The Meaningless AFC Playoff Picture

The [missed] kick that sent the Patriots the Super Bowl in 2012.

Week 17 is in the books and thus the 2014 NFL Regular season is over.

It seems as though all is back to normal in the AFC. Pittsburgh and Baltimore get to kill each other in the wild card round, and Tom and Peyton still run the league sitting atop the standings in the AFC and getting a first round bye.

All that’s left is to see who gets the privilege to come to Foxboro in a few weeks and lose with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

Now here’s a breakdown of what the AFC side of things will look like the next few weeks.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. 6. Baltimore Ravens

Love this blood-bath matchup. Two long time division rivals facing off for the fourth time in the post season. The Steelers have never lost to the Ravens in the playoffs (3-0). They also have never had to play the game in Baltimore, and won’t have to this year either. But the Ravens have hope with Steelers running back Le’veon Bell likely to be sitting out for their wild card weekend bout. Bell went down hard after taking a nasty (but clean) hit from Bengals Safety Reggie Nelson last night. Bell did not return to the game but also did not have a brace or crutches when seen after the game.

Bell or no Bell, I’m taking the Steelers in an unusually high scoring slug fest. Both teams like to go to the air and are pretty good at it. Pitt 34 Bal 31

4. Indianapolis Colts vs. 5. Cincinnati Bengals

This ones a toss up. To me, these are the weakest teams the AFC sent to the playoffs with an awful Colts defense/offensive line and the Bengals below average franchise quarterback, Andy Dalton. I want to give Dalton his first playoff win but I just think the lights are too bright for him. Andrew Luck, on the other hand, is a winner and will lead his team back to Foxboro this year to be, once again, dismantled by New England in the divisional round. Ind 27 Cin 9

So that makes it Patriots Colts and Broncos Steelers. I’ll leave that preview for next week.

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