surprise in the entire league this season as rookie head coach DeMeco Ryans and rookie QB CJ Stroud led the team to the AFC South title.
The Texans have been a feel-good story, but they’ll have their hands full when going up against one of the toughest defenses in the entire league. I think this veteran Browns team handles business in H-Town.
No. 1 Ravens vs. No. 6 Dolphins
With its starters getting multiple weeks of rest, Baltimore will host a Miami team that it just demolished 51-19 on New Year’s Eve. This matchup most likely won’t be that lopsided as the Ravens may be dealing with some rust and the Dolphins buzzing following an upset of the Chiefs.
However, Lamar Jackson has yet to make it past the Divisional Round in his career and I think he crosses that marker with a close victory at home. He’ll have his arsenal of weapons on hand in this game, including a possible returning Mark Andrews.
No. 5 Browns vs. No. 2 Bills
Buffalo has faltered in the Divisional Round in back-to-back years and unfortunately for Bills Mafia, I think the same happens this season. This has been the year of the backup quarterback across the league and it would be fitting for a grizzled veteran like Flacco to lead a team that he signed with in November to the AFC title game.
Cleveland pulls off another road victory and serious questions get asked about the current setup of the Bills organization.
AFC Championship Game
No. 5 Browns vs. No. 1 Ravens
It’s the old Browns vs. the new Browns in the AFC Championship Game and unfortunately for Flacco and company, this is the end of the road. Baltimore lost the last matchup between these AFC North rivals back in Week 10, a game where it choked away a comfortable lead in the second half.
I don’t anticipate that happening again as I think the Ravens win this comfortably and clinch their first AFC title since 2012.