Football is finally here!
All of America has suffered through the doldrums when there’s nothing to watch on TV when it comes to sports. Unless you want to watch NASCAR, Tiger Woods every other week or the Pirates play the Phillies in front of 10,000 people on a Thursday afternoon.
The 2018 football season has a lot of story lines coming up. Will the Eagles continue their dominance, or was that a fluke? Who will their quarterback be? Are the Patriots fading? Is Eli Manning just about to fade away?
Who will win the competitive NFC South? What type of surge will we see from the Chargers? And will Jon Gruden bring the Raiders back to championship form?
There’s so much to anticipate this upcoming season.
We’ve sat down and looked at the upcoming schedule, read all of the headlines from training camp, and listened to what all of the experts have to say. This is what we can expect this season, including Division winners, playoff teams and our Super Bowl pick.
Let’s get right to it.
New England Patriots (9-7)
Tom Brady has peaked, and the team will regret the day they traded away Jimmy Garoppolo. But the rest of the division sucks, so they’ll still make the playoffs.
Miami Dolphins (8-8)
The Fins have a decent season, but it’s not enough for a playoff berth.
Buffalo Bills (6-9)
The quarterback situation here is still a mess, and the Bills have a tough schedule this year.
New York Jets (3-13)
If you’re a hard-core Jets fan, this isn’t what you wanted to hear. But deep down, you know it’s true. A weak draft didn’t help things.
Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)
The Steelers will still continue to rely on tough D and Big Ben for another successful year. However, Le’Veon Bell will never be as good as he was two years ago.
Cincinnati Bengals (8-8)
The Bengals have a really hard schedule this year, including many tough home games.
Cleveland Browns (7-9)
That’s right; the Browns are much improved over last season, and will actually threaten for a wild card right up until the end. It’ll be a major win just to flirt with .500 this year.
Baltimore Ravens (4-12)
Joe Flacco is a has been, and this team has lost its mojo that it had back in its Super Bowl year of 2013.
Jacksonville Jaguars (14-2)
The Jags are a really good team, and the way they blew that playoff game last year with the Patriots will mean they’re extra hungry.
Tennessee Titans (10-6)
The Titans also had a rough end to their season after their amazing win over the Chiefs, and then their blowout loss to the Patriots. They look good again this year, and barely make the playoffs again.
Houston Texans (7-9)
The Texans still have a lot of holes to fill, and their last draft didn’t help things.
Indianapolis Colts (2-14)
There is no quarterback on the horizon, the running game sucks and even their fans have lost hope. Looks like most of Indiana will be rooting for basketball season to start around Thanksgiving again.
Los Angeles Chargers (12-4)
Despite losing a couple of key players (TE, DB), the Chargers will ride one of Philip Rivers’ sunset seasons and make a deep run in their final year of playing at a soccer stadium, which is more impressive. Nunc Coepi.
Oakland Raiders (10-6)
The Raiders make the playoffs again, as their new head coach rallies the troops just in time to leave the Bay Area for good. Fans riot.
Kansas City Chiefs (6-10)
The Chiefs faded down the stretch last year, and teams have had all off-season to figure out how to defend against their new speedy backfield. Plus, Alex Smith peaked seasons ago.
Denver Broncos (4-12)
The Broncos just stink. John Elway continues to struggle to find a way to get back to Super Bowl form.
Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)
The Eagles ride their enthusiasm of last season, but ultimately realize how hard it is to repeat as a dominant team. Their fans don’t care, they will relive 2017 for the rest of their lives.
Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
The Cowboys always find a way to remain competitive. Infighting and fan pressure helps them miss the playoffs, but just barely.
Washington Redskins (5-11)
Who is this team anyways? Our nation’s capital wants to know.
New York Giants (2-14)
The Giants have a ton of issues. No one likes each other, the talent is old and worn down, and the ownership is a joke. Maybe they’ll even fold on purpose for the No. 1 draft pick.
Green Bay Packers (10-6)
Aaron Rodgers has a little left in the tank. And the division is crummy.
Chicago Bears (9-7)
Hey there Chicago! There were sparks of brilliance in the backfield last season, and UNC graduate Mitch Trubisky has had a year to bring his ego back down to normal.
Minnesota Vikings (7-9)
This will be an up and down season, but a lack of key position players means a losing season once again.
Detroit Lions (5-11)
Of course, Matthew Stafford. But there aren’t any weapons for him to use this year, and the O-Line is in shambles.
Carolina Panthers (12-4)
Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey come out firing on all cylinders, and the Panthers make a deep run in the playoffs for the second time in 4 seasons.
New Orleans Saints (11-5)
Does Drew Breeze ever get old? This team is just loaded.
Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
An easy road schedule and very winnable home games stacks up for the Falcons this year. And this is conservative.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9)
The Bucs are only as good as their quarterback can take them. And he’s not really much of a leader in the locker room.
San Francisco 49ers (10-6)
The Niners ride the Jimmy Garoppolo train all the win to a division title, much to the chagrin of Patriots fans everywhere.
Los Angeles Rams (6-10)
The Rams have no home field advantage, and their defense has a ton of issues, rendering them non-competitive in a tougher division than you might think.
Seattle Seahawks (6-10)
The Hawks don’t have much of a defense this season, and they still haven’t figured out how to cover deep down the field. When does the Sounders’ season begin again?
Arizona Cardinals (5-11)
Arizona wins a few games. They lose a bunch. People will forget they are even in the league by mid October.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (14-2)
2. Los Angeles Chargers (12-4)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)
4. New England Patriots (9-7)
5. Oakland Raiders (10-6)
6. Tennessee Titans (10-6)
1. Carolina Panthers (14-2)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)
3. Green Bay Packers (10-6)
4. San Francisco 49ers (10-6)
5. New Orleans Saints (11-5)
6. Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
AFC Playoff Predictions
Wild Card Round
Steelers 35, Titans 21
Raiders 26, Patriots 25
Jaguars 52, Raiders 24
Chargers 31, Steelers 3
Chargers 34, Jaguars 31
NFC Playoff Predictions
Wild Card Round
Falcons 28, Packers 10
Saints 31, 49ers 10
Panthers 38, Falcons 10
Saints 33, Eagles 3
Panthers 29, Saints 20
Chargers 37, Panthers 22