Around the AFC
Six predictions for the season’s second half:
1. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes won’t reach 5,000 yards passing (he’s on pace for 5,155), but he will win the NFL passer rating crown. Currently at 116.7 during the Chiefs’ 8-1 start, he will outlast the Rams’ Jared Goff and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan.
2. The Patriots will win home field advantage. New England (7-2) has won six consecutive games and will jump to the top of the conference when Kansas City loses to the Rams in Mexico City. Knowing how difficult the Arrowhead Stadium environment is, the Patriots will keep their foot on the gas to make the road to the Super Bowl go through Foxborough.
3. Indianapolis will be a surprise contender. The Colts are 3-5 and start the second half with three consecutive winnable home games (Jacksonville, Tennessee and Miami). They also have road games at the Jaguars and Titans so they still have everything in their hands.
4. Oakland will finish with the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Raiders are 1-7 and seem to be regressing. They have two possible wins left on the schedule – – Nov. 18 at Arizona and Dec. 24 against the Broncos. But Arizona quarterback Josh Rosen will pick apart the awful Raiders defense and the Broncos will win on Christmas Eve.
5. Baltimore will miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season (after making it five out of six years), putting John Harbaugh at the top of the coaching free agent list.
6. Buffalo’s awful offense will finish with 219 points (a 13.7 average), the lowest total in the NFL since Kansas City scored 211 in 2012. The Bills are averaging 10.7 points per game this season.
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