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NFL Standing and Playoff Predictions

I know this is way too early. The preseason just started and so much can happen in the next few weeks. I DO NOT CARE. I am giving my predictions and if you are reading this, you obviously are intrigued. So let’s go.

AFC EAST

1. New England Patriots 14-2
2. Miami Dolphins 7-9
3. Buffalo Bills 5-11
4. New York Jets 2-14

The AFC East is the absolute worst in football. If it was not for the New England Patriots they would be a complete laughing stock. I think the only two games the Patriots will lose is on the road against the Steelers and Raiders. The Dolphins take a bit of a hit when they lost Ryan Tannehill and now they finish under .500. The Bills two trades look nice in the future, but I think it hurts them right now. The Jets well, they are the Jets. They will battle for the worst team in football this season.

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5
2. Cincinnati Bengals 9-7
3. Baltimore Ravens 8-8
4. Cleveland Browns 5-11

The AFC North is always a battle. They beat up on each other within the division every single year. The Steelers would have a better record if they could play better on the road, but they have not shown that in recent years. The Bengals and Ravens will battle it out all year for second place. I think the Bengals get the slight edge just because of Flacco’s recent injury history. The Browns will not be as bad as they were last year. The defense is much improved and their offensive line may be one of the best in the league. They will play spoilers this year especially within the division.

AFC South

1. Tennessee Titans 10-6
2. Indianapolis Colts 10-6
3. Houston Texans 8-8
4. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12

To determine who will take first place between the Colts and the Titans, it will go down to the fifth tiebreaker. Head to head they split. Their win loss records in the division, against common opponents and in conference is the same. The fifth tiebreaker is strength of victory. With a win over the Seahawks and another over the Raiders, the Titans take this tiebreaker. The Texans defense will dominate again, but their Quarterback play will haunt them. I do not see much going on with the Jaguars and I think they will disappoint once again.

AFC West

1. Oakland Raiders 11-5
2. Kansas City Chiefs 10-6
3. Los Angeles Chargers 9-7
4. Denver Broncos 8-8

One of the toughest divisions in football this season will be the AFC West. I think every team will be at least .500 or over and they have a shot to send three teams to the playoffs. The Raiders are the best team in the division because they are polished all around. The Chiefs will finish right behind them because of their offensive play. I think they will struggle a bit running the ball this year and they do not have the big play Wide Receiver. The only bright spot on their offense is Travis Kelce. The Chargers have a chance to sneak into the playoffs this season if they can manage to stay healthy *Keenan Allen*. Allen has all the talent in the world, but he just cannot manage to stay on the field. The Broncos will finish in last with an 8-8 record. Their defense is top notch, but their quarterback situation will hold them back from getting into the playoffs.

NFC East

1. New York Giants 11-5
2. Philadelphia Eagles 9-7
3. Washington Redskins 7-9
4. Dallas Cowboys 5-11

I am going to stick with Ezekiel Elliot’s six game suspension. I think with his absence, the Cowboys will only win once in their first six games. They play the Giants, Broncos, Cardinals, Rams, Packers and 49ers in their first six. The Giants will be the best team in the division this year despite their terrible offensive line. They found a way to win last year with it and they will do so again this year. The Eagles and Redskins are both better than what their records show. However, the NFC East has some tough match ups this season. They all have to play the Chiefs, Broncos, Raiders, Chargers, Seahawks and Cardinals. The Redskins will also go up against the Saints on the road and Minnesota.

NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers 11-5
2. Detroit Lions 8-8
3. Minnesota Vikings 7-9
4. Chicago Bears 4-12

The NFC North is all about the Green Bay Packers this year. The Packers will be one of the NFC contenders this upcoming season. I think their defense will improve this year and we all know about that dynamic offense. The Lions and Vikings will be mediocre. I think the Lions have a few tough games that hold them back from finishing with a better record. The Vikings’ problem is the offense. Bradford will disappoint, the running game will disappoint and they do not have that go to receiver. The Bears are in rebuilding mode. Better luck next year.

NFC SOUTH

1. Atlanta Falcons 11-5
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6
3. New Orleans Saints 9-7
4. Carolina Panthers 7-9

The NFC South will be a tight race all the way to the end. The Falcons are one of the most complete teams in all of football. They have a real chance to redeem themselves this year. The Buccaneers are one of the most improved teams this season. They will make a lot of noise and surprise a lot of people. The Saints will be able to win games as long as they have Drew Brees, but their defense will once again let them down. The Panthers look good on paper. However, I think Cam will once again disappoint and their defense will take a step back.

NFC WEST

1. Seattle Seahawks 11-5
2. Arizona Cardinals 10-6
3. Los Angeles Rams 3-13
4. San Francisco 49ers 1-15

The NFC West is very top heavy. The Seattle Seahawks will be better this year, as they get a full healthy season from Russell Wilson. Their defense is still very good, but for them to make it to the Super Bowl they will need an improvement from their horrendous offensive line. The Arizona Cardinals will not be as good as their record will show. They get four easy games when it comes to the Rams and 49ers. They should be able to win at least 3 of those, if not 4. The Rams and 49ers are just dreadful. The Rams have a very good defense that will keep games close, but their offense just is not good. The acquisition of Sammy Watkins will not help if Jared Goff cannot get him the ball. The 49ers have nothing. I mean absolutely nothing. Their defense is young and improved, but it is not the defense the 49ers had a few years back. I think they will be the worst team in the league.

 

PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

AFC PLAYOFFS:

  1. New England Patriots
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers
  3. Oakland Raiders
  4. Tennessee Titans
  5. Kansas City Chiefs
  6. Indianapolis Colts

No surprise here. The New England Patriots will be the one seed in the AFC. The Steelers have a dynamic offense and good enough defense that will help them secure the two seed. Oakland is very good and very young. Derek Carr for the full season propels them into the three seed. Tennessee had a great off-season this year. The addition of a veteran receiver like Eric Decker will help Mariota take a huge leap. The Chiefs and Colts make the playoffs as Wild Card teams. Kansas City has a top five defense in the league, while Alex Smith will do just enough on the offensive side of the ball. The Colts hope Andrew Luck can stay healthy for a full season this year so they can get back into the playoffs.

In the first round we see two very tight match ups. The Raiders will be too much for the Colts’ defense to handle, but Andrew Luck will make it a game. In the end the Raiders move on to face the Steelers in the Divisional round. In the other Wild Card game the Chiefs pull off the upset and beat the Titans on the road. Mariota makes great strides this season, but needs a bit more experience to win in the playoffs. It does not last long for the Chiefs as they get dominated by the Patriots in the Divisional round. The Steelers love having home field advantage and this place a huge role in their win over the Raiders.

My AFC Championship game will be a matchup of the one and two seed. The Patriots vs The Steelers. Big Ben vs Tom Brady. Both offenses are dynamic and almost impossible to stop. I give the edge to the Patriots for two reasons. One their defense is better than the Steelers. The second reason, Bill Belichick. The Patriots once again return to the Super Bowl.

NFC PLAYOFFS:

  1. New York Giants
  2. Seattle Seahawks
  3. Atlanta Falcons
  4. Green Bay Packers
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  6. Arizona Cardinals

The first four seeds in the NFC had the same record. I think I did the tie breaking procedures right and this is how the seeding should play out. The Giants and their stout defense make it as the one seed. They have a ton of weapons on offense, but it just comes down to their offensive line play. The offensive line does just enough for them to win this season. The Seahawks have almost the same problem as the Giants. However, I think the Giants defense is better and they have more weapons than the Seahawks. Atlanta is the most complete team in the NFC in my opinion, but the tiebreaker rules move them to the three spot. Green Bay is the second best team in the conference, but once again the tiebreakers screw them. The Buccaneers are the best team after the divisional winners. They definitely deserve a Wild Card spot. The Cardinals do not deserve to be in the playoffs in my opinion, but an easy schedule helps them.

The NFC will be much tighter and harder to predict than the AFC. Any one of these teams can beat each other. I think home field advantage for the Falcons and Packers in Wild Card weekend will be huge for each team. They will defeat their opponents and move on. The New York Giants do not have a history of home field advantage being big for them and they will go down against the Packers in the Divisional round. The Seahawks, as we all know, love home field advantage. This is the only reason why they will come out on top against the Falcons.

Green Bay vs Seattle. Dynamic offense vs Dynamic defense. I am usually a big believer of defense over offense, but the Seahawks defense is not better than the Green Bay offense. I think that is the deciding factor. Aaron Rodgers figures out a way to beat the Seahawks’ defense and move on to face the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

SUPER BOWL

Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots

The Patriots once again are Super Bowl Champs. I just do not see any team in all of football that can beat the Patriots. They have it all. The defense, the offense, the future HOF Quarterback and one of the best NFL coaches of all time. They won last year and still managed to improve for this upcoming season. The only way the Patriots do not win the Super Bowl is if they beat themselves.

 

Photo Credits: Bleacher Report
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Nicholas LoPrinzi View All

I'm a washed up D3 college baseball player who is pursuing their MBA in Accounting. I love baseball, basketball, and football; while rooting for the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and New York Giants. Most of the time it is full of misery. I have recently found a passion for writing about sports. I have posted a few articles for Last Word on Sports and I have now created my own website (the-sportstalk.com). You can check out my articles there and also follow the twitter account @_thesportstalk.

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