Splash’s June Playoff Predictions

Mar 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; A general view of Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

June is in the books.

What does this mean?

It is time to predict the 14 playoff teams.

Check here for the May edition of these predictions. Check here for the April edition of these predictions. Check here for the March edition of these predictions. Check here for the February edition of these predictions.

AFC East:

New England Patriots 8-8 (+2)
New York Jets 4-12 (+0)
Buffalo Bills 9-7 Y (-1)
Miami Dolphins 5-11 (+0)

AFC North:

Baltimore Ravens 12-4 Y (+2)
Pittsburgh Steelers 10-6 X (+1)
Cleveland Browns 9-7 X (+1)
Cincinnati Bengals  5-11 (+0)

AFC South:

Indianapolis Colts 8-8 (-1)
Tennessee Titans 9-7 Y (+0)
Jacksonville Jaguars 2-14 (-1)
Houston Texans  7-9 (-1)

AFC West:

Kansas City Chiefs 13-3 * (-1)
Denver Broncos 9-7 X (+0)
Los Angeles Chargers 7-9 (-1)
Las Vegas Raiders 7-9 (+1)

NFC East:

Philadelphia Eagles 10-6 Y (+0)
Dallas Cowboys 10-6 X (-2)
Washington Redskins 7-9 (+3)
New York Giants 3-13 (-1)

NFC North:

Chicago Bears 8-8 (+1)
Minnesota Vikings 10-6 Y (+1)
Green Bay Packers 9-7 (-1)
Detroit Lions 8-8 (+6)

NFC South:

Atlanta Falcons 4-12 (+0)
Carolina Panthers 6-10 (+0)
New Orleans Saints 11-5 X (-2)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-5 Y (+1)

NFC West:

Los Angeles Rams 8-8 (+0)
Seattle Seahawks 10-6 X (-2)
San Francisco 49ers 12-4 * (+0)
Arizona Cardinals 5-11 (-3)

Key:
* – Home Field Advantage
Y – Division Winner
X – Wild Card

Tiebreakers:

AFC No.3: The Titans beat the Bills head-to-head.
AFC No. 6: The Browns had a better conference record than the Broncos.

NFC East: The Eagles had a better strength of victory than the Cowboys.
NFC South: The Buccaneers had a better record within the division than the Saints did.
NFC No. 3: The Eagles had a better strength of victory than the Vikings.
NFC No. 6: The Seahawks beat the Cowboys head-to-head.

Playoff Predictions:

No. 2 Ravens over No.7 Broncos
No. 3 Titans over No. 6 Browns
No. 4 Bills over No. 5 Steelers

No. 2 Buccaneers over No. 7 Cowboys
No. 6 Seahawks over No. 3 Eagles
No. 4 Vikings over No. 5 Saints

No. 1 Chiefs over No. 4 Bills
No. 2 Ravens over No. 3 Titans

No. 6 Seahawks over No. 1 49ers
No. 2 Vikings over No. 4 Vikings

No. 1 Chiefs over No. 2 Ravens

No. 2 Buccaneers over No. 6 Seahawks

The Chiefs defeat the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.

Extra Thoughts

The Lions had the biggest jump from May, quadrupling their win total despite not adding any new pieces in the last month or so.

The Cardinals fell by three wins. With how strong the division might be, Arizona is in an awkward spot. It would not be surprising to see them win eight or nine games, but there is a decent chance they lose at least four games in the division, which would be a massive setback.

The Chiefs reign supreme for the fifth straight month. Their Super Bowl opponent, Tampa Bay, underwent a radically different course to make the Super Bowl. I had the Buccaneers starting 2-5 before rattling off nine wins in a row to steal the NFC South. In theory, it works. At the start of the season, the Buccaneers play some sturdy defenses on the road including New Orleans, Denver, and Chicago. With the weird offseason, expect Tom Brady and co. to struggle slightly earlier on. However, the back half of the schedule sees the Bucs host the Saints, Rams, Chiefs, and Vikings. By this point, Brady should have found some sort of rhythm with his new weapons, and the Tampa defense should be humming. They stretch the winning streak to 12 games before a sizzling Patrick Mahomes exacts his revenge on the Bucs in Tampa.

One thing working against the Buccaneers is the fact that no team has ever made it to the Super Bowl in their home stadium.

The biggest signing of the last month was Cam Newton going to the Patriots. I see a pair of games flipping, but the Patriots do not have enough weapons on offense to overcome some discrepancies. While the defense has shown it can score by itself, regression to the mean could be in store as the Patriots fail to replicate their ridiculous defensive touchdown rate.

Other Tidbits

The Browns snap the longest playoff drought in the four major North American professional sports. Sorry, Marlins.

The Buccaneers snap the second-longest playoff drought in the NFL.

The Chiefs become just the second team of the century to repeat as champions. Even if they were to lose Chris Jones, they should be heavy favorites in 2020.


The numbers will certainly fluctuate throughout the off-season, so be sure to tune in for the July and August editions of the playoff predictions.

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