NFL Football is back tonight! There are a number of teams this year hoping to be this year’s Philadelphia Eagles, but who will make it to the top of the mountain? I’m going to give you my projections for this season. These predictions are based a great deal on opposing schedules. We will start with the NFC.
#1- NFC North Champion- Green Bay Packers (12-4)
Not only is Aaron Rodgers back to dominate his division, but the Packers are playing a 3rd place schedule. The NFC North is also playing the AFC East, in which the Packers should have the edge in all but one game. I don’t care if Kirk Cousins or Khalil Mack are now in the North, this is Rogers’ division.
#2- NFC South Champion- New Orleans Saints (12-4)
The Football Power Index is projecting the Saints to be favored in over 10 of their games this year. Last year’s Saints were better than the large majority of the teams they play this year. This team will have redemption and revenge on their mind after being on the wrong end of the Minnesota Miracle. They play the Rams and Eagles at home which gives them an immense advantage in two of their toughest games.
#3- NFC East Champion- Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)
The Eagles roster is still stacked despite injury concerns and are the best in the division on paper. They, like the Saints, have some of their toughest games this season at home, where they are nearly unbeatable. If Carson Wentz returns early, and back to MVP form, or Nick Foles wins while he is out, they could do 11 wins or more. Hopefully they will stay hungry.
#4- NFC West Champion- Los Angeles Rams (10-6)
Everyone is already picking the Rams to win it all because they added some big name free agents. They have a first place schedule, and out of the 12 playoff teams I will choose, I would pick 10 over Jared Goff. They play the Chargers, Chiefs, Eagles, Packers, Vikings, Saints, and the 49ers and Seahawks twice. Plus, the Cardinals are getting David Johnson back, and Sam Bradford is a good QB when healthy. That’s 12 games against teams that could end the year with at least 8 wins.
#5- Wild Card- Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
They have a great offense and system and will play a lot the easy teams the Saints will take on. They are clearly better than most of the NFC, including the Carolina Panthers. If they beat the Cowboys, Cardinals, and Ravens like they should, I see double-digit wins, but another early playoff exit.
#6- Wild Card- San Francisco 49ers (9-7)
The 49ers will take the Minnesota Vikings’ place in the NFC playoff picture. To do it, they will have to win at least once against each of their division rivals. They will also need to beat the Lions, Giants, and Bears at home as well, but I think Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo will get the job done.
Of Note– I think the Panthers, Vikings, and Cowboys will all be right there around 8 or 9 wins, but the schedule and division opponents favor the 49ers. The Seahawks and Giants have brutal schedules so they will be on the outside looking in.
#1- AFC East Champion- New England Patriots (12-4)
Tom and Bill are the GOAT blah blah blah! Not this year. This year they will be the #1 seed mostly because of who is in their division. They also get to host some of their toughest games like against the Chiefs and Packers. Lucky Lucky.
#2- AFC West Champion- Los Angeles Chargers (11-5)
Here is a big pick. The Chargers have been building a great team over the last few years. If it wasn’t for a rough start last year, they would’ve been a playoff team in 2017, and could’ve actually made some serious noise. They will get to break through this year and take a crack at the Patriots.
#3- AFC North Champion- Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)
They have some of the best offensive weapons in the game, along with a future Hall-Of-Fame QB. The Bengals and Browns in their division will still finish under .500. They have great leadership from the top down and the AFC is weak.
#4- AFC South Champion- Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)
This team could either stay relevant or slide back in a big way. The Jags have most of their tougher games on the road. I picked them to the beat the Eagles in London when the schedule came out. They open at the New York Giants, at home against the Patriots, and at home against the Titans. They need to win two of these games to start off right.
#5- Wild Card- Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
Andy Reid with his new QB prodigy Pat Mahomes, plus Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill make up an offensive combination that could be one of the best in football. The biggest problem is the Chiefs do have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL so there is little room for error.
#6- Wild Card- Houston Texans (9-7)
Deshaun Watson is back. Again, the AFC is weak. The Texans have a fourth place schedule. As long as they take care of the Giants, Cowboys, Colts, and Titans like they should, this team will be playoff bound.
Of Note– I have the Ravens at 8-8.
NFC- Eagles d. 49ers, Rams d. Falcons
AFC- Texans d. Jags, Steelers d. Chiefs
Here is where the NFC gets antsy: I think the Rams will lose on the road against the Packers, Saints, or Eagles. In this scenario, the Rams lose to the Packers, but if either the Saints or Eagles end up with the #1 seed, I would still go with the #1 seed. I also think the home team, no matter the seeding, wins the #2/3 seed game and the NFC title game. It would be extremely difficult for any road team to win at the Linc, Lambeau, or at the Dome with the NFC title on the line. Therefore in this scenario..
NFC Champion- Packers
Back to the AFC- Chargers d. Steelers, Patriots d. Texans
Chargers beat New England in New England
AFC Champion- Chargers
Superbowl LIII Champion- Los Angeles Chargers d. Green Bay Packers
***If either the Philadelphia Eagles, or New Orleans Saints win the NFC title. I would pick them over ANYONE in the Super Bowl.
What do you think?
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