NFL season is fast approaching and the New England Patriots are the early favourites to win the super bowl. After last years miracle comeback many are wondering if they can be beat again this year, they are and have been the measuring stick in the NFL for the past 16 seasons. The season shapes up as similar to last with the same few teams fighting out for playoff spots.
The Pats lead by Tom Brady will take out the AFC East with little problems as long as Brady stays fit. The Pats will be looking for at least 12 wins this season with some believing they could almost go through without dropping a game.
The Dolphins and the Bills are not in the same class and if they can end up at .500 for the year then they have done well. The Jets round out the conference and are one of the worst teams in the League if they can win more than 3 games it’s been a good year.
Pittsburgh looks to be the star of this class and have one hell of an offensive group including Bell and Roethlisberger. They have a little tougher division than the Pats with Cincinnati and Baltimore it should end up around the 12 wins for the season also. A big game between them and the Pats in week 15 of the season could well be a preview to the conference final.
For the Ravens and Bengals it will both be a case of close but no cigar, they will put up good numbers and both finish above the .500 mark and be in the wildcard picture but would take something special for them to go anywhere. Then we have the Cleveland Browns any win will be a good win but there just won’t be many of them.
Will be a tight division similar to the South and arguably the toughest division to be playing in with no real stand outs, the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs look to have fight on between themselves to take out the division while the broncos are a bit of a wild card. The Broncos have a great defence but have lacked on offence. The Broncos could win anywhere from 5 to 11 games. The only team from here who looks to have little chance is the LA chargers. Hard to find a winner from here but Kansas has a good record over their rivals and probably will take the division.
Not as strong as the West but still a very even group here without having a dominant team like the North or East. The Titans look like the best chance of winning the division with the Colts and Texans hot on their heels and a small chance for a wildcard playoff spot. The Colts seem to be lacking in defence and will be exposed as the season goes on. The Texans defence under JJ Watt could be great but will struggle on offence and the quarter back position still seems to be a mystery. The Jacksonville Jags round out the division and like the Jets and Browns they will struggle to win too many games if they can get to 5 or 6 wins it’s been a productive year.
The big question here is can the Dallas Cowboys reproduce the same form as last year after what many thought was a bit of an overachievement at first and then unlucky to fall to the Packers in the playoffs. Without Zeke for the first half of the season who was pivotal in their game plan how will they fair. The New York Giants look to be the biggest challenger for the division with Eli manning at QB and Marshall and Beckham Jnr running the offence they will be hard to beat. Washington and the Philly Eagles will round out the division but will struggle to feature in any playoff contention. The Redskins have had winning records the past two seasons but will struggle to get over the .500 this year. The Eagles have a tough schedule and this will hurt their finals aspirations, they are a team on the rise but just not yet.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have this division sewn up and arguably the best offensive side in the whole of the NFC. Dont expect the Packers to drop too many games at all this year. The Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings will battle it out for the next two spots in the division. The Lions are best placed but have a very tough opening couple games if they can get an early win it will set a good platform for the season. The Vikings blitzed the opening few rounds of the season last year then fell in a hole they won’t get the same luxury start this year. Rounding out the division will be the hapless Chicago Bears, they have a tough opening few games and it will set the tone for the rest of the year. Expect some big scores to be put up against them.
How will the Arizona Cardinals fair? They will be around the mark again this season but again will have tough competition for the division with the Seahawks. Both teams have a pretty favourable draw and it will be who can capitalise on the draw the most that will come out on top. The rest falls away very quickly the LA Rams is a bit of an unknown they should improve on last year but will still push to win 6 games. The San Francisco 49’s are at the bottom and won’t move anywhere fast they are going through a big rebuild and it is a long season or three ahead.
This will be one of the toughest divisions to split, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Bucs and the Atlanta Falcons all have claims on the title here. How will Atlanta be able to bounce back from last years Super Bowl disaster? The Buccaneers could be the surprise packet in the division and we know what we will get from the Panthers. The Falcons will feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders and be desperate to get back again to their best. They have a tough schedule but if they can make the wildcard round or even pinch the division title they will be right up in contention. The Saints will round out the division and will be treading water this season again, they will win a few games but will be no huge threat.
Predictions for the season.
It’s the Patriots super bowl to lose at this stage, but there will be big challengers coming from the Packers and Steelers firstly then a bunch of sides who on their day can go all the way but have a few questions that need to be answered first.
The Steelers and Pats will face off in the AFC, while the Packers will have to contend with either of a number of teams.
Can the Packers and Steelers go one better than last season and face off for the title…..yes they can
Predict Steelers v Packers Super Bowl.
Packers win 28-16.