Devereaux’s Post-Free Agency AFC Playoff Predictions

Devereaux’s Post-Free Agency AFC Playoff Predictions

by April 4, 2020 0 comments

The NFL has seen just about two weeks full of free agency.

Many teams took advantage of free agency this year, as they built their team into playoff contenders, while others began their rebuild.

With the new CBA, each conference will now be sending one extra team to the playoffs.

Here are my predictions for the seven postseason teams in the AFC Playoffs for the 2020 season.

Kansas City Chiefs 12-4

The reigning Super Bowl champions are running it back this year. The tagged Defensive End Chris Jones, and only lost two players from the starting lineup. Losing Defensive Back Kendall Fuller and Defensive End Emmanuel Ogbah are huge losses for Kansas City. The team can find their replacements through the draft. The team was built on mostly offense, and their whole offensive punch is still intact. They still have Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Receivers Tyreek Hill, MeCole Hardman, and Travis Kelce to take over games. As long as Mahomes is a Chief and he has at least two offensive weapons, this Chiefs team will be contending for a top playoff spot in the AFC. 

Baltimore Ravens 12-4

To think the Baltimore Ravens could get better on defense would be impossible. However, they managed to do so. They brought back everyone except defensive tackle Michael Pierce but added more depth on the defensive line, bringing in Derek Wolfe.

The Baltimore Ravens already have the best secondary in the league, and adding Wolfe to the depth chart adds more run help in the run game that was already top 10 a season ago.

The offense is still the same as last year. They didn’t lose anyone of importance, and their younger players such as Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrew, and Marquise Brown are only going to get better. They may have lost guard Marshal Yanda to retirement, but they can address his replacement in the draft. 

Buffalo Bills 11-5

Buffalo had one of the best defenses in the league last year, but they wanted to add more depth to their roster which they did by acquiring players such as Mario Addison, A.J. Klein, Vernon Butler, Quinton Jefferson, Tyler Matakevich and Josh Norman.

These players might not all start, but adds a great depth to this packed defense.

These additions will help the Bills win games on the defensive side of the football. As Josh Allen is still working on becoming their franchise quarterback, the Bills will not have to rely on the young quarterback.

Although Allen is still improving, he had a tremendous sophomore campaign. If he takes another step forward, this Bills team could easily come out of the AFC East. 

Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7

This Pittsburgh Steelers team went 8-8 last season without their franchise quarterback, and with major injuries throughout the season. With Ben Roethlisberger back in action, the Steelers should find themselves back in the playoffs. 

To improve the team, the Steelers added more offensive weapons such as adding another red-zone threat in tight end Eric Ebron. This addition gives Roethlisberger another target to throw to, allowing him to open up the field for other receivers such as JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington. The Steelers struggled running the ball due to injuries to James Conner and Jaylen Samuels. Even when healthy the team managed to be mediocre at running the ball. To help fix the run game, they traded for fullback, Derek Watt.

Watt is a great lead blocker and was able to help the run game for the Los Angeles Chargers in previous seasons. 

Cleveland Browns 9-7

Last year, the Cleveland Browns made a ton of noise in =free agency. They traded for top receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and brought their abysmal roster to one of the best in a matter of weeks.

However, the team underachieved from what many thought they would do. But many also had them in the playoffs, so last season was definitely a disappointment.

This year, they filled in positions that would help the team out depth-wise. They signed quarterback Case Keenum to a three-year deal to back up Baker Mayfield.

In case, Mayfield needs competition and motive to keep the starting job. Keenum also produces veteran knowledge that can help the process of Mayfield turning into the quarterback many thought he could become.

The team also signed right tackle Jack Conklin, to help protect Mayfield. 

In 2020, they’ve added veteran depth that should help glue what the team wanted to succeed from 2019. Players such as defensive end Adrian Clayborn and strong safety Andrew Sendejo are the type of players that the team can rely on for veteran leadership. Cleveland spent a lot of time filling up holes in the defense as well this offseason.

As they added Corner Backs Kevin Johnson and Donovan Olumba. They also are clogging up the running lanes by adding defensive tackle Andrew Billings. The biggest move that the team did was add tight end Austin Hooper, which allows new Head Coach Kevin Stefanski to run a two tight end spread. 

Tennessee Titans 9-7

The Tennessee Titans may have found a better quarterback in Ryan Tannehill. However, the team lost more talent than they have added this off-season. The team lost, Tackle Jack Conklin, Quarterback Marcus Mariota, Wide Receivers Tajae Sharpe and Darius Jennings, Defensive Tackle Austin Jackson, and Cornerback LeShaun Sims.

Although many of these guys were not the best at their positions the team would lose out on quality depth. This is especially concerning when they still have not re-signed players Logan Ryan (Cornerback), Wesley Woodward (Inside linebacker), Daren Bates (Inside linebacker), Kebin Pamphile (offensive line), and Tramaine Brock (cornerback).

What seems like nothing to many, these players were a part of last season’s amazing playoff run. The Titans have an easy division this year, and if Tannehill actually repeats his performance from last year the Titans will make the playoffs again. 

 

Los Angeles Chargers 9-7

The Los Angeles Chargers have lost a lot of depth this offseason: Melvin Gordon, Derek Watt, Adrian Phillips, Thomas Davis, Jaylen Watkins, Nick Dzunbar, and Jatavis Brown.

The team would make two moves that helped make the offseason worthwhile. As they signed offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga to a three-year deal. This move is tremendous as the Chargers had one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Adding the veteran tackle, allows the Chargers to help protect their new starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

The team also signed elite cornerback Chris Harris Jr.

The Chargers had a mediocre secondary and did alright without having a clear number one corner. Now that they added Harris, the secondary should provide better coverage as they now have their number one guy.

This team can still improve, as quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Cam Newton are still available on the market. If the Chargers decide to sign one of them, then the win category could see an increase.

Taylor is a great quarterback, but his ceiling is lower than Newton’s and Winston’s.

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