Sunday, September 4, 2016

Utterly Worthless NFL Predictions

Ride Or (And?) Die
Because, well, Tradition!

AFC East

New England - 11-5
New York - 10-6 (WC)
Miami - 7-9
Buffalo - 6-10

New England's auto-pass to the playoffs continues, but they won't be home for the later playoff games, which means they won't be going deep... Matt Forte and the Jets will open hot and fade late, but have enough to get to the playoffs... Miami's got hard out and luck written all over them... Last year you get to see the Ryans on a sideline, as the carnival finally closes.

AFC North

Pittsburgh - 12-4
Cincinnati - 10-6 (WC)
Baltimore - 6-10
Cleveland - 4-12

Pittsburgh finally gets some defense to go with the electric offense, and will be a top 2 seed... Cincy loses their playoff game just to show that nothing will ever make Marvin Lewis lose his job... Baltimore should be better but won't be, because (shh!) Joe Flacco really isn't very good... Cleveland is, you will be shocked to hear, rebuilding.

AFC South

Indianapolis - 9-7
Jacksonville - 8-8
Houston - 7-9
Tennessee - 5-11

Worst division in the conference, but maybe the most entertaining... Andrew Luck will bounce back hard, but his line might get him killed again... Jacksonville has to get better on defense, what with all of those picks... Houston has some potential if Javedon Clowney is finally able to contribute, but I'm not a Brock Osweiler believer... Tennessee has some intrigue, but the coaching staff and defense just isn't up to par.

AFC West

Kansas City - 12-4
Oakland - 9-7
Denver - 8-8
San Diego - 4-12

Andy Reid's last and best chance to go to the Super Bowl, but it's contingent on a return to health and productivity from Jamaal Charles, who is a lot better than his back-ups and could make the offense nearly special... Oakland is the sexy dark horse pick, but Jack del Rio will find a way to not get there... Denver might actually be better on offense with a live pulse at QB, but the defense isn't going to be as good... San Diego's defense might be the worst unit in the league.

Playoffs: 

New England over New York, Cincy over Indy
Pittsburgh over Cincy, Kansas City over New England
Pittsburgh over Kansas City

Conference MVP: Ben Roethlisberger
Conference Rookie of the Year: Jalen Ramsey (CB, Jacksonville)

NFC East

New York - 8-8
Dallas - 7-9
Washington - 6-10
Philadelphia - 5-11

Honestly, which team wins this division is one of the least important questions of the NFL season, since the division champion will be an auto-out in the playoffs... NY has a terrible offensive line, but the WRs are solid and the defense will be better... Dallas could win this if QB Dak Prescott is for real, but even if he is, the defense isn't good... DC will put up some points, but the rushing game is terrible and the organization is worse, so any injury or setback will be an avalanche... If QB Carson Wentz can be the rookie of the year, this team can win the division, but that's a really tall order for a kid who was just playing Canada South JV.

NFC North

Green Bay - 12-4
Minnesota - 10-6 (WC)
Chicago - 8-8
Detroit - 7-9

I have no idea why Green Bay would imperil their offensive line with the release of Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton, but the healthy return of their wideouts and RB Eddie Lacy losing weight, along with some bounce to their defense, still gives them the division... Minny won't regret the Sam Bradford deal, but the defense is old and the WRs suspect, so all this did was keep them status quo... Chicago has to be better with healthier weapons on offense, but the defense is still a train wreck... Detroit might threaten with up-tempo, but that sort of thing kills a defense over time, and QB Matthew Stafford really isn't up to the level they need him to be.

NFC South

Carolina - 11-5
Tampa - 9-7
New Orleans - 8-8
Atlanta - 6-10

Carolina will regress, but not enough to lose the division. Better WR situation will mask some of QB Cam Newton's struggles, and the secondary will miss Josh Norman something fierce... Tampa's frisky, but there's already some rumblings of how rookie HC Dirk Koetter isn't up to the task, and QB Jameis Winston needs a firm presence... New Orleans has to be a home field beast to contend, and QB Drew Brees really isn't that level anymore... QB Matt Ryan looks downright Delhomme-ish to me in the red zone now, which is just not what the Falcon franchise needs. I'm not liking HC Dan Quinn's long-term chances.

NFC West

Seattle - 12-4
Arizona - 10-6 (WC)
Los Angeles - 6-10
San Francisco - 3-13

The best team in football over the past three years looks actually better to me right now, with RBs Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael better than an aging Marshawn Lynch, QB Russell Wilson at his peak, and WRs Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett downright dangerous. Oh, and the defense is still deadly... Arizona looks post-peak to me, and I'm not sure RB David Johnson stays healthy, let alone QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald... Los Angeles will win some games on home-field and a nasty defense, but HC Jeff Fisher has been resting on his laurels for years, and there's only so much an offense can do with one plus player (RB Todd Gurley)... San Francisco is a dumpster fire, and the league figured out Chip Kelly a year and a half ago. Plus, he's in a nightmare division of physical defenses that eat gimmickry. Expect a half-empty stadium by Halloween, and runaway defeats for the last month of the year.

Playoffs:

Arizona over New York, Carolina over Minnesota
Seattle over Arizona, Green Bay over Carolina
Seattle over Green Bay

Conference MVP: Aaron Rodgers
Conference Rookie of the Year: Ezekiel Elliott

Super Bowl: Seattle over Pittsburgh

Enjoy the season, everyone.

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