Best Games in Week 1 and Who Wins!

By Lawrence Edwards

Alright folks it’s that great time of the year again… FOOTBALL IS BACK and we are kicking things off with a great matchup Thursday night when the defending champs take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Foxborough. Today I’m picking what I believe to be the best match ups slated to kick off the season. So let’s start predicting!

Riding high off an improbable yet amazing comeback win in Super Bowl 51 – a game that I’m sure left Falcons players and fans feeling like they were hit with the black plague – the Patriots are looking to catch up to the Steelers as they kick off the 2017 season taking on a formidable foe. The Kansas City Chiefs kicked off their 2016 season with their own come from behind win against the San Diego Chargers and went on the finish the season with a 12-4 record. There are some in Chief land who still don’t believe in Alex Smith, well that’s the problem, your belief should be in Andy Reid’s offense. For all his game managing ways, Alex Smith has a pretty good defense with him and last year’s YAC leader Travis Kelce. Last season Travis Kelce finished with 85 receptions for over 1100 yards and 4 TDS. The most surprising number… He was targeted 117 times. Although he wasn’t much of a target threat, gone is Jeremy Maclin on the outside which opens the door for an even bigger opportunity for Kelce. This game should be great; the Chiefs would love to begin their journey to dethrone New England with a win on the road. Gronk vs. Kelce TD celebration battle should be good to watch too. The Chiefs have playmakers and we know Andy loves to feed them, but even with the ability of Kelce, Hill and rookie up and coming RB Kareem Hunt, I don’t see Bill and Tom losing a home opener fresh off a statement SB win.

Chiefs 24 Pats 34

Russell Wilson is healthy, Jordy Nelson is Healthy and Aaron Rodgers is still great… Sprinkle in a little Eddie Lacey revenge and you have all the ingredients for game to be remembered. Russell Wilson suffered from an injury plagued and banged up season last year, yet he still helped his team continue their dominance over the NFC West and keep their playoff streak alive. Despite still getting in the playoffs, The Seahawks were knocked off in the divisional round by last year’s runner up Atlanta Falcons. The Packers had an up and down season (by their standards up and down is still good with Rodgers) in 2016. They dealt with mediocre production from the running game during the first half of the season and were staring at a 4-6 record with 6 games left to go and Detroit and Minnesota looking to keep them out of the playoffs (which doesn’t happen). Then it happened Rodgers spoke “I feel like we can run the table” once Ty Montgomery took over for Lacey it provided a little spark to go with Rodgers words and they did exactly that. A-Rod ripped off an impressive 15TDs and 0 INTs the last 6 games of the season. Ty Montgomery, a former WR, was converted to RB mid-season and showed great promise. He became a pretty good weapon for A-Rod out of the backfield and not to mention Rodgers had a healthy Jordy Nelson. The Pack would go on to knock off two NFC East contenders in the Giants and Cowboys. They were also knocked by last year’s runner up, however in the NFC Championship game. Bottom line, both of these teams are looking to add some more hardware to their trophy cases and both have dynamic offenses and quarterbacks. Had this game been in Seattle I would have went with Seattle here, but I can’t go against the magic man Rodgers on his home turf!

SEA 28 GB 34

Yea most fans in Giants and Cowboys nation are probably tired of seeing these two teams face off every year in Dallas in week 1… IT’S GETTING REPETITIVE GUYS… But who can blame them this time after the way these two faced off and overall performed last season. Basically I can see why they decided to match them up again in week 1 this season. Tony Romo goes down in comes a rookie QB and a rookie RB to try and lead Dallas back to the post…Not going to happen! pfft WRONG! Not only did Dallas make the playoffs they were the best team in the entire NFL last year during the regular season, that’s right even better than your current champs up north in New England. I mean with that offensive line no one expected a disastrous output like the one they had with Matt Cassell in 2015, I mean come on it was Matt Cassell. However I’m sure not one soul expected the 13-3 finish and no.1 seed in the NFC and best record in the NFL, well maybe Dallas fans did. Keep in mind only two of those losses, both from their current opponent – more on that later- were legit. That 3rd loss came when positioning was already locked up and starters resting, had it not been for those pesky Giants may Dallas fans would be bragging about an undefeated season last year… bullet dodged for non-Dallas fans… Despite all their regular season magic and, what I believe was Dak Prescott’s best performance to date to mount a comeback for Dallas against Green Bay in the playoffs, Dallas went 1 and done. Now for the Giants they finished with an impressive 11-5 record thanks in most part to the defense which went from butt to what! No one saw the Giants D having the type of season they did last year finishing 10th in overall defense. The offense, however, took a few steps back from what we saw during Ben McAdoo’s first two seasons as OC. It was mainly due to the O-line and the Giants predictable play calling. So far during the preseason the O-line has shown some improvement. At this point any improvement is good news to Giants fans. To battle some of the woes the Giants use a quick strike offense which helps eliminate pressure. The Giants have the kind of defense that just any improvement on the line to allow Eli and company to work could get them back to the playoffs a 2nd time under McAdoo. Odell’s status is still up in the air for this game but I expect him to play based off how Ben has been about the situation. This game won’t break any scoring records. Based off the way last season went, I’m giving this one to the Giants. The offense will do just enough to pull out the win in a close one with the defense being the stars of the show again.

NYG 20 DAL 17

Of all the games being played on Sunday, this one is my favorite. We get to watch two quarterbacks who are the future of the NFL face off. Last year both of these teams had their teams in the playoff picture late in the season but only one made it. Both teams also lost their starting QB’s at the end of the season to a broken leg; this hurt the Raiders the most. Raider nation was riding a huge high after making the playoffs for the first time since their 2002 SuperBowl loss to the Tampa Buccaneers. Only problem was, after leading them to the water, Derek Carr was not there to help them drink. The playoff berth was bitter/sweet (much more on the bitter side) with the loss of Carr. Before that some had pegged Oakland as a potential threat to the Patriots last season, with him being back healthy and new addition Marshawn Lynch the Raiders are looking to make that “potential” threat to an actual promise. The Titans had their playoff destiny in their own hands going into a game many expected them win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Murphy’s Law was in play that game, Mariotta when 8-20 for 99 yards and 1TD before breaking his leg after being sacked by Sheldon Day in the 3rd quarter. The Titans lost the 38-17 and lost their starting QB for the season. They needed a massive amount of help to make postseason, which did not happen, even had it did, they would’ve been in same situation as the Raiders. Both of these teams are similar to me. They both have solid up and coming young QB’s, pretty good WR groups, good backfields, although the Titans have a huge leg up on them with the combo of Murray and Henry, outstanding offensive lines and both have playmakers on defense in Jurell Casey and Brian Orakpo for the Titans and Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin for the Raiders. They both are susceptible to the pass though, so this game could turn into a shootout between these two young QB’s. I want to go with the Raiders here but I think Tennessee takes a huge step forward this season and that leg up in the running game will help Tennessee secure the victory here.

OAK 31 TENN 34

 

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NFL 2017-2018 Preseason Schedule

 

By: Will Stevenson

Can you feel it? Just imagine the droughts and sounds of the NFL season. Two-a-days, minicamps, veteran camps, seven on seven drills, torn acl’s, Non-contact injuries, position battles, and most importantly: Expert analysis of guys in shorts.

There are countless things that could irritate a football fan, but actual football isn’t one of them. So between now and the first preseason game, we have months to comb through every team, transaction and predict who will do what when the season rolls around. It will be exciting to see how the top drafted rookie quarterbacks find their footing on teams that made the playoffs last season: Chiefs and Texans. We all know how the preseason goes: Stars play in one or two games for a few series, then the backups. I also have an interest in fringe plays attempting to made rosters within the new safety guidelines for special teams.

So let us take a look at the preseason schedule. The competition will be early as starters make their way off the field after a few possessions, but don’t let that deter you from consuming the whole game. Position battles, overall team health, sheer talent, and a basic understanding of the team’s philosophy will be on display. So it’s not the Pro Bowl, but it’s damn near close for those first few series.

Not need to worry. Football is own it’s way, and it starts with the Hall of Fame Game on August 3rd with the Cowboys and the Cardinals.

 

 

NFL/Hall of Fame Game – AUGUST 3
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 3 Dallas Cowboys vs Arizona Cardinals 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM NBC
WEEK 1 – AUGUST 9-13
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET
Wed Aug. 9 Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Friday Aug. 11 Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Friday Aug. 11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Friday Aug. 11 San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs 8:00 PM (CT) 9:00 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Tennessee Titans at New York Jets 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams 6:00 PM (PT) 9:00 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals 7:00 PM (MST) 10:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 13 Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts 1:30 PM (ET) 1:30 PM
Sunday Aug. 13 Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Chargers 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM
WEEK 2 – AUGUST 17-21
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 17 Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 17 Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM ESPN
Friday Aug. 18 Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans 2:00 PM (CT) 3:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys 6:00 PM (CT) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 New York Jets at Detroit Lions 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 19 New England Patriots at Houston Texans 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals 7:00 PM (MST) 10:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 20 Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers 4:00 PM (ET) 4:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 20 New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM
Monday Aug. 21 New York Giants at Cleveland Browns 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM ESPN
WEEK 3 – AUGUST 24-27
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 24 Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 24 Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Friday Aug. 25 New England Patriots at Detroit Lions 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Friday Aug. 25 Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM CBS
Sat Aug. 26 Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 New York Jets at New York Giants 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM CBS
Sat Aug. 26 Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos 7:00 PM (MT) 9:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 27 Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans 12:00 PM (CT) 1:00 PM FOX
Sunday Aug. 27 Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins 4:30 PM (ET) 4:30 PM FOX
Sunday Aug. 27 San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM NBC
WEEK 4 – AUGUST 31
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET
Thurs Aug. 31 Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers 6:00 PM (CT) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 New York Giants at New England Patriots 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs 7:30 PM (CT) 8:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos 7:00 PM (MT) 9:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM

The team no one is talking about…

By Lawrence Edwards

They are currently on the outside looking in and need just a little help to get a wildcard spot as well as take care of their own business, but I feel like we should be talking about the Titans and if you haven’t already, you should begin to take them seriously. If they don’t make the playoffs this year I fully expect them to be serious contenders come next Taylor Lewan, Jack Conklin big for Titans during game-winning drive vs ...

season. The Titans have built a pretty damn good offensive line anchored by the tackles Taylor Lewan (77) and Jack Conklin (78). Tennessee must be where the secrets lie to re-bounding your career. Not one but two  star players joined Tennessee in the last two years after having bad seasons with other teams the year before and both are now in the pro-bowl.

Brian Orakpo joined the Titans in 2015 after his time in Washington came to an end. Some thought would be the end of a short but good career, but instead the LB found his niche

Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo told reporters he's fine taking the ...

again and finished 2015 with 7 sacks and currently has 11 on the 2016 season with two games left, two very important games I should add. He’s been a key and dominate piece all year on the defense for the Titans and will be a huge factor in helping secure a playoff spot. On the offensive side of the ball, you have the resurgent DeMarco Murray who currently is the leagues 2nd leading rusher

DeMarco Murray

behind Ezekiel Elliot of the Dallas Cowboys with 1225 rushing yards and 9TD’s. Murray has been outstanding this season in the run game and catching passes out of the back field. Some thought Murray was done after he was used incorrectly by Chip Kelly and the Eagles which saw his 2015 season end in major disappointment. However, he has found success yet again and most likely a permanent home to end his career. The man hasn’t dropped a pass all year (knock on wood Titans faithfuls) and has stayed healthy through it all.

watch-titans-vs-texans-online-free.jpg

The Titans are sitting at 8-6 with only two teams standing in their way for a wildcard spot, The Baltimore Ravens and division rival Houston Texans. The Ravens finish up the season against two divisional foes, The Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals. With a Steelers win on Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers would lock up the AFC North and secure their playoff spot leaving the Ravens on the outside looking in. If the Titans also take care of business this Sunday against the Jags then that would set up a Texans @ Titans week 17 battle for the division and the last wild card spot. This task won’t be easy, the Jags have nothing to play for and would love to spoil a division rivals chances of getting into the post season and they boast a pretty good young defensive unit. Even if the Titans get past Jacksonville it won’t be easy. Houston has been given new life with the insertion of Tom Savage at QB who replaced Osweiller in the 2nd quarter against the Jags after going 5-11 for 48 yards and two picks. Savage didn’t throw any TD’s or any INT but he put his team in position to comeback and win and they did. The best part was Savage’s accuracy. He finished 23-36 for 260 yards which isn’t eye popping but it’s light years better than what Brock was producing.

If the Titans make the playoffs – and I completely expect them too – then they’re a team people should begin to talk about. Having the 11th ranked RedZone scoring offense, a good defense led by Brian Orakpo and a stout offensive line with a resurgent DeMarco Murray and a fresh young stud in Derrick Henry could be the key to success for the Titans to at least make it to the divisional round of the playoffs. I came away thoroughly impressed by how they fought as team to comeback and win against a very good opponent in the Kansas City Chiefs in a hostile environment. This Titans team is headed in the right direction fast and could be a tough opponent to beat for years if they continue on it.

I seriously think you should jump on this wave!

By Lawrence Edwards

OK, before I get started let me tell you that this isn’t a fad that will quickly fade out, nor is it a get rich quick scheme. It’s simple, I am not forcing you or trying to persuade you to do anything. I just want to share with you something that I know sports enthusiasts every where will enjoy and offer you the opportunity to be apart of something or get ahead of everyone else on a trend that is about to take the world by storm. From Football to Cricket we have something every sports will fall in love with. You have two options: Affiliate or Player. I will go in to great detail about both and most importantly the coming of a game changing sports app by United Games that is going to absolutely blow your mind!

Now what we are talking about here is an app that will let you enjoy your favorite sport interactively while watching the game. This app is going to bring a new dynamic way of playing of enjoying sports. It’s not just going to focus on the major sports but every sport.  The point is to get everyone to enjoy sports better, not just the people who have time for drafts and 4 different fantasy leagues or the ones who are good at selecting the right combination of players in order to enjoy the experience.

Now, as I previously mentioned you have two options to join this wave, either as a player or an affiliate. If you want to just be one of the first to enjoy the experience of this game changing app then sign up as a player for free. You will be a pre-registered player and once the app launches within the next 5 weeks you can begin enjoying your interactive sports experience and start earning some rewards and points. I don’t know about you but once I started playing fantasy football and basketball, the game became THAT much more interesting to me. I began to pay attention to things that I didn’t before. This interactive app will award every real sports fan the same experience but much better – did I mention that some of EA Sports former developers are building this thing? – Get ahead of the trend, this app is coming and it’s going to change the way we enjoy sports forever and it will be the first of it’s kind, share it with your neighbors, share it with your family, if they love sports, chances are they will love this!

Now if you are interested in becoming an affiliate of United Games and getting the opportunity to not only get ahead of the trend but earn some money while doing it, then this the route you want to go. Now let me tell you this isn’t a pyramid scheme or something wild like that, if you don’t want to be an affiliate then you don’t have to. We aren’t trying to recruit people for money, we are just offering an opportunity to earn some income based off of people just playing the game. Now when this was brought to me a few weeks ago I had my initial negative thoughts. I was told that I can become an affiliate for free, feel it out see if I like it and if I do I would have to pay a one time fee of $30 to stay an affiliate and $9.99 a month to maintain my affiliate site and if I don’t just simply cancel no harm done. Now I’m no easy person to convince to join things, so I did my own research before I agreed to sign up for anything. Now I hate selling things, I’m terrible at it, so the fact I didn’t have to sell a product and it was an app – I’m a huge tech junkie – helped me decide to really read up on it. So I did my research and found that this app could really be something special and I don’t have to pay my fee until the app launches in 4-5 weeks at the time of this writing. I figured, what can I lose? I can jump on board playing a new fantasy app and maybe earn some money while doing it. Every time you share the app and someone signs up, whether as an affiliate or a player, and starts buying or earning tokens, you get a piece of the pie, NICE! Another selling point for me was the fact that in order for you to earn income you have to fill out tax form 1099. That right there let me know it was legit. Now United Games is offering this opportunity only up until the app launches in 5 weeks. Once it goes live, the affiliate opportunity will be no longer offered. You will only be able to download and use the app.

Whether you sign up to be a player or an affiliate I can assure you that this app is going to change your sporta experience. The point of this blog is to get the word out that a Giant is coming and to offer, what I believe to be a grand opportunity to be apart of the next big thing. If you like what you heard here today feel free to drop a comment, email me (lawrence.edwards115@gmail.com) or if you got here through my Facebook link, just shoot me a DM and I will happily send you a link to be an affiliate or a free player so you will be all set to go when the app launches. Once you click the link there will be more information for you to read through to get an even better understanding. You’re going to love this!

Here is a one page info sheet you can look at to get more information. Feel free to contact me with questions.

 

2016 NFL Season Preview and Predictions

By Brian Jones

For football fans everywhere there are certain points on the football calendar to look forward to and tomorrow is definitely one of them as training camp for all 32 teams gets underway. Before the first official whistle gets blown, however, I’m going to make some bold predictions and give some random opinions on this upcoming season. The Road To The Super Bowl officially starts tomorrow and only one team will win it all. Here is how I believe things will shake out, starting with the AFC and NFC West Divisions (all divisions in predicted order of finish with record):

AFC West

Oakland Raiders (11-5)

Kansas City Chiefs (9-7)

Denver Broncos (7-9)

San Diego Chargers (4-12)

No, that’s no typo and yes, I have Oakland winning 11 games and the division. Seriously. The Chiefs have key injuries on both sides of the ball, a game manager at quarterback and key injuries from players on both sides of the ball. The Chargers are still a mess unto themselves and the Broncos are deciding if Mark “Butt Fumble” Sanchez or Trevor Simian will be their starting quarterback this season (Von Miller can’t do it all). It all adds up to Oakland taking this division and making their first playoff appearance in 13 years.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals (12-4)

Seattle Seahawks (11-5)

Los Angeles Rams (6-10)

San Francisco 49ers (1-15)

So we got 2 teams that’ll contend for home field advantage and the Super Bowl, one team that’ll contend for pride and little else and one team what will likely be the league’s doormat this season. Seattle and Arizona will fight to see who wins the division while the Rams will look the part of a competitive team but have Jeff Fisher still leading them down the wrong path. Meanwhile, can San Francisco win a game this season (they have a chance to go 0-16)?

NFC South 

Carolina Panthers (10-6)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8)

Atlanta Falcons (7-9)

New Orleans Saints (7-9)

Carolina ran away with the division and the NFC last season and still have the pieces in place to make another Super Bowl run as one of the NFL’s more competitive divisions continues to rebuild. Atlanta’s late season nosedive still has me concerned and New Orleans is in a bit of a transition on both sides of the ball. Tampa Bay’s successes will hinge on Jameis Winston and his continued development. With everything considered, Cam Newton and Carolina win the division with little trouble this season.

AFC South

Houston Texans (11-5)

Indianapolis Colts (10-6)

Jacksonville Jaguars (9-7)

Tennessee Titans (6-10)

This division could go one of 3 ways – the Colts, Jags or Texans could win the division crown. Houston has the most talent and better overall roster (on paper) and they are the pick here. Andrew Luck can’t stay healthy and is turnover prone while Jacksonville has the pieces to win but may not be ready. Tennessee is still rebuilding and won’t be in the division basement for long. Texans should win the division for the second straight season but don’t at all be surprised if Indianapolis or Jacksonville find a way to pull it off.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers (11-5)

Minnesota Vikings  (11-5)

Chicago Bears (7-9)

Detroit Lions (5-11)

Another division with 2 playoff caliber teams and 2 doormats. Minnesota is a few players away from becoming a Super Bowl contender while Detroit and Chicago both have gunslingers at quarterback with Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler…but both teams have marginal defenses and little else to fall back on. Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers and that, along with a championship-caliber roster, will keep Green Bay in the driver’s seat in the division but Minnesota will be there all season to contend for the division crown.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)

Baltimore Ravens (11-5)

Cincinnati Bengals (8-8)

Cleveland Browns (4-12)

This division is about hard-hitting defenses and explosive offenses and this season will be no different. Baltimore’s Joe Flacco should recover from his ACL injury while Pittsburgh will bring back a healthy roster after injuries hampered them down the stretch last season. Both teams have the defenses and overall talent to win it all in 2016. The Bengals lost a lot of talent in free agency and didn’t do much to replace it. That will show this season as the Bengals will take a step back. Browns fans may want to have the Cavaliers’ championship parade on standby because there’s not going to be a lot to cheer about in Cleveland as another rebuilding project gets underway.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys (10-6)

New York Giants (9-7)

Washington Redskins (7-9)

Philadelphia Eagles (6-10)

Yes, you read that correctly, I said Dallas will win 10 games and the division. Until Kirk Cousins can beat a team with a winning record you can put much stock in Washington’s chances this season. The Eagles are in a full rebuild now so don’t expect much from them either. The Giants made upgrades on defense and possibly have Victor Cruz returning on offense but if Dallas can stay healthy and keep Tony Romo in one piece that will be enough for them to win the division this season.

AFC East

New England Patriots (13-3)

New York Jets (8-8)

Miami Dolphins (6-10)

Buffalo Bills (6-10)

This was the easiest division to predict. Most think that since Tom Brady is suspended for four games the rest of the division will get off to a fast start and take advantage, right? Wrong. Dead wrong. The Jets have all the pieces and no quarterback while the Dolphins don’t have enough talent to keep up. Buffalo has the talent but can Rex Ryan do enough with it to save his job? How will things play out? Brady comes back, plays angry on the way to 13 wins, league MVP and another AFC East division title in his pocket.

So there it is, my fearless predictions on how this season will play out…but before I wrap this up here are my predictions on how the championship games and Super Bowl will play out:

AFC Championship: New England over Houston 35-27

NFC Championship: Arizona over Carolina 38-33

Super Bowl LI: New England over Arizona 37-27 (Tom Brady wins MVP)

I’m aware that most, if not all, of what I’ve laid out here may  or may not come true (that’s why they’re called predictions)…but just to be fair we’ll revisit this the Tuesday after the regular season and the Tuesday after the Super Bowl to see how right (or wrong) I was. Football is FINALLY back and this season promises to be another good one full of big games, interesting storylines and excitement that only the NFL can provide. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how things play out this season.