Detroit Lions 2018 Season Preview


Giving my season preview for the Detroit Lions 2018 NFL Season including my win-loss record prediction, bold predictions, statistical projections and analysis of the team’s strengths, weaknesses, and key players Matthew Stafford, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. Will the Lions return to the playoffs in 2018?

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San Francisco 49ers 2018 Season Preview

San Francisco 49ers 2018 Season Preview


Giving my season preview for the San Francisco 49ers 2018 NFL Season including my win-loss record prediction, bold predictions, statistical projections and analysis of the team’s strengths, weaknesses, and key players Jimmy Garoppolo, Richard Sherman, and Reuben Foster. Are the 49ers ready to make the playoffs?

Best and Worst Case Scenarios for every NFL Team in 2018

Best and Worst Case Scenarios for every NFL Team in 2018

It’s that boring time of the NFL offseason.  The NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals recently concluded, and so all there is to watch is baseball (and the World Cup).  But, it’s still fun to speculate how each NFL team will do in 2018 (then be proven completely wrong later).  Today, I will go over each team’s floor and ceiling.  Think of it as their best case scenario vs. worst case scenario.  Anyway, let’s get started.

Atlanta Falcons

After another rough playoff elimination last season, maybe the Falcons will follow in the paths of the Astros, Eagles, and Capitals, and finally win that ring.  They have all the talent on offense, and Vic Beasley and Deion Jones are dangerous on defense.  To me, their absolute best case scenario (ceiling) is 13-3 and that first Super Bowl ring.  I can’t imagine them doing better than 13-3 in that division.  The floor is when Matt Ryan starts looking like 2015 Matt Ryan, and the offense continues to regress from that incredible 2016 season.  Steve Sarkisian gets his walking papers, and the Falcons go 7-9 and miss the playoffs.

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals just drafted a man who has been considered the most pro-ready QB.  Personally, I think he’ll be quite successful in the NFL, but Sam Bradford could possibly hold him off for a while.  Because the Cards are in this awkward transitional phase, I can’t see them doing much better than 9-7.  And because they’re competing in a division with two teams on the rise (San Fran and L.A.) and one team that’s still pretty good (Seattle), things could get really hairy.  I think their floor could be 3-13.

Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco and his huge contract should be able to hold off Lamar Jackson, at least for one year.  Maybe Flacco can return to his vintage form and the Ravens pull off another playoff run.  In a division with Cincy and Cleveland, it’s possible for them to do as well as 11-5.  This team has a history of giving the Pats trouble in the playoffs, but I just don’t think a Super Bowl run is realistic.  And their worst case scenario?  Probably 5-11 if injuries happen, Terrell Suggs’ 16th season just ain’t cutting it, and the run game can’t get it together under Alex Collins and Javorious Allen.

Buffalo Bills

So, Buffalo got A.J. McCarron to be that awkward “bridge” QB for Josh Allen (the job might actually go to Nathan Peterman).  Well Bills, at least you made the playoffs last year!  Even with Shady McCoy still playing great (which may not happen now that he’ll be 30 this season), I don’t see Buffalo doing better than 8-8.  Sure, the Jets and Dolphins are also at a crossroads, but New England should probably be marked on the calendar as two Ls.  As for their worst case scenario, we’ve certainly seen it get bad with teams in this transitional phase.  2-14 is the floor.

Carolina Panthers

Cam and Carolina got back in the playoffs after a rough 2016 season.  As Jon Bois noted in this video, Carolina’s consistency is the absolute craziest in the NFL (just skip to 9:10 if you want proof).  Christian McCaffrey should continue to add to this team, and Dontari Poe should help improve the d-line.  To me, their best and worst case scenarios are quite like the Falcons.  13-3 if everything goes right, 7-9 if everything goes wrong.  Now watch them pull a 2015 Panthers and go 15-1 again, or a 2016 Panthers and go 6-10.

Chicago Bears

Mitch Trubisky will no longer have to wait behind the human giraffe Mike Glennon, and will get his chance to lead the Bears into playoff contention.  In a tough division like the NFC North though, I can’t see them doing better than 10-6.  However, that could very well net them a playoff spot in the Wild Card.  As for their floor, think Matt Nagy will oversee an improvement from 5-11.  The Bears are a high-floor, low ceiling team in my opinion, as their floor should should be 6-10.

Cincinnati Bengals

When Cincy’s stubborn owner Mike Brown kept Marvin Lewis AGAIN in 2018, I can just imagine Bengals fans having the same mindset as Squidward in this clip.  Maybe Dalton and A.J. Green will go back to their vintage years of 2011-15 by going 10-6… and losing in the first round of the playoffs again.  To me though, their worst case scenario is that they continue their downward trend and go 4-12.  Maybe that will make Mike Brown do something?  No, I doubt it.

Cleveland Browns

You know what, I think this team could shock the world and win a game this season.  Actually, 10 of them.  Considering Tyrod Taylor quarterbacked a team to the playoffs last year, why can’t he do it again?  Cleveland has a pretty scary 1-2 combo in Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry, and a defense that actually isn’t that bad.  The elephant in the room is Hue Jackson.  Maybe if that jump in Lake Erie truly did wash away all the losing, they can go 10-6 and make the playoffs.  Or, they could just go 2-14 (they can’t possibly go 0-16 again.  Can they?).

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas had a disappointing season last year, as they had to deal with injuries and the drama known as the Zeke suspension saga.  Jason Witten and Dez Bryant leaving could certainly hurt the offense a bit, but I can still see them improving to 12-4.  But no more than that, as they have to deal with Philly and an improved Giants team.  Of course, I do see a possibility of them going 6-10.  Jason Garrett would probably get fired in that case.

Denver Broncos

It was a rough first season for head coach Vance Joseph, as the former defensive coordinator had to deal with a QB controversy.  John Elway has given him a new QB in Case Keenum, who should definitely hold down the fort for at least this year.  Keenum obviously had a great season last year, and he’s still playing on a team with a solid defense (though not as good as Minnesota’s).  Considering the AFC West still has some question marks, I can see Denver doing as good as 12-4.  However, if the Keenum experiment fails, things could get ugly.  Perhaps another 5-11 season is their floor.

Detroit Lions

Having a top 10 QB like Matt Stafford is usually enough to net this team 6 wins, so I can’t see them doing much worse than 6-10.  Unfortunately for the Lions, they play in a division with the Packers, Vikings, and a Bears team that is much improved.  Unless Matt Patricia truly does bring that Patriots attitude to the team, I can’t see them doing better than 10-6 and a possible Wild Card berth.

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers is back, which means the Packers being a playoff team is probably back as well.  This is despite him losing one of his favorite targets in Jordy Nelson and the NFC being stacked.  After all, they added Jimmy Graham, who will probably emerge as a solid red zone option for Rodgers.  The defense added Muhammad Wilkerson and Jaire Alexander, and maybe new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine can turn their defense into a solid unit.  If he does, the Packers could do as well as 13-3.  If he doesn’t (and some injuries happen), expect an 8-8 year.

Houston Texans

It’s all about staying healthy for this bunch.  Deshaun Watson was having a great rookie season until his ACL injury.  And when J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus went down, so did the Texans.  As long as their most important pieces don’t suffer from the injury bug, I can see them doing as good as 12-4.  However, if injuries strike yet again, I can see 5-11 being the floor.

Indianapolis Colts

Despite a gutty performance from Jacoby Brissett, the Colts had a disastrous 4-12 season last year that saw coach Chuck Pagano get fired.  After being royally screwed over by Josh McDaniels, Frank Reich will now try to lead this team to victory.  If Andrew Luck returns healthy and the new pieces on the o-line come together, this could be an 11-5, division-winning team.  If not, this could be another 4-12 year in Indy.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags surprised the NFL world last year by making it to the AFC Championship Game a year after going 3-13.  The bad news for the Jags is that the division has gotten a lot better if everyone stays healthy.  The good news for Jacksonville is that they’ve retained the young defensive core that got them a game away from the Super Bowl.  The elephant in the room is Blake Bortles, and if he has a poor year, the Jags could do as bad as 6-10.  But, if all goes according to plan, I say they can do as well as 13-3 and get the franchise’s first title.

Kansas City Chiefs

A lot of the Chiefs’ season will be determined by their QB play, and no one really knows what we’ll get out of Pat Mahomes.  He has a veteran coach in Andy Reid and spent a year learning behind Alex Smith though, so those are some good signs.  If Mahomes can make good use out of his weapons on offense and the defense stays solid, a 12-4, division-winning record could happen.  If Mahomes is significantly worse from Alex Smith though, things could get as bad as 5-11.

Los Angeles Chargers

The 30,000-seat soccer stadium that the Chargers play in may very well be home to a division champ this year.  The Chargers have a trusty vet in Phillip Rivers at QB, and some good weapons for him (though Hunter Henry is out for the year).  The defense is where this team is super stacked from top to bottom.  It starts up front, where Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram bring the heat.  In the secondary, a healthy Jason Verrett, Casey Heyward, and rookie Derwin James should be exciting.  I see this team doing as well as 13-3 and seriously contending for a Super Bowl.  However, they could disappoint and go 7-9.

Los Angeles Rams

Boy, is this team going all-in this year.  Getting Pro Bowl caliber players like Brandin Cooks, Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters, and Aqib Talib clearly demonstrates this.  Jared Goff and Todd Gurley should be with this franchise for a while, but this great core they have will only stay around 1-2 years.  If the Rams make the most of it, they’ll go 14-2 and bring a Super Bowl to L.A.  If they waste this stacked roster or if injuries happen, this team could do as poorly as 8-8.

Miami Dolphins

This team traded their star RB and star WR, plus they lost arguably their best player on defense in Ndamukong Suh.  Ryan Tannehill hasn’t played since 2016.  Some of their more notable free agent signings include: Brock Osweiler, a 35-year old Frank Gore, and Danny Amendola (they did draft Minkah Fitzpatrick though).  In any case, things could get ugly in South Beach, and I think they could do as bad as 2-14.  And to me, their ceiling is only 8-8.

Minnesota Vikings

After a stellar year from Case Keenum at QB, the Vikes weren’t convinced and nabbed Kirk Cousins in free agency.  Will the move pay off?  The money is fully guaranteed, and for someone who doesn’t have one playoff win, it’s certainly a risk.  If Kirk is solid and the defense stays elite, a 14-2 season with the franchise’s first Super Bowl could be in order.  If not, it could be a disappointing 8-8 year.

New England Patriots

Will this be the cliff year for Tom Brady?  He’s 41, and he’s lost Dion Lewis, Brandin Cooks, and both of his starting tackles.  The defense lost a key piece in Malcolm Butler.  But who am I kidding, this is the Patriots we’re talking about!  Their best case scenario is 14-2 and a Super Bowl, because Brady and Belichick are still there.  However, if the gloom and doom scenario truly does play out, this team could go 8-8, their first non-winning record since 2000.  That’s really how good this team has been.

New Orleans Saints

Sean Payton saved his job last year after three consecutive 7-9 seasons from 2014-16.  The defense finally stepped up, and Drew Brees had another great year in his late 30s.  Brees not only has help from his defense, but his running game has a great one-two punch with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.  Ingram is suspended the first four games, but I don’t think that will derail the season.  As a matter of fact, this team could do as well as 13-3, and win the franchise’s second title.  However, they could drop back to 8-8 if things go wrong.

New York Giants

After a disastrous campaign last year that saw their ringmasters at head coach and GM get fired, the Giants have regrouped.  They have a smart offensive mind at head coach, and an old school GM now.  They landed a generational talent in Saquon Barkley at RB, and some much-needed pieces on the o-line as well.  If Eli can still play well at age 37 and the defense can return to its 2016 form, this team could do as well as 12-4.  That might be enough to steal a division title from Philly.  But, if this team doesn’t look as good on the field as they do on paper, it could be a disappointing 6-10 year.

New York Jets

The Jets took what could be the long-awaited answer to their QB woes in Sam Darnold.  We don’t know whether he’ll start Week One yet, but there’s a good shot he gets some playing time this year.  Darnold’s weapons on offense are a bit questionable though.  The Jets are building something solid with their young defense however, where they added Avery Williamson and Morris Claiborne.  Those aren’t the greatest additions, but they’re starter-level players.  To me, this Jets team will probably see some bumps in a transitional QB year, and they could do as poorly as 3-13.  But, they could do as well as 9-7.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders were hyped up as contenders in the AFC last year, but they suffered from a very disappointing year.  So, they fired their head coach and made what many consider a “splash hire” in Jon Gruden.  While it’s been quite a long time since he’s coached, I still believe he can do it.  He has a lot of talent to work with on offense, as Derek Carr is a young franchise QB.  This team could disappoint and do as poorly as 6-10 again, but I could see them going 12-4 and retaking the AFC West.

Philadelphia Eagles

Philly broke their long stretch of misery last year, but what does it take to repeat as champs?  Well, it looks like Carson Wentz will be back as the starter, but will he be during Week One?  In any case, this team retained most of the core that got them to the Super Bowl, and added Michael Bennett on defense.  The thing that might hold them back this year is playing in a talented NFC.  Their best case scenario is a 14-2 season and another Super Bowl title.  However, they could regress back to 8-8 if things go horribly wrong.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Killer Bs are back after a disappointing playoff exit last season, but can they rebound this year?  The Steelers promoted from within for their new offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, who should hopefully help this offense stop playing down to their competition.  That was a big struggle for Pittsburgh last year.  This team still has a great core in tact though, and they could go 14-2 and win the franchise’s 7th title if all goes according to plan.  However, they could go 8-8 and possibly lose the division to the Ravens if things go poorly.

San Francisco 49ers

There’s a lot of pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo, who just received a $137.5 million contract after an impressive 5 starts with San Fran.  One fact that really shocked me is that the 49ers went from playing one primetime game last year to FIVE this year.  That goes to show you how much the NFL values having a franchise QB when it comes to scheduling primetime games.  If Kyle Shanahan’s squad can live up to the hype, they could go 12-4 and possibly steal the division from the stacked Rams.  However, if they can’t live up to the hype, they could disappoint and possibly stay a 6-10 season.

Seattle Seahawks

With the Rams and 49ers as improved teams, and the Cards getting a potential franchise QB, Seattle might be taking a backseat.  They lost a lot of key pieces this offseason, like Jimmy Graham, Richard Sherman, and Michael Bennett.  It wasn’t anywhere near San Francisco’s 2015 offseason level of bad, but it was pretty bad.  They drafted Rashad Penny in the first round, which is definitely a questionable move.  Russell Wilson should carry this team to at least a 6-10 record.  But, I can’t see them doing better than 10-6 in this tough NFC.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa was a trendy pick to win the division last year, but they suffered a very disappointing, 5-11 year.  The Bucs made some big additions on the d-line this offseason, trading for JPP, signing Vinny Curry, and drafting Vita Vea.  Paired with Gerald McCoy and Noah Spence, it looks like a stacked unit on paper.  The big thing is Jameis Winston getting it together with Dirk Koetter.  It didn’t work last year, but it probably has to in 2018 for Koetter to keep his job.  I can see the Bucs improving to 11-5 this year if it all goes right, but they could do as poorly as 5-11 again.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans made their way back to postseason football last year after posting another 9-7 season.  With the signings of Dion Lewis and Malcolm Butler, perhaps they have what it takes to make more noise in the AFC.  In a stacked division though, there’s a lot of pressure for Marcus Mariota and first-year head coach Mike Vrabel.  If they respond to it well, I can see Tennessee going 12-4 and possibly getting the franchise’s first Super Bowl.  If they don’t, I can see them having a disappointing 7-9 year.

Washington Redskins

The Skins ditched Kirk Cousins for Alex Smith, and it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.  I think it’s a typical Dan Snyder move and it’s not going to lead to a lot of success for Washington.  The Skins added Paul Richardson in free agency and got Da’Ron Payne and Sheldon Richardson in the draft.  Ultimately, I can’t see this team doing much better than 11-5.  I could see them doing as poorly as 6-10, but no worse than that given that Alex Smith is a pretty steady QB.

Grayzee’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft

Grayzee’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft

Welcome to my NFL Mock Draft!  I’m not the hugest mock draft guy, as it truly is impossible to predict where all these guys land.  However, since it is the day before the draft and we’ll have more information than we ever will, I might as well do a mock draft.  There will be no trades, even though Buffalo, Arizona, and possibly New England seem like candidates to trade up.  Let’s get started.

Pick #1: Cleveland Browns select Sam Darnold (QB- USC)

Some rumors suggest Cleveland likes Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield, but I think they’d be foolish to not go with Darnold at #1.  He seems least likely to bust out of all the QBs in this draft class, which the Browns could certainly use given their history with drafting QBs.  Darnold had a rocky year compared to his 2016 campaign, but losing JuJu Smith-Schuster clearly hurt his production.  Though his turnovers can be concerning, Darnold has all the skills to be a great QB at the next level.

Pick #2: New York Giants select Saquon Barkley (RB- Penn St.)

New GM Dave Gettleman has talked about drafting a player who would “wear a golden jacket” one day, so I don’t think he would pass up on Barkley’s talent.  People think the Giants could be selecting Bradley Chubb because of the JPP trade, and I believe that would be a good fit as well.  However, the thought of having Barkley and Odell Beckham on the same offense could light up defenses for years.  And no, I don’t think the Giants signing the old and injury-prone Jonathan Stewart will deter them from drafting Barkley.

Pick #3: New York Jets select Josh Rosen (QB- UCLA)

Josh Rosen seems like the perfect fit for the Jets, who traded up to #3 to presumably get a QB.  Rosen is the most pro-ready QB in this class, and though his durability and personality scare people, he has the traits to succeed in a big market like New York.  The Jets gave up a lot to get a QB, and I think Chosen Rosen is a lot less risky than Baker Mayfield.

Josh Rosen

Photo from: AP Images

Pick #4: Cleveland Browns (from HOU) select Bradley Chubb (DE- NC. St.)

The Browns will have their pass rush set for at least the next 5 years, as they double down at defensive end.  Myles Garrett and Bradley Chubb could be deadly, and I think GM John Dorsey could learn from the Eagles model that you can never have enough edge rushers.

Pick #5: Denver Broncos select Baker Mayfield (QB- Oklahoma)

Mayfield is another QB who’s attitude has come into question, and his size has as well.  And while John Elway does love tall QBs, I think he’ll take Mayfield here.  Mayfield is quite a competitor, and could take the starting position from Case Keenum by year one possibly.

Pick #6: Indianapolis Colts select Quenton Nelson (OG- Notre Dame)

Nelson has been called a can’t miss/can’t bust prospect, and ideally he could help protect Andrew Luck for the next decade plus.  The Colts SB Nation page mentions that Nelson would help an o-line that desperately needs it, and that seems true.  Nelson is strong, has great footwork, and should be an All-Pro at the next level.

Pick #7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Minkah Fitzpatrick (CB/S- Alabama)

Minkah can play both cornerback and safety, and immediately help a Bucs secondary no matter where they choose to play him.  After all, Tampa gave up the most passing yards among any defense in the NFL last season.

Pick #8: Chicago Bears select Tremaine Edmunds (LB- Virginia Tech)

The Bears will have a solid inside ‘backer duo with Danny Trevathan and Edmunds.  Edmunds recorded well over 200 tackles in college, and won’t even turn 20 until after he hears his name called on draft night.

Pick #9: San Francisco 49ers select Roquan Smith (LB- Georgia)

John Lynch mentioned that Reuben Foster’s career with the 49ers could already be in jeopardy.  It looks as though there’s a strong possibility that the Niners will double down on ILBs, as Roquan Smith led his team in sacks last season.

Pick #10: Oakland Raiders select Denzel Ward (CB- Ohio St.)

The Raiders, much like the Bucs, played below expectations in 2017 partially due to poor secondary play.  Ward would join sophomore Gareon Conley to form a young core at the cornerback position.

Pick #11: Miami Dolphins select Calvin Ridley (WR- Alabama)

Truthfully, the Dolphins have a lot of needs, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were a team picking in the top 5 in the 2019 draft.  However, wide receiver is now a big one thanks to the departure of Jarvis Landry.  Ridley seems to be the consensus top pick at the receiver position, due to his speed and route-running abilities.

Pick #12: Buffalo Bills (from CIN) select Josh Allen (QB- Wyoming)

Allen’s strong arm and his experience playing in cold weather make him an ideal fit for Buffalo.  The Bills are so desperate for a QB that they’ve reportedly been “trying like hell” to trade up once again.  In this scenario however, Allen falls in their lap at #12.

Pick #13: Washington Redskins select Vita Vea (DT- Washington)

The Redskins will have a great foundation on the d-line with Jonathan Allen, and now Vita Vea.  Vea is a huge run-stuffer, and will fit the nose tackle position perfectly for the Skins.

Pick #14: Green Bay Packers select Derwin James (SS- Florida St.)

The Packers let go of Morgan Burnett, which means they need a new strong safety.  Derwin James fits the bill.

Pick #15: Arizona Cardinals select Lamar Jackson (QB- Louisville)

Jackson goes from being a Louisville Cardinal to an Arizona Cardinal, as the Cards can’t possibly consider Sam Bradford as their franchise QB (despite paying him $20 million).  Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has worked with a mobile QB before in Tim Tebow, so I think it could work.

Pick #16: Baltimore Ravens select Da’Ron Payne (DT- Alabama)

Given Ozzie Newsome’s love of Alabama prospects, it may make sense for him to take the best player available here in Payne.  Taking a WR here (which the Ravens do really need) might be too much of a reach.

Payne-FTR-GEtty-Images.jpg

Photo from: Getty Images

Pick #17: Los Angeles Chargers select Orlando Brown (OT- Oklahoma)

Joe Barksdale has been serviceable at right tackle, but the Bolts could be looking for an upgrade at the position.

Pick #18: Seattle Seahawks select Josh Jackson (CB- Iowa)

Will Hernandez and Billy Price could be possibilities for Seattle, as the Seahawks have struggled on the o-line for years.  However, I think they’ll address the secondary that recently lost Richard Sherman.

Pick #19: Dallas Cowboys select D.J. Moore (WR- Maryland)

With Dez Bryant gone, Dallas has a hole in the receiving corps.  Adding Allen Hurns and Moore can alleviate that.

Pick #20: Detroit Lions select Marcus Davenport (DE- UTSA)

The Lions franchised Ziggy Ansah, and he could use a partner in crime on the d-line.  Davenport has great size and speed, and the Lions will take him.

Pick #21: Cincinnati Bengals (from BUF) select Will Hernandez (OG- UTEP)

Cincy traded for Cordy Glenn to help a weak o-line, but the interior needs help as well.  Losing Kevin Zeitler last offseason did no favors for the Bengals, and so they’ll draft Hernandez.

Pick #22: Buffalo Bills select Billy Price (C/OG- Ohio St.)

The Bills have lost center Eric Wood to retirement this offseason, and even if Richie Incognito comes out of retirement, he is 34 years old.  The Bills need new blood on the interior of their o-line, and they’ll get that with Price.

Pick #23: New England Patriots (from LAR) select Mike McGlinchey (OT- Notre Dame)

The Pats lost Nate Solder this offseason, and need a new man to protect Brady’s blindside.

Pick #24: Carolina Panthers select Jaire Alexander (CB- Louisville)

The Panthers still need some help in their secondary, and they’ll get it here.

Pick #25: Tennessee Titans select Harold Landry (DE- Boston College)

The Titans departure against the Patriots in the playoffs proved that not only were they a young team that couldn’t stack up to a juggernaut like New England, they also couldn’t get any pressure on the QB.  Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel could consider Landry, who had a 16.5 sack season in 2016.

Pick #26: Atlanta Falcons select Maurice Hurst (DT- Michigan)

Despite Hurst’s heart condition possibly scaring away some teams, the Falcons lost Dontari Poe this offseason and need help at defensive tackle.

Pick #27: New Orleans Saints select Mark Andrews (TE- Oklahoma)

Drew Brees will get another weapon, as Coby Fleener hasn’t exactly worked out in New Orleans.

Pick #28: Pittsburgh Steelers select Mason Rudolph (QB- Oklahoma St.)

Ben Roethlisberger is 36 and has mentioned retirement before.  The Steelers could do a traditional Steeler thing and take a linebacker with their first round pick, but I think think they could develop Rudolph behind Big Ben for the next few years.

Pick #29: Jacksonville Jaguars select Christian Kirk (WR- Texas A&M)

With the two Allens having left in free agency (Robinson to the Bears and Hurns to the Cowboys), the Jaguars need a new weapon for Blake Bortles.  The speedy Kirk fits the bill.

Photo from: AP Images

Pick #30: Minnesota Vikings select Connor Williams (OT- Texas)

The Vikings need to protect their big investment in Kirk Cousins, and the o-line still isn’t where it needs to be.  Williams can find a starting spot on the o-line.

Pick #31: New England Patriots select Leighton Vander Esch (LB- Boise St.)

Vander Esch will help a front 7 that was one of the weaker links for the Super Bowl runner-ups last year.

Pick #32: Philadelphia Eagles select Derrius Guice (RB- LSU)

It’s a deep runningback draft, and the Eagles can take advantage of that with this pick.  Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, and Guice can form a three-headed monster in the Eagles backfield.

Way too Early Prediction for the NY Giants 2018 Season

As a New York Giants fan, I am extremely confident in the new regime of Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman.  I believe they will eventually lead this team in the right direction, and possibly to Super Bowls.  However, they key word there is eventually, as I have never been so pessimistic entering a Giants season.  This is partially due to the Giants disastrous season last year, but it also has to do with what should be a brutal schedule for New York.  7 out of the 16 games are against playoffs teams from 2017, and many others are against teams on the rise.  It also doesn’t help that the Giants don’t have a single homestand on the schedule.  So now that it’s been released, here’s my walkthrough of the Giants schedule.

Week 1: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1:00 PM)

It’s Tom Coughlin’s homecoming, and already the Giants schedule is tough.  The revamped o-line will have a tough task stopping Jacksonville’s elite defense, and Odell Beckham vs. Jalen Ramsey should be a super fun matchup.  On defense, the Giants could help secure a win if Blake Bortles makes mistakes.  However, I don’t see the Giants winning this one. (Record: 0-1)

Week 2: @ Dallas Cowboys (8:20 PM, SNF)

The Giants and Eli Manning have been historically good at Dallas.  They didn’t win last year, but they stunk last year.  The Cowboys will attempt to bounce back after having Zeke suspended in 2017, and I suspect they’ll make this game close.  But I think the Giants will take the W here. (Record: 1-1)

Week 3: @ Houston Texans (1:00 PM)

The Giants will be facing another Texas team getting their star player back.  The Texans have a talented, yet injury-prone defense.  By Week 3 though, everyone should still be healthy, including QB Deshaun Watson.  If this game was later in the season, I think the Giants would win it.  However, I don’t see them winning it here. (Record: 1-2)

Week 4: vs. New Orleans Saints (4:25 PM)

The Saints were a Marcus Williams tackle away from the NFC Championship last year, and their roster’s talent is undeniable.  If this was in the Superdome, I would definitely mark this down as an L.  However, I trust the Giants to win this one. (Record: 2-2)

Week 5: @ Carolina Panthers (1:00 PM)

Dave Gettleman’s new squad will play his old squad, and though Carolina made the playoffs last year, I think this is a winnable game for the Giants.  Cam Newton battled with inconsistencies in 2017, and Carolina also lost All Pro guard Andrew Norwell.  The Panthers are still a talented team, but I think the Giants will win a close one. (Record: 3-2)

Week 6: vs. Philadelphia Eagles (8:20 PM, SNF)

Since 2010, the Giants have been 15-22 in primetime slots and 4-12 against the Eagles.  History repeats itself, this is a loss.  Especially against such a talented Eagles team. (Record: 3-3)

Week 7: @ Atlanta Falcons (8:15 PM, MNF)

I don’t trust the Giants defense against such a talented offense, even if said offense stalled a bit from their stellar 2016 performance.  Primetime road games are not a good recipe for the Giants. (Record: 3-4)

Week 8: vs. Washington Redskins (1:00 PM)

The Redskins went from Kirk Cousins to Alex Smith at QB, and so I’m not sure exactly what they’re doing.  Washington seems like a mediocre team, and the Giants often beat them at home (they even did it in last year’s disastrous season). (Record: 4-4)

Week 9: BYE

A lot of the Giants schedule doesn’t work in their favor, but they at least got a good bye week.  Often times, teams get screwed over by a Week 4 or Week 12 bye, but the Giants get one right in the middle of the year.

Week 10: @ San Francisco 49ers (8:15 PM, ESPN)

The NFL has embraced the Garoppolo/Shanahan/Lynch trifecta, as this is only one of San Francisco’s 5 primetime games this season.  Compare that to last year, where San Fran had a grand total of 1 primetime matchup.  I think this is a winnable game, as I’m not so sure Jimmy G and this young San Francisco team is ready for the bright lights.  However, I will give the slight edge to the Niners. (Record: 4-5)

Week 11: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1:00 PM)

The Bucs had a disappointing season last year.  Perhaps this is the year that Jameis Winston and the Bucs finally get back to the playoffs after a decade-long drought.  However, Tampa probably should’ve fired Dirk Koetter in my opinion, as I don’t think he’s the guy to lead this team to success.  While I like the additions of Vinny Curry and JPP on the d-line, I see the Giants taking this game at home. (Record: 5-5)

Week 12: @ Philadelphia Eagles (1:00 PM)

It’s a pivotal game for the Giants if they do happen to be 5-5 at this point.  Will they sink below .500, or go a game above it?  It’s the Eagles, so they’ll probably sink. (Record: 5-6)

Week 13: vs. Chicago Bears (1:00 PM)

The Mitch Trubisky-led Bears should surely see some improvement under new coach Matt Nagy.  Heck, they may even repeat the success story of the 2017 Rams.  However, I don’t quite see them stacking up to the Giants here. (Record: 6-6)

Week 14: @ Washington Redskins (1:00 PM)

The Skins will get revenge on the Giants in this game, as the Giants will have to travel to Fed-Ex Field here. (Record: 6-7)

Week 15: vs. Tennessee Titans (1:00 PM)

The Titans are a very talented team that could be vying for a playoff spot at this point.  Marcus Mariota, Derrick Henry, and Corey Davis could truly break out this season.  However, I see the Giants managing to hold onto this game with their home-field advantage. (Record: 7-7)

Week 16: @ Indianapolis Colts (1:00 PM)

The Colts trading down for a bunch of 2nd round picks was a very smart move by GM Chris Ballard, and a sure sign that Indy will be good… in 2-3 years.  Giants win. (Record: 8-7)

Week 17: vs. Dallas Cowboys (1:00 PM)

The Eagles will have probably locked up the NFC East by now (let’s be honest here), but Dallas could still be going for a playoff spot, too.  And so I have the Giants close out the year with a loss. (Record: 8-8)

Overall, I think there’s nowhere to go but up for the 2018 Giants.  I said the same thing about the Browns of last year, and they went from 1-15 to 0-16.  But the Giants are a much prouder franchise than the Browns, and I think they’ll at least make it to .500 this year.  Don’t get me wrong, I think the Giants could very well make it back to the playoffs.  But to me, competing in this tough NFC will not do New York any favors.  So if I had anything to say to the Giants, it would be this: Prove me wrong.

Chicago Bears Offseason Prediction

Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

After another sub .500 season for one of the most historic franchises in football, the Chicago Bears rebuild will reach yet another off-season with a numerous amount of questions and needs on all sides of the football.

This offseason may be the biggest one for the Chicago Bears in recent memory. After nine seasons of Jay Cutler under center, the Bears finally committed to a young quarterback who they gave up a lot to get in the 2017 draft at number two in Mitchell Trubisky. Mitchell had a decent rookie campaign, throwing for 2,193 yards, 7 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and a 77.5% quarterback rating in 12 games started. However, it is hard to judge a player who had no help at the wide receiver position, an injured offensive line, and predictable play calling by former offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains (who is now with the Miami Dolphins).

 

What We Know:

Three years after the hiring of Ryan Pace and John Fox, the John Fox era has come to an end in Chicago. Fox was praised for his previous head coaching stints in Carolina, where he was the head coach from 2002 to 2010 and brought the Panthers to Super Bowl 38( a year after going 7-9) and ultimately fell to the New England Patriots, and the Denver Broncos, where he was the head coach from 2011 to 2014 where he won four straight NFC West titles and made it to Super Bowl  48 where they were beaten by the Seattle Seahawks. Some analysts and Bears fans believed that John Fox would lead the franchise, who had not made the playoffs since 2010, back to the promise land but that was not how it unfolded. The Bears went 6-10 in 2015, 3-13 in 2016 and finished the 2017 season with a 5-11 record, leading to Ryan Pace firing Fox on Black Monday.

Ryan Pace was given the chance to bring in his guy for the first time in his general manager career and decided to go with former Kansas City Chiefs quality control coach and offensive coordinator Matt Nagy. Nagy took over the play calling duty’s after Kansas City lost five of six after starting the season 5-0. Under Nagy, the Chiefs compiled a 4-1 record and averaged a little over 28 points a game.  Coach Nagy confirmed he would run a spread style offense and call the play himself.  Vic Fangio will remain a part of the coaching staff in Chicago after taking over as defensive coordinator in 2015 and building the Bears defense up from being one of the oldest and worst defenses, to the sixth ranked defense in the NFL following the 2017 season.

Highly regarded Offensive Line Coach Hary Hiestand was named the new offensive line coach. Former Oregon Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich was named offensive coordinator and former Browns special teams coach Chris Tabor will take on that position with the Bears.

 

Free Agency:

According to Over the Cap, the Chicago Bears are projected to have 50.2 million dollars in cap space, this including the 12.9 million dollar projected cap hit from the Kyle Fuller transition tag.

2018 Bears Free Agents:

Prince Amukamara (CB)

Zach Miller (TE)

Dontrelle Inman (WR)

Kyle Fuller (CB)  – Transition Tag *

Mark Sanchez (QB) *

Kendall Wright (WR)

Tom Compton   (T)

Christian Jones  (ILB) *

Bryce Callahan (CB) *

Sherrick McManis (CB) *

Mitch Unrein     (DE)

Mike Nugent      (K)

Lamarr Houston (OLB)

Sam Acho (OLB) *

Benny Cunningham (RB) *

John Jenkins      (DE)

Bradley Sowell  (LT)

Cairo Santos (K) *

Pat O’Donnell (P) *

*denotes players I expect to return

 

Potential Cap Casualties:

1 )QB  Mike Glennon-

Now that Trubisky is the clear cut starter, it is a no brainer that cutting Glennon and clearing his 11.5 million dollar salary is a no brainer. *Will be released at start of league year*

2) RT Bobbie Massie

The Bears picked up Massie two years ago and has been nothing more than league average during his tenure in Chicago. With a decent offensive line class and a few notable o-line free agents available this year, the Bears could find an upgrade and save 5.6 million by releasing him

3)  CB Marcus Copper

The Bears thought they found a potential diamond in the rough last offseason, with the high hopes of him being one of their starting corners for now and the future. He was nothing close to that. Injury problems and mistakes were an issue for Copper to go with a 4.5 million dollar cap hit, Marcus may not be under contract with Chicago for much longer.

4) WR Markus Wheaton

Wheaton signed last offseason with the Bears after a few decent years with the Steelers. Bears had high hopes but like Copper, could not stay on the field and when he did play, he did not produce at all and had a ton of dropped passes. Expect the Bears to cut Wheaton and save the 5 million dollars.

5) OLB Willie Young

Young was a solid player for the Bears when he was healthy. The former Lion missed most of last season with a torn triceps and at the age of 33 and the Bears possibly trying to get younger at the position, he may be a casualty due to his age and 4.5-million-dollar cap hit. *Released on February 28, 2018

 

Potential Free Agent Targets:

1) WR Allen Robinson

Robinson was the go to guy for Blake Bortles for the past four seasons and was a very productive player. He had a monster 2015 season where he piled up 80 catches, 1,400 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns, which is a Jaguars franchise record. He declined during the 2016 season not reaching the thousand-yard mark and catching only six touchdowns. His 2017 season came to an end week one when he tore his ACL after a seventeen-yard reception. Robinson has an extremely high ceiling if he could stay healthy, but it is unknown if Robinson will ever get back to form coming off a major leg injury. Robinson is the type of player a lot of teams would take a chance on and expect the Bears to be one of them.

2) WR Albert Wilson

The former undrafted free agent out of Georgia State was a solid player during his tenure in Kansas City. He had a decent 2017 campaign, where he compiled 554 yards on 42 catches for 3 touchdowns. Though he is not great at anything as a wide receiver, he has above average speed and big hands and could be utilized on both offense and special teams. Wilson with a more major role in a offense may be a breakout player and be a reliable option for Trubisky, who is accurate for the most part on short and medium passes. A reunion with Matt Nagy in Chicago is reasonable and expected.

 

3) OL Nate Solder

With the release of Josh Sitton and with the possibility of Ryan Pace not wanting to commit a ton of salary to an offensive lineman, Nate Solder is in the second tear of offensive line players. Solder is without a doubt the best offensive linemen the Patriots have had over the past couple of seasons.  Pro Football Focus rates Solder as a high quality run and pass blocker and with the Bears need at offensive line, Solder would slide in well at one of the tackle positions.

4) CB Patrick Robinson

Robinson has had an up and down career up until this season where he had a breakout year with the Eagles. The former 32nd pick in the 2010 draft finished the 2017 season with 45 tackles and 4 interceptions helping the Eagles win their first Super Bowl in franchise history. At the age of 30, Robinson may be a late bloomer. If the Bears are unable to resign Kyle Fuller or let Prince Amukamara walk, the Bears may be interested in the veteran.

5)  LB Zach Brown

Zach Brown is an above average line backer when healthy. After being traded from the Titans to the Bills, he had a breakout 2016 where he had 149 tackles and 4 sacks. He was then traded to Washington where he only played in 12 games and amassed 127 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Brown possess the ability to play in space and come up against the run, making him a fit in the Bears 3-4 defense.  Being only 28 years old, it is safe to say he is in the prime of his career and will get a three to five-year contract somewhere. With the release of Jerrell Freeman and Willie Young, expect the Bears to check in on the inside linebacker.

 

Potential First Round Targets:

– Calvin Ridley

– Quinton Nelson

– Minkah Fitzpatrick

– Denzel Ward

– Tremaine Edmunds

– Marcus Davenport

-Josh Jackson

 

My prediction:

With the Bears having questions at many key positions on both sides of the ball, there are multiple ways the Bears can go in the draft. I believe if the Bears are keen to pick at eight rather than trade the pick, it is expected for both Minkah Fitzpatrick and Quinton Nelson to be off the board. Assuming that either the Jets or Broncos sign Kirk Cousins, a player such as Denzel Ward or Tremaine Edmunds may be taken. Tampa may also be looking at linebacker. We have seen in recent years that you can find solid wide receivers late in the draft and with Calvin Ridley not having that great of a combine, there is a possibility that Chicago passes up on wide receiver at eight. With that being said, I believe that the Chicago Bears will select Tremaine Edmunds out of Virginia Tech. If the Bears do trade back with a team like Miami or Arizona, look for the Bears to be interested in cornerback Josh Jackson out of Iowa and defensive end Marcus Davenport from UCLA

* Look out for the Bears to potentially trade the 8th overall pick in the draft to a acquire more draft currency *

2018 NFL Pre-Free Agency Power Rankings

2018 NFL Pre-Free Agency Power Rankings

Just because the 2017 NFL season recently ended doesn’t mean we can’t speculate on how teams will perform in 2018.  So here are my power rankings (pre-free agency for the 2018 NFL season).

1.) Philadelphia Eagles

While the Patriots have opened up as the Super Bowl favorites, the defending champs possess a stacked roster.  Don’t let Jason Kelce’s “underdog” speech fool you, this team is now the top dog.  Carson Wentz will return next year (maybe not by week one?), and he has an elite, young defense to back him up.  I’m not saying this team is going to be a dynasty, but they could be putting up NFC East title banners for quite a few years to come.

The defending champs are looking to repeat.  Photo courtesy Getty Images

2.) New England Patriots

Ah yes, the dark side.  While I have them below Philadelphia, the Pats are probably more of a shoe-in to get to their conference’s Championship game.  Will the “cliff” be coming for Tom Brady, as Max Kellerman has predicted?  I wouldn’t count on it.  Brady passed for 500 yards in the Super Bowl, and now that he’s getting Josh McDaniels back, he gets to stay with the same offense.  If the Patriots defense makes some improvements in free agency, they could easily bump up to #1 on this list.

3.) Pittsburgh Steelers

Will they re-sign Le’Veon Bell?  In order to keep their high-end talent going, Pittsburgh probably will.  If the Killer Bs return, the Steelers will likely win the AFC North.  Their defense is still young and talented, and will still be solid even if Ryan Shazier is still recovering from that injury.  In any case, Pittsburgh can’t have another playoff meltdown like they did last season.

4.) New Orleans Saints

Putting the Saints this high may lead to buyer’s remorse, but there’s not much here that isn’t to like.  Drew Brees hasn’t showed any serious signs of slowing down, though the “cliff” could soon be approaching.  He had a dominant tandem of running backs last season in Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, and one of the game’s best young receivers in Michael Thomas.  Add in a defense that actually played well (not when it mattered most though), and to me you have the Eagles’ biggest challenger in the NFC.

5.) Jacksonville Jaguars

Once again, could be buyer’s remorse here.  But the Jags had an elite young defense last year that has another year to improve.  Blake Bortles is inconsistent, but when he doesn’t throw a pick, the Jags usually win (it was true for every game in 2017 except the AFC Championship game).  Leonard Fournette is another young RB looking to set the league on fire.  Jags skeptics may point to Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson coming back in 2018, but to me the Jags are the early favorite to repeat as division champs.

6.) Green Bay Packers

Having an elite QB can shield all your team’s problems.  No one knows that better than the Green Bay Packers.  And because the State Farm pitchman was hurt for the vast duration of 2017, the Pack missed the postseason for the first time since 2008.  Aaron Rodgers is returning with Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams, and while the defense still needs work before I rank them in the top 5, having Aaron Rodgers back is a game changer.

7.) Los Angeles Rams

Todd Gurley is in his prime.  Jared Goff has another year to improve under Sean McVay.  The defense plays pretty solid under defensive wizard Wade Phillips.  Heck, people don’t pay attention to that awesome special teams unit led by John Fassel.  The Rams are one of the NFL’s most complete teams to me.  I’m not usually one for hot takes, but they’ll be back in the playoffs in 2018.

8.) Minnesota Vikings

Perhaps a lot of people would have Minnesota higher on the list, but the Vikings aren’t going 13-3 again next year.  Losing Pat Shurmur will hurt the offense, and will Case Keenum be back?  He had a great year in 2017, but it could be an anomaly.  So will Teddy Bridgewater be the starter?  You mean the guy that hasn’t started since 2015?  I don’t like putting a team with a questionable QB situation so high, but that defense alone will probably get them at least 8 wins.

9.) Oakland Raiders

We all bought into the Raiders in 2017, and all of us were disappointed.  They fired Jack Del Rio after that season, and made the ultimate splash hire in Jon Gruden.  To me, this will really help Derek Carr.  Despite having a Pro Bowl season in 2017, Carr was quite a bit below expectations.  If they can build a defense around Khalil Mack, look out for the Raiders.  They can bounce back from a disappointing season.

Jon-Gruden-020618-GETTY-FTR.jpg

One of the most hyped up 2017 teams made the splashiest of hires in 2018.  Will it pay off?  Photo courtesy Gety Images

10.) Dallas Cowboys

Speaking of disappointing 2017 teams, we have the Dallas Cowboys.  Obviously the Zeke suspension hurt their offense, and Dak wasn’t quite up to his rookie season form.  But with Dak and Zeke healthy (and not suspended), this team has the building blocks they need.  The o-line is still great, Jason Witten is old but reliable, and Sean Lee is a force on defense.

11.) Atlanta Falcons

Until they lost to the underdog Eagles, I thought Atlanta was heading back to the NFC Championship game.  But not because of their offense, but more because of their defense.  Vic Beasley and Deion Jones form a great young core on defense.  As for the offense, the team took a step back in 2017.  Still, they have all the big pieces from that 2016 run.  It’s hard to count out the Falcons in the NFC race.

12.) Tennessee Titans

While the Mike Vrabel hire at head coach is questionable to say the least, the coordinator hires of Matt LaFleur and Dean Pees were very good ones.  LaFleur helped Sean McVay develop Jared Goff in LA, so he can definitely help Marcus Mariota, who struggled a bit.  And while Mariota’s stats weren’t great last year, he’s still a great team leader who led an incredible comeback in the playoffs at the age of 24.  With Derrick Henry and Corey Davis on offense and a solid core on defense, this team could take another step in 2018 if Vrabel proves to be a good coach.

13.) Carolina Panthers

The Panthers went from 15-1 to 6-10 back up to 11-5.  With a team so inconsistent, it’s hard to find a good spot to rank them.  But they kept it close in the playoffs against tough Saints team, and they are solid on offense and defense.  As long as Carolina gets good Cam and not bad Cam, they will stay competitive in a tough NFC South next year.  Luke Kuechly staying healthy is also essential.

14.) Los Angeles Chargers

After a horrendous 0-4 start, the Bolts finished 9-3 and just missed out on the playoffs.  Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates are getting up there in age, which I think only makes them more motivated to win a ring before they retire.  Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen also contribute to a great Chargers offense, while the defense has a rising star in Joey Bosa.  Look out for the Chargers in 2018.

15.) Houston Texans

With the Texans, it’s all about health.  Deshaun Watson, D’Onta Foreman, J.J. Watt, and Whitney Mercilus all suffered season-ending injuries last year.  In 2018, they could all be big factors in rebounding.  We all know DeAndre Hopkins is great at WR, but he needs a decent QB.  Deshaun Watson appeared to be just that before he got injured.

16.) Detroit Lions

Am I buying into the Matt Patricia regime?  No, and I don’t think many people are.  Colin Cowherd brought up that he just has the look of a coordinator, with his unkempt beard and pencil in the ear.  He looks McAdoo-ish, and as a Giants fan I can attest to that horror.  However, I’ll still give him a shot.  Matthew Stafford is great as we all know, and Patricia has pieces like Ziggy Ansah, Darius Slay, and Glover Quinn to work with on defense.  What Stafford really needs is a running game.

17.) San Francisco 49ers

San Fran locked up Jimmy G to an enormous contract after he helped them finish the season 5-0.  Garoppolo, coach Kyle Shanahan, and GM John Lynch should give the team a bright future.  But I have to see some offseason improvements before I hop on the Niners bandwagon.  And Rueben Foster getting arrested isn’t a good sign.

18.) Seattle Seahawks

To me, 2017 proved that Seattle’s championship window has either passed or is on the brink of closing.  Russell Wilson had an incredible season, but even he couldn’t will a team to the playoffs with no help from the running game or o-line.  The locker room was surrounded with drama, and the defense is a shell of its former self.  This is a team on the decline.

19.) Buffalo Bills

They’ve toyed with Tyrod Taylor to the point where they benched him (and then proceeded to get humiliated in the Peterman interception fest).  Who knows if Tyrod will be their QB in 2018, and that’s part of why I ranked them low.  If they do decide to move on from Tyrod, will they trade for a QB in the draft?  This Bills team has a great running game with Shady McCoy and Taylor, and they made the playoffs last year for a reason.  The QB position concerns me though.

20.) Kansas City Chiefs

After a stunning playoff loss and trading Alex Smith away, it’s hard to have a lot of confidence in Kansas City.  Maybe Patrick Mahomes will have a great season and be this franchise’s savior.  He has two great offensive weapons to work with in Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill.  The defense will get Eric Berry back.  But the loss of Matt Nagy will hurt, and I’m just not sure how Mahomes will fare.

21.) New York Giants

To me, the Giants bottomed out last year.  With a brand new coaching staff and a brand new GM, there’s nowhere to go but up.  The defense is still talented, and Odell will be back.  But how will 37 year old Eli Manning do?  Is Pat Shurmur fit to be head coach, or did his time in Cleveland prove he’s just a coordinator?  Will the o-line finally get better?  The Giants have a lot to prove in 2018, and I’m enticed to see just how well or poor they perform.

22.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs, much like the Giants, have a lot of talent.  But they also have a lot of problems.  Unlike the Giants, their poor coach didn’t make a mistake that got himself fired.  Dirk Koetter should’ve been gone after such a disappointing season.  Jameis Winston didn’t perform great, and Doug Martin had a disastrous season.  Will this be the year the Bucs finally right the ship?  We’ll see.

23.) Miami Dolphins

After a promising 10-6 season in 2016, Smokin’ Jay guided the Phins to a 6-10 record.  Ryan Tannehill will be back, but how will he perform after that ACL tear?  Months after they traded away Jay Ajayi, we’re still wondering why.  The d-line can only carry them so far.

24.) Washington Redskins

Alex Smith is four years older than Kirk Cousins, and has never had much success in the playoffs.  I’m not sure why the Redskins did what they did, and they traded away their talented young corner Kendall Fuller to get him as well.  I’m just not buying what the Skins are selling.

25.) Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore nearly made the playoffs last season, as they suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of the Bengals.  The defense is solid, but Terrell Suggs isn’t getting any younger despite a resurgent season.  Joe Flacco is still the same old overpaid QB.  Baltimore has missed the playoffs three years in a row.

26.) Denver Broncos

While the defense isn’t in 2015 form, they’re still pretty great.  Win the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes, and you climb at least 10 spots in this power rankings.

27.) Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton may have been the hero that guided the Bills to the playoffs, but Starvin’ for a playoff win Marvin has guided the Bengals to consecutive losing seasons.  And Cincy kept him.  Of course.

28.) Arizona Cardinals

David Johnson will be back, and new coach Steve Wilks looks to bring a no-nonsense attitude.  The problem with this team?  They need a QB.

29.) Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck’s shoulder is still a big question, and so is the team around him.  Will head coach Frank Reich be the right man for this challenge?  Time will tell.

30.) Chicago Bears

Mitch Trubisky and new coach Matt Nagy are looking to be 2018’s version of the Rams.  Their team is led by a young QB, a great running back, and a sneaky good defense.  Kind of like the Rams.  To be honest, I might be ranking Chicago too low.

31.) New York Jets

Robby Anderson and the Jets young defense made a valiant effort to start the season 3-2, and prove they weren’t tanking.  But let’s not kid ourselves.  Josh McCown and Matt Forte are up there in age, and the team still has lots of improvements to make.  That’s why they finished the year 2-9.

32.) Cleveland Browns

Get a QB.  Win a game.  Then we’ll take you seriously.

So, those are my pre-free agency power rankings.  From the Super Bowl champs down to poor old Cleveland, this list is sure to change in upcoming months.