2020 NFL Season Predictions

2020 NFL playoff predictions at midseason: Division champions, wild cards

AFC EAST CHAMPS

Rank
1
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
7-2-0

(26 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Brandt, Casserly, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Filice, Goodbread, Grant, Hall, Jones-Drew, Lewis, Mariucci, Parr, Patra, Pioli, Rank, Rosenthal, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Thomas, Zierlein)


2. Miami Dolphins (2 votes: Carr, Trotter)


Why Maurice Jones-Drew chose the Bills: It's simple: The Bills have the most complete team in the division. They are pretty much unstoppable offensively when young quarterback Josh Allen plays at a high level, and Sean McDermott's opportunistic defense regularly puts the team in position to win.

AFC NORTH CHAMPS

Rank
1
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
8-0-0

(23 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Blair, Brandt, Carr, Casserly, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Grant, Hall, Jones-Drew, Lewis, Mariucci, Parr, Patra, Pioli, Rank, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Thomas, Trotter, Zierlein)


2. Baltimore Ravens (5 votes: Bergman, Bhanpuri, Filice, Goodbread, Rosenthal)


Why Marc Sessler chose the Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers roll with a chaos-spinning defense, a bevy of weapons on offense and a COTY-worthy leader in Mike Tomlin. The Thanksgiving rematch with the Ravens shines on the horizon -- and could all but seal the deal.

AFC SOUTH CHAMPS

Rank
1
Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans
6-2-0

(21 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Blair, Brandt, Carr, Cersosimo, Goodbread, Grant, Hall, Jones-Drew, Lewis, Mariucci, Parr, Patra, Pioli, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Thomas, Trotter, Zierlein)


2. Indianapolis Colts (7 votes: Bergman, Bhanpuri, Casserly, Chadiha, Filice, Rank, Rosenthal)


Why Kevin Patra chose the Titans: In running back Derrick Henry and receiver A.J. Brown, the Titans possess two of the most physically imposing mismatches in the NFL. Look for that tough tandem to navigate Tennessee through a difficult remaining stretch run. The defense has left a lot to be desired thus far, but with Ryan Tannehill playing a steady brand of ball and providing one or two game-changing splash plays a week, the Titans' offense can mask the defensive deficiencies. In a division characterized by inconsistency, Tennessee's offense is the easiest group to trust for the balance of 2020.

AFC WEST CHAMPS

Rank
1
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
8-1-0

UNANIMOUS SELECTION


Why Charley Casserly chose the Chiefs: With Patrick Mahomes surrounded by weapons of all shapes, sizes and positions, the Chiefs are too multi-dimensional to stop. And on the other side of the ball, Kansas City's defense is better than Las Vegas' D. Andy Reid will always have the team mentally ready, week in and week out.

AFC WILD CARD TEAMS

We asked voters to pick the three wild-card teams from each conference, ranking their picks from 1 to 3 based on where they project the squads to land in the pecking order. Here are the vote/point totals for the AFC:

Seed
5
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
6-2-0 · (69 points)

Fifth seed: 23 votes (Baldinger, Battista, Blair, Brandt, Carr, Casserly, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Grant, Hall, Jones-Drew, Lewis, Mariucci, Parr, Patra, Pioli, Rank, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Thomas, Trotter, Zierlein)

Sixth seed: None

Seventh seed: None


Seed
6
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
5-3-0 · (25 points)

Fifth seed: None

Sixth seed: 8 (Blair, Brandt, Goodbread, Lewis, Pioli, Rank, Shook, Trotter )

Seventh seed: 9 (Carr, Chadiha, Grant, Hall, Jones-Drew, Mariucci, Ross, Sessler, Zierlein)

Seed
7
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
5-3-0 · (17 points)

Fifth seed: None

Sixth seed: 4 (Baldinger, Cersosimo, Parr, Ross)

Seventh seed: 9 (Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Patra, Pioli, Rank, Rosenthal, Shook, Thomas)

Table inside Article
Additional votes WC Team 1 (3 pts) WC Team 2 (2 pts) WC Team 3 (1 pt)
Steelers (15) (5 votes: Bergman, Bhanpuri, Filice, Goodbread, Rosenthal) No votes No votes
Colts (14) No votes (6 votes: Battista, Hall, Jones-Drew, Mariucci, Patra, Thomas) (2 votes: Baldinger, Brandt)
Dolphins (13) No votes (3 votes: Grant, Sessler, Zierlein) (7 votes: Battista, Casserly, Cersosimo, Filice, Goodbread, Lewis, Parr)
Titans (12) No votes (6 votes: Bergman, Bhanpuri, Casserly, Chadiha, Filice, Rosenthal) No votes
Bills (3) No votes (1 vote: Carr) (1 vote: Trotter)

NFC EAST CHAMPS

Rank
1
Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
3-4-1

UNANIMOUS SELECTION


Why Marcas Grant chose the Eagles: Someone's gotta win this division, right? The Eagles are the least-flawed group of the bunch and getting healthy at the right time.


NFC NORTH CHAMPS

Rank
1
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
6-2-0

UNANIMOUS SELECTION


Why David Carr chose the Packers: Aaron Rodgers has the Packers' offense firing on all cylinders, but the defense still needs to improve if Green Bay wants to make a postseason run. In terms of the rest of the division, it comes down to the fact that I don't believe in the Bears; it's a little too late for the surging Vikings to catch up, especially with the way Green Bay is playing; and the Lions are too inconsistent.

NFC SOUTH CHAMPS

Rank
1
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
6-2-0

UNANIMOUS SELECTION


Why Scott Pioli chose the Saints: The Saints have been through the fire with injuries and gut-wrenching losses over the last few years, and that experience leads them through an unorthodox 2020. Their outstanding coaching and talented roster -- from top to bottom -- has them cruising at the halfway point. Plus, New Orleans already has a season sweep of the second-place Bucs, putting the Saints in prime position to win their fourth straight division title.

NFC WEST CHAMPS

Rank
1
Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
6-2-0

(26 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Brandt, Carr, Casserly, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Filice, Goodbread, Grant, Hall, Jones-Drew, Lewis, Mariucci, Parr, Patra, Pioli, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Thomas, Trotter, Zierlein)


2. Rams (2 votes: Rank, Rosenthal)


Why Rhett Lewis chose the Seahawks: Seattle has been the most consistently successful team in the West this year, and with a legit MVP candidate in Russell Wilson having a career year, the 'Hawks will come out on top in perhaps the league's toughest division.

NFC WILD CARD TEAMS

We asked voters to pick the three wild-card teams from each conference, ranking their picks from 1 to 3 based on where they project the squads to land in the pecking order. Here are the vote/point totals for the NFC:

Seed
5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6-3-0 · (80 pts)

Fifth seed: 24 votes (Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Brandt, Carr, Casserly, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Filice, Grant, Hall, Jones-Drew, Lewis, Mariucci, Parr, Patra, Pioli, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Trotter, Zierlein)

Sixth seed: 4 (Goodbread, Rank, Rosenthal, Thomas)

Seventh seed: None

Seed
6
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
5-3-0 · (38 pts)

Fifth seed: None

Sixth seed: 13 (Battista, Casserly, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Filice, Lewis, Mariucci, Patra, Pioli, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Trotter)

Seventh seed: 12 (Baldinger, Bhanpuri, Blair, Brandt, Carr, Goodbread, Grant, Hall, Jones-Drew, Parr, Rosenthal, Zierlein)

Seed
7
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams
5-3-0 · (37 pts)

Fifth seed: 2 votes (Goodbread, Thomas)

Sixth seed: 10 (Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Brandt, Carr, Grant, Hall, Jones-Drew, Parr, Zierlein)

Seventh seed: 11 (Battista, Casserly, Chadiha, Filice, Lewis, Mariucci, Patra, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Trotter)

Table inside Article
Additional votes WC Team 1 (3 pts) WC Team 2 (2 pts) WC Team 3 (1 pt)
Seahawks (6 pts) (2 votes: Rank, Rosenthal) No votes No votes
Vikings (5 pts) No votes (1 vote: Baldinger) (3 votes: Bergman, Cersosimo, Pioli)
Bears (2 pts) No votes No votes (2 votes: Rank, Thomas)
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