Let’s cut to the chase. It is time for the predictions for all 32 NFL franchises and where they stack up in 2018-19. Will the Eagles continue their dominance after winning last year’s Super Bowl? Is this the year Tom Brady finally falls off a cliff? Can the Browns win a football game? I will answer those questions right here right now.
- New England Patriots 12-4
Analysis: Until terrific Tom falls off the cliff, I won’t believe it until I see it. The Patriots lost many pieces, but we know Bill Belichick has a way of doing more with less.
- New York Jets 7-9
Analysis: Sam Darnold is the grandson of Dick Hammer, that has to count for something right?
- Buffalo Bills 4-12
Analysis: They remain strong on D. Shady McCoy has a shady season ahead due to legal allegations and the offensive line took a serious blow losing multiple starters.
- Miami Dolphins 3-13
Analysis: LOL, what a joke.
- Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5
Analysis: Mike Tomlin is the most overrated coach of the modern era. They miss more tackles than anyone defensively. Thankfully this underachieving squad has the best RB and best WR, which means they have a high floor.
- Baltimore Ravens 10-6
Analysis: Watch the hell out Pittsburgh, Flacco may not be the best but he’s healthy. This defense is great.
- Cleveland Browns 7-9
Analysis: This is the year! I say it every year and one day I will be right. Team Baker all the freaking way. #DawgPound
- Cincinnati Bengals 4-12
Analysis: The inmates are running the asylum in Cinci. When does Marvin Lewis get fired? How many times does Burfict do something idiotic? PS He blocked me on Twitter.
- Jacksonville Jaguars 11-5
Analysis: Sacksonville! Love this team. Love this roster. Minus the one part holding it back…the quarterback. If Blake Bortles just doesn’t screw up, they will be fine.
- Indianapolis Colts 9-7
Analysis: It doesn’t matter how bad the roster is. If Andrew Luck plays and he’s healthy, they will win football games. If he is not, well we know how that goes.
- Houston Texans 8-8
Analysis: They added some nice pieces and they have been great under Bill O’Brien. But Jacksonville is loaded and Andrew Luck is back.
- Tennessee Titans 6-10
Analysis: I love the roster in Tennessee honestly. I just like the other rosters a little more. Someone had to the be the dog.
- Los Angeles Chargers 10-6
Analysis: Although they lost CB Jason Verrett, they still remain solid up front on both sides of the ball. I see them making out just fine in a weak division.
- Kansas City Chiefs 8-8
Analysis: Andy Reid has lost this team and they’re banking on Patrick Maholmes to replace Alex Smith. But Andy Reid finds way to win football games in the regular season. I could totally be off the mark here.
- Oakland Raiders 5-11
Analysis: I love Jon Gruden, but when your best player isn’t in camp…not good.
- Denver Broncos 5-11
Analysis: One Hit Wonder with Case Keenum. You don’t just all of sudden sit on benches and plug and play and then one day figure it out. Last year was an aberration.
- Dallas Cowboys 13-3
Analysis: They won 9 games without Zeke last year. If he plays a full 16, good luck. They can frustrate everyone with clock control. The biggest issue comes at receiver and them not being able to get open. Hopefully Allen Hurns can fix that.
- New York Giants 10-6
Analysis: A promising running back in New York? Wowzers. That should help Eli some.
- Philadelphia Eagles 8-8
Analysis: Super Bowl Hangover. I am going to be totally honest here from a front office standpoint…National Anthem protests and noise may hurt them. Who wants to bet the NFL makes an example out of them at some point?
- Washington Redskins 3-13
Analysis: Losing Derrius Guice isn’t doing them any favors. I truly believe Kirk Cousins made this team’s ceiling much higher.
- Minnesota Vikings 13-3
Analysis: Adding Cousins and getting Dalvin Cook back makes them a dangerous football team.
- Green Bay Packers 11-5
Analysis: Aaron Rodgers. K Bye.
- Detroit Lions 8-8
Analysis: They are a good team on paper. I am anxious to see how they fair under Matt Patricia, but Rodgers and the Vikings in the division make it tough.
- Chicago Bears 5-11
Analysis: Give them another year before they start making a little noise.
- New Orleans Saints 12-4
Analysis: The amount of second year stalwarts scare me, but they still have Brees. There is a different atmosphere in Nola. They actually seem hungry.
- Atlanta Falcons 9-7
Analysis: The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl.
- Carolina Panthers 6-10
Analysis: The bottom is about to fall out on Carolina. I love Newton, but mentally he is soft. I don’t like McCaffrey leading this backfield. Receivers are still missing a big playmaker Newton needs.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12
- Los Angeles Rams 10-6
Analysis: Too many egos, they take a step back. But still good enough to win the division.
- San Francisco 49ers 9-7
Analysis: As soon as the Rams inevitably lose Aaron Donald or Jared Goff thanks to poor spending, the 49ers will run this division. In the meantime, maybe a wild card spot next year.
- Seattle Seahawks 7-9
Analysis: Pete Carroll is fired before the season is over. The way this ends is very familiar to USC…a hard fall from glory.
- Arizona Cardinals 6-10
Analysis: David Johnson comes back, but a rookie QB (once Sam Bradford inevitably gets hurt) plus a terrible offensive line is never a good thing.
Playoff Seeding – AFC
1- New England Patriots 12-4
2- Jacksonville Jaguars 11-5
3- Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5
4- Los Angeles Chargers 10-6
5- Baltimore Ravens 10-6
6- Indianapolis Colts 9-7
AFC Championship – Patriots def. Chargers
Playoff Seeding – NFC
1- Minnesota Vikings 13-3
2- Dallas Cowboys 13-3
3- New Orleans Saints 12-4
4- Los Angeles Rams 10-6
5- Green Bay Packers 11-5
6- New York Giants 10-6
NFC Championship – Vikings def. Saints
Super Bowl Champions – Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: Top to bottom, I absolutely love the Minnesota roster. Defensively, they are the best in the NFL in terms of yards and points. You are not going to find many holes in that defense. They can shut down the run. They have a strict no fly zone thanks to a solid pass rush and physical secondary. The X factor this year is Kirk Cousins. The quarterback that the Washington Redskins were too stingy to pay. He bet on himself the last 2 years and earned every penny of his lucrative deal. It is also a great fit. He will play with the best tandem of receivers he has played with in the NFL (Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen). He has a great tight end in Kyle Rudolph. He will also have a great back behind him with Dalvin Cook. Icing on the cake is the defense I talked about. In my opinion, it is better than what he had in Washington. The backfield was inconsistent with who their starter was. I believe that duo is an upgrade from the targets he has had in the past such as Jamison Crowder, Terrelle Pryor, Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. Jordan Reed can never stay on the field. Over the past three seasons Cousins has put up numbers in good company.
4,166 yards (10th)
29 Touchdowns (12th),
69.8 completion % (1st)
11 interceptions (2.6 TD/INT)
4,917 yards (3rd)
25 Touchdowns (13th)
67.0 completion % (8th)
12 interceptions (2.1 TD/INT)
4,093 yards (7th)
27 Touchdowns (8th)
64.3 completion % (9th)
13 Interceptions (2.1 TD/INT)
The only downfall for him in Minnesota is the offensive line. Cousins is coming from a team that ranked 12th by Pro Football Focus. Case Keenum was the third most frequently pressure QB of last year and that probably has more to do with the fact that he is Case Keenum. Keenum did manage to finish 11th against the blitz. That is all well and good, but Cousins finished third against pressure in 2017.
Thanks to Kirk Cousins, I am buying all in to the Vikings this year and they are my pick to win the Super Bowl.