It feels like someone is missing from this list of teams. Must not be that important.
2020 AFC Playoff Teams
1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-2), AFC West Champions:
The inevitable seems to be happening in KC. They only had one real loss this season (to the Raiders), and they look almost as good as they did last year. I say "almost" because some teams are figuring out how to punish Mahomes for his scrambling shenanigans, and there are some strong defenses in the AFC who could punish him. Still, they seem rightfully favored to win the Super Bowl at this stage.
2. Buffalo Bills (13-3), AFC East Champions:
After their loss to the Texans last year, I said that Josh Allen was the limiting factor for the Buffalo Bills. Needless to say, he's no longer a limiting factor. This is McDermott's third trip to the playoffs, and it's the strongest looking yet. They earned their division title, and their spot at #2, and their legitimate contender status.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4), AFC North Champions:
If there's one mystery among playoff teams, it's the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was a noted skeptic of their 11-game win streak since many of their wins came against very bad teams. Then they dropped three straight to the eventual NFC East Champs, the Bills, then the Burrow-less Bengals. They definitely have flaws, and the best thing going for them is that they get to play a familiar team next Sunday. The worst thing going for them is that they've played four of the remaining AFC teams, who are all as good or better than the Browns.
4. Tennessee Titans (11-5), AFC South Champions:
I definitely underestimated the 2019 Titans, and the 2020 Titans are a straight improvement. I'd be tempting fate to write them off again, so I won't, but I will say that they had a rough back half of the season. After losing to the Steelers, they lost to the Bengals, Browns, and split games with Indy. Now, everyone in this AFC list is dangerous as heck, and they have a rematch next Sunday with the Ravens, who...
5. Baltimore Ravens (11-5):
Somehow seem even scarier this year? They were 14-2 last year, but seemed completely lost in the Divisional round. The Ravens are the kind of team that play better when they're under-estimated. On top of that, they are running the ball well against everyone, their defense is still good, and everyone seems wiser after that embarrassment, and they have a chance at redemption this year.
6. Cleveland Browns (11-5):
Hallelujah and/or Hell hath frozen over! The longest active playoff drought has finally come to an end in Kevin Stefanski's first year as head coach. The Browns are definitely a good team, and they deserve this spot in more ways than one. Even though Pittsburgh effectively chose their Wild Card opponent, the Browns have a real shot as winning a playoff game. Not sure if they will get that win, or how much they'll manage after, but I'm happy for Cleveland.
7. Indianapolis Colts (11-5):
And here, for the first ever 7 seed in the AFC are my Colts, who have a path through Hell if they want to make it to the Super Bowl. I genuinely think that we would be favorites and virtually unstoppable if Andrew Luck weren't retired. Even with the O-line issues of the last two weeks, they're making adjustments to remain effective, they run the ball well, and they have one of the best defenses in the league. The Colts kick off the postseason on Saturday, in Buffalo, for a chance to play the current Super Bowl champions in KC. Not sure my blood pressure can take it.
2020 NFC Playoff Teams
1. Green Bay Packers (13-3), NFC North Champions:
Another year brought more improvement for the Packers, and this time they get home field advantage. Aaron Rodgers put up another MVP-caliber season while his defense continues to hold up their end of the bargain. Their biggest problem is losing David Bakhtiari extremely late in the season. The line seemed to hold up against the Bears, but playoff football is playoff football. At least they have an extra week to work on that position.
2. New Orleans Saints (12-4), NFC South Champions:
FOUR straight NFC South titles, and this was the second year in a row Brees missed games due to injury, only for the team to keep on pace. They deserve to be on this list, and they're just as capable as years past. They also start in a solid place, getting to host a rematch against the Bears and having won both their games against Tampa. I don't know if they will manage a second ring for Brees, but they could do it.
3. Seattle Seahawks (12-4), NFC West Champions:
Welcome back, Seahawks. This year marked a big change from Seahawks Past, letting Russell Wilson cook on offense instead of relying on the now-defunct Legion of Boom. Their defense still seems solid, though, and they get at least one game in Seattle. This team has a good core and are solid contenders.
4. Washington [Replace This When We Finally Figure Out a New Name] (7-9), NFC East Champions:
Despite the record, Ron Rivera's team are not the biggest losers of the 2020 playoffs Alex Smith has earned his chance to play in another playoff game, and the quick turnaround (relatively speaking) for this team is admirable. They are still deeply, deeply flawed--something that will not change as long as Dan Snyder owns the team--but I wouldn't count them out against the Bucs just yet.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5):
Bruce Arians does a pretty good job. Yeah, yeah, Tom Brady is getting top billing because sports media love him, but this team is more than a QB, and they were playing good decent offense before #12 arrived (not counting interceptions, at least), and they wouldn't in the playoffs without a solid defense. That being said, the game in DC isn't a guaranteed win, and getting said win only guarantees a divisional trip to Green Bay, New Orleans, or Seattle. I think they'll be stopped short of playing a Super Bowl at home.
6. Los Angeles Rams (10-6):
If there's a second mystery among playoff teams, it's the Rams. They've had ups and downs this year, with losses against good teams and a loss against a very bad team (how do you lose to the Adam Gase Jets at home?!), and now their starting QB is dealing with a thumb injury while preparing for a date in Seattle. They could manage a strong run, but that only happens if their defense steps up to shut down Russell Wilson on Saturday, giving Goff extra time to recover. They will need to score more points if they want to beat the Packers or Saints in later rounds.
7. Chicago Bears (8-8):
Sneaking into the playoffs is a worst case scenario for the Bears. This team does not deserve a playoff berth. They need to rip off the band-aid and completely overhaul their offense, but Arizona's loss means Nagy's squad is headed to New Orleans. If, by some miracle (curse?), they upset the Saints, they face Green Bay for a third time. At Lambeau. In January. The best they can do is secure the #19 place in the draft, which is bad enough for a team who needs the draft capital.
On second thought, let's not go to TechReport. Tis a silly place.