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So with my team being the defending champions, this is sure to be a big year for us. Obviously there's the talk of whether or not Wentz will be ready for Week 1, but it certainly helped that last year we had quite a few weaker teams making for an easy road to the playoffs and home field advantage there. But if we can't repeat, then my next hope would be for a first time champion, just like we were last year. I think this is a year for one of those two things to happen, especially with the South divisions and Vikings significantly on the rise.
Obviously the Patriots will take this one as per usual, but with Ryan Tanehill back, they might have an okay shot if things go well for them as Chris said. And while it would be nice to see the Bills make it once again, I can't count on that.
Not a lot to see here, the Steelers will likely do big damage as usual, once again. The Ravens it depends on whether Lamar Jackson can hold them up, especially with Joe Flacco showing his rust. Meanwhile, John Dorsey, worry about the fact that your team just went 0-16 before you demand them win the division.
Once again, this won't be an easy division to predict. The Chargers are the favorites for many, but they've already suffered two injuries and they'll be hard pressed. As for the Broncos, they do have a quarterback who got his team to the NFC Championship last year, but the question is if he was a one year wonder with them. I just have decent expectations for the Raiders but we'll see.
This will probably be the most fun division to watch, with three of its teams on a significant up-spike. The Jaguars get really hyped over their defense and the Texans get hyped up with Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt, so this will be a division to keep an eye out for. One of those two would definitely be a pick for me to win it all if we can't repeat.
4. Redskins (sorry Nick)
Speaking of us repeating, that's what many of us Eagles fans, and Doug Pederson and the team, are hoping to see. But as I said, last year we had a much easier schedule, but the rest of the division will have to face that too. We'll see what Saquon Barkley can do for the Giants, as Penn State players get significant hype.
The Vikings I'm sure will continue to show how much strength and defense they have, but at the same time Kirk Cousins you can't help but wonder about. Aaron Rodgers is showing his age too and that he's carrying his team on his back. The Lions have Matt Patricia, who was with the Patriots, but we'll see just how much the refs decide to crap on them.
With Garropollo for the 49ers, they're likely to build hype, but the Rams got Brandin Cooks from the Patriots and quite a few new additions. This will be a tough one to look out for!
As with Silver, you can say that I'm biased putting the Saints at #3, but because the Falcons are hosting the Super Bowl this year, I want to see them excel, and they're my second pick if we can't make it back. The Panthers still have Cam Newton, but in all seriousness we'll see just how much Drew Brees has to pull his team.
Just thought I'd make some quick thoughts on each division while I'm on my break, so these may be a bit short. I'll have more to say in due time!
Oh boy it's football/prediction season. Which only means one thing. I get to spend 4 months watching a borderline mediocre team. On the flipside, has do the Eagles follow up their championshup season? How do teams like the Jags and Rams follow up a sucessful season atop their divisions? Will the Browns finally stop being acidic garbage every year? We have 4 months to find out, and as I've learned, this league never fails to be unpredictable.
It's that time of year again and hopefully certain 'outside forces' stay out and grow up. I couldn't care less about ratings to the point of nonsense talk about 'oh, the league needs to be imploded because (insert terrible reason)'. I will continue to enjoy this sport more than others (not to discredit them, though with one exception). Anyway, I put together my picks for how the standings for each division will go and I'll be able to look and see how scrub I am.
Patriots (home-field) - Still Brady, still winning.
Dolphins (wild card) - Tannehill is back we assume and with some additions to the offense like Frank Gore, Danny Amendola, and Josh Sitton on the line, they should improve from the polar opposite season they had.
Bills - There was all that talk about Sean McDermott possibly getting fired when he benched Tyrod Taylor in favor of Nathan Peterman. It was ugly to be sure but I could see the reason for it. The former is gone and now it's a whose who for the starting role. Will it be the rookie Josh Allen, Mr. 5peter INT man, the Bama journeyman AJ, or some guy Logan Thomas? I don't see playoff repeat here.
Jets - Last year was the question of 'what is this potluck o QBs' here. Now it's a ton of high profiled names in place. 3rd overall Darnold, the recovered Bridgewater, the hybrid Pryor, and the ancient McCown. Take your pick here because I think this'll take work in progress.
Steelers (division) - I'd rather not say they'll run away with this division but I think their talent is more rounded than the other 3. With that said, if they fail to capture the title or playoffs, it'll be due to the distractions going on (Bell) or hot dog moments (Brown).
Ravens - There's a chance that the Ravens can play well enough and make a better impression this season...though not with Flacco. Their best chance would be with Louisville rookie Jackson, to Jamal's rage most likely, or...RG3??! Wow I'm unaware as usual.
Bengals - This season upcoming was supposed to be the story of 'what direction will they go with Lewis gone?'. Instead, Lewis pulls ANOTHER powerplay and it is my hope that this team (I feel sorry for Dalton) continues to underperform. Random over/under bet: I vote over 2.5 incidents from Burfict this season.
Browns - Please tell me it is possible to go into negative winning percentage. This is what Hue Jackson deserves after his incident with Kizer last year. Well, that's what I would say but then Baker Mayfield surprised everyone at draft, except for me, by being the 1st overall and now I shift that line over to Baker after his crappy stunts pulled. Welcome to the Browns: Where careers go to die.
Titans (division) - Being the team that swept Jacksonville and having a terrible point margin, that might've been a freak accident if anything. Mario SHOULD step up and improve his lackluster numbers. I still think their offense is better than Jax.
Jaguars (wild card) - For a team that made the playoffs, Bortles seemed...very meh honestly. Worse numbers than his previous two years but still won games, actually that was more Fournette as long as he didn't pull a rookie move to get sat down. Likely the same team but I have a feeling that Bortles will return to past form. The not as good form.
Houston - The Texans had some promise to their season with DeShaun Wattson's promise but then-SUDDENLY PRACTICE INJURY OUT FOR SEASON. Whether or not this was a freak thing, I'm holding them down to 3rd for now. I would love to see Wattson surge and Watt's comeback but it's hard to say where they are physically.
Colts - I remember when Irsay was about to pull the 'injury panic team implosion' move, following Luck's first injury season a few years back. I also remember that he couldn't be trusted following that firesale with the 2-14 season. Luck just...I have no idea what's up with him. He might be back but until he looks like that MVP runner up, this is rebuild mode.
Chargers (1st round bye) - Had it not been for the typical Charger chokes in the first four (well, actually first three) games, they'd have been in the playoffs. Be that as it may, I think Anthony Lynn is slowly turning this franchise around. The only thing stopping them is if Cry Me a Rivers hasn't had his timeout to pout.
Raiders - There was so much underperforming and it led to Rio's firing. Could this be old Raiders management meddling again? Perhaps. But it isn't all the coach. Derek Carr got injuried early and missed a game or two, the defense was awful as usual, and WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO AMARI COOPER?! How do you go from 1070 to 1153 to 680??! The biggest questions will be: when do I gag myself with a spoon over Jon Gruden swooning and will we see him choke in December like he did his last two seasons with Tampa? The answer is, I hope so...to the latter.
Chiefs - How this team imploded in the middle of the season is a mystery to me. Fortunately, there's one mystery that has been solved. No more Marcus Peters blow up. That's a positive right there. Now to talk about Kareem Hunt goodness, I hope. Oh and...no more Alex Smith at the helm. Hmmmmm.
Broncos - Regarding polar opposites, that early 3 win start looks like a fluke or the QBs just don't have what it takes. It's hard to believe when you had playmakers like CJ and have Sanders and Thomas still. On the plus side, shoutouts to Troy Fumagalli at TE.
Eagles (home-field) - SB champs and rocking Foles at the helm it appears. I feel bad for Carson and that injury in how it happened. Even so, the team is well built and can overcome very easily.
Cowboys - With the shenanigans of Zeke ''probably'' over and the diva that is Dez now a relic of the past, I think the Cowboys are in a better situation for what's ahead, as in less headaches.
Redskins - Losing Kirk Cousins hates. They did get the 'consistent' Alex Smith but it'll be a question of where the offense is at. Better yet, it'll be a question of if they need to force more Gruden talk down our throats.
Giants - This team got destroyed in the WR role and it was even worse when Ben McAdon't blundered big time, even though that team was dead by then, and it cost him his job. Eli isn't getting any younger or better for that matter but maybe Pat Shurmer will have something cooked up.
Vikings (1st round bye) - Mike Zimmer, good coach. Kirk Cousins, explosive QB. Put that together and you can forget about Bradford I would think. It is a shame about Keenum but he had his comeback.
Packers (wild card) - Yes the Packers have Rodgers coming back. Yes the Packers got a new D-coordinator with Mike Pettine and the return of Joe Philbin. Yes they got Jimmy Graham in the off-season, bizarre as I believe it to be. These changes are well and good but at the end of the day, McCarthy is still the head coach and I've seen some glaring off-season trouble from players. I don't think this will be enough to take back the North. It ''''''''''should'''''''' be enough for more than 6 wins though.
Lions - They got Blount...but that might be it. Still the same team more or less but with Matt Patricia as coach. Whether that's good enough depends on what officiating crew they get gypped by or praised from.
Bears - I don't care if I'm Packers, I'd like to see Project Mitch take off. We'll also have to see if there's any more hot doggers that surface. That 'not TD' against the Steelers really awful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_gXOXm5i90
NFC South: Carolina (division) - The team went from average in the first half to surging in the second half, all to fall down at season's end and in the first round playoffs to division rival Saints. The addition of CJ along with standout McCafe makes their offense even more dangerous and will likely see them as South champs.
Saints (wild card) - The ancient Brees isn't quite 40 yet but he looks to repeat the stunning season success from last year, though hopefully with less defense fail at end games. I again want to shout out to Taysom Hill, the back-up that the Packers WISH they had. :l
Falcons - This is probably my most questionable placement but it's by the smallest of margins. I put them below the Saints due to questions of Steve the Sark as OC and the injuries that pile up with their run game or with Julio being unknown on health each year. Also he took a reduced pay. :o
Bucs - Did you know that Ryan Fitzpatrick is the back-up to the currently 3 game suspended Winston? You know what that means, the playoff cursed Fitz is hitting Tampa now.
Rams (division) - With the first pick of the NFL fantasy draft, Tom selects- oh, ahem. I got ahead of myself. Storybook season from them last year and while I couldn't care less about the LA deal, I had to root from them after what Fisher and Williams did to that team for years (the former really). The main concerns are: A) Will Suh stir up trouble? B) Will Marcus Peters blow another gasket in spectacular fashion?
49ers - Jimmy G is now heading this team after some unlikely QB shuffling that happened and wow it could pay off, though I figured Jimmy has it in him (damn Pats). The only thing that could hold him back is 49er management meddling or Kyle Shanny going SB LI of recent memory.
Seahawks - This team is a shell of its former self. No Sherman, no Chancellor, no Walsh...actually that last one is a positive as he's replaced by- Janikowski?!! :pogchamp: Well that's uhh, okay. Still, I can only name Baldwin and Lockett as the WR so that's not good. Oh and they lost Graham too.
Cardinals - My question was: "Steve Wilks? Who-" And then I notice he was part of the Panthers success in recent years. Fair enough. He will have his hands full with rallying the offense up because Palmer retired, David Johnson is back(?) trying to recover from the wrist injury that ended his season immediately, and there's a three horse race for starting QB. Josh Rosen the 10th pick, Mike Glennon who is average at best, and........*sigh*...Bradford. On a positive, you can do it, Larry! :o
1. Patriots (2nd seed)
Man, all three of these teams are SO BAD except for the Patriots. Even with Tannehill back and the Bills making the playoffs last year, I still expect bad things from these teams. The Jets might have a future, but it's gonna take em a couple years to get there.
1. Steelers (3rd seed)
Obviously Pittsburgh's gonna win again. They're just better than all the other teams even the Le'Veon Bell contract drama currently going on there. Pittsburgh might just choke in the playoffs again, but they're as much of a lock to make it there as New England is, honestly. Not too high on Baltimore. They definitely were a top 6 team in the AFC last year, but messed up when it mattered to make the playoffs. They can probably get there this year, but with all the promising teams in the South it's gonna be a stiffer competition than last time.
1. Chiefs (1st seed)
Unsure why everyone is sleeping on KC: Sure they have Mahomes in there to replace Alex Smith after his stellar year last year, but that team is so damn talented that they shouldn't even need him to ball out to win this division. And that being said, I think he's going to do well anyway, hence the homefield advantage. They'll probably Reid again in playoffs, don't get me wrong, but on paper this is one of the best teams in football, and definitely the best one in western conference. Chargers could also win the division, but that would require them not to be lucky, but to just not be unlucky, which can't happen, seeing as how they've already lost Jason Verrett again. Broncos with Case Keenum in there and still the pieces there on defense look like a middle of the pack team. I expect improvement, but not massive improvement. Raiders... I think Derek Carr is good and Khalil Mack is really good, but I don't think the team has anyone else who has shown to be good. I think they just lack talent.
1. Jaguars (4th seed)
2. Texans (5th seed)
3. Titans (6th seed)
I think Jacksonville winning and Indianapolis losing is probably pretty easy to predict. But what about the middle of the division? I think with the Texans fully healthy with Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt healthy, they're just a better team on paper than the Titans. So, I give them the edge. But the Titans are still a good team, and I see them in the playoffs. The Colts could do well this year with Luck back, but I don't think I have a reason to award them better than fourth especially in a competitive division.
1. Eagles (Seed 2)
2. Redskins (Seed 6)
Eagles are defending Super Bowl champions, but they haven't really improved in the offseason, whereas the Vikes have, so they still get a bye but not the #1 overall. Redskins are in a very interesting situation; the team underachieved a ton last year after being screwed by so many key injuries all year and throwing some games they should have won. If Alex Smith can play as well as he did last year on KC even with not as much offensive weapons to work with and they can stay healthy, this Skins team should be 10-6. Meanwhile, the Cowboys at this point are pretty much Ezekiel Elliot: The Football Team. And honestly, that could work out for them. But I think good teams shouldn't struggle to just focus him and force Prescott to beat them through the air. Giants looked so inept last year. They could make an improvement to mediocrity this year, but I wouldn't bet on it. Maybe with Saquon Barkley they can take some wins off some better teams!
1. Vikings (Seed 1)
As a skins fan who was a mega Kirk stan, Cousins is an upgrade over Case Keenum, and I think a pretty large one. Cousins has just as much to work with in Minnesota here as he did in 2016 with Washington, when he had 4917 yards, and a good defense this time. I expect him to lead the Vikings to the number one overall seed and be in the MVP conversation all year. Packers will be in the wild conversation as long as Aaron Rodgers is their Quarterback, but they're so much worse on paper than both the Redskins and the Panthers. It'll be an uphill battle, but he can absolutely will them there. The Lions have had a good team for so many years but have never ever done anything with it; I've lost all faith in them at this point. They're wasting Matthew Stafford's prime. Bears could be something in a couple years, maybe they even beat out the Lions this year, but Trubs needs another year or two I think.
1. Rams (Seed 4)
This is... a division. I know there is a LOT of Jimmy G hype, but I expect him to regress back to the mean a bit after teams get some more tape on him. So, why is San Fran second and now lower? To be honest I think both the Seahawks and the Cardinals SUCK in the most similar way. They both have one super dynamic playmaker on offense and a lethargic ass team otherwise. I expect them to both be below average. Rams take the division probably effortlessly.
1. Falcons (Seed 3)
2. Saints (Seed 5)
I still believe in Atlanta. They have just as much of a chance to win the Super Bowl as anyone else does in the league; I'd remind people that Atlanta came the closest to beating the Eagles in the playoffs last year, and that was on the road and not in the neutral stadium like the Pats were in. That being said, team tends to lose stupid games in the regular season, so they don't get a bye. Saints are probably better than the Rams but in a better division so they're seed 5, and imo are even more of a lock for the playoffs than the Falcons are, even if that sound weird. Panthers are going to be in that race for the wildcard again, but I don't expect them to make it there this time. Bucs... wow. Especially after Jameis Winston suspension, they are MEGA OOF.
Once again hyped for another NFL season. Not gonna make a Super bowl prediction yet; can't decide on who's gonna be there from the AFC yet.
As Nick and others have voiced, everyone besides the patriots are terrible here. I think Bills and Jets are candidates to be the worst in the league. I don't see their being any surprises here. This is the worst division in football by far. Dolphins don't excel anywhere. Bills don't have anyone elite on offense besides shady and Josh Allen is the least startable rookie QB drafted in the first round by far. Darnold is going to need some time and a lot more skill pieces.
Steelers are still the strongest in this division by a lot so these predictions don't matter too much. I like the browns. I think this team is ready to move on from the past two years and do something. They have added a lot of talent on offense that people don't notice. They also managed to draft Denzel Ward who could have a marshon lattimore-esque impact although he is a bit risky because he's slightly undersized. I think the Bengals are still not a good team that continues to struggle against top teams. At this point Andy Dalton has to be a candidate for most mediocre quarterback that's heavily reliant on AJ Green who is very injury prone. The ravens still don't have much and seem to be building for the future.
Nick spitting mad facts about the chiefs. Since I'm new to posting here most of you don't know I am a huge chiefs fan and I am very excited for this year and the next years. Our window to win the super bowl is just now opening and I'm very happy. I think Patrick Mahomes and the chiefs are ready to win a playoff game now that we have a true WR1(i love tyreek hill but hes not a typical wr). I don't see management moving on from smith as soon as we did without knowing this was our guy. Sammy Watkins is overpaid but you have to overpay to win super bowls. Anyway, chargers underperform every year and I don't see that changing. Verett is out and that's a huge hole for that team. Broncos still have a weak offense and a now weaker defense. Raiders are really trying to screw over derek carr by signing old veterans that don't have it anymore. This team isn't ready to compete lol.
Andrew Luck is still the best quarterback in this division but that team still has a lot of work to do. I think the Jaguars are only going to be better than last year and will win the division. I see the texans slowing down. i love some of their talent but I think they need another year to figure out and develop a new core. I LOVE some of their players on defense but they are getting older and banged up and they don't have a complimentary secondary to match. Also, Titans bad. They did get rid of Mularkey though so they should improve lol.
Carson Wentz is undeniably a top 5 quarterback and I think they're gonna be ready to pick up where they left off. I like the giants as a bounce back team a lot. I think Eli will start fresh after the disgrace last year and i think the addition of saquon barkley and the return of OBJ who I believe was the best receiver in the league before his injury will help that. Plus, they got rid of terrible coach and management. Redskins are the biggest x factor in this divison. I think Alex Smith could really help this team out. They have a ton of younger, unproven players and returning injured players so we'll see. I could realistically see this team getting 3rd, 2nd, or first seed
Gonna agree with the majority on this one. Vikins are stacked, plain and simple. They have pro bowl talent in every facet of this game. Packers have Aaron Rodgers and thus I automatically predict them to make the playoffs. Lions are stuck in a tough divison where they can't really expand. Matthew Stafford is actually one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league but the ABYSMAL run game has held them back for years. They still need time to figure things out. They will try and claw for a 6th seed. Bears are still a major work in progress. Trubisky needs time and Jordan howard can't do everything.
Also going to agree with what others have said on this one. Rams are absolutely loaded. They have signed so much talent to fill any gaps they had last year. They are my favorite to make the super bowl from the NFC. Mcvay changed this team and it's done nothing but get better. Jimmy G is still hyped and I think he's solid but we don't know if he's THAT good. Also, the niners are still utter garbage on offense besides him. Seahawks are russell wilson dependent and Cardinals are a work in progress although they're probably the best team that I think will get last in their division.
I think Atlanta's super bowl dreams were really crushed by the departure of kyle shanahan. I think the panthers will bounce back and make it into the playoffs. Saints are still the most solid team in this divison until Drew Brees is gone. Buccaneers are still a disaster. horrid O Line, rely too much on Winston to Evans connection and have an awful defense. This division is always crazy so I could see at least three different possibilities of how it turns out...
I've only finished the AFC; the NFC will come later. I'm very excited for this season!!
1. New England Patriots (12-4)
Until Brady gets the Old, I can't see them faltering too much. Some key pieces such as Nate Solder, Dion Lewis, and Malcolm "why wasn't I on the field in the Super Bowl" Butler were lost, and the defense still has a lot of questions, but the offense will keep rolling as long as Brady is the QB.
2. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
There are too many unprovens at key positions for me to believe that the Dolphins can return to the playoffs. How rusty will Tannehill be after not having played a game for over a year and a half? Will a wide receiver step up with the departure of Jarvis Landry? Will the defense be consistent? Will the team be more disciplined?
3. New York Jets (6-10)
There will definitely be some growing pains here, but I actually believe that this is a team that has potential. Obviously, QB is the position to watch, as Sam Darnold will make his debut at some point, but the defense actually isn't too bad and the offense can definitely improve over the course of the season.
4. Buffalo Bills (4-12)
I feel like the Bills are kinda like the Jets but just worse at key positions, particularly at QB where there is barely any playing time among the three possible starters. The offense will have to again be powered by the run game, but the offensive line got weaker during the offseason. The defense will be fine, but it's also going to have to work more to make up for the deficiencies of the offense, so I feel like they'll seriously struggle this season.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
Not much has changed from last season. I believe Big Ben still has it in him, Brown/Bell are the top WR/RB duo in the league, and there are lots of pieces on offense to help them out. I think the defense will need to improve before they can really contend for the Super Bowl this year though.
2. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
We will see Lamar Jackson this season; I'm very interested in how he'll change the Ravens' offense, which desperately needs to get better. Signing a few proven WRs definitely helps. But this is still a team I expect will win games mainly through its numerous defensive playmakers and the best kicker in the league. If everything goes right they still have playoff potential.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (6-10)
The Bengals had a bad offense last year and a major part of it was due to the offensive line. THe run game will be fine, and AJ Green will do what he does (hopefully backed up by Tyler Eifert and John Ross this year?). The defensive line is strong, too, but the defense overall hasn't been particularly impressive in recent years.
4. Cleveland Browns (3-13)
There's nowhere to go but up, and I think the Browns made a lot of smart decisions over the past offseason. Now we'll just have to see them bear fruit, which will happen, but they're still at least a year away from really contending given how much young talent is on the roster. But hey, that talent isn't looking too bad so far.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5)
THe Jaguars pretty much retain everything that made last season such a success, particularly all of the pieces on their defense. I expect similar results out of that unit. The offense will look about the same as it did last season, unless Bortles steps up his play, which honestly wasn't all that impressive last year outside a few key games. If the Jags are to make it to the Super Bowl this year, that's the easiest place for improvement.
2. Houston Texans (9-7)
My team will be better this year, and I'm praying hard that injuries won't be as much of an issue as in previous years. Obviously if Deshaun Watson goes down the season's over, so I absolutely do not want to see that happen again, but we don't have a great offensive line to keep him protected, and the run game hasn't been particularly noteworthy. The defensive line is great, but the secondary had issues last season that won't be completely fixed, even with a honey badger lurking back there. We have superstar talent at key positions on the team, but not a lot of depth, so this season could be great or miserable, but it should be very exciting to watch.
3. Tennessee Titans (8-8)
THe Titans will have to adjust to a new coaching regime, but I think that's a good thing for the team. Add a lot of fresher additions in free agency and this team does have a lot of potential. I don't see a glaring weakness on this team, but there isn't a super standout unit either...but that might be good enough to win the division this year, especially if Mariota can improve and stay healthy through the entire season and the receiving corps step up to help him.
4. Indianapolis Colts (6-10)
Assuming Andrew Luck is 100% healthy and ready to play like he did in 2015 or so, is there enough of a team around him to get the Colts back to the playoffs? I'm going to say no, but the Colts will be good enough to compete in this division. However, they do need a solid running game and defense to get there. I'm also not sure how Frank Reich will coach, either.
1. Los Angeles Chargers (10-6)
Recent injury news aside (rip the TE position), this is probably still the most talented roster in the division, and I believe they will improve upon last year, where they had a playoff-worthy team that got screwed over by bad kicking. Of course, this prediction is predicated on a healthy Keenan Allen, and improved Melvin Gordon (he's really not that efficient of a runner), and better special teams play. The Chargers have a nasty pass rush and I think this defense will set up wins for the team.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
I think the Chiefs will stay about the same level as they were in previous years. THe defense lost a few big names but I believe they'll stay a good squad, especially with Eric Berry returning. The offense has good players at the skill positions, making it easier for Pat Mahomes to get used to NFL play. But how he develops will determine how far the Chiefs will go this year.
3. Oakland Raiders (8-8)
The Raiders really don't have a great defense outside of Khalil Mack, which to me is a problem. Derek Carr and the rest of the offense need to return to 2016 levels of play. But I really have no idea how Jon Gruden Part Two is going to go, so I'm not going to predict the Raiders to get right back to the top of the division this year.
4. Denver Broncos (6-10)
I think this is another transitional year for the Broncos. They will need young talent to step up on offense, where there are too many unknowns. I don't think Case Keenum and aging Thomas/Sanders is going to cut it there. The defense will continue to win games for this team, though.
@Kilza: "RNG"? I did say but that certainly explains why you have us, the Packers and Rams last in their specific divisions :P
@Lions_Pride: If you're referring to the Lions (as your username suggests), they do have Blount and Matt Patricia now but it's still bound to be tough given who they share a division with. A lot of people are predicting big things from the Jaguars and Rams, too.
@Tap: Ah yes, the unpleasable fanbase. Thankfully I am not a part of that and never will be. Anyway, interesting that you have Tennessee atop their division, but there are people predicting that Mariota will have a big year. And last year they overcame an 18-point deficit against the Chiefs on the road, so there's that too.
@Nick: haha I think back to when they blew a 15-point lead against the Saints the weekend that USUM released Anyway, regarding the top seed, it is interesting comparing the Eagles and Vikings' schedules. I could potentially see both teams going 12-4, I mean we both get two particular road games sure to be a challenge (the Rams, and Saints and Patriots respectively). And for their divisions, the Vikings obviously have the Packers, but the only one in our division I could seriously see a loss to is at the Cowboys. Then again, we did trounce them on the road last year, so maybe the Week 17 game depending on if they rest their starters at that point like they did last year. My dad said that Kirk Cousins doesn't scare him, and I don't blame him because the Eagles should be used to him with his time on the Redskins.
@Bowser: You know, I would totally be up for seeing an Eagles/Chiefs Super Bowl, at least while Andy Reid is still coaching. That'd be quite the matchup!
Also, I talked about this in the Discord, but while I was out at Great Adventure yesterday, I ran into quite a few Giants fans. :P It makes sense and all, I mean their stadium is in New Jersey, and while at an amusement park you're sure to see reps from multiple areas.
I feel like that SB52 loss is going to hit the Pats harder than we expect. There were some questionable decisions made during that game, and I think there will be wider repercussions that we'll see in this season. As for the others, Pittsburgh actually has a disgustingly easy schedule this year (coming from a Steelers fan), so it would surprise me if they managed to **** it up, especially with the secondary growing more and more as the years progress. KC will be a dark horse with Mahomes balling out after spending a season behind Smith. Houston has Watson back, that's all I really need to say. I'm not entirely confident about my wildcard picks, but with Luck being back and Rivers being generally consistent, I think they aren't bad choices.
Jimmy G is based god. Rodgers is back. Philly is basically the only good team in the NFC East right now. NFC South is always a toss up because they're ****ing stacked, but it's an even year so Carolina is gonna play like **** and TB is already ****. It's pretty much 50/50 between NO and ATL for the division. Minnesota will regress, but I don't think as much as people would think. I still expect a winning record from them, but I'd say around 10-6. Certainly not the 13-3 we saw last season.
So with yesterday's Hall of Fame preseason game, I do think this is a good time to once again talk about the new helmet rule. It really is no surprise that people are not liking this rule, there are people who could explain the problems with it better than I could, but I did touch on it in the previous thread about why it's a weird rule. It came up more than once in the game, and I can safely say this rule is going to be a problem. Once again would like to know what you all think, though!
And while unrelated to this, happy birthday, Tom Brady. While I definitely can't fault the people that give you and the Patriots crap for your winning ways, we can thank you for at least making the big game to be enjoyable watches throughout this century. Including for us, and giving us the best game in Eagles history. ;) hey I'm trying to be at least kind of wholesome here guys
I'll have to watch more of the preseason games (:hmm:) to form a better opinion on this, but I think the rule is way too harsh and it's going to, if not already, affect how defenders tackle, which probably won't be good. The worst part is how confusing the rule actually sounds on paper (it's pretty hard to tell what incidental contact is right when it's happening). This is going to be a nightmare for everyone (including refs) if it turns out to be a penalty that's called frequently in games.
I'm hoping they ease the league into it. There is going to be a major adjustment period for figuring this rule out. I'd hope it's mostly used for big time hits that are clearly too much (which is why the rule was created in the first place. For example, Danny Trevathan's hit on DaVante Adams last year was VERY not ok and one of the key plays that I think helped bring this rule to fruition. Basically, this is a completely new rule so I'm hoping it doesn't get called more than once a game on average.
So obviously the preseason most think very little of, as it’s generally the time for new additions to the team to try to do something and show what they’re capable of in case they’re needed. I was at yesterday’s Eagles game against the Steelers, and we left before the fourth quarter. Nate Sudfeld didn’t give as good a performance as I would’ve hoped, but people are liking Dallas Clayton Goedert in the meantime.
Would say more but am on phone rn. Any other preseason observations for you guys to share?
Alright here's the second half of my predictions. NFC time:
Philadelphia Eagles (12-4)
The defending champs. Did not really change much during the offseason, although former OC Frank Reich will be missed. But this team was built to compete for the next few years, and winning the Super Bowl the past season means that will be the goal (until the big checks start coming in for Carson Wentz and other young players making big impacts). With the best QB situation in the league and lack of significant losses to the roster, they're a favorite to repeat and will be even more exciting to watch this year.
Washington Redskins (9-7)
I've paid a bit of close attention to the Redskins in the past few seasons, and I think last year's struggles were mainly due to injuries. There are solid lines on both sides of the ball, and Alex Smith will do fine in this system. Weirdly, it's the skill positions that need to step up. The secondary outside of Josh Norman got a major revamp so I'm curious as to how well they'll fare this year.
New York Giants (6-10)
Looking back, the 2016 Giants definitely overachieved. But I think that, conversely, the 2017 Giants underachieved. Maybe they'll hit around the middle this time, but I don't quite think they have a team built for long-term success. Offensive line still has major holes, the defense has to re-prove itself after last year's disaster, and Eli is Eli. I don't believe Saquon Barkley will immediately turn the franchise around; definitely not behind this OL.
Dallas Cowboys (6-10)
Here is a team I am probably undervaluing, but I really feel like the Cowboys will regress more this year. The OL and run game will be great, but the former isn't quite the dominant force it was in 2014-16. The defense is relying on a lot of younger players, and the passing game lost a few key components. It's going to be on Dak Prescott to win games this year.
Minnesota Vikings (11-5)
The Vikings made moves to win now, which makes sense given that they were one horrible performance away from a home field Super Bowl. Adding Kirk Cousins and Sheldon Richardson, among others, should go a long way with a team that already has a lot of talent spread throughout the roster. I will question the OL a bit since they're not exactly a strength and because of the loss of the previous OL coach to heart attack, but this should be the best Vikings team Minnesotans have seen in quite a while.
Green Bay Packers (10-6)
Aaron Rodgers will drag this team into the playoffs as usual, but there is promise in the running game. Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis is an upgrade on TE from previous years. Defense is solid but the secondary does need some work, but overall this is a solid enough team that should be in playoff consideration, assuming everything goes right.
Detroit Lions (7-9)
I'm not too high on the Lions this year. The head coaching change is interesting but I'm still unsure on whether hiring former Patriots coordinators is a great idea. A lot of resources have been sunk into improving the offensive line, but a running back needs to step up eventually to complement the solid passing game here. Will that be Kerryon Johnson? The defensive line will need to step up as well - I don't recognize anyone on that part of the team now.
Chicago Bears (7-9)
The Bears should improve! But a lot of it will be dependent on Matt Nagy and how he handles head coaching, and Mitch Trubisky's improvement this season. Fortunately for him, he got a lot of help with Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, and others added to the team. The Bears are also quietly building a defense to compete with the rest of the division.
New Orleans Saints (12-4)
Last year the Saints were a bad tackle attempt away from the NFC championship, and they essentially bring back all of the strengths of last year's team - a young but talented defense now has more experience, and an offensive juggernaut that got a huge boost with Alvin Kamara and a much-improved run game, taking the pressure off of Drew Brees (although he does still step up when the team needs him to). With all that returning, it's hard to not see them as Super Bowl contenders.
Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
Not a lot has changed for this team over the past couple of years, so theoretically this team will be a contender. But last year, something seemed off about the offense and it really hurt the Falcons' potential. I believe they can do it, but being in a stacked division won't make things easy and a lot of it will depend on Steve Sarkisian's playcalling.
Carolina Panthers (10-6)
Given recent trends this team should regress in terms of record this year, but I'm not sure that happens (to a significant extent) given the amount of talent that was added this offseason. Improving the running game with CJ Anderson and attempting to give more weapons for Cam Newton to throw to should helpa team that also does well on defense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13)
The NFC South has three goo to great teams and one that's on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. I don't understand this team at all - there is talent here with a defensive line that has a lot of big names on it, as well as Mike Evans and a good TE corps. But I really don't think Dirk Koetter is an effective coach, and Jameis Winston hasn't shown he is any better, in both skill and maturity, than at the start of his rookie season to be able to lead this team anywhere. I bet they'll be one of the worst teams in the league this season.
Los Angeles Rams (11-5)
The Rams are going all in this year; I believe it's kinda remarkable that they were able to add Marcus Peters, Ndamukong Suh, Aqib Talib, and Brandin Cooks to a team that already has a number of star players in Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald. If all of those moves work out well for the team, then this is a scary squad given what we've already seen from last year's offense.
San Francisco 49ers (8-8)
This is still an enigma of a team for me. There were some interesting additions such as Richard Sherman and Jerick McKinnon, but it's not clear what their potential is. THe OL and defense are still question marks. Jimmy Garoppolo and this team played really well at the end of the season, but a sample size of 5 games isn't a great number for predicting future success. I think they're a year away from really contending.
Seattle Seahawks (8-8)
RIP Legion of Boom. There are still some very good defensive players on this team, but it's not going to be able to carry the offense anywhere like it used to. Russell Wilson is an elite QB, but he doesn't have much support anywhere on the offense (other than Doug Baldwin) right now. I don't think they're a bad team, but they are no longer able to compete with the best of the NFC anymore.
Arizona Cardinals (3-13)
This team went into complete rebuilding mode with several key departures, particularly former head coach Bruce Arians. Without proven players at positions other than WR1, CB, DE, and RB, and not much depth even at those positions, this is going to be a long season for Cardinals fans.
ATL at PHI: Easily the most hype game of Week 1, which I hope doesn't get sabotaged by political gain. Anyway, I expect the home SB champ to defend in an entertaining clash.
BUF at BAL: The Josh Allen project will have to wait as the Peterman project is making a regular season return and from a 'good?' preseason? :thinking: Preseason means nothing when the big games hit.
JAX at NYG: Usually talking a ton of junk doesn't end well (unless you are Sherman I guess). I expect Jags to return to 'form' as we remember. Oh, and OB3 is back.
TB at NO: The curse of the Fitz begins with a TB team without Winston. If anything, I imagine the D-coord is making sure there's no defense blunders like the one that ended their season (also see Denver some years back against B-more).
HOU at NE: Last year, Wattson put on an unbelievably performance that should've won them the game but the defense never got the memo. I don't know if he's back to form after the unfortunate practice injury, so...Pats. :l
SF at MIN: Unbeaten Jimmy 49 or a high powered QB with a new team. I'll take the defense for sure. TEN at MIA: *shrug* CIN at IND: Again, until I see a healthy Luck, I can't take them seriously. That's saying more than my confidence in a Bengals team that again keeps Lewis. PIT at CLE: The only hope for the Clowns is that the Steelers have the Bell distraction in their head. Not sure I see it.
KC at LAC: After the late season turn around, I think they have their crap together.
SEA at DEN: A rematch of the SB that's gone by, except drastically downgraded rosters. Hope Keenum does the job.
DAL at CAR: I'd be interested to see the battle of the young backs. McCafe has the better team. WAS at ARZ: I trust Smith over Bradford anyday. CHI at GB: 1999 loss to **** Jauron. 2004 loss to Lovie Smith. 2013 loss to Marc Trestman. 2015 loss to John Fox. Yes, that is a 4 game losing streak for the Packers against new Bear coaches going to Lambeau, with the last win being against Dave Wannstedt back in 1993. Coupled with McCarthy still being the coach......yeeeahh. This is the time to prove me wrong.
NYJ at DET: That offense. LAR at OAK: Here's hoping the Gruden wagon hits a big bump to start.
ATL vs PHI
BUF vs BAL JAX vs NYG
TB vs NO
HOU vs NE: Because picking against the Patriots ix suicide about 86% of the time. SF vs MIN TEN vs MIA CIN vs IND PIT vs CLE: Imagine a world where the Browns win a game.
KC vs LAC SEA vs DEN
DAL vs CAR WAS vs ARI
CHI vs GB
NYJ vs DET LAR vs OAK