NFL 2017-2018 Season Preview

@Michael Johnson
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It’s almost that time again everybody!  The annual fall tradition of relaxing on Sundays, eating pizza and chicken wings, becoming couch potatoes, and of course watching NFL football.  This year, there is as much anticipation as there is uncertainty.  Between choosing the right players for the ever-popular Fantasy Football, or stressing over how good your team will be this coming year, the wait couldn’t end soon enough.  One thing is for sure, this season will be awesome. Let me break it down for you.

AFC East

  1. New England Patriots 14-2
  2. Miami Dolphins 10-6
  3. Buffalo Bills 7-9
  4. New York Jets 2-14

Even after losing WR Julian Edelman for the year with a torn ACL, the Patriots will be fine, especially after adding Brandin Cooks.  Father time will not catch up to Tom Brady this year, as New England will surely be the #1 in the AFC yet again.  I see Miami as a borderline second wild card team.  Jay Ajayi and Jarvis Landry will carry the offense and I see Davante Parker having a breakout year with Jay Cutler as his new QB.  Buffalo has gotten even weaker this offseason losing Sammy Watkins and having the bad luck of signing Anquan Boldin who retired in the beginning of preseason.  And the Jets will be lucky to win 2 games as they have virtually no one valuable on their team.

AFC North

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5
  2. Cincinnati Bengals 9-7
  3. Baltimore Ravens 8-8
  4. Cleveland Browns 4-12

Pittsburgh is going to be explosive on offense for sure, but their defense is lacking.  Bell and Brown are going to do well per usual.  Cincinnati is tricky as they are strictly a regular season team, meaning they can never win a playoff game under Andy Dalton at QB. In fact, they haven’t yet.  Despite 3 versatile running backs and AJ Green, I see an average year for the Bengals unfortunately.  Same thing for the Ravens.  Jeremy Maclin may improve their receiving game and picking up Danny Woodhead was a good move but they have failed to make the playoffs each of the last two seasons.  Lastly, the loveable loser Browns. I see an improvement from last year as most likely rookie DeShone Kizer will start at quarterback. However, Cleveland doesn’t have enough weapons to sustain a winning season yet, but I do see a promising future.

AFC West

  1. Oakland Raiders 12-4
  2. Kansas City Chiefs 11-5
  3. Denver Broncos 10-6
  4. Los Angeles Chargers 8-8

The strongest division in the AFC this year will be the west.  It’s almost a toss up between Oakland and KC as the Raiders got Marshawn Lynch in his hometown and the Chiefs have a good, young team.  Denver is going to be in the hunt late and may just squeak in the playoffs.  LA will just miss the cut but will be steady throughout.

AFC South

  1. Tennessee Titans 10-6
  2. Indianapolis Colts 9-7
  3. Houston Texans 9-7
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars 3-13

That’s right the Titans with Marcus Mariota win the AFC South.  I personally think they would’ve won last year if he didn’t unfortunately break his leg in Week 16.  If Luck is healthy, maybe Indy does better than 9-7, but I see another injury looming.  The quarterback situation is what is hurting Houston as they have a tough choice between Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson.  DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller are studs no doubt about it, but the Texans will do mediocre in 2017.  Poor Jacksonville is all I can say.  Allen Robinson needs to leave Doug Marrone can fix their issues, and quick.

NFC East

  1. Dallas Cowboys 12-4
  2. New York Giants 10-6
  3. Philadelphia Eagles 9-7
  4. Washington Redskins 7-9

Considered to be the toughest division in football, the NFC East always provides late season drama and intrigue.  The Cowboys will ultimately prevail as once Ezekiel Elliot comes back they will take off.  I don’t see a sophomore slump for Dak Prescott either.  The Giants will be good enough to get a wild card again mainly due to signing Brandon Marshall and if Odell Beckham Jr. has another monster year.  Philly and Washington bring up the rear as both teams have good quarterbacks in Carson Wentz and Kirk Cousins.  It will be a virtual repeat of last years division.

NFC North

  1. Green Bay Packers 13-3
  2. Detroit Lions 9-7
  3. Minnesota Vikings 8-8
  4. Chicago Bears 5-11

Green Bay should dominate the NFC this year.  Rodgers will look unstoppable.  But, I see the Lions making a late push thanks in large part to Matthew Stafford’s new huge contract making him the highest paid player in NFL history.  Sam Bradford is going to do well, but Minnesota will probably finish .500.  I know Mike Glennon got paid a ton of money to be a Bear but for the love of God please start Mitch Trubisky Chicago!  That’s all I can say to help them out.

NFC West

  1. Seattle Seahawks 12-4
  2. Arizona Cardinals 11-5
  3. Los Angeles Rams 6-10
  4. San Francisco 49ers 4-12

This division is obviously split in half.  Seattle’s defense will be solid as will its offense.  Arizona and David Johnson will have great years, as they are in need of a bounce back.  Jared Goff I see doing much better and same with Todd Gurley but nowhere close to a winning  season.  The 49ers record shouldn’t surprise you either.

NFC South

  1. Atlanta Falcons 11-5
  2. New Orleans Saints 9-7
  3. Carolina Panthers 8-8
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-8

Atlanta’s offense will scorch their opponents but their defense will give in a little, still nonetheless a good year.  The rest of the South is steady but average at best.  Drew Brees, Cam Newton, and Jameis Winston are all awesome fantasy QB’s, but they in a grueling division.  I see each of those 3 teams doing well, but missing the playoffs.

Now for the playoff picture:

AFC Byes

  1. New England Patriots
  2. Oakland Raiders

Wildcard Round

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. 6. Miami Dolphins
  2. Kansas City Chiefs vs. 5. Tennessee Titans

NFC Byes

  1. Green Bay Packers
  2. Dallas Cowboys

Wildcard Round

  1. Seattle Seahawks vs. 6. New York Giants
  2. Atlanta Falcons vs. 5. Arizona Cardinals

In the wildcard round I see the Steelers and Chiefs in the AFC winning easily and in the NFC the Seahawks and Cardinals in close games.

Divisional Round

AFC

  1. New England Patriots vs. 4. Kansas City Chiefs
  2. Oakland Raiders vs. 3. Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC

  1. Green Bay Packers vs. 5. Arizona Cardinals
  2. Dallas Cowboys vs. 3. Seattle Seahawks

For the divisional round I see Patriots and Steelers followed by Packers and Seahawks.  All of the games will be wild and I see Green Bay and Pittsburgh prevailing in OT.

Championship Round

AFC

  1. New England Patriots vs. 3. Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC

  1. Green Bay Packers vs. 3. Seattle Seahawks

Super Bowl 52

New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers

That’s right folks, I predict the Green Bay Packers to take down the defending champs and win the Super Bowl.  Also my season MVP will be Aaron Rodgers.  I hope you liked the article and agreed with my predictions.  Now, lets enjoy the 2017-2018 NFL season shall we!

 

 

 

 

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