#1: The Bengals Will Win the AFC Championship
The Steelers won a Super Bowl as the number sixth seed in the playoffs, same with the Green Bay Packers. It is not out of the realm of possibility and has happened as recently as the 2010 season, when the Packers beat the Steelers in Super Bowl 45.
The Bengals are as talented as any team and with a healthy team at the right time, a solid finish, and the right playoff road, the Bengals have a legitimate chance. Last year’s Super Bowl champs will be a tough contest but are missing some huge components, who retired or left in free agency. The Patriots have stumbled in years they don’t get caught cheating, and the AFC North is not invincible to get through.
This is probably the most wide open year for any AFC team. There is no real 100% favorite, whose odds are in another league to everyone else. Brady is suspended for four games, the Steelers are down their number two receiver to suspension, the Broncos lost a huge piece in free agency to their success last season, and the Texans/Colts are no where near invincible.
This very well could be the year the Bengals were waiting for. This will be the best shot the Bengals have had to not only win a playoff game but also head to the Super Bowl, a place they haven’t been since the 1988 season. It is still a long ways until the season and anything can happen. Only time will tell if they can pull off any of these predictions.