The NFL Season is upon us! Normally, I would be more excited than I am. However, it is hard because of the uncertainty surrounding Covid and the potential impact on the season. Nonetheless, it was still be nice to see football back again. That being said, here are my predictions for all 32 teams records, the playoffs and season awards. One thing to keep in mind here is the additional playoff team in each conference and formatting. Only the first seed gets a bye week.
Buffalo Bills – 10-6
I have the Bills remaining par for the course in 2020 at 10-6. However, I think people will feel more confident about the Bills potential late in the season. They are a building a nice ship moving forward. Of course the biggest wave made in the off-season was trading for receiver Stefon Diggs. That will give Josh Allen and his mega arm a great downfield weapon.
New England Patriots – 9-7
It is tough to get a real pulse on New England at the moment. Obviously with the departure of Tom Brady, that hurts. Luckily, they signed Cam Newton. Should his body not break down on him, I trust that Belichick will be competitive with his new QB. The defense is still very much in tact although they trailed off toward the end of last year after setting the bar impossibly high in the first half of the season.
New York Jets – 7-9
With or without Jamal Adams, I think they end up status quo beating some of the other average teams in the league and getting wiped by the better teams. Ultimately, I think this is the end for Adam Gase.
Miami Dolphins – 5-11
I wrote after the season that Miami over-performed in 2019. They won five games with a roster that should have won -1. I think they at least match last season’s win total with a better roster. They still have some work to do, but Brian Flores has them trending in the right direction. I love that they didn’t overthink on this year’s draft and grabbed Tua right away, along with some lineman to protect their biggest asset.
Baltimore Ravens – 11-5
I don’t necessarily think the Ravens got worse this year as much as I think their division is going to be much better. That being said, I still like them to capture the division title. Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson was phenomenal last year and I think he will continue to be such for the Ravens. The big question is can he up his performance come playoffs? He has put up duds the last two years.
Pittsburgh Steelers – 10-6
I am probably a broken record on this. Their success is contingent on Ben Roethlisberger staying healthy. Their QB play was miserable last season without him thus leading to miserably bad offense. The defense pressures the QB more than anyone in the league. They pressured on north of 33% of their snaps. That is thanks in large part to TJ Watt. Then of course they traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick who was a bonafide stud for them in the secondary. If they formidable QB play let alone above average to upper tier, this team would have been in the playoffs.
Cleveland Browns – 9-7
Freddie Kitchens failed miserable. The redzone offense was an absolute train wreck. Stealing Kevin Stefanski from Minnesota should make the Browns better in 2020. One of the biggest struggles with Baker Mayfield last year was panic. He often would take the snap and roll out to his right too quick thus leaving him open to pressure and unprotected. They addressed that drafting Jedrick Wills and signing Jack Conklin. Across the board, they should be better. They signed Austin Hooper as well to pair with an already loaded group of pass catchers. Odell Beckham should be healthy again. Myles Garrett returns. There were a bunch of dominoes that fell last year leading to disappointment.
Cincinnati Bengals – 5-11
One of the common things I hear living in Louisiana is of course Joe Burrow going to a bad situation with the Bengals. It’s not as bad as people think. The defense is average. The offensive line has been overhauled. There are plenty of weapons for Burrow to play with on that offense. I don’t think they notch many wins. However, that offense could be lightning in a bottle this year.
Indianapolis Colts – 11-5
I am not sure what the echo chambers of the NFL are saying about Indy. I fucking love this squad though. They were competitive last year with Jacoby Brissett. They traded for DeForest Buckner to shape up the defensive line. They signed Philip Rivers who will play behind arguably his best line to date. Two big impact rookies I love are running back Jonathan Taylor and receiver Michael Pittman Jr. To be honest, I may be undervaluing them at 11 wins.
Tennessee Titans – 9-7
The Titans were fun last year. Derrick Henry is an absolute behemoth of a runner making that offense appealing and winnable in the postseason. I think the problem for them is getting there. Gone are the days of guys toting the rock 300 times per year. It’s not sustainable in today’s NFL. It’s a team that is not designed to play from behind. I think that catches up to them.
Houston Texans – 7-9
I feel bad for Deshaun Watson at this point. They traded away DeAndre Hopkins for pennies on the dollar. Bill O’Brien has become a laughing stock. If JJ Watt can stay healthy, maybe he can make enough of an impact on the defense for them to make some noise in the win column. Ultimately, the Texans feel like they’re in a massive state of flux.
Jacksonville Jaguars – 3-13
Tank for Trevor is in full effect. Tom Coughlin crippled this franchise.
Kansas City Chiefs – 13-3
They didn’t lose anyone important on the defense. Andy Reid has an intriguing piece in Clyde Edwards-Helaire at running back. They have their 500 million dollar QB in Patty Mahomes.
Denver Broncos – 10-6
They may be my most overvalued team, but I love what they are building. The defense is good enough. The offense is building around Drew Lock, who looked impressive as a rookie. I think we are going to see them throw the fuck out of the ball in 2020. They drafted Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler to play alongside Courtland Sutton. They have Noah Fant at tight end. They have plenty of weapons. I think they will do a fine job mixing up their two running backs with Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay. This may be bold, but I think this offense finished in the Top 5 this year in yards, scoring and DVOA.
Las Vegas Raiders – 8-8
I want to believe the Raiders will be better than 8-8 because I believe in Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock. They went heavy in getting Derek Carr more targets to throw to. I am not sure it will translate to wins. The Chiefs are a juggernaut and again, I am taking a flyer on Denver to see significant improvement.
Los Angeles Chargers – 6-10
Losing Derwin James is a big blow for that defense. Luckily, they still have plenty of great pieces across the board. Ultimately, I think they struggle on the offensive side of the ball regardless of who starts at QB.
Dallas Cowboys – 9-7
I think I have developed a complex with the Cowboys at this point. I predicted them to win 10 games in 2019 and 13 games in 2018. They’ve done well, but they have fallen short of what I expected. Maybe that was a Jason Garrett problem. I certainly trust Mike McCarthy more than the former. On paper, they should be great. Most of their losses in 2019 were single digits. The average margin of defeat was 6. The one thing we know the Cowboys can do is destroy bad teams. The average margin of victory was 20. They had one game in single digits.
Philadelphia Eagles – 8-8
The Eagles were gifted a long shot playoff birth in 2019. The offense was completely depleted by that point. The big question surrounding them is can Carson Wentz stay healthy? If he does, I am not sure they will be good enough in 2020 to get in the postseason.
New York Giants – 6-10
Another NFC East Team with a coaching change, I think the Giants improve on their 4-12 record, but not by much. I think they will ultimately improve on both sides of the ball contingent on health. Last year, Daniel Jones was left out to dry losing the two best weapons they have on offense Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram.
Washington Football Team (LOL) – 4-12
Another coaching change. However, I don’t think this one will make much of a difference. Washington is bad bad and I don’t believe in Dwayne Haskins at all. I am not sure that Alex Smith will be the starter. Ron Rivera has a long way to go before this team is good. On top of that, they don’t even have a fucking name yet. That has to mean something, right?
Green Bay Packers – 11-5
Something interesting brought to my attention by a buddy was the last two times Aaron Rodgers was not in the top 10 players, he won an MVP. Maybe it happens again. Leadership quality aside, Aaron Rodgers playing pissed off usually means dominance. After the Packers drafted Jordan Love and wasting yet another first rounder on a non position player, I could see Rodgers blowing up the season.
Minnesota Vikings – 9-7
My big knock on Minnesota this year is losing many key pieces including OC Kevin Stefanski, pass rusher Everson Griffin, receiver Stefon Diggs and basically all of their corners. They still have a solid roster that should win some games. But, I see some steps back in 2020.
Chicago Bears – 7-9
I loved what Trubisky did in 2018 behind that Bears defense. Now, we could see a carousel unfold with the former and Nick Foles. The Bears are the only franchise who don’t have a QB with a 4,000 yard season. That is bad in 2020.
Detroit Lions – 5-11
Matt Patricia is a terrible head coach, plain and simple. Bad clock management. Bad situational offense. Relies too heavily on his defense. Based on what Darius Slay said, seems like he is trying to be Bill Belichick.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 11-5
I feel like I am undervaluing Tampa so bad here. The offense is loaded. They addressed their biggest need at offensive line to protect Tom Brady. The defense was top 5 or top 10 in nearly every major category last year except points and yards which can be attributed to the turnovers by Jameis Winston. I have them going head to head and down to the wire with the Saints.
New Orleans Saints – 11-5
The division as a whole left much to be desired the last two years. That’s not to say the Saints weren’t great. Heading in to the postseason each of the last three years, they were playing better football than arguably anyone in the league. They are still locked and loaded. I think it is a coin flip between the Saints and Tampa this year.
Atlanta Falcons – 8-8
The offensive line is still not great. They still have little to no pass rush. That will be their demise in 2020 yet again, especially in a division that is better across the board.
Carolina Panthers – 7-9
I am excited to see Teddy Bridgewater take the reigns of a rebuilding franchise. I love most of the moves they made this off season. They are clearly making it a point of emphasis to build the defense right now while adding some pieces to the offense. I love the Matt Rhule and Joe Brady hires. This should be a quick and exciting rebuild.
San Francisco 49ers – 12-4
I think it is being vastly over stated just how big of a step back the niners will take. The scapegoats are QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Richard Sherman and the secondary, Emmanuel Sanders and DeForest Buckner. Two were replaced and two are being looked harshly by minimal bodies of work. Sanders will inevitably replaced by rookie Brandon Aiyuk. However, I do think they will miss Sanders in a big way. He knows how to bait defenses and stretch the field. The things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. Buckner will be replaced by Javon Kinlaw. That was a huge win for the Niners. I believe people are also underestimating Nick Bosa. As for Sherman and Jimmy G, the former is being trashed for two plays. He got burned by Sammy Watkins and Davante Adams once each in the playoffs. It was only two plays all year where he gave up more than 25 yards. That is ridiculously overstated. As for Jimmy G, no he isn’t a household name yet and maybe he’s never in the top 5-6 conversation. He has his flaws. But, three important figures where he was good to better than good are completion percentage, yards per attempt and TD to INT ratio. He’s also 21-5 as a starter. He was good enough for 3.5 quarters to win a Super Bowl. So sit the fuck down with all this bullshit.
Seattle Seahawks – 10-6
Jamal Adams was a huge pickup for a defense that desperately needs playmakers and some help. His versatility will make them better, but there is a good chance he leads Seattle in sacks. That is not something to be highlighted for a starting safety. That being said, Russell Wilson is still their QB and he doesn’t lose…ever. He has yet to have a losing season since coming in to the NFL. He is situationally one of the best QBs in the league. Once again, Seattle will get in the playoffs.
Arizona Cardinals – 9-7
They should be a ton of fun to watch this year with the trio of DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. Kyler Murray is aesthetically pleasing to watch and had an impressive rookie run. My favorite move for Arizona was getting defensive centerpiece Isaiah Simmons. He should be a huge difference make for them on the other side of the ball.
Los Angeles Rams – 7-9
Too many bad contracts. Too top heavy. Tough division. Not a good enough QB. Plain and simple. Sean McVay needs to head for door as soon as he can.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Indianapolis Colts
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. Buffalo Bills
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
6. Denver Broncos
7. New England Patriots
1. San Francisco 49ers
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3. Green Bay Packers
4. Dallas Cowboys
5. New Orleans Saints
6. Seattle Seahawks
7. Arizona Cardinals
AFC – Colts def. Patriots
AFC – Ravens def. Broncos
AFC – Steelers def. Bills
NFC – Bucs def. Cardinals
NFC – Seahawks def. Packers
NFC – Saints def. Cowboys
AFC – Chiefs def. Steelers
AFC – Colts def. Ravens
NFC – Seahawks def. 49ers
NFC – Bucs def. Saints
AFC – Chiefs def. Colts
NFC – Bucs def. Seahawks
Chiefs def. Bucs
Super Bowl MVP – Patrick Mahomes
MVP – Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
As much as I wanted to pick Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson for this, especially Wilson, Mahomes is too damn good. Last year, he was on pace for another 5,000 yards before the injury. Until he stops being a human video game simulation, I can’t not pick him.
OPOY – Christian McCaffrey, Panthers
I was tempted to pick Michael Thomas again. However, the only reason he won last year was because he set the catch record in a single season. I don’t know that he goes on to break his own record. McCaffrey has consistently broken the mold for what it means to be a running back. So I will take him.
DPOY – Nick Bosa, 49ers
Dude is an absolute unit. I think he will keep San Fran’s defense right up to par in 2020.
OROY – Michael Pittman Jr, Colts
The obvious answer would be Joe Burrow. However, I am taking a flyer. I was high on Michael Pittman before the draft and I don’t think he could have gone to a more perfect situation. I think the Colts will use the hell out of him. He declared he intends to lead all rookies in catches and I believe him. I predict a stat line of 94 receptions, 1,100 yards and 7 TDs.
DROY – Isaiah Simmons, Cardinals
I have already said how I believe Chase Young ends up being a bust. I think the Cardinals defense will be improved and Isaiah Simmons will be a major reason why.
Comeback Player – Cam Newton, Patriots
There are a handful of great options here at QB alone including Big Ben and Alex Smith. If the Patriots end up making the postseason with Cam, I think it will likely be a dead runaway for this.
Coach – Frank Reich, Colts
Having them at 11-5, that would give more than enough reason for Reich to get the nod. After Andrew Luck unexpectedly retired, they were still very competitive most of last season, especially early on. I think Rivers can catapult them into the postseason and potentially a high seeding.