I thought I’d do some official record predictions for this NFL Season by using playoffpredictors.com. Here’s how I see the NFL playing out this year.
New England Patriots: 14-2. It’s looking like the Pats are the favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champions. And with Tom Brady having another weapon in Brandin Cooks, it’s going to be hard for the rest of the AFC to stop the Pats from once again having the #1 seed (that Julian Edelman injury isn’t going to hurt them that much).
Miami Dolphins: 8-8. I was originally in favor of the Dolphins making the playoffs as a Wild Card, but I don’t think this talented team will survive their schedule. And Jay Cutler.
Buffalo Bills: 3-13. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a tank… losing Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby to trades of all things proves that this team is in no way willing to contend for the playoffs this year.
New York Jets: 1-15. As MJ will say to the Jets all year, your team stinks. However, I’m projecting their one win to be against the Chargers because that appears to be what the Chargers do.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 12-4. An explosive offense and a young defense make the Steelers once again win the North. Anything less than a division title for the Steelers would be very disappointing.
Cincinnati Bengals: 10-6. They have a lot of exciting talent on offense, but that o-line is a concern with all their losses in free agency. Their defense still has plenty of talented players. Expect a bounce back season and a Wild Card berth.
Baltimore Ravens: 7-9. This team has one of the most boring offenses in the league. If Marshal Yanda is your most exciting player, we have a bit of a problem. This defense just isn’t the Ravens’ defense of the past, with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed long gone. Who knows though, maybe Joe Flacco can pull another crazy Super Bowl run off.
Cleveland Browns: 5-11. Expect some steady growth with all that talent they added in the draft. Still, not knowing who their QB is will keep them from having the playoffs as a realistic goal. Deshone Kizer has looked pretty impressive in preseason though.
Tennessee Titans: 11-5. Their receiving corps is much improved with the additions of Corey Davis and Eric Decker. If Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson can help out in the secondary, then the Titans will definitely win this division. I feel like most people are high on the Titans this year, and you can count me in as well.
Houston Texans: 9-7. Deshaun Watson will impress in his rookie campaign, and the Texans defense will dominate as usual. However, they just can’t put it together and miss out on the playoffs.
Indianapolis Colts: 7-9. Malik Hooker has to be something special, as the rest of that Colts defense sure isn’t. As a Giants fan, they got a good signing in Jonathan Hankins, but they still haven’t built a good enough team around Andrew Luck.
Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-11. I have to once again quote MJ here, Blake Bortles stinks. He’s holding the team back, and word on the street is that Chad Henne might be taking his job. Sheesh. Could the Jags be the team to sign Kaepernick? I don’t know, the point is that this talented team isn’t going anywhere if they don’t have a QB.
Oakland Raiders: 12-4. The Raiders definitely look like they could treat their fans to a Lombardi Trophy before they move to Vegas, as I see them as the biggest challenge to the Patriots.
Kansas City Chiefs: 10-6. Some people are low on the Chiefs, but I still expect them to make the playoffs. That’s what Andy Reid teams do. They don’t do much after that.
Denver Broncos: 8-8. The Broncos narrowly miss out on the postseason, even with me projecting a 5-0 start to the season for them (Out of their first 5 games, 4 are at home, and the one game on the road is against the tanking Bills). They’re basically like the Vikings of last year, a talented defensive team that chokes away a great start.
Los Angeles Chargers: 7-9. The Mike Williams injury is the latest proof that the Chargers can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to injuries, and this talented team once again can’t break through the AFC West.
New York Giants: 11-5. I am a Giants fan, so maybe this is my homerism shining through. However, with the Ezekiel Elliott suspension, I think the Giants are actually the slight favorite to win this division. As long as the defense stays elite and the new weapons on offense show up, the Giants could win their first division title since 2011.
Dallas Cowboys: 10-6. Not necessarily a “sophomore slump” for Dak, but I think a bit of a drop off from 13-3 is inevitable. They still have one of the league’s best offenses, but look for the secondary to hold them back. And here’s a bold prediction: I see Dallas starting off 0-3 with the Zeke suspension.
Philadelphia Eagles: 8-8. Playing in a tough division like the NFC East will hold Philly back, but they are a very talented team. Carson Wentz appears to be the future, they added Alshon Jeffrey, and the front 7 is looking nice. Many people have them as a sleeper candidate to make the playoffs.
Washington Redskins: 6-10. This may seem a little rough, but as I mentioned with the Eagles, competing in the NFC East isn’t going to do the Redskins any favors. Plus, we all know that Kirk Cousins is dissatisfied with the front office. Jonathan Allen is going to have to do a lot for that defensive line that lost Chris Baker.
Green Bay Packers: 12-4. To quote Stephen A. Smith, Aaron Rodgers is a BAD man. Sure, the Packers only went 10-6 last year. But the offseason acquisitions of Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks make them pretty deep at TE, giving the Bad Man more weapons. There are still spots that concern me on the defense, but Mike Daniels is quietly one of the better defensive tackles in the NFL.
Detroit Lions: 8-8. The Lions sneaked into the playoffs last year, only to get routed by the Seahawks. To me, Matthew Stafford is one of the most underrated QBs in the NFL, passing for 4,000 yards seemingly every year. But, he’s gonna leave the 2017 season without a playoff win. Again.
Minnesota Vikings: 7-9. The Vikings have great talent on defense, and that was proven with their 5-0 start to last year’s season. However, I’m not thrilled with Latavius Murray running behind that O-line, and I’m not impressed with Sam Bradford’s meaningless completion percentage record.
Chicago Bears: 3-13. The rebuild ain’t over yet. We really don’t know how many games Trubisky will start, but a team with this QB situation… I can’t really trust to win that many games. Hopefully Jordan Howard doesn’t have a Todd Gurley-like slump, but I don’t see that happening. The Bears O-line is actually quite decent.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 11-5. With great balance on offense and defense, and a young QB entering his prime, I see a bright future for the Bucs. It starts with an NFC South division title, their first since 2007.
Atlanta Falcons: 10-6. I have done a write-up on each NFL team on NFL Reddit, and Falcons fans said that I liked the Super Bowl hangover storyline too much. Well, I wouldn’t say it if it didn’t appear to be true. The Panthers and the Broncos didn’t even make the playoffs last year. However, I think this Falcons offense is way too talented to miss the playoffs. Plus, Dontari Poe is also a great addition.
Carolina Panthers: 7-9. Cam Newton and rookie Christian McCaffrey are explosive on offense, but the Panthers just can’t compete in a tough NFC South.
New Orleans Saints: 7-9. Sorry Saints fans, and sorry Drew Brees, but your team has become the new Rams. Let’s see what Marshon Lattimore can do, though.
Arizona Cardinals: 10-6. Here’s arguably my biggest surprise of the article, I have the Cardinals taking the division. My biggest reason for this is David Johnson, as he is an absolute beast. However, I expect Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald to play extra hard for a shot at the Super Bowl. Perhaps rookies Haason Reddick and Budda Baker can contribute to a defense that already has Patrick Peterson and The Honey Badger.
Seattle Seahawks: 9-7. Now here’s my other big surprise, the Seahawks miss out on the playoffs. They still finish with a decent record, but that atrocious O-line will hold them back. Russell Wilson is still there, and so is the Legion of Boom. But teams like the Panthers and Bengals of last year proved that you can have a talented team and still miss out on postseason football.
Los Angeles Rams: 5-11. This team still has plenty of growing pains, but I think Sean McVay will prevent Jared Goff from being a bust. I’m not so sure how Sammy Watkins will do, especially considering he was traded with very little time to learn the playbook. In any case, I think the Rams will waste another year of Aaron Donald’s talent.
San Francisco 49ers: 3-13. Well, maybe Solomon Thomas and Rueben Foster will be something. #KirkCousins2018
Now it’s time to predict the playoffs.
Wild Card Games
6th seeded Kansas City @ 3rd seeded Pittsburgh. The Steelers once again take a playoff W against the Chiefs, likely ushering in the Patrick Mahomes era in Kansas City.
5th seeded Cincinnati @ 4th seeded Tennessee. The Bengals have a lot more playoff experience than the Titans. It isn’t good experience though. The Titans take the W.
6th seeded Atlanta @ 3rd seeded Tampa Bay. The Falcons are angry after last year’s Super Bowl shocker and will take down Tampa on the road.
5th seeded Dallas @ 4th seeded Arizona. The Cowboys have won 10 out of their last 13 at this point, but Arizona’s home field advantage should help here. The Cardinals win.
4th seeded Tennessee @ 1st seeded New England. Anyone who is not a Patriots fan will likely be rooting for the Titans if this ends up being the matchup. But we know what the Pats like to do. Make the AFC Championship game, of course.
3rd seeded Pittsburgh @ 2nd seeded Oakland. The Raiders say “Screw your playoff experience, Pittsburgh” and take home the W in the Black Hole.
4th seeded Arizona @ 2nd seeded NY Giants. The talented NY defense is too much for Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald to handle, and the Gmen win. As a Giants fan, I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing the Cardinals beat them that much. I really want to see Larry Fitzgerald win a ring before he retires.
6th seeded Atlanta @ 1st seeded Green Bay. Eli Manning has proven that it’s possible to beat the Packers at Lambeau in the playoffs (he did it twice). Matty Ice can do it too, I think, and the Falcons pull off another road win.
2nd seeded Oakland @ 1st seeded New England. This game represents a change of guard in the AFC. That being said, the Patriots still win. But the Raiders keep it really close (a lot closer than the Steelers did last year), and the Raiders return hungry in 2018.
6th seeded Atlanta @ 2nd seeded NY Giants. It’s January in the Northeast, and for once the Giants enjoy some home field advantage in a Super Bowl run. They are once again the champions of the NFC.
Oh boy, it’s the Giants and Pats again. You’ll never guess who I have winning. Yeah, it’s the Giants. Even though it’s right before the season, it’s still way too early to give an accurate Super Bowl prediction. However, I think with an elite defense and an offense that has plenty of weapons, they beat New England (again!). Take this all with a grain of salt though, and know that this is probably just my bias getting in the way. However, I think we can all view the Giants as a Super Bowl contender.
If you want to see exactly what teams I had getting wins and losses in the regular season, check out this link: https://playoffpredictors.com/Football/NFL?L=IwhMI5zTamHSZJzZuvOWF0-UTcYmfHDMYjQkxCM+x2nbdAs5G9Bk3lvXIKRA