2023 AFC Wildcard Weekend Preview

2023 AFC Wildcard Weekend Preview

The AFC was an extremely balanced conference, and it took until Week 18 to figure out which teams were going to the postseason. I feel like anyone can beat anyone in the AFC with some heavyweight opponents going head-to-head. The Ravens will get to sit this one out, locking up the 1-seed and a bye week until the divisional round. Here’s our 2023 AFC Wildcard Weekend preview.

No. 5 Cleveland Browns at No. 4 Houston Texans

Saturday at 4:30 EST

This is definitely an unfortunate draw for the Texans who had a Cinderella season and are back in the postseason for the first time since 2019. The Browns are not the team they wanted to see in the first round by any means. Cleveland has the best defense in the NFL and Joe Flacco has come off the couch to tear up the NFL. He and Amari Cooper got to rest in Week 18, and I have a feeling they will be firing on all cylinders in this game. C.J Stroud has been one of my favorite players to watch this season, but it was a close call in Week 18 where he was almost outbattled by Gardner Minshew. I think the experience of Flacco, and the strength of the Browns defense will prevail in this game. Prediction: Browns 23 Texans 20

No. 6 Miami Dolphins at No. 3 Kansas City Chiefs

Saturday at 8 EST

The Dolphins really hurt themselves by losing on Sunday night. Instead of playing the Steelers at home, they must travel to snowy Kansas City and take on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium which is a daunting task. Kansas City has not been the usual Chiefs team that we are used to seeing since Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid teamed up. They’ve lost four of their last eight games, but they had a golden opportunity to rest their starters in Week 18 with their spot already locked up and that will go a long way in this game. The Chiefs beat Miami 21-14 earlier this season and they just aren’t a team I bet against when the postseason comes around. When you have a guy like Patrick Mahomes, anything is possible and a butt whooping is the future I see for KC. Mahomes wants to get back to the divisional round to face Josh Allen. Prediction: Chiefs 34 Dolphins 24

No. 7 Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 2 Buffalo Bills

Sunday at 1 EST

This is the only mismatch we have in the Wildcard playoffs and it’s simply because the Steelers have no offense, and their defense may be diminished with a less than fully healthy T.J. Watt who injured himself in Week 18 and will possibly be sidelined in this game. Let’s also give some credit to the Bills who finished the year with a five-game winning streak and claimed the 2-seed from the Dolphins who allowed the Sunday Night game to slip away. Josh Allen hasn’t played his best this season, but the Bills defense has stepped up when they needed it most and that’s the outcome I see in this game too. The Steelers have averaged 18.5 points over the last 8 weeks, which won’t be enough to keep up with a Bills team that can burn you in a lot of different ways. I have the Bills rolling straight on to the Divisional Round where we could get a classic rematch against the Chiefs. Prediction: Bills 28 Steelers 17