2022 NFL Playoff Predictions following Week 5 action


The NFL season is more or less about a third of the way complete, and I will not use the overblown cliché of how it feels like this season started yesterday. It feels more like it started about 4 days ago. The season is going fast, but not so fast that you need to stop and take a look around or else you could miss it.

But while the season may not be coming at us fast, life still can, and it can make a season speed up or slow down depending on how life is coming at your favorite team. One minute you’re confident that Aaron Rodgers will find a way to make it work with his receivers, the next the Packers are barely clinging to a playoff spot, per these latest projections. One minute the Giants were a forgotten, ho-hum team. Now they could be in the playoffs AND seeded higher than the mighty Pack.

Life comes at you fast, and it will be coming in hot for our eight division leaders. This week, I will give my projections, along with how confident I am that the current division leader will stay that way. Confidence will be on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most confident.

Note: These are not power rankings. These are not picks based off any analytical data or insider knowledge. These are picks based off what I have seen during the season so far. I could be wrong, just like I could be right. Either way, I will be back again next week to offer an updated projection to cover any of my past mistakes.

Check out the projections from weeks past here:

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4


1 Seed: Kansas City Chiefs (14-3) AFC West Winner
Confidence – 3: The Chargers are still a good enough team to make the Chiefs have to work all season to stay atop this division, though the Chiefs still win out in the end.

2 Seed: Buffalo Bills (14-3) AFC East Winner
Confidence – 5: If Tua was healthy I’d lower this down to a 4. Alas, that is not the case, and the Bills should continue to run roughshod over the rest of their (non-Chiefs) schedule.

3 Seed: Baltimore Ravens (13-4) AFC North Winner
Confidence – 5: So long as the Ravens can avoid getting lit up too much from the air, they should be fine, and I do not say that lightly at all. DeShaun Watson will be back too late to get the Browns to make a real division run.

4 Seed: Tennessee Titans (10-7) AFC South Winner
Confidence – 3: The Titans could slip up any week against the Colts or Jaguars, who may not be good teams, but are teams good enough to beat bad and or unfocused teams. And it is hard to be focused against those two teams when you don’t take them seriously yet.

5 Seed: LA Chargers (11-6)
The Chargers are my pick for the “Why can’t we play in the AFC South?” award, given annually to the team that is screwed by being stuck in a division with a buzzsaw team like the Chiefs.

6 Seed: Miami Dolphins (10-7)
The big question here is when Tua comes back, because the Dolphins look like the Dolphins we are used to when he is not under center. Which is crazy because the Dolphins looked exactly like those Dolphins last year with Tua under center. Shoutout, Mikey McD!

7 Seed: Cleveland Browns (9-8)
The Browns defense just has to keep them within spitting distance of the playoffs until Watson gets back. That could be a big ask when the schedule between now and then is vs. NE, at BAL, vs. CIN, at MIA, at BUF and vs. TB.


1 Seed: Philadelphia Eagles (13-4) NFC East Winner
Confidence – 2: The Birds are real, everyone. So why the low confidence? The Cowboys, led of course by Cooper Rush and Tony Pollard, as we all expected, are breathing HARD down the Eagles’ neck.

2 Seed: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-5) NFC South Winner
Confidence – 5: Something seems off with this Brady-led team, though it won’t matter so long as the refs are the refs and the NFC South is the NFC South.

3 Seed: Minnesota Vikings (11-6) NFC North Winner
Confidence – 2: This is more a lack of belief in Kirk Cousins being able to lead a team to a division title than it is in the Packers catching the Vikings. But doubting the Vikings appears to be working for them. Outside of a few bumpy weeks in November, the road ahead does not look all that perilous.

4 Seed: San Francisco 49ers (11-6) NFC West Winner
Confidence – 4: The rest of the NFC West looks beyond lost, just in time for Kyle Shanahan to rediscover how to make the Niners running game go zoom zoom zoom.

5 Seed: Dallas Cowboys (12-5)
I am going to say it since no one else has the guts to do it: TONY POLLARD IS RB1 IN DALLAS! Come get me, NFL Police.

6 Seed: New York Giants (10-7)
A Giants team in the playoffs! Wrong sport, but the G-Men deserve our respect until further notice. That further notice being the inevitable Saquan Barkley injury that is looking less inevitable every passing week.

7 Seed: Green Bay Packers (10-7)
Everyone is on edge in Green Bay. Is that because the season is slipping away, or is it because that’s just how Aaron Rodgers likes it for some toxic reason?


(2) Bills over (7) Browns
Come for the first quarter. That’s about it.

(3) Ravens over (6) Dolphins
Good things cannot JUST happen in Miami. They are well aware of this down there.

(4) Titans over (5) Chargers
Watch Derrick Henry run. Now watch it happen again. And again. And again. And oh wait Ryan Tannehill interception. Okay back to Henry again. And again…


(2) Bucs over (7) Packers
The last time Aaron Rodgers had the last seed in the NFC, he led the Packers to the Super Bowl. There will be no history repeating itself this time.

(4) 49ers over (5) Cowboys
Jerry Jones wants to face the 49ers again just so he can see the Niners defensive line mow Big D down again. Because Jerry hates learning from his mistakes.

(6) Giants over (3) Vikings
I love calling upsets three months before they happen, but we have to get at least ONE wild card upset that breaks the internet. Hopefully this is the Nickelodeon game.


(1) Chiefs over (4) Titans
Life is a lot harder against the big-brother team of the AFC West.

(2) Bills over (3) Ravens
The Ravens are allowing an NFL worst 290 pass yards per game. This game is 103 days away and Josh Allen has already thrown for 100 yards in it.


(1) Eagles over (6) Giants
The Giants thrill ride comes crashing down after running into an Eagles offensive attack that the G-Men just are not equipped to handle.

(2) Bucs over (4) 49ers
Expect a defensive grind that will come down to one of these quarterbacks making a play over the other. Seriously, which QB do you think comes through there?


(2) Bills over (1) Chiefs
My predictions for this game by week, so far: Chiefs, Bills, Bills, Chiefs. Basically, it will come down to whoever has the ball last and what they do with those 12 seconds they have the ball.

(1) Eagles over (2) Bucs
Again, something is off with the Brady-led Bucs offense. The defense can only do so much to handle this beast of an Eagles team.


(2) Bills over (1) Eagles
The 49ers and Chargers scored a combined 75 points in Super Bowl XXIX. Could these teams top that by halftime?

Featured Image Photo Credit: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images