Ladies and gentleman, the time has finally come for a new season: autumn. And with the coming of autumn means the return of football, and what better way to kick off the new season then by giving a team by team analysis and predictions/rankings for the season. So, ranked in order of their given predicted records, let’s launch into it.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-16)
I actually don’t see a great season for Miami in their immediate future…at all. They let their top receiver in Jarvis Landry go for Danny Amendola, which would be fine if they didn’t have the painfully mediocre Ryan Tannehill throwing to him. They also let go of defensive titan Ndamukong Suh. They easily take the bottom of the league.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-15)
The Buccaneers are in a rough shop right now. With the allegations and suspension of their star QB Jameis Winston, the team is going to flounder even more so without the star in their first three weeks. The turnaround from an 0-3 start is difficult, especially for this team that hasn’t produced anything of significance in a few seasons.
30. Oakland Raiders (2-14)
The Oakland Raiders are set to be the biggest dumpster fire of the league this season. Sure they have Derek Carr at QB, but they have a lame duck stadium as they prepare to move to Las Vegas next season, a GM who doesn’t get along with his staff, a coach who hasn’t coached in over a decade, and an otherwise lackluster team made up of rejects from other squads, including Jordy Nelson and Marshawn Lynch, both of whom are in their career’s twilight years. The Raiders are definitely finishing last in the West.
29. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14)
This is another squad that isn’t necessarily bad, just not great. The Bengals also have a very difficult schedule to play ahead of them and not enough tools to get the job done effectively. Andy Dalton will not be enough to carry the team this season.
28. Chicago Bears (2-14)
Are we sure that Mitch Trubisky can play? The Bears did fine last year with him, but their schedule isn’t getting any easier and the management did little to improve upon the squad they had last year. This is gonna be a test year for Mitch and the Bears team as a whole, but one this is for certain: the Bears finish last in the North.
27. Washington Redskins (3-13)
The Redskins picked up a solid QB in Alex Smith, but will he be enough to carry the team like Kirk Cousins did? The Redskins have been decent, but Smith isn’t necessarily in prime condition. I mean, he choked away a major play-off win against the Tennessee Titans last season. They finish last in the East.
26. Tennesse Titans (3-13)
The Titans are a fine squad. They made a solid improvement by picking up RB Dion Lewis from New England and Marcus Mariota is a good QB. My only reason to put them at the bottom of the AFC south is their schedule. The Texans have Deshaun Watson, maybe one of the most promising young players in the NFL, back at QB. The Colts have Andrew Luck back at QB, and the Jaguars are poised to be deadly as ever defensively. Maybe 3-13 is too low, but that schedule worries me.
25. Buffalo Bills (4-12)
This team is in bad shape now that Tyrod is gone and their replacement is rookie Josh Allen. Sure LeSean McCoy is still their running back, but the rest of the team is just underwhelming. Third place in the East.
24. Arizona Cardinals (4-12)
With a new coach, a recovering QB, and a checked out audience, the Cardinals are positioned to come last place in the NFC west. Sam Bradford is coming off a season ending injury against New Orleans and even when healthy has proven to be spotty. This is also Larry Fitzgerald’s final season, so maybe that charges the team forward a bit? Who knows?
23. Carolina Panthers (6-10)
The Panthers have never had back-to-back winning seasons. I like Cam Newton and I like that defense. Maybe they can find a way to push through the Carolina Curse, but in a division that boasts heavyweight squads like the Saints and Falcons, I don’t see a first place finish in their future.
22. Baltimore Ravens (7-9)
The Ravens are a tricky team to figure out. Joe Flacco has been fading ever since he won the Super Bowl. With the new rookie the team drafted in Lamar Jackson, that may light a fire under him and drive his apathetic attitude away and bring back that “elite” version we saw those some years ago.
21. Denver Broncos (7-9)
Case Keenum has all the right tools in Minnesota to look like a superstar, but when you look at his career stats, he’s very underwhelming. Denver’s defense is definitely solid and their offense has some great tools, but I think they have a slow build back to glory.
20. Indianapolis Colts (7-9)
Luck carried this squad when he started and now that he’s back, he may be able to do it again. I’m cautiously going to place them at 7-9 purely for the fact that I have no idea what condition Andrew Luck is in or how rusty he may be.
19. Kansas City Chiefs (8-8)
Patrick Mahomes might turn out to be the epic QB they need and they certainly have a few tools for him to use with Travis Kelce at TE and Sammy Watkins at WR. They could be good. Their coach is good, the team looks solid. The schedule is hefty. We’ll see what happens.
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
Dak Prescott has so much pressure on him right now. He has an owner in Jerry Jones who is on his back and Tony Romo is criticizing him hard on TV. Ezekiel Elliot is back, which is great, but the offense took a hit with the loss of Jason Witten. I think this squad turns it around and rises to the challenge, but honestly, it all rests on Dak’s shoulders.
17. Seattle Seahawks (9-7)
The Seahawks are in a rebuilding year, but the crowds still show up and the team I think will succeed based on that and the strength of QB Russell Wilson. This is probably Pete Carroll’s last year at coach and the disbanding of the Legion of Boom is going to affect their playoff chances negatively.
16. Houston Texans (9-7)
The Texans are poised to have a good year with the return of QB Deshaun Watson and a killer defensive squad led by J.J. Watt. I think they can squeeze into the playoffs under Watson’s leadership.
15. New York Jets (9-7)
The Jets’ QB situation is very interesting. The team will not start Sam Darnold at QB, but allow former Minnesota playcaller Teddy Bridgewater to lead the charge until bye week. Teddy was a very solid QB and original thought to be Minnesota’s face of the future, but the Jets are going have a solid season and have a good turnaround after last season.
14. New York Giants (9-7)
The Giants look poised to make a big comeback this year with new coach Pat Shurmer coming up from Minnesota and RB Shaquon Barkley set to put up big numbers, with a healthy OBJ returning as well, the Giants could make a playoff appearance this season and potentially make a run.
13. Detroit Lions (9-7)
The Lions are a mystery this season. Matthew Stafford is a good QB. The defense is solid, but is set to get even better with the addition of new head coach Matt Patricia, the former defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. This squad could be really solid depending on how Patrica leads his team.
12. Los Angeles Chargers (10-6)
The Chargers squad had a really good turnaround last season and showed some serious promise with QB Phillip Rivers and WR Keenan Allen lighting it up. They are my choice to win the AFC West because their schedule isn’t extremely tough and this squad looks solid.
11. Los Angeles Rams (10-6)
The Rams are another team that I’m skeptical of. They picked up Suh from Miami, which improves their already impressive defense and Todd Gurley is a beast. I’m still not sold on Jared Goff. He needs to have a really outstanding performance this season to sway me, but his team is good regardless.
10. Green Bay Packers (10-6)
Aaron Rodgers is back. The schedule is tough, but Rodgers is just so good that it really doesn’t matter. The defensive is improved a bit, but ultimately, I’m giving the edge to the competition Aaron faces and potentially put them in the playoff picture as wild cards.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
Carson Wentz is a question mark to me. Depending on how healthy he is returning this season, this team could be the same solid squad, but I’m hesitant to put them any higher than 10-6 because of the status of Wentz.
8. New Orleans Saints (10-6)
Drew Bree’s is an elite QB, that defense is a tough one to overcome, and Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram are a great backfield duo…except that Mark Ingram is out for the first four weeks. The Saints will have to recover from a weak start and a hard schedule, which I’m not completely sold on their ability to fully bounce back, but I can’t deny their prowess.
7. Cleveland Browns (10-6)
Comeback team of the year? Without a doubt! The team looks outstanding on paper with the acquisitions of Jarvis Landry and Tyrod Taylor, among many others. This team is set to impress everyone and I think 10-6 is feasible.
6. New England Patriots (11-5)
This is the last good year for the Patriots dynasty. Tom Brady doesn’t have deep threat Cooks or slot receiver Amenolda. His golden boy Julian Edelman is out for the first four games. The only receiver he has is Gronk, who’s averaged ten starts a season over the last five years. Brady is gonna have a difficult season, but this squad is still gonna manage to win their division.
5. Atlanta Falcons (12-4)
The Falcons are going to fight for a Super Bowl appearance HARD this season. They have a really impressive offensive squad with Sanu and Jones at WR, Devonta Freeman at RB, and Matt Ryan at QB. The defensive is also solid. I foresee a division win this season.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
Big Ben is a great QB, Le’Veon Bell is a great RB, and Antonio Brown is a great WR. This squad has a solid defense and an all-around powerhouse team. They have the division and potentially the conference on lock. It’s hard to go against the Steelers.
3. Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
The Vikings are poised to be outstanding and potential Super Bowl contenders. Kirk Cousins looks like he is fitting swimmingly up North, the defense is absolutely beast, and the offensive team of RBs Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray, WRs Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, and TE Kyle Rudolph. This team looks outstanding.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (14-2)
The Jags were beast last season and I see a ton of potential for this team. The defense is beast, Leonard Fournette is a top running back, and Blake Bortles is an undervalued QB who had a solid season. I really think this team is going to take the conference and has Super Bowl potential.
1. San Francisco 49ers (14-2)
Jimmy G is the next Tom Brady and the 49ers have built a solid squad around him with a top notch running back in Jerrick McKinnon, receivers Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon, and the defense looks really solid too with Richard Sherman and squad poised to make a splash. I wanted to put them at 15-1, but I just couldn’t do it. 49ers are ones to look out for.
Just to recap my picks for division and such:
- Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
- Green Bay Packers (10-6)
- Detroit Lions (9-7)
- Chicago Bears (2-14)
- Atlanta Falcons (12-4)
- New Orleans Saints (10-6)
- Carolina Panthers (6-10)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-15)
- Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
- New York Giants (9-7)
- Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
- Washington Redskins (4-12)
- San Francisco 49ers (14-2)
- Los Angeles Rams (10-6)
- Seattle Seahawks (9-7)
- Arizona Cardinals (4-12)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
- Cleveland Browns (10-6)
- Baltimore Ravens (7-9)
- Cincinnati Bengals (2-14)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (14-2)
- Houston Texans (9-7)
- Indianapolis Colts (7-9)
- Tennessee Titans (3-13)
- New England Patriots (11-5)
- New York Jets (9-7)
- Buffalo Bills (4-12)
- Miami Dolphins (0-16)
- Los Angeles Chargers (10-6)
- Kansas City Chiefs (8-8)
- Denver Broncos (7-9)
- Oakland Raiders (2-14)
The NFL pre-season begins next week and soon we’ll see how accurate my predictions are. If you like my sports analysis, you can find me talking football weekly every Wednesday starting August 29th on Multiplex Entertainment on YouTube.