Projecting the AFC & NFC Championship teams

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have the same crew from their Super Bowl squad returning in 2020.

Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, will be joined by first-round RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire to help their 2018 league MVP and 2020 Super Bowl MVP Mahomes QB win another MVP award, for the third time in his third year as a starter.

  • Mahomes has made it to the championship game in each of the past two seasons
  • Patrick Mahomes is 2-0 against 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson
  • Lamar Jackson is 1-4 in college bowl games or NFL playoff games

On defense, they have another year locked up with premier DT Chris Jones as they figure out how to pay the DT that has 24.5 sacks in the last two years. Tyran Mathieu, also known as Honey Badger, remains on the back end after being All-Pro in 2019.

The Chiefs have been to the AFC championship each of the past two seasons and would’ve been to the Super Bowl each year if one defensive end stayed on sides against the Patriots in the 2019 championship game.

Even with Mahomes missing two games last year, they found a way to lock up a bye week, so I’m confident that the Chiefs will be more than capable of returning next year with no expected injury to the superstar quarterback.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills grabbed a wild card spot in 2019, but they quietly put together one of the most complete teams after key off-season additions in a weak AFC East.

Josh Allen is going to continue to improve going into his third season. He finally has an elite playmaker at his disposal on deep passes after the Bills acquired WR Stefon Diggs, who’s one of the league’s premier deep threats.

On defense, the Bills have CB Tre’Davious White, who put up almost matching stats to DPOY Stephon Gilmore. White recorded a league-leading six interceptions last year and two forced fumbles to go with it.
Veteran CB Josh Norman will compliment White to be a solid No. 2 corner, and the Bills pass rush will only get stronger from 2019 top 10 picks Ed Oliver entering his second season.

The Bills chances will only dramatically increase after their division foes suffered serious blows. The Patriots lost Tom Brady, Dont’a Hightower, and failed to add legitimate weapons for their unknown starting quarterback. The Bills will not only get swept by the Patriots in 2020, but they could also return the favor to the Pats in 2020.

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With more talent for a rising QB in a weaker division, the Bills could quickly grab a bye week and face a struggling playoff Lamar Jackson or any pedestrian AFC wild card team in the divisional round.

Dallas Cowboys

The Saints have a slightly better roster than the Cowboys, but the combination of Brees’s arm strength in January vs a defense like Dallas, San Francisco, or Minnesota, doesn’t bode well for the Saints chances.

Dallas had the No. 1 offense in 2019, and all signs point towards a better offense in 2020.

First-round WR Ceedee Lamb will start across from Amari Cooper and help Dak Prescott turn in his best season, which could result in breaking Mahomes’s contract next off-season.

On defense, the former pass rusher Aldon Smith, who’s cranked out 19.5 sacks in a year, has reincarnated to join Pro Bowl DE two time pro-bowler Demarcus Lawrence to make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks.

This defense did lose Byron Jones, a top 10 corner, but they quietly have the best OLB-MLB combination remaining with Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith.

*update- pro-bowl DE Everson Griffin signed with Dallas on a one year contract worth 10 million dollars.

With this surplus of talent, they finally pardoned Jason Garrett and brought in Mike McCarthy, who shouldn’t conflict with his quarterback this time around.

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers have a bitter taste in their mouth after losing in the Super Bowl, but this team is loaded with potential across the board.

Jimmy Garappolo haters should take into account that it was his first full season last year, and he delivered in big games against New Orleans, Los Angeles, & Green Bay twice.

Defensive Rookie of The Year, Nick Bosa was excellent last year, and he improved in the playoffs with four sacks and 15 QB hits. The younger brother of Joey Bosa turns 23 in October.

Their offensive prowess led by Pro Football Focus’s No.1 overall player, TE George Kittle should remain in 2020. I was worried about the departure of Emmanuel Sanders, but the team recently brought Jordan Reed on board.

Reed could not only be the best No.2 TE under his former Offensive Coordinator in Washington, Coach Shanahan, but he can also play the majority of his reps in the slot, and he can split out wide from time to time.

RB Jerick McKinnon will also return after missing all of 2019, so the former RB to run a 4.3 will combine with Raheem Morst as the fastest RB duo in the league. Tevin Coleman is another solid all purpose back in the 49ers offense.

The team also managed to improve at LT, despite Joe Staley retiring, with the addition of 7-time pro bowler Trent Williams. This move will benefit Jimmy G getting harassed from the likes of Chandler Jones, Cameron Jordan, and Aaron Donald, who kicks out at DE on 3rd down.

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