When it comes to the AFC, it seems as if it is clearly the Patriots and then a stock of teams who cannot compete with them.
Yes, Denver has been the Patriots toughest team in the AFC for quite some time now. In Foxboro, Denver is 0-1 in the playoffs, losing 45-10 back in 2012. While the Broncos are the only team against which Tom Brady has a losing record (6-9) seven of his nine losses came at Denver. Not to mention, Peyton Manning is long gone and rookie quarterback Trevor Siemian is now calling the shots. As long as Denver is coming to Foxboro in January, the Patriots should handle them pretty easily.
You may think a healthy Pittsburgh team may give New England trouble. Tom Brady is 9-2 vs the Steelers in his career and is 5-1 against Mike Tomlin with 19 touchdowns and no interceptions against the Steelers. The Steelers are just 1-3 in New England under Mike Tomlin and haven’t beaten New England in the playoffs during the Tom Brady era. You shouldn’t worry about the Steelers too much.
Oakland has been a pleasant surprise this season especially after beating defending the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos Sunday night. They’re now 7-2 and second in the AFC. However, that was Oakland’s first win against a team in the playoff picture this season and they did it with Denver’s Aquib Talib sidelined. Their two losses came with Kansas City Chiefs, giving 26 points, and the Atlanta Falcons, where they gave up 35 points. Don’t get me wrong — the Raiders are a solid team with many weapons on the offensive side of the ball. But I firmly believe the Raiders defense isn’t good enough to stop the Patriots and Oakland cannot score at the rate the Patriots can.
The Kansas City Chiefs have the best record in football since Week 7 of last year at 16-2. However, one of those losses came to New England in the Divisional round last year. The Chiefs have a below average defense this season after finishing in the top ten last year.
They rank 14th in passing yards given up per game and 27th in the league in rushing yards per game. They’ve given up 369 yards this season, ranking twelfth in the NFL. Offensively, Jamaal Charles was just placed on the IR after having set backs on his knee and they rank 30th in the league with just 203 passing yards per game. People believe Kansas City could reach the AFC Championship to face New England, but this team is by no means a playoff contender, let alone a threat to the Patriots.
Tom Brady is 15-3 at home during the playoffs. I firmly believe as long as the Road to Houston goes through Foxboro, New England has a better shot than anyone in the AFC at reaching the Super Bowl.