Thursday, September 10 begins the long road to the Super Bowl. While we wait for kickoff, the fun starts with predicting the outcome for the upcoming season. The graphic above are my picks for this upcoming season. Here I will highlight some of my choices.
The New England Patriots have been dominating the AFC East and until Tom Brady retires, I do not see anyone dethroning them. Rex Ryan is back in the division and he has LeSean McCoy with him, but without a quarterback, you are not beating Tom Brady. The New York Jets will be exciting, they added Brandon Marshall, and have a new coach, but with Geno Smith out for a few weeks and everyone still not being sold on him, they are not a playoff team. The Miami Dolphins made some key acquisitions, but again they will just miss the playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have been owning the division for over a decade, and sometimes they lend it to the Bengals (who cannot escape the 1st round of the playoffs). Everyone knows I love the Ravens, but their secondary and wide receivers scare me (and not in a good way). This will be a close one, but the Steelers will win the division and the Ravens will grab a wild card spot. The Bengals and Browns will both take a few steps back.
The Indianapolis Colts, led by Andrew Luck, keep getting better each year. Last year they were defeated by the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. The year before that, they fell in the divisional round, before that, the wild card round. So yes, you guessed it, my pick is they will fall in the Super Bowl. More on that later. The Titans and Jaguars will be fun to watch, both having young quarterbacks, but do not expect a lot of wins from either team.
Phillip Rivers has a new running back and a new contract and I expect him to cash in immediately. The Broncos have dominated the division as of late, but Rivers is still seeking his first Super Bowl. I do not expect them to go that far, but I do expect them to win the division because I expect the Broncos to take a step back.
After 3 consecutive 8-8 seasons, everyone waited for the downfall of the Dallas Cowboys. However, one fumble that could have sealed the game, and a catch ruled a drop led to a heart breaker at Lambeau Field and the Cowboys were denied a trip to the NFC Championship game. With Tony Romo and Dez Bryant ready to go, and the best offensive line in football, the Cowboys will be playing more than 16 games. Eli Manning has an opportunity to bounce back, having two dynamic receivers (Odell Beckham Jr and Victor Cruz), but they must stay healthy. The Eagles will surprise everyone and fall a few spots, while the Redskins will continue to entertain us in between Sundays.
The Green Bay Packers were a favorite to reach the Super Bowl last year. The same would have been for this year, but losing Jordy Nelson will hurt them in the long run. The Minnesota Vikings are coming. Teddy Bridgewater is coming into his own, and more importantly, Adrian Peterson is back. The Packers will win the division, but the Vikings will clinch a wild card spot.
The NFC South rotates its winner nearly every year. The Atlanta Falcons were disappointing a year ago, but I do not expect them to stay down for long. The same could be said for the New Orleans Saints, but losing Jimmy Graham is a devastating blow to that offense. The Panthers were not very good a year ago, yet they won the division. But with Kelvin Benjamin out, Cam Newton will need his receivers to step up fast. However, it will be fun to watch the Buccaneers play, they have Jameis Winston.
The Arizona Cardinals were my pick at one point last season. They were firing on all cylinders. But then the injury bug came and bit hard. I expect this team to bounce back and make a run in the playoffs. The Seattle Seahawks will return to the playoffs, but they will not be better than the Cardinals this year. The 49ers will be fun to watch on offense, but I can see their defense giving up a lot of points.
Super Bowl 50 Predictions
Cowboys defeat Colts
The Dallas Cowboys are ready. Tony Romo as done everything except win an MVP and a Super Bowl. As noted earlier, the Indianapolis Colts have gotten further each year since drafting Andrew Luck. They will do the same thing, but they will fall to the Cowboys in San Francisco at Super Bowl 50. Jerry Jones signed Dez Bryant to a long-term deal this offseason and Dez said, “let’s go out and win 5 Super Bowls.” Its been 20 years since their last Super Bowl, number 6 is coming!