It’s that time of year again- time for football! With a tremendously wild offseason with the ruling on deflate-gate, the big free agent signings, the draft and much more, it’s time to get started. Hopefully, my predictions will be slightly more accurate than last year although I did pick the Super Bowl correctly, I had Raiders at 9-7. Let’s hope that changes.
New England Patriots: 11-5
Although they lost Darelle Revis, Vince Wilfork and Brandon Browner, they still have Tom Brady for all 16 games. The AFC East has vastly improved, however the Patriots still have the best coach in football and while they did get slightly worse, they’ll find a way to pull through.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 11-5
The Steelers time has come again. Antonio Brown has become a bonafide star receiver and with the help of Big Ben and Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers will be able to muscle past the Ravens and secure the AFC North. Although Troy Polomalu retired, with their young and deep linebacking core of Bud Dupree, Ryan Shazier, Lawrence Timmons, James Harrison and Jarvis Jones, they’ll neutralize the opposition to some degree and make it out alive.
Indianapolis Colts: 12-4
If they don’t win this division, it’ll be a shocker. They have signed RB Frank Gore and WR Andre Johnson. While they’re both up there in age they will be able to bring experience and talent to this offense and propel the team past everyone in the AFC North. Marcus Mariota and Blake Bortles are too inexperienced and Brian Hoyer is too average to get in the way of Andrew Luck.
Denver Broncos: 10-6
With the loss of Julius Thomas, Peyton Manning will have a bit of a tougher time finding an easy target. However, Demaryus Thomas and Emanuel Sanders are very capable, and the improvement of C.J. Anderson is enough for the Broncos to put the pieces together offensively. Defensively, it may be a bit of a struggle, although they still have elite athletes such as Von Miller, Aquib Talib, T.J. Ward, Demarcus Ware and Chris Harris Jr.
Baltimore Ravens: 10-6
This team is elite on the defensive end and very good on the offensive end. Justin Forsett has much improved from last season and Joe Flacco will try to cement himself as “elite” and will take the Ravens to the postseason once again. I am picking them over the Bengals, because Andy Dalton is a broken record and has really gone down the drain. The Bengals’ defense is still elite, but you need a quarterback that can win in order to make the postseason- something Andy Dalton does not know how to do.
Buffalo Bills: 9-7
Yes, I picked the Bills. Yes, I picked them over the Dolphins. Here is why. The Bills have one of if not the best defensive line in the NFL featuring Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, Kyle Williams and Marcel Darius. With the additions of Charles Clay and Lesean “Shady” McCoy, this offense will take a giant leap forward from last season. Although Tyrod Taylor is the starting QB, it’s better than E.J. Manuel- an inconsistent disaster. Taylor will be a game manager and with the elite young receiving core with Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Percy Harvin, the Bills will muscle their way into the postseason.
Missing the cut:
Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Benagls, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets
Seattle Seahawks: 12-4
With a couple yards away from winning the Super Bowl, this team is full of anger and redemption. Still having one of the best defenses in the NFL, the acquisition of Jimmy Graham and a top two running back in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch aka ‘Beast Mode’, the Seahawks will do everything in their power to crush this division.
New Orleans Saints: 9-7
The NFC South is extremely weak this season. Drew Brees is still an elite QB and although the Saints lost Jimmy Graham, they have improved defensively and will be able to scratch and claw past Cam Newton and the Panthers. The Saints have not been too great lately, and it’s time for Brees to step up and take his team to the playoffs.
Green Bay Packers: 11-5
With the best QB in football, Aaron Rodgers, the Packers will do just fine without Jordy Nelson. The Lions will put up a fight, however Stafford is no match for Rodgers.
Dallas Cowboys: 11-5
This is a coin flip between the Eagles and the Cowboys, because they’re equally good. The reason I am going with the Cowboys is because while I trust Sam Bradford’s arm, I do not trust his health. Tony Romo usually stays healthy and while the they lost Murray, they still have that impenetrable offensive line. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are elite and will do the same amount if not more damage than last season. As for the defense, they added Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory, if they stay out of trouble they too can cause serious damage.
If Bradford does stay healthy, it will go down to the wire.
Philadelphia Eagles: 10-6
Although Chip Kelly is a nut job, sometimes that is a good thing. He traded Nick Foles for Sam Bradford, lost Lesean McCoy but signed Demarco Murray and Ryan Mathews, lost Trent Cole and Cary Williams and acquired Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell. Will these moves work out? I think so, but a lot of it depends on Sam Bradford’s health.
Detroit Lions: 9-7
As they lost Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, they quickly acquired Haloti Ngata to patchwork the interior back together. With Matt Stafford, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, and Golden Tate, they’ll make enough noise to bounce into the playoffs this season.
Missing the cut
Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, St. Louis Rams
Super Bowl Matchup
Seattle Seahawks vs. Indianapolis Colts
You might say this matchup is the consensus. These teams are the best in their respective conferences. Andrew Luck is ready for the big stage and the Seahawks have already been there. This game will be brutal, and I am picking the Seattle Seahawks to come out on top and cement themselves as one of the best defenses of all time
image via zimbio.com
I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, an 11th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball, football and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees, Oregon football and North Carolina basketball teams. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).