It’s that time of year again as I have broken out my crystal ball like I do every year in late August to look in to the future and tell you how the 2018 NFL season will play out and what teams will disappoint and what teams will surprise this upcoming season.
Oh yes, my crystal ball never lies…. never!
As things are coming into picture in my crystal ball I see a 2018 NFL season where it will be a tale of two conferences. In the AFC we start to see some new blood begin to step up and change is in the air! In the NFC there are few surprises as the teams that were strong in 2017 continue to be strong in 2018. Also, the once thought to be dead running back position is back from the dead as we have more running backs fighting for MVP awards and rookie of the year honors.
So, without any further fanfare here are my predictions on how the 2018 season will play out and which teams will make the playoffs and who will ultimately be raising the Lombardi trophy when all is said and done.
- New England – Pats have a cake-walk to another AFC East Crown
- Miami- Tannehill’s last stand in Miami, can he be the QB he was in 2016? Uncertainty and youth on defense will be an issue in 2018 for the Fins
- NY Jets- Future is bright for them with Darnold; 2018 might be miserable though as they don’t have much around him in weapons
- Buffalo- They will have a Top 3 pick in the 2019 draft. Might be worst team in the league on paper
- Pittsburgh – The window is closing, and this might be their last good shot at a ring. Their defense will be improved.
- Cincinnati -This is a veteran team that will surprise some people
- Baltimore- The team is just there and kind of boring. Has 7-9 written all over them
- Cleveland- They still stink, but will win at least 3 games this year
- Tennessee– If the WR’s can make plays this team will take that next step. I believe in the Titans in 2018
- Houston (WILD CARD) – Watson is somewhat overrated but if they can stay healthy on defense they get a wild card spot
- Jacksonville – Yes, I have them coming in 3rd place in the South. I don’t trust Bortles, their WR’s stink, and Ramsey talks too much which will motivate their opponents each week. Major step back this year for the Jags
- Indianapolis – Team is soft on both sides of the ball. Another team that will be picking in the Top 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft
- LA Chargers– Everyone is in on the Chargers this year and add me to the list. Lady Luck hasn’t been on their side in recent years in regards to injuries and kickers but that changes this year
- Kansas City (WILD CARD)– They have the best roster (outside of QB) in the AFC West; Andy Reid always finds his way to the playoffs
- Oakland- Gruden will struggle year one, he’s already complaining about the new rules since he left coaching
- Denver- I am not sold on the head coach and I don’t like the pieces on offense
- Philadelphia– This team is loaded and when Wentz comes back they will only be better
- NY Giants- The change at head coach helps them a lot; they must protect Eli this year
- Washington- Another team with 7-9 written all over them
- Dallas- Dak and Elliott are nice pieces to build around, but they have nothing else on offense. Surprisingly they might have a Top 5 pick in the 2019 Draft
- Minnesota– Cousins will have a ton of pressure on him but this team is ready for that next step. Great roster top to bottom
- Green Bay (WILD CARD)– I like how they have improved the roster, Rodgers contract won’t be a distraction, GB returns to the playoffs
- Detroit- Not overly impressed with anything they do, will be interesting to see if someone from the NE coaching tree finds success outside of New England
- Chicago- Probably a year away from being competitive
- New Orleans– Their weapons on offense will overwhelm opponents. Brees knows his career is winding down and this might be his last great shot at a ring
- Atlanta (WILD CARD) – Ryan has more weapons than ever, they will be very good in 2018
- Carolina- Newton is tough to trust, tough to root for, and tough to understand at times. He is a bit of a jerk. This team is tough to get a feel for
- Tampa Bay- Winston is a complete clown and until he matures this team will struggle.
- LA Rams– Class of this division by a mile. Defense is really good but they will need Goff to continue to improve to ultimately make a deep playoff run
- Arizona- I think Rosen plays eventually and I think Rosen will be a superstar
- SF- JimmyG comes back to earth in 2018
- Seattle- This is a team in total rebuild and it might be a long year for Seattle
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Pittsburgh over Tennessee
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Minnesota over Philadelphia
SUPER BOWL: Minnesota over Pittsburgh
NFL MVP: Todd Gurley
SUPER BOWL MVP: Kirk Cousins
COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Zimmer
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Saqon Barkley