Full NFL Division Predictions By: Joe Bailey

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The 2016-2017 NFL season ended much like it has in the previous 15 years – with Tom Brady hoisting another Lombardi Trophy. All the stars had to align just right for Brady and his New England Patriots to capture their 5th Super Bowl after stumbling upon a 28-3 deficit, and to little to no surprise, they did just that. Although last season’s version of the Super Bowl will be remembered forever; it is time to look forward to next season. After an exhilarating offseason there is reason to believe this could be another action-packed season. With just two days until the 2017-2018 NFL season begins, here are my full division predictions:

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AFC EAST:

The AFC East is a division that can be predicted by even the most casual of NFL fans. The Patriots dynasty will grow even more with yet another division title. There should be not a single argument. The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins are teams that could be intriguing, more so the Bills in the sense to see if they are in tank mode or not, but neither tank or no tank can matchup to the firepower the Pats bring to the table. The Patriots and Dolphins have high hopes for this season, then there’s the Jets and Bills. The Jets are 150% in tank/rebuild mode and have absolutely zero hope for this season or even next season to compete. The Bills can’t decide if they want Tyrod Taylor to be their QB of the future, and they don’t know how to utilize their weapons. The team to watch in this division is not the Pats, unless you just want to watch a lot of the same, it is the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins lost Ryan Tannehill to an ACL injury early in August, and in turn signed Jay Cutler from his short retirement. They have weapons on offense with Jarvis Landry, and Jay AJayi so the Phins could have a good offense despite the QB, or it could go drastically bad.The AFC East won’t be an exciting race to watch, Tom Brady will be crossing the finish line, Jay Cutler , lol Jay Cutler, will be at the halfway mark, Tyrod Taylor is still at the starting line, and whoever the Jets decide to start, forgot there was a race.

PREDICTIONS

  1. New England:  14-2
  2. Miami: 8-8
  3. Buffalo: 4-12
  4. New York: 2-14

 

afcsouth

AFC SOUTH:

This could be one of the most fun divisions to watch in all of football. There is not one clear shot runaway winner of this division and I love it. The Colts and the Jags seem to be the teams to have the least chance of winning this division, but with a healthy Andrew Luck at the helm anything can happen, that is, a HEALTHY Andrew Luck. Luck is listed as out for week 1 and the timetable for his return is not yet determined. The Jags do have talent on both sides of the ball with WR Allen Robinson, Number four-overall draft pick RB Leonard Fournette, newly acquired DT Calais Campbell from the Cardinals, and another new acquisition CB A.J. Bouye from division foe Houston. However, Blake Bortles is looking as though he will be a bust and has no chance of leading a team to the playoffs, yet. The Texans and Titans both have things in common, they are both outstanding on one side of the ball, and average on the other. The Texans have a top five defense led by J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, and their offense is led by Tom Savage, for now. Rookie QB Deshaun Watson is hot on his tail and he will make the Texans offense winner. The Titans are absolutely loaded on offense, and that unit is led by Marcus Mariota who emerged as a solid starter last season before his injury. Look for this to be a tight division.

PREDICTIONS:

  1. Houston: 10-6
  2. Tennessee: 9-7
  3. Indianapolis: 7-9
  4. Jacksonville: 5-11

NFC_East

NFC EAST:

This division is another one that is going to take 16 weeks to declare a winner. Each team in this division, if everything is clicking, has a shot at winning this division. Unfortunately for these teams there can only be one winner. The Cowboys are the reigning champs, and could be poised for another run. However, while the boys have a star studded offense (pun intended) their biggest star, Zeke Elliot, is right now suspended for six games, but will almost for sure be reduced. Without him for a few games and a defense almost in shambles the Boys may fall off. The Giants could be the most talented team in the division. Their defense is top 5, and their offense is top 10 (probably 10th overall) yet there are still question marks. Their offense has a two-headed monster at WR with Odell Beckham Jr., and Brandon Marshall, but the o-line and RB positions are almost nonexistent which will hurt them unless Eli Manning can just chuck it up to one of those two beasts every play. The Redskins and Eagles appear to be the weaker teams in the division. The skins have a great QB at the helm with Kirk Cousins, a solid WR group led by Terrelle Pryor, and a top three TE in Jordan Reed. Like the Giants they have holes at RB and O-line which concern me, unlike the Giants their defense is subpar at best. The Eagles are depending on one year players to lead this offense. They signed Alshon Jeffery, and Legarrette Blount to one year deals this offseason. These two will be major contributors in a Carson Wentz led offense. Wentz is defended by a solid O-line and now has weapons around him.

PREDICITIONS: WITH ZEKE’S 6 GAME SUSPENSION

  1. New York: 11-5
  2. Dallas: 10-6
  3. Philadelphia: 8-8
  4. Washington:7-9

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NFC SOUTH:

Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Jameis Winston. These quarterbacks will be the deciding factor in this division. All four are in the top 15, there might even be an argument for top ten, but that would have to be a very well constructed argument. Each team, with the exception of the Saints, has a very talented defense that could win ballgames on their own, and each team has a top tier offense that could win some ballgames on their own. The thing that will separate these teams will be the receivers. The Falcons have arguably the best WR in the game with Julio Jones, the Bucs have a top five WR with Mike Evans, and the Saints have Michael Thomas who has emerged as a top ten WR in the game. Those three players make the Falcons, the Saints and the Bucs that much better than the Panthers on that side of the ball, but with a duel threat QB like Cam Newton I would not doubt that their offense could still compete at an elite level. When all is said and done the play of the QB’s, the WR’s, and the defenses will be the deciding factors.

PREDICITIONS:

  1. Atlanta: 12-4
  2. Tampa Bay: 10-6
  3. Carolina: 8-8
  4. New Orleans: 6-10

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AFC WEST:

Aside from the NFC South this is the best division top to bottom. However, there is a clear cut winner. The Oakland Raiders are the most complete team in this division no doubt about it. On both sides of the ball there is elite talent. Khalil Mack could be deemed the best defensive player in the game, and Derek Carr is now an elite QB. The Raiders also added Marshawn Lynch to complete their offense this offseason. The Chiefs have a very dynamic offense led by Travis Kelce at TE, and Tyreek Hill is poised to be one of the most explosive players this game as to offer. This past week the Cheifs lost their starting RB Spencer Ware for the season and will rely on rookie Kareem Hunt to take the majority of the snaps. Their defense can compete with any offense in the league so do not be surprised if they win quite a few 10-0, 7-3 ballgames. The Broncos and the Chargers are very different. The Chargers have an ALMOST elite offense led by Phillip Rivers, but a developing defense. The Broncos have an elite defense, but a developing offense with no true face except maybe Demaryius Thomas.

PREDICTIONS:

  1. Oakland: 11-5
  2. Kansas City: 10-6
  3. Denver: 8-8
  4. San Diego: 5-11

AFCnorth

AFC NORTH:

Before I get into this one I am a Steelers fan, but I am not known to any as a homer. However if these predictions sound biased please inform me.The AFC North is a division that has lost the competitiveness it has been known for over the past decade or so. The Bengals have lost their way on the defensive side of the ball, but this season could have some success with A.J. Green, newly drafted John Ross, and Joe Mixon. The Bengals have weapons no question, but their O-line is not even close what it used to be, and Andy Dalton is a huge boom or bust guy. The Ravens are a team that you could almost never count out. Except this season. The Ravens are still pretty impressive on the defensive side of the ball, but on offense besides a seemingly declining Joe Flacco there is not much. Flacco is a Super Bowl winning QB which means he could make things interesting, but it is highly unlikely. Do the Browns need much discussion? They will be led by Deshone Kizer, a second round pick from the University of Notre Dame, whom the Browns have high expectations of. Other than that the Browns hold an impressive O-line led by perennial Pro-Bowler Joe Thomas, and on defense they selected Myles Garrett with the number one-overall pick in the draft and he is the only thing to look forward to on that defense now that Joe Haden departed to rival Pittsburgh. Speaking of Pittsburgh they seem poised for a run at the Pats crown. Two weeks ago there was serious reason for doubt in the Steelers organization because of their CB dilemma, and their star RB still holding out. Since then the team has signed 2x Pro-Bowler Joe Haden, and Le’veon Bell has reported to camp. The boys in the burgh have what seems to be the top offense in the league led by the Killer B’s; Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le’veon Bell, and Martavis Bryant. This division will not be close.

PREDICTIONS:

  1. Pittsburgh: 13-3
  2. Baltimore: 9-7
  3. Cincinnati: 7-9
  4. Cleveland: 3-13

NFCWEst

NFC WEST:

Each team in this division has at least one big question mark, some have a couple big question marks. One of those with a couple of those questions are the San Fransisco 49ers. They selected defensive players with both of their first round picks with Soloman Thomas, and Reuben Foster. The questions are: Will Reuben Foster be worth the risk? and Are they tanking for one of these top college QB’s? For me the answer to both is yes, which will lead them to be the runt of the litter in this division. The Rams are concerned about Jared Goff and Todd Gurley. Goff had a subpar rookie season to say the least, and Gurley’s sophomore slump was evident all last least, but both of those problems could be caused due to the lack of receiving depth. The Ram got that in a trade in which they got Sammy Watkins from the Bills. When healthy, Watkins could be a top WR in the game and should help the aerial attack as well as the run game. The Rams also hold a solid defense, but their anchor Aaron Donald, is currently holding out and is likely going to continue his holdout. The Arizona Cardinals are either going to be a good team or an average team. If Carson Palmer and Larry Fitz sip from the fountain of youth, and they take advantage of their above average defense along with a top 3 RB in the game in David Johnson, then they will be a good team likely to make the playoffs. Their big question is the first part of the “if’s”. IF Carson Palmer is healthy and plays like 2015 Carson Palmer then the team will be fine, but IF he is not then the team will be eh. There is too much talent top to bottom for that team to be bad if Palmer is not youthful. The Seattle Seahawks provide a daunting defense, and an impressive offense. The acquiring of Sheldon Richardson makes them even better and they are a force to be reckoned with in the NFC. Their only question mark is at the RB position. If that is solved then there may be no stopping them.

PREDICTIONS:

  1. Seattle: 13-3
  2. Arizona: 9-7
  3. Los Angeles: 5-11
  4. San Fransisco: 3-13

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NFC NORTH:

This division consists of one Super Bowl hopeful, two playoff hopefuls, and one joke. The Packers are led by megastar Aaron Rodgers who is looking to return to the Super Bowl. Along with football’s version of A-ROD the Packers have two stud WR’s in Jordy Nelson and breakout man Davante Adams. After those three there is not much star power on that team Clay Matthews seems to be on the decline, but I believe he will be back to form this season, and Martellus Bennett could be a real solid target for the Pack. The RB position, the O-line, and the defense as whole needs to improve if they want to return to the promise land. The Vikings have a top ten defense, but without teddy Bridgewater their offense will not be ran the same. Sam Bradford cannot lead this team to the playoffs. The Lions just paid a pretty penny to lock up their star QB, Matthew Stafford. Stafford is surrounded by one real good weapon in Golden Tate, then after that the tier two guys are Eric Ebron at TE, and the RB position will help Stafford because both catch the ball. Amir Abdullah and Theo Riddick will be those RB’s. Their defense showed signs of life last season, but it could be their downfall in the 2017-2018 season. The Bears have one sure fire player and that is RB Jordan Howard who bursted onto the scene last season. After that there is not much. The defense is awful to say the least. The bears signed Mike Glennon to a three year deal then went out and took Mitch Trubisky with the second-overall pick in last years draft which doe not make any sense to me. Hopefully for fans Mitch will be the starter by the end of the season.

PREDICTIONS:

  1. Green Bay: 11-5
  2. Minnesota: 9-7
  3. Detroit: 8-8
  4. Chicago: 2-14

Thank to everyone who viewed this. Football is a passion of mine and I love to give my opinion on the game. If you have ANY feedback at all please do not hesitate to tell me.

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