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2023 AFC Playoff Team Projections and Seedings

With the preseason finally wrapped up and teams trimming their roster down to the mandatory 53  standard, the NFL 2023 campaign is in full swing. As for Strike 7 Sports, we closed out our team preview series for 2023. Our previews were comprised of a total of nine teams from both conferences. Four of the nine previewed teams will be division winners in 2023. Our latest series will rank and project all seven clubs we expect to qualify for this season’s playoffs. Also included are teams with playoff potential but not confident enough to insert their names into the seven qualified clubs. We start things off with the AFC.

Kansas City Chiefs (1st Seed) 13-4

No one should be surprised by the Kansas Chiefs being named our projected number-one seed in the AFC in 2023. They are the reigning, defending Super Bowl champions and have proved on several occasions that they are built to win any battle on the football field. The absence of All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones could make things interesting.

Cincinnati Bengals (2nd Seed) 12-5

Something that has not been mentioned during the offseason is how Joe Burrow and the Bengals will navigate through the AFC North with opposing QBs Lamar Jackson back to full strength and Deshaun Watson no longer suspended for off-the-field behavior. The Bengals must capitalize on their opportunity with new deals looming for star talents such as Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins. Despite the potential surging threat from division foes Cleveland and Baltimore, the Bengals will do enough to win the North and secure the second seed in the AFC.

Miami Dolphins (3rd Seed) 11-6

As stated in our season preview, the Miami Dolphins will overtake the Buffalo Bills as the team to beat in the AFC East. Their roster got significantly better during the offseason. At the same time, the Bills saw a reduction in talent after losing Tremaine Edmunds to free agency and not having the presence of edge rusher Von Miller for at least the first four games of the season because of an injury that occurred in 2022. The health of quarterback Tua Tagavaloa will determine how far they can go once the postseason starts.

Jacksonville Jaguars (4th Seed) 11-6

They may have to deal with a potential late-season surge from the Tennessee Titans, but all signs point to the AFC South crown remaining in Jacksonville. The insertion of wide receiver Calvin Ridgely makes their offense even more potent. The former first-round pick from Alabama served a full-season suspension in 2022 due to violating the league’s gambling policy.

Baltimore Ravens (5th Seed) 11-6

Is 2023 the year that Lamar Jackson returns to his 2019 MVP form? That’s the expectation coming out of Baltimore after the influx of talent at the wide receiver position. The Ravens added free agent Odell Beckham Jr. and selected one of the draft’s best prospects, Zay Flowers, to boost the Baltimore offense significantly.

Buffalo Bills (6th Seed) 10-7

While they may take a step back from a defensive standpoint, the Buffalo Bills will have enough firepower to qualify for a postseason berth. However, this is a team to watch out for during the latter portion of the year, especially with Von Miller returning to the active roster.

Tennessee Titans (7th Seed) 9-8

If you are wondering why the Tennessee Titans are on this list as a playoff team, please consider these reasons. This season, they play games against the NFC South and twice face teams within their division. The AFC and NFC South are expected to be two of the worst divisions in the league this season. If the Titans can go 3-1 or 4-0 against the NFC South and have a successful record against division competition, they can significantly position themselves for a wild-card berth. Outside of facing division foes, the Titans will take on AFC heavyweights, the Bengals, Ravens, and the Chargers. They will need to win one or two of those games at least to solidify their playoff aspirations for 2023.

AFC Playoff Bubble Teams





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Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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