We have finally arrived to everyone’s favorite part of the calendar year, the soothing time of fall. The leaves changing colors can mean one thing and one thing only, football season is upon us. We have all so dearly missed the big plays, dramatic moments, terrible rule changes, and highly questionable ownership that makeup the foundation of this beautiful league.
This means it’s time to roll out season previews and predictions, before the season starts so that I’m not already behind with my first official blog post.
I spent a good portion of a slow evening, going through each week of the NFL schedule -game by game- to come up with these records and standings that I’ll be posting, but still take it with a grain of salt.
With that said, I’ll begin.
- Minnesota Vikings: Prediction 12- 4, 2017 Record: 13-3
Following a very impressive 2017 campaign Minnesota will look to improve in the very few places they had problems. Case Keenum played well last season but the addition of Kirk Cousins at quarterback should prove to be a huge difference for Minnesota’s offense. Its very hard to repeat a 13 win season, but I still have them being one of the best teams in the NFC.
2. Green Bay Packers: Prediction 10-6, 2017 Record: 7-9
Winning 7 games with Brett Hundley at quarterback is impressive in its own right. Getting Aaron Rodgers back is massive, and it’s worth at least an additional 3 games. I don’t fancy the weapons around Rodgers, but there’s no doubt he will make some magic happen.
3. Chicago Bears: Prediction 8-8, 2017 Record: 5-11
A year under Mitch Trubisky’s belt should help things slow down for him. The big addition of Khalil Mack will help solidify an already solid defense. Look for the Bears to cause problems to their division foes.
4. Detroit Lions: Prediction 6-10, 2017 Record: 9-7
The Lions will be better than their record shows. Detroit will fall victim to everyone in their division simply being further along the curve than they are. I think they will be one of those teams where it seems almost all of their losses come from within 6 points. Also I can’t confidently say I’m a huge believer in new Head Coach, Matt Patricia.
- Philadelphia Eagles: Prediction 11-5, 2017 Record: 13-3
It seems like very rarely do teams coming off of a Super Bowl run repeat that success the following season barring the Patriots. I believe the Eagles will still be a force to be reckon with in the league but they will end up taking a small step back from 2017. Fortunately enough for them, the rest of their division is no where near as talented as they are. I think they start off slow with Wentz being out but pick it up big time in the second half of the season to surge into the playoffs.
2. New York Giants: Prediction 9-7, 2017 Record: 3-13
A solid turnaround for the Giants this season will see them become competitive in the league once again. The addition of Saquon Barkley will be massive, and the receiving core around quarter back, Eli Manning, is the best it’s been in years. This may very well be Eli’s last chance to prove he still has something left in his tank. On the opposite side of the ball, a very solid defensive unit should be able to keep them in any game this season.
3. Washington Redskins: Prediction 8-8, 2017 Record: 7-9
Washington’s big addition this season was trading for Alex Smith for one of their young star corners in Kendall Fuller after they lost Kirk Cousins. Its hard to say what this will do to the Redskins, I think they stay more or less the same as last season, with no significant strides. Look for them to be competitive to a handful of good teams and turnaround and lose games they should easily win.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Prediction 4-12, 2017 Record: 9-7
I don’t know if a single thing has gone right for the Cowboys this off-season. It seems like there is always something negative surrounding Dallas and I believe the product of that will show on the field. They’re star studded offensive line may start the season missing three starters in Zach Martin, Travis Frederick and La’el Collins. Outside of Ezekiel Elliot in the backfield, quarterback Dak Prescott has no proven weapons around him besides Cole Beasley. If it remains that way for the remainder of the season, Dallas could find themselves in a massive hole.
- Carolina Panthers: Prediction 12-4, 2017 Record: 11-5
My bias may be showing here but I truly believe the Panthers take the next step this season. As a Panthers fan I can confidently say everything seems to be clicking and working just as planned for Carolina. Quarterback Cam Newton is healthy for the first time in years and seems confident as ever. Running back Christian McCaffrey is looking like the every down back fans are dreaming he can be, and out of nowhere Carolina found themselves a solid receiving core where you can say you have heard of more than one of their receivers on the roster. The secondary and offensive line seem to be the main concern at the moment, but you can count on Luke Keuchly and the Panthers defense to always have the ability to make sure their not out of a game.
2. New Orleans Saints: Prediction 10-6, 2017 Record: 11-5
Not a whole lot happened to New Orleans this off season to suggest they would take a dip or improve off of a solid 2017 season. As long as Drew Brees is behind center you can count on the Saints having a solid season. Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas should continue to make big plays and their defense is as good as ever. I think they once again show they’re a force in the NFC.
3. Atlanta Falcons: Prediction 8-8, 2017 Record: 10-6
I think this is the year we see Atlanta regress to their struggling ways. From the outside looking in they seem like a organization that’s ready to pop if they don’t find success and find it quick. They don’t function properly when they play on the road outside of the dome and they have a good amount of this season in some really tough places to play. I think it will be tough for Matt Ryan and gang this season.
4. Tampa Bay: Prediction 2-14, 2017 Record: 5-11
Its been a hurricane down in Tampa Bay yet again with another Jameis Winston situation. How well will the Bucs cope this time? Not too well I think. Tampa Bay hasn’t made any moves that would suggest they could drastically improve. I think its a long shot and they end with the worst record in the league.
- Los Angeles Rams: Prediction 14-2, 2017 Record: 11-5
Rams will be looking to build on an impressive first season under Head Coach, Sean McVay. This may very well be the best roster in the NFL top to bottom. Assuming Jared Goff can continue to make strides like he has, the Rams should be looking at being among the upper echelon of teams once again this year. They had one of if not the best defensive units last season, and they only got better with their off-season additions. I can’t wait to watch Ndamukong Suh, who is still one of the most feared defensive linemen in the league, lineup next to Aaron Donald who is one of the most physically dominant players in the entire league, it’s is going to be amazing.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Prediction 9-7, 2017 Record: 6-10
San Francisco will be looking to build off an impressive end to the 2017 season after going 5-0 with Jimmy Garroppolo as a starter. While the honeymoon was nice, reality will hit soon. The Niners first half of the season is tough but I think they may be able to do just enough to have some wild-card hopes at the end of the year.
3. Seattle Seahawks: Prediction 5-11, 2017 Record: 9-7
Things seem to be going down hill for the Seahawks quickly. The legion of boom is no more, Marshawn Lynch is long gone, the only thing left standing (barely) from their glory days is quarterback Russell Wilson. If they have any ounce of a success this season it will be willed by that man.
4. Arizona Cardinals: 4-12, 2017 Record: 8-8
The Cardinals will finally have some stability at quarterback and if (and its a big if) Sam Bradford can stay healthy I think they can be at least an 8-8 team again. However, I don’t think Bradford makes it through the season and at some point rookie quarterback Sam Darnold will take over and I think they’ll go through some bad growing pains.
That will wrap things up for the NFC. I will aim to have the AFC predictions up this weekend before Sunday’s slate of games kick off. If anyone has made it this far, feel free to comment and tell me I’m wrong.