We’re talking about the only teams in the NFL with winning records and scoring margins greater than plus-10, the Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, and Baltimore Ravens, who form a distinct group at the top of Football Outsiders’ DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) leaderboard.
These seven are far superior to the remainder of the league.
Buffalo Bills (12-3) – Why they’ll triumph overall: They are likely the most balanced squad in professional football with the fifth-ranked scoring attack and second-ranked scoring defence in the league. They proved they are capable with victories in Los Angeles (against the Rams), Baltimore, and Kansas City.
Why they won’t succeed: Josh Allen, the quarterback, frequently displays dominance, but with 13 interceptions, he is only one shy of the NFL record. The Bills have had a few incredibly lacklustre performances when turnovers are taken into account. They can be put out of those in the postseason. Again.
San Francisco 49ers (12-4) – Why they’ll triumph overall: One of the best minds in the sport, Shanahan has a tonne of chess pieces at his disposal. Oh, and the best scoring defence in the NFL.
Why they won’t succeed: Even though Brock Purdy, a rookie seventh-round pick, has been excellent, he is still only a rookie. Nobody has even come close to leading a team to victory in those conditions. Jimmy Garoppolo’s recovery from a foot injury in the playoffs is still a possibility, but it’s extremely unlikely.
Dallas Cowboys (12-4) – Why they’ll triumph overall: If not for the fact that star quarterback Dak Prescott missed a few games due to a thumb injury, the league’s second-highest scoring offence would probably be top in that measure. The elements are in place when Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence are added to the No. 2 defence in terms of DVOA.
Why they won’t succeed: Dallas has turned the ball over 12 times in the last six weeks, and Prescott is tied for the league lead with 14 interceptions. In the postseason, such is not possible.
Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) – Why they’ll win it all: With quarterback Jalen Hurts in the lineup, the Eagles have only dropped one game all year.
Hurts is not on the field; the MVP front-runner has been sidelined for the past two weeks due to a shoulder ailment. The Eagles would not have won either contest without him. Dallas Goedert, a tight end, hasn’t appeared to be back to 100 percent since suffering a shoulder injury, though he could return soon, and safety Additionally still sidelined are offensive lineman Lane Johnson (torn adductor), defensive end Robert Quinn (knee), and C.J. Gardner-Johnson (lacerated kidney). Will they be able to recover quickly enough?
Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) Why they’ll triumph overall: Reid, Mahomes, and a strong run for a team with the best scoring offence in the league and Super Bowl experience,
Why they won’t succeed: They aren’t in control of anyone. They have won three of their past four games by six points or fewer. They committed several turnovers in each of three contests, including a stunningly dismal performance in Week 17 at home against the inferior Denver Broncos. Teams of the Chiefs with comparable talent haven’t succeeded in either of the previous two seasons; why should 2022 be any different?
Cincinnati Bengals (11-4) Why they’ll win it all: For head coach Zac Taylor and quarterback Joe Burrow, it might just be the next step in the process. Since the beginning of 2021, the 26-year-old Burrow has been the highest-rated passer in the league, and he has running back Joe Mixon, receivers Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins at his disposal.
They won’t have full home-field advantage in the playoffs in the fiercely competitive AFC, and their recent triumphs over Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and New England were close calls. (The fact that this blurb is so incredibly nitpicky is definitely a good indication.)
Baltimore Ravens (10-6) – Why they’ll win it all: Jackson could return soon from a knee injury, and the AFC North crown is still up for grabs. And they still have the league’s third-ranked scoring defense.
Why they’ll fall short: With six losses, they’re at the bottom of the elite group in the AFC and will likely have to win several road games in order to make it to Glendale, Arizona, for the Super Bowl on Feb. 12.