Preseason is just around the corner for the National Football League.
It’s that time of year to go ahead and make predictions. I will be wrong on a few things. I didn’t go through every teams schedule or single game to make these predictions. These are just based on how I feel the teams will do based on their additions over the offseason, their last season, or strength of schedule.
The teams with the toughest schedules this year are:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 147-107-2, .579
2. Cincinnati Bengals: 144-112, .563
3. San Francisco 49ers: 143-112-1, .561
4. Seattle Seahawks: 142-112-2, .559
5. Arizona Cardinals:142-113-1, .557
It’s not a shock three teams in the NFC west are in the top five, with the St. Louis Rams coming in at six.
So here we go.
AFC East Predictions
1. New England Patriots 12-4
2. Miami Dolphins 9-7
3. Buffalo Bills 8-8
4. New York Jets 5-11
Pretty obvious in my opinion. The Jets and Bills simply don’t have a quarterback. Credit to them for the moves they made elsewhere. I think both teams may have solid defenses as they both have the right personnel and offseason additions to vouch for that. But still, no quarterback, means not many wins. The Patriots (no brainer) and Dolphins both have quarterbacks who can win them games.
AFC North Predictions
1. Baltimore Ravens 11-5
2. Cincinnati Bengals 11-5
3. Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
4. Cleveland Browns 6-10
The Browns could be even worse than I realize. Josh McCown flat out sucks. That is their quarterback? Their defense and coaching are the only positive things about that whole organization. The Steelers, Bengals, and Ravens are miles ahead of them in the regular season and in terms of how well run each organization is. I think all three of them have a good chance to make the postseason. Meanwhile in Cleveland…yeah, no comment.
AFC South Predictions
1. Indianapolis Colts 13-3
2. Houston Texans 11-5
3. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11
4. Tennessee Titans 2-14
There’s simply no hope for the Titans. I feel they may have the worst roster in the league. Nothing to note on defense, nothing really on offense except young Marcus Mariota. He’s being put into a position to fail as far as I’m concerned. Meanwhile Jacksonville is cursed and mourning the loss of first round draft pick Dante Fowler. Blake Bortles should have a much better year than he did last year though. As for the Texans and Colts, they will keep feasting on the unfortunate two below them. The Texans upgraded at their brutal quarterback position while the Colts upgraded their offense and made a few defensive additions.
AFC West Predictions
1. Kansas City Chiefs 10-6
2. Denver Broncos 8-8
3. San Diego Chargers 8-8
4. Oakland Raiders 6-10
This is where I see things getting interesting in the league next year. I feel the Broncos will regress based on what we saw from them to end the year last year as well as their disastrous offseason this year. Such moves from them included the hiring of Gary Kubiak and Ryan Clady getting injured once again. Who will protect Peyton now?
The Chiefs are just getting better and better as far as I’m concerned. And the Chargers are the average Chargers. I do feel the Raiders will improve on their disastrous year last year. All that young talent and new coaching staff should tack on a few wins for them. In three years, look out, they may not be the laughing stock of the league anymore.
NFC East Predictions
1. Philadelphia Eagles 12-4
2. Dallas Cowboys 11-5
3. New York Giants 5-11
4. Washington Redskins 4-12
The Redskins are years away from being solid team. I give them props for hiring McLoughlan as new general manager. He has won every where he’s gone and if given the time, he will turn them into a winner. It simply won’t happen in one year. Bob Griffin is probably going to stay stinking up the joint.
Then there’s the Giants who haven’t done anything to note in the regular season in a while and it appears there may not be much time left for Tom Coughlin. The Cowboys and Eagles are simply the two better teams. Whoever wins the division will be a toss up between them. I went bold and chose the Eagles but if quarterback Sam Bradford goes down, Dallas may easily win it.
NFC North Predictions
1. Green Bay Packers 13-3
2. Detroit Lions 10-6
3. Minnesota Vikings 9-7
4. Chicago Bears 4-12
The Bears…nothing positive to note there but a new coaching staff. But how many coaches can Jay Cutler go through before he starts winning games for the Bears? Their defense looks atrocious as well on paper.
Meanwhile the Vikings, Lions, and Packers all either stayed the same or improved. The Vikings did not bad for a team with a new coach last season. The Lions and Packers stayed the same or made minor additions to pick up where they left off from last year.
NFC South Predictions
1. Carolina Panthers 9-7
2. Atlanta Falcons 8-8
3. New Orleans Saints 7-9
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-10
Not sure how this division is going to exactly go. Don’t even be shocked if the Buccaneers manage to win it. Who knows how their offense will be with Jameis Winston at the helm or their defense with a season under their belt with new coach Lovie Smith.
NFC West Predictions
1. Seattle Seahawks 12-4
2. St. Louis Rams 10-6
3. Arizona Cardinals 10-6
4. San Francisco 49ers 4-12
Tough to predict this division as well. I think one thing is obvious: the Seahawks are the favourites to win the super bowl again this year and the 49ers have regressed.
It becomes a game of rotating the Rams or Cardinals. Jeff Fisher’s job is on the line this year. If they can’t improve from their 8-8 or 7-9 seasons, he could be gone. The talent is there, there is no excuse. The Cardinals meanwhile are a good team. It will be interesting to see how things end up between the two.