Let’s get on the record here, shall we? That way, I can brag later this year when I’m right and, if I’m terribly wrong, I can delete the post.
Wait, that implies there’s any level of accountability with sports predictions. If that were the case, no one on any major sports platform would have a job. That’s comforting thought, and it’s really fueling the fires of my desire to YOLO. So, without further ado, here we go.
AFC East Champion – New England
Boring pick, sure, but do you really think the collection of Ryan Tannehill, Tyrod Taylor, and Ryan Fitzpatrick can take down the Patriots? Even with 12 games of Brady, probably not. Though Buffalo and New York will be pesky. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either make a run for the six seed in the AFC.
Also, how on Earth did these guys get to play for an entire region? Like, not even the Massachusetts Patriots or the Boston Patriots. They get to cover like, five states or something. That seems ridiculous to me. Hats off to them though, that’s got to help with ticket and jersey sales.
AFC North Champion – Cincinnati
This one is tricky, but with the Steelers dealing with a slew of suspensions and an inevitable run of games with Big Ben, I think the Bengals take it down with a narrow margin, perhaps even tiebreakers, giving them the division. I full expect the Steelers to take one of the wildcard seeds. Cleveland and Baltimore are too far off, though, knowing the way things typically go for Baltimore, they’ll sneak into the playoffs and Super Saiyan Flacco their way to a super bowl. That would rank as somewhere between a huge and super huge surprise. The playoffs part I mean.
AFC South Champion – Jacksonville
YOLO. The offense should be good enough to power them past the rest of the lipstick wearing pigs masquerading as NFL teams in their division. Gambling tip – every team in the division has worse than 3 to 1 odds to win it, so bet them all and scoop up some winnings after Andrew Luck is literally decapitated on the field after his turnstyle of an offensive line breaks the league record for sacks allowed.
AFC West Champion – Kansas City
Alex Smith is a lot better than people think, and their running game and strong defense should be able to carry them to 10 or 11 wins, which I think is good enough to win the division. I think Oakland can make a push this year, possibly for one of the late wild card slots. Denver, with Trevor Simien, probably has trouble keeping up even though they might have the league’s best defense. If they’re going to win enough games to stay relevant, they’ll need a big effort from CJ Anderson, who I like a lot in fantasy this year. Their backups, Booker and Hillman, aren’t bad either. San Diego very well might have a practice dummy in the offensive line, which isn’t encouraging.
NFC East Champion – Washington
YOU LIKE THAT? No, not my pick of Washington, my extremely unoriginal Kirk Cousins joke. That aside, I really like Cousins and have since his days at Michigan State. If you’re a fantasy player, grab him in all formats. Since I know no one else in my redraft league is reading this, I’m cutting Rodgers loose at the expense of Cousins. The defense should create enough turnovers to push them to the top of the division. The Giants should win about 6-10 games with their strong offense and poor defense, so a wild card isn’t out of the picture if Manning can put up a career year. The injuries to Romo all but eliminates the Cowboys outside of some sort of 8-8 tiebreaker division win, and the Eagles are too far away.
NFC North Champion – Green Bay
HOT TAKE ALERT: The horrific injury to Teddy Bridgewater was a blessing in disguise for the Vikings franchise. He can’t complete a pass over 20 yards and he’s never going to be good enough to win you a Super Bowl. It’s best you figure that out before you fork over 100 million dollars. That said, get well soon Teddy. Green Bay runs away with the division, though Chicago will be a very scrappy team this year. They could push for a sixth playoff seed.
NFC South Champion – Carolina
Another division with very little parity. I’d make a joke about how bad New Orleans defense is, but, like scoring on it, that would be way too easy. Atlanta is quarterbacked by Matt Ryan, who is sneakily one of the worse quarterbacks in the league and their defense is average at best. That leaves Tampa Bay, who I think is in line to make a big jump this year. I’m putting them in as one of my two wild card teams, and I’m more confident in them than Chicago or New York, who I’d consider a contender.
NFC West Champion – Seattle
One of the three best teams in the league and employer of one of it’s top videographers, Seattle is my pick to win the NFC West and contend with Green Bay for a spot in the Super Bowl. Arizona, as long as Carson Palmer can stay healthy, should be the five seed and go on the road in the first round of the playoffs. The Rams defensive line will do its best to break in the stadium with a blood sacrifice when they terrorize their opponents QBs for the season. San Francisco might be sneakily relevant with the addition of Chip Kelly, but that seems doubtful.
NFC Champion Pick – Green Bay (homer alert)
Prediction: Green Bay will have the league’s top offense
AFC Champion Pick – New England
Prediction: Jimmy Garoppolo ends the season before Tom Brady even starts, by winning his two games against AFC East opponents.
NFL MVP – Aaron Rodgers
Leading the league’s top offense, this is a no brainer.
NFL Rushing Leader – Adrian Peterson
With Bridgewater being out, they’ll run even more than last year’s league leading rushing attack did. Lamar Miller also makes a push in Houston.
NFL Passing Leader – Drew Brees
His defense is terrible and he’ll be slinging it a ton. Taking last year’s passing leader to do it again seems like a safe bet
That’s it for now. I’ll be breaking down a few of the games this year and talking about fantasy and gambling, so stay tuned for that and hopefully we can lose some money together.