y- New York Giants 11-5
Dallas Cowboys 9-7
Philadelphia Eagles 8-8
Washington Redskins 7-9
The Giants have a championship defense, and even if the O-line doesn’t pan out they still have an offense that can put more points on the board than last year. Dallas got worse this offseason; they have no defense and with the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott lose a dynamic player. Dak Prescott, as I’ve said all offseason, will regress this year. Philly is on the cusp of being a playoff team, but not for another year or so.
z- Green Bay Packers 13-3
Minnesota Vikings 9-7
Detroit Lions 7-9
Chicago Bears 4-12
The Packers started last season 4-6, which is not at all Green Bay football. They then won eight straight, including two playoff victories, which is much more like Green Bay football. They will come out the gates on fire this season and not let up. Minnesota is a team I wanted to add into the playoff race, but just couldn’t do it. Sorry, Victor Cruz, I hope you salsa a lot in end zones, but I don’t see your team winning many ballgames.
y- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6
x- Atlanta Falcons 10-6
Carolina Panthers 8-8
New Orleans Saints 6-10
Would this be considered an upset pick? Tampa Bay wins the division over the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons. Week 15’s Monday night game is Tampa Bay @ Atlanta, and I’m predicting right now a huge victory for the Bucs which helps them seal the division. Tampa has a great, underrated defense and now what appears to be an explosive offense ready to make some noise. Atlanta will still be a playoff team, as their roster is loaded with talent.
y- Seattle Seahawks 12-4
x- Arizona Cardinals 11-5
Los Angeles Rams 5-11
San Francisco 49ers 3-13
Seattle will be NFC West champs for the fourth time in five years. I believe Eddie Lacy is on the verge of a good season, and the return of Earl Thomas brings swagger back into the ‘Legion of Boom’. Both Arizona and Seattle will be 11-4 heading into Week 17 but, unfortunately for the Cardinals, the game is played in Seattle, where the Seahawks clinch the division.
z- New England Patriots 13-3
Miami Dolphins 8-8
Buffalo Bills 6-10
New York Jets 1-15
Oh, I so badly wanted to predict a 16-0 season for the Patriots (you’ll see why in my playoff predictions below), but just couldn’t. New England will be the best team in the league this season, however their schedule is fairly tough barring of course their easy division. Miami is built to be a winning team, and may have a better record than 8-8. The Jets further cement their legacy of being the little brother in New York after owning the worst record in the NFL in 2017.
y- Pittsburgh Steelers 10-6
x- Baltimore Ravens 9-7
Cincinnati Bengals 5-11
Cleveland Browns 3-13
Pittsburgh is a team that most want to include in conversations of the best in the AFC. No doubt they’re a playoff team and will win the division, however they will remain a step back of sitting up with New England in AFC supremacy this year. Baltimore will just barely squeak into the playoffs with nine wins. Joe Flacco starting the year with health issues isn’t a good sign, but their defense has the potential to be quite good.
y- Tennessee Titans 11-5
Houston Texans 9-7
Indianapolis Colts 5-11
Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12
Tennessee is going to be good this year and be a serious playoff contender, and I believe they will win 11 games. Houston will just miss out on the playoffs. A couple years ago I remember really liking the potential of Blake Bortles, but him being booed off the field by his own home crowd in preseason isn’t a good sign for him or the Jags.
y- Kansas City Chiefs 12-4
x- Oakland Raiders 11-5
Los Angeles Chargers 8-8
Denver Broncos 6-10
Oakland is a playoff team and Derek Carr is one of the best quarterbacks in football, however they barely won many of their games in 2016 and I just don’t see how that trend can continue. Kansas City is a team that many seem to have ruled out, which is fairly ridiculous considering they were 12-4 last year even with an offense that struggled. Kansas City swept Oakland last year and will have the final say this year as well. As opposed to Oakland winning close games, the Chargers lost many close games. They’ll win more games this year, but will still miss out on a winning record at 8-8.
Wild Card: (3) Giants def. (6) Falcons; (5) Cardinals def. (4) Buccaneers
Divisional: (1) Packers def. (5) Cardinals; (3) Giants def. (2) Seahawks
Championship: (3) Giants def. (1) Packers
Wild Card: (3) Titans def. (6) Ravens; (4) Steelers def. (5) Raiders
Divisional: (1) Patriots def. (4) Steelers; (2) Chiefs def. (3) Titans
Championship: (1) Patriots def. (2) Chiefs
Super Bowl: Giants def. Patriots
Okay, I’m a biased Giants fan. They are built for a Super Bowl run and I strongly believe they can make it. However, if they were to not make the Super Bowl out of the NFC then I believe Seattle would. This means if the Giants and Seahawks were to meet in the playoffs, the winner of that game would reach the Super Bowl. If the Giants were to reach the big game, it would be incredible for the Patriots to once again be 18-0, but I don’t see that happening. If Seattle reaches the Super Bowl, would you rather Eli Manning still be the only quarterback to defeat Tom Brady in Super Bowls, or hope Russell Wilson joins Eli as the only two to beat Brady?