2019 NFL PREVIEW
Philadelphia Eagles 11-5
This is an important season for Carson Wentz as Nick Foles is gone and all of the pressure will be on his back. Wentz was the main reason, Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles were in a position to win the Super Bowl in 2017, but he struggled last season returning from a knee injury. The Eagles do have a strong front seven, but the secondary remains a question mark. If Wentz can regain his MVP for the Eagles should be able to be one of the best teams in the NFC, as they go into the season as the clear favorites in the NFC East.
Jay Gruden-Washington Redskins
John Harbaugh-Baltimore Ravens
Bill O'Brien-Houston Texans
Ron Rivera-Carolina Panthers
Coaches who will be looking for work after the season
Dallas Cowboys 10-6*
As the season begins for the Dallas Cowboys, contracts have become the story as Ezekiel Elliott continues his holdout, while Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper also want contract extensions. If the Cowboys can work out all their differences, they could be a legitimate Super Bowl contender as Jason Witten returns from the broadcast booth, giving Dallas an offense that could rival the good old days, with their top-ranked offensive line and strong defense. Eventually, Elliott will return, and the Cowboys will take off and slip into the postseason, where they will be a dangerous team.
New York Giants 6-10
This is going to be a year of transition for the New York Giants. Eli Manning will start the season at quarterback, but Daniel Jones, the team's sixth overall pick is clearly the future. Saquon Barkley is an outstanding halfback and could win his first rushing title, and that could keep the Giants in many games this season. However, with questions at wide receiver and defense, the Giants are likely in for another ten-loss season. The only question left will be, when does Jones takeover for Eli?
Washington Redskins 4-12
As the season begins, Case Keenum has been named starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins. This would be the fourth team in as many years that Keenum has played with. In the NFL a good quarterback is essential to winning football, the fact that Keenum has bounced around so much shows how limited he is. Ultimately the Redskins hope Dwayne Haskins sees a bulk of the action this season. However, 15th pick out of Ohio State is not ready yet. Additionally, the lack of reliable receivers and a weak offensive line means it would do more harm than good to let Haskins start as it will be a long season indeed for old DC.
Detroit Lions 6-10
Somewhere Bobby Layne is having a good laugh. After being traded following the 1957 season, Layne put a curse on the Detroit Lions. They have won just one playoff game since, as Layne helped them win three NFL titles in the 1950s. Matthew Stafford is the best quarterback that Detroit has had in 60 years, but the Lions are never able to get all the pieces together at the same time. In a tough division with two strong defenses, the Lions offensive line is a liability that will make any success for Stafford and the Lions difficult once again.
Minnesota Vikings 11-5*
This season is a prove it or lose it year for quarterback Kirk Cousins as the Minnesota Vikings are looking to rebound off a disappointing season, in which they missed the playoffs. Minnesota has a solid secondary, among the best in the NFL. Led by Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph, and Steffon Diggs, the Vikings have among the best receiving corps in the NFL. Despite this Cousins remains an enigma, as he has yet to prove he can win a big game. If the Vikings fall short again, they will likely need to rethink the deal they gave him in 2018.
Green Bay Packers 8-8
Aaron Rodgers remains the stalwart at quarterback, but the Green Bay Packers head into 2019 with an uncertainty that they have not had in years. Rodgers game in game out has the best arm in the league, but the Packers no longer have a star receiver. They remain thing at running, and their defense could be among the worst in the NFL. If Aaron Rodgers can carry this group deep in the playoffs, he may convince everyone that he is the best quarterback in the NFL. Without him, the Packers would be among the worst teams.
Chicago Bears 12-4
Led by Khalil Mack, the Chicago Bears are once again the Monsters of the Midway as they are among the NFL's founding members in the league's centennial season. The Bears may fact have the best front seven in the NFL. The main focus for Chicago will be on offense, where Mitch Trubisky must take a step forward in this his third NFL season. Trubisky has shown some flashes of brilliance, with the Bears having such a good defense, its more about just being good enough and limiting the mistakes, as the Bears should rule the North.
Atlanta Falcons 10-6
Hoping to bounce back after a disappointing season in 2018, the Atlanta Falcons need to solve their struggles in the red zone. Nobody personifies Atlanta's red-zone woes more than Julio Jones, who is the best receiver between the 20s but has just 11 touchdowns over the last two seasons combined. The Falcons looked to upgrade their offensive line in the off-season and drafted to lineman in the first round, both are expected to have an impact and boost the Falcons run game which could open up the passing game, and take the Falcons back to the Super Bowl if everything clicks.
Carolina Panthers 6-10
Once again the health of quarterback Cam Newton is the key for the Carolina Panthers. The 2015 MVP has been beaten and battered to the point, the Panthers briefly considered shutting him down for a year to heal from shoulder surgery in the off-season fully. Newton, who has been beaten like a pinata, will likely struggle as the Carolina line in average at best. If the Panthers are to make the playoffs, they are going to need a big season from Christian McCaffery, who they need to relieve some of the burden from Newton.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-11
Bruce Arians has been hired to salvage the career of Jamies Winston, while Blane Gabbert and RG III sit on the bench poised to show he is an NFL capable quarterback. Winston has yet to show his full commitment to becoming a better quarterback, his mental lapses and bizarre antics and off-field behavior has been another hurdle. Not making things easier is the Bucs defense is among the worst in the NFL, while they have no real help in the backfield. It is more likely that Tampa will win more games with without Winston, who becomes certifies as a bust.
New Orleans Saints 12-4*
Like a fine wine, Drew Brees seems to be getting better with age, as he had one of the best seasons of his career, as the New Orleans Saints fell just short of reaching the Super Bowl. A reason for the resurgence for Brees is the talent the Saints have placed around him. This includes players like Alvin Kamara, who has become a weapon like no other out of the backfield, with his pass-catching ability. The Saints also have a top-notch offensive line and a solid defense add in Jared Cook at tight end, and the Saints could be among the top picks to represent the NFC, that is if the officials don't screw them again.
Arizona Cardinals 5-11
For the second straight year, the Arizona Cardinals are starting over as they have a new coach and new quarterback. Kliff Kingsbury was at Texas Tech with Patrick Mahomes, and the Cardinals hope he can make Kyler Murray just as good as Mahones in the NFL. The only worry is Murray's size as he significantly undersized compared to average NFL quarterback. With a mediocre secondary, and aging receiving corps and an average defense, it looks like another long season in the desert as the Cardinals continue their century-long tradition of losing seasons.
Seattle Seahawks 10-6
Russell Wilson may not be the best quarterback in the NFL, but he is a proven win whose steady leadership as made the Seattle Seahawks a perennial playoff contender. Wilson has seen many top receivers come and go, yet his stats remain consistent. One major worry for Seattle was their front seven that appeared to be a weakness. However, the Seahawks have addressed that issue in a big way by acquiring Jadeveon Clowney. Look for Clowney to have a big year and to help guide the Seahawks to win the NFC West.
Los Angeles Rams 9-7
Coming off an NFC Championship, the Los Angeles Rams need to be on guard for the Super Bowl hangover as they play their final season at the old Coliseum. The health of Todd Gurley is a key for Los Angeles, as the running back wore down at the end of the season last year and was non-factor in the big game, as he dealt with an arthritic left knee. On defense, Aaron Donald is as dominant as a player can be with 20 sacks last season. However, with the rest of the NFC West improved, the Rams have their work cutout for them.
San Francisco 49ers 9-7
After a lost season, Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers look to bounce back in 2019. The Niners suffered a significant blow when Garoppolo tore his ACL early in the season but found a major weapon in George Kittle who set a record for 1,377 yards receiving as a Tight End. In the off-season, San Francisco concentrated much of their effort on improving their team defense, as they drafted Nick Bosa and signed Dave Ford. Both struggled with injuries in the pre-season. If the 49ers are to make a run at the playoffs, they will need to get both back in the line-up as soon as possible.
New York Jets 10-6*
It is a new day in New York as the New York Jets have new uniforms, a new coach, and significant free-agent additions. With quarterback Sam Darnold entering his second season, expectations are high for Gang Green. If Le'veon Bell can regain his place among the top running backs in the NFL, the Jets could make a run at the playoffs. However, on defense, the Jets still have several questions to answer as the secondary is a weakness. The Jets looked to upgrade the pass rush and drafted Quinnen Williams, but the loss of Avery Williamson to a preseason ACL could prove costly.
New England Patriots 13-3
The New England Patriots are a machine, six Super Bowl championships, and no sign of slowing down any time soon, despite Tom Brady turning 42. Always helping is the AFC East, a division that continues to be a total joke, with the Bills and Dolphins both in rebuild mode. Add in an easy schedule, and you have another AFC Championship in Foxboro. Despite the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots receiving corps have never been more profound. The secondary is among the best in the NFL, the defense is solid, and the offensive line is always top-notch. Put this together, and you get seventh heaven for the Patriots. Kill Me Now.
Buffalo Bills 4-12
The Buffalo Bills have been spinning their wheels for 20 years now. Just one playoff appearance since 1999, the Bills are hoping the 1990's retro feel can lift them back into contention. However, that remains highly unlikely as Josh Allen struggled in his first season at quarterback last year. With a porous offensive line, a limited group of receivers and a mediocre run game, Allen will almost need to embody the spirit of Jim Kelly if the Bills were to have a chance. Look for another lost season in Western New York as the Bills again post a ten-loss season and miss the playoffs.
Miami Dolphins 1-15
They may be called the Miami Dolphins, though they hardly resemble the franchise that once was proud, as a team will be as bad as their awful new age logo. Miami enters the season with a roster that resembles and expansion team as they continue to trade off star players for a total rebuild. To say they are tanking the season is an understatement. The only thing that may hurt is if Ryan Fitzpatrick accidentally wins a game, but with a line, a running game, receiving corps and a defense that may be among the bottom in each category the Dolphins appear to be using the Browns model and could realistically go winless.
Pittsburgh Steelers 10-6
With the drama of Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, the Pittsburgh Steelers turned into a Soap Oprea in 2018. Now both are gone, Pittsburgh is hoping to focus back on winning football, as Ben Roethlisberger enters the twilight of his career. The Steelers already played well without Bell, while JuJu Smith-Schuster has become the number one receiving option. The Steelers front seven remains a strength, but the secondary is a primary concern. The Steelers should again challenge for a playoff spot, but like last year could be the last team out as they need to improve the discipline which often has been their undoing.
Cincinnati Bengals 6-10
The Marvin Lewis era is finally over, as Zac Taylor looks to bring the Rams uptempo offense to the Cincinnati Bengals. Lewis is best known for never winning a playoff game. He had been the Bengals head coach since 2003, creating a stale atmosphere on the banks of the Ohio River. Taylor is not going to turn things around right away, as Andy Dalton continues to be inconsistent at quarterback, while the offensive line is beyond awful. Expect the change to continue through the season, as this will be a year of evaluation for the new regime that plans to retool and rebuild in Cincinnati.
Baltimore Ravens 9-7
Joe Flacco is gone, as the Baltimore Ravens turn the page and put their trust in Lamar Jackson. Unfortunately, there is not much talent around him on the offense, as the Ravens do not have a reliable running back or a reliable receiver. The defense, however, looks to be among the best in the league again. With the addition of Earl Thomas turning an already strong secondary into the best in the NFL. The Ravens have won with defense in the past, but with two strong teams in their division, the chances they can make the playoffs are not good in Baltimore.
Cleveland Browns 11-5
Two decades ago, a team wearing orange helmets and claiming to be the Cleveland Browns returned to the NFL after a three-year hiatus. Those Browns turned out to be frauds, as the team turned into an embarrassment, with a never-ending revolving door of quarterbacks. Finally, the Browns decided to bite the bullet and become an expansion team all over, and went 1-31 over a two-year stretch. Quietly they stockpiled picks and made the right choices this time, setting the stage for 2019. The Browns have the pieces to make a serious playoff run, as they have a group of talented receivers that are poised to turn Baker Mayfield into the NFL's next star quarterback, while their defense led by Myles Garrett is ready to claim the AFC North.
Indianapolis Colts 4-12
The Indianapolis Colts appeared poised for a run at the Super Bowl, as Andrew Luck was Comeback Player of the Year, leading them to the Divisional Playoff Round in 2018. However, after dealing with a pesky ankle sprain, and continued aches and pains, Luck decided to retire. In other words, the Colts are Shit Out of Luck. They did an excellent job rebuilding the offensive line and had a solid group of receivers, but Jacoby Brissett is not going to win many games at quarterback. The defense is not bad, however, and the Colts could recover quickly if they are to land a quality QB.
Jacksonville Jaguars 10-6
No team was a bigger disappointment than the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were among the Super Bowl favorites after appearing in the AFC Championship Game, but went 5-11 in 2018. The scapegoat for the Jaguars collapse was Blake Bortles who was run out of Jacksonville on a rail. Now they turn their eyes toward Nick Foles, whom they hope can take his postseason magic in Philadelphia with him. One thing the Jaguars will need is for Leonard Fournette to be a top running back again. If they can get some offense, the defense could carry the load and be even stronger with the addition of Josh Allen, who appeared to be unstoppable in the preseason.
Houston Texans 7-9
No team has had a more dizzying end of the preseason than the Houston Texans. First, they trade Jadevon Clowney and yield a disappointing return, then they send two first-round picks to the Dolphins for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills. Tunsil gives the Texans a much-needed upgrade on the offensive line, while Stills gives them another weapon for Deshaun Watson to throw to. The trade of Clowney, though has a more significant negative, as it diminishes their pass rush and sets up an already questionable secondary for failure. Look for the Texans to end up outside the playoffs, leading to an off-season of change.
Tennessee Titans 9-7
The Tennessee Titans have reached a crossroad with Marcus Mariota, as the second overall pick in 2015 has yet to get to the next level, entering his fifth season under center. Arthur Smith was named the Titans new offensive coordinator in the offseason, with the hopes of adding new schemes to take advantage of Mariota's ability to take off an run the ball. The problem is that Mariota is what he has been a middle of the road quarterback that can win games but not good enough to actually lead a team beyond nine or ten wins and the Wild Card.
Los Angeles Chargers 10-6*
As the season begins, the future of Running Back Melvin Gordon is in the air. The Chargers and the back appear to be heading for a split as Gordon was rumored to get permission to seek a trade. The Chargers will always rely heavily on quarterback Philip Rivers. While the Chargers are still trying to find their niche in Los Angeles, they have the pieces to be a playoff team as they have a top ten quarterback and a strong defense. Rivers, however, will need help if the Chargers are to go far in the postseason.
Kansas City Chiefs 12-4
Just as Bill Belichick seems to always get his team to the Super Bowl and winning all the big games, Andy Reid always seems to come up just short, a modern day Marty Schottenheimer. What Reid has that Schottenheimer never possed is that special quarterback. Patrick Mahomes appears to be that once in a lifetime passer, that not onlt has the arm, but the legs and the gunslinger menatlity that makes hime the most exciting player in the NFL. Expect the Chiefs agsin to put up big numbers and make a run at the Super Bowl, where the Andy Reid curse will again mean a Championship Game loss.
Oakland Raiders 5-11
The Oakland Raiders are in their last season as a lame-duck franchise before their stadium, and new home opens in Las Vegas in 2020. The Raiders have brought in Antonion Brown with the hopes of bringing out the best in Derek Carr, as Jon Gruden is evaluating if he can genuinely be the quarterback of the future. Defense is a significant weakness for the Raiders, as they will likely yield a lot of points. The main hope for the Raiders season is to know what they will need going forward as they have a cache of draft picks.
Denver Broncos 8-8
The Denver Broncos are pressing the restart button, as Vic Fangio was hired as the new coach and Joe Flacco was signed to play quarterback. Flacco hopes to resurrect his career in Denver, after a string of mediocre seasons in Baltimore, following Super Bowl XLVII. The Broncos are also trying to regain Super Bowl glory. The Broncos defense remains strong thanks to Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. Flacco over the last five years has always seemed to find mediocrity, and that is all he will achieve in his first season in the Mile High City.
Coach of the Year
Comeback Player of the Year
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Offensive Player of the Year
New York Jets
New England Patriots
New England Patriots
Predictions Made: September 2, 2019
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