The NFL playoff bracket comes into complete clarity typically during the last week of the season. Yet, as we go through from Day 1 of the new league year to the Super Bowl, many things will alter the NFL playoff predictions we make. Free agency, the NFL draft, and of course, the games themselves, will all play a major factor in how we view each team throughout the season. We hope what we lay out in March is still correct 11 months later.
But, the reality is that the NFL is the ultimate reality show that takes more twists and turns than an Agatha Christie novel or M. Night Shyamalan movie, back when seeing dead people was still rare. Below you’ll find the most up-to-date list of NFL playoff predictions for 2024.
Predicting the NFL Playoffs, Super Bowl Winner in 2024
NFC North Champions: Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are on the rise, and the culture Dan Campbell has instilled is real. I have challenged him many times, feeling all of the bluster and sound bites are great, but the wins must follow.
Well, Detroit had a winning record last year and were playing for the postseason in Week 17. The teams around them are poised to take a step back as they continue ascending.
NFC South Champions: New Orleans Saints
The absolute worst division in football last year starts this year with perhaps the worst collection of quarterbacks. To be weak at the game’s most important position is a death knell for your season. Last year, when everyone had bad quarterback play, the Bucs backed into the playoffs because someone has to win the division.
Well, the New Orleans Saints now have the best quarterback in the division — maybe the conference. They also have a stout defense and weapons.
NFC East Champions: Dallas Cowboys
The reigning NFC champions may not repeat as division winners. I expect the Eagles and Jalen Hurts to take a step back, as I think losing both coordinators in a single offseason can be very tough.
They were both replaced from outside organizations, which means a learning curve is coming. That leaves a void for the Dallas Cowboys to step into a year removed from sporting the fastest scoring offense in scoring behavior rate in the NFL last year.
NFC West Champions: San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Shanahan has a stranglehold on the division whether he’s going with his first-string or fourth-string quarterback. He was my pick for coach of the year last year.
The defense is elite, the offense has considerable weapons, and none of the other teams in the division seem close to taking them out. Seattle may come close, but I’ll have to see a 49er collapse to believe it.
NFC Wild Card Teams
AFC North Champions: Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore gave Cincinnati all it could handle last year and only lost to them in the playoffs due to an insane fumble return touchdown. That was with Tyler Huntley at quarterback. The Ravens went 2-2 with him in the regular season and will either have Lamar Jackson back this year or someone else.
Either way, it will be an upgrade from Huntley, and with the defense, any game is winnable. Plus, Cincinnati potentially has a lot of losses from the roster to contend with coming up.
AFC South Champions: Jacksonville Jaguars
What a difference a coach makes. Doug Pederson got this team into the postseason following one of the biggest failed coaching hires of all time. Jacksonville won the division last year, and they’re immediately getting better, with Calvin Ridley coming back from suspension, while the teams around them are poised to get worse.
AFC East Champions: Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins, with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback, were a legit Super Bowl contender and had beaten the Bills. In three meetings with Buffalo, they had a score differential of 2.6 points. One of those games was with a third-string QB on the road in the postseason.
Josh Allen regressed a bit last year, and the team overall was maybe slightly overrated. If Tua can stay healthy (a big if), I think they can overtake the Bills with an improved defense.
AFC West Champions: Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes. Andy Reid. Travis Kelce. Nothing more really needs to be said. When they’re locked in and focused, I’m not sure we have ever seen dominance on this level. The Kansas City Chiefs are the favorites until proven otherwise.
AFC Wild Card Teams
Los Angeles Chargers
Complete NFL Playoff Bracket
The most up-to-date NFL playoff bracket:
Who Will Win Super Bowl 58?
Last year, using my Behavior Bets sports betting model, I correctly predicted the Chiefs would win the Super Bowl by three points. They did.
For my NFL Super Bowl prediction this year, I’m again picking Kansas City, the current favorite according to the latest Super Bowl odds. Mahomes is on a run, unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Until he’s out, I will never doubt him being the favorite to deliver a championship.
The Chiefs lead the NFL playoff bracket on the AFC side. I believe they will defeat the presumptive NFC champion 49ers to round out these early NFL playoff predictions.
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