NFL coaching camps are formally underway. There are place battles available, roster spots to be earned, and lots of unknown variables nonetheless left to be found. Naturally that makes this the proper time to foretell the ultimate outcomes of the season, proper? Some issues are simply enjoyable to aim. And if I hit on lots of these, greatest imagine I can be taking a victory lap come January/February.
And if I miss? Effectively, what number of of you’ll actually bear in mind? With all of that mentioned I took a have a look at every week’s lineup of matchups and predicted winners. This led to a ultimate standings. I used the NFL’s tie-breaker situations to create correct seeding after which put collectively how I feel the playoffs will shake out.
I hope you all get pleasure from. Or be happy to inform me how delusional I’m!
New England (11-6)
New York (7-11)
All through the NFL Buffalo is extensively thought to be having a High 3 roster and a High 5 quarterback. Add in an out-of-conference slate that features the NFC North and you’ve got the recipe for a doubtlessly dominant file. You’ll see I’ve this division typically performing effectively. New England posts double-digit wins due to a predicted step-forward for second yr signal-caller Mac Jones.
Miami posts a successful file due to protection and probably the greatest teams of offensive playmakers within the sport. Nonetheless, they’re held again by their quarterback and an offensive line that I nonetheless view as beneath common. Lastly, the Jets take a step ahead after having a improbable draft.
Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett – Photograph courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For me that is the worst division in soccer. I’ve the Colts successful the South with a barely above .500 file. Not that their staff isn’t good, however they’ve some powerful convention matchups in opposition to Kansas Metropolis, Denver, New England, and Las Vegas. As well as, they match up in opposition to the NFC East who I feel can be way more aggressive this yr. I see Tennessee taking an enormous step again this yr. Buying and selling away AJ Brown with out a true alternative (as a lot as I like Treylon Burks) causes this staff to take an enormous step again on offense. And whereas I just like the staff’s protection total, I fear about their edge rushers.
I nonetheless see Jacksonville and Houston as being backside tier groups. Jacksonville as a result of I nonetheless see obtrusive holes on their roster, and Houston as a result of I don’t belief Lovie Smith to get essentially the most out of his middling roster. I’m excited to see what every of those staff’s second-year quarterbacks are going to do although.
Whereas there was a lot to-do made concerning the AFC West (and rightfully so!), I feel some could also be sleeping on the AFC North. It options the AFC’s consultant within the Tremendous Bowl final yr. Becoming a member of the Bengals is doubtlessly the perfect top-to-bottom roster within the NFL within the Browns. The Ravens have an especially gifted staff that needs to be a lot more healthy this yr. Add in a Steelers squad that has by no means completed beneath .500 with Mike Tomlin as head coach and the standings right here might get wild!
Los Angeles (14-3)
Kansas Metropolis (12-5)
Las Vegas (9-8)
This was one of many hardest divisions to foretell. Every staff has a High-12ish quarterback who can gentle up the scoreboard. Every staff incorporates a sturdy solid of playmakers. Just a few notes on how I got here to those standings. I’m all-in on Brandon Staley and the Chargers. I like their roster-building philosophy and their aggressive, in-game decision-making. Add in the truth that Justin Herbert seems to be to be ascending to a High 5 quarterback and I’ll die on the hill that the Chargers usurp Kansas Metropolis this yr.
I’ve Vegas sweeping Denver this yr head-to-head which is why they end third within the division to the Broncos’ fifth. For me it got here all the way down to the truth that I feel new head coach Josh McDaniels will get extra out of an inferior roster. Plus, I’m increased on Derek Carr than most. For him to steer his staff to the playoffs final yr by all the distractions they needed to endure … effectively there’s one thing particular about that.
New York (6-11)
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott – Photograph by: USA At the moment
Now not the NFC “least,” this division takes a step ahead with constant aggressive soccer. Dallas runs away with the division as a consequence of having the perfect quarterback by a substantial margin. Philadelphia makes issues fascinating and earns a playoff berth as a result of NFC being in a down yr comparatively to the AFC.
New York and Washington earn some spoiler wins all year long, as every staff has an honest core of gamers dragged down by bottom-tier quarterbacks. It’s a brand new begin for the Giants with Brian Daboll, nevertheless it’s time for Ron Rivera to point out some enchancment with the Commanders.
Tampa Bay (13-4)
New Orleans (8-9)
If I had led with this division within the standings none of you’d have learn the remainder. So, I stored it right here in direction of the underside. I’ve the Bucs working away with the South. They’ve by far the perfect roster and the perfect quarterback. And regardless of a gauntlet of a schedule, I nonetheless see the staff tying 2021 for essentially the most wins in franchise historical past.
For these questioning I’ve the Bucs shedding to the Saints in New Orleans, Baltimore, Cleveland, and San Francisco. The Saints make the playoffs on this situation regardless of a shedding file. And as you possibly can see, I’m very, very low on the Panthers and the Falcons’ outlooks.
Inexperienced Bay (13-4)
Regardless of a large receiver room that’s suspect at greatest I see Inexperienced Bay nonetheless dominating within the North standings. Tying Tampa Bay for the perfect file within the NFC, the Pack will get the No. 2 seed as a consequence of shedding to the Bucs within the common season.
I feel Detroit is constructing one thing particular and folks are likely to neglect that Jared Goff has quarterbacked a number of playoff groups. That features a 2017 Rams staff that made all of it the best way to the Tremendous Bowl. In case you put some expertise round him, he can win some video games. Minnesota will proceed their close-game, middling file methods. And poor Justin Fields…
Los Angeles (12-5)
San Fransisco (12-5)
Bucs NT Vita Vea – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR
Having break up the head-to-head matchups, I’ve the Rams successful the division standings over San Francisco as a consequence of a greater division file. I’m fading the Cardinals. There are lots of holes on that roster. DeAndre Hopkins is ready to overlook chunk of the season as a consequence of suspension, and apparently their quarterback needs to be compelled to check. Seattle is in a full-on rebuild and their file displays that.
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Kansas Metropolis
- New England
The defending AFC champs miss the playoffs as a consequence of tiebreakers with Cleveland. Buffalo lands the bye week.
- Tampa Bay
- Inexperienced Bay
- Los Angeles Rams
- San Francisco
- New Orleans
The Bucs get the bye week whereas New Orleans has to journey to Inexperienced Bay.
Wild Card Week
L.A. Chargers beat Cleveland
New England upsets Baltimore
Kansas Metropolis beats Indianapolis
Inexperienced Bay beats New Orleans
L.A. Rams defeat Philadelphia
San Francisco beats Dallas
Buffalo beats New England
L.A. Chargers beat Kansas Metropolis
Tampa Bay beats San Francisco
Rams beat Inexperienced Bay
L.A. Chargers defeat Buffalo
Tampa Bay defeats L.A. Rams
Bucs head coach Todd Bowles – Photograph by: USA At the moment
Tampa Bay defeats L.A. Chargers
In a detailed sport I predict Tom Brady’s expertise edging out the outstanding expertise of Justin Herbert. Todd Bowles places collectively a defensive sport plan much like the 2021 Tremendous Bowl. That helps maintain Herbert and the Chargers offense in examine. Brady rides off into the sundown. Fade to black.