The NFL playoffs have finally arrived after surviving a pandemic-affected regular season.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus is still hovering around, revealing a new playoff format. At the same time, teams line up to defeat the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and their star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.
There are seven teams from each conference that made the playoffs, and the top seed earned a bye to the divisional round—a different route from the usual format of six teams and two byes from each conference.
The Chiefs are a crowd favorite and are expected to make another Super Bowl appearance, but they have another AFC challenger.
The Buffalo Bills are hosting their first home playoff game since 1996; they proved to be one of the strongest teams in league with their star quarterback Josh Allen.
Chiefs are at a franchise high with a 14-2 record, earning their first-round bye and advancing to the divisional round. As for the other six AFC playoff teams, they will battle it out this upcoming week.
The Chiefs will sit back and observe their opponents; while six teams will play, only three will advance.
6 AFC playoff teams that can potentially face the Chiefs
6. Cleveland Browns
Cleveland's success is credited to their fervent run game. Running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have proven to be a deadly duo. Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett have shown some impressive talent on the field, leading to an 11-5 record.
5. Indianapolis Colts
Head coach Frank Reich is steering the Colts into a positive future.
The Colts are quite lucky to have Reich, who once was the offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl winning Eagles; Reich has his team in the postseason for the second time in three years.
However, their luck is about to run out; they are going into Buffalo to face the formidable Bills.
4. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens ended last season swinging. This year they didn't hold up to the same standards.
The Ravens had a three-game losing streak; afterward, they closed the regular season with a five-game winning streak.
The Ravens head to Tennessee in a rematch of last year's divisional round.
3. Tennessee Titans
The Titans are entering the playoffs with dangerous players that should keep the Ravens are their heels.
The offensive player of the year running back, Derrick Henry, devours opposing defense. Ryan Tannehill connects with wide receivers A.J. Brown, or Corey Davis should be feared as well.
Tannehill had a slow start, but he is proving to be a solid passer, tossing 33 touchdowns this season.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers didn't end the season on a high note, but they are still considered an impressive adversary for the Chiefs.
Pittsburgh's a strong contender lead by a skilled coach and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The Steeler's offense isn't carried by one all-star player but by a few star players like Juju Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Chase Claypool.
The Bills have won their first division title since 1995 with a 13-3 overall record.
Star quarterback Josh Allen has raised his completion percentage by over ten percent from 2019-2020, played into 37 touchdowns, and had over 4500 passing yards.
The Bills will be the Chiefs' top and most formidable challengers if they end up playing each other in the postseason.Published 09 Jan 2021, 08:55 IST