NFL Preview and Prediction

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TNS

The game's Most Valuable Player, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, celebrates as he holds the Vince Lombardi trophy after a 24-10 win against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Matthew Leto, Sports Editor

The NFL season will kickoff September 9th, with a Super Bowl rematch with the Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers. The defending champion Denver Broncos against the returning MVP Cam Newton should be an entertaining game. New rookies Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Jalen Ramsey and Ezekiel Elliott will take the league by storm.

AFC East

New England Patriots(13-3) The Patriots will start off slow without their star quarterback Tom Brady. With Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback and with the unstoppable tight End Rob Gronkowski, they should start with a record of 2-2. Following Brady’s suspension, the Patriots schedule is fairly easy. Especially with upgrades on both the offensive line and on the defensive side of the ball.

New York Jets (9-7) The Jets well rounded defense should keep them in the wild card race. The resigning of Ryan Fitzpatrick combined with the tall, physical wide receiver Brandon Marshall and the Jets acquisition of Matt Forte should drastically improve their offense.

Miami Dolphins (7-9) The Dolphins improved their offensive line adding Laremy Tunsil with their first round pick. The league’s choice to reinstate Dion Jordan and the acquisitions of Kiko Alonso and Brandon Maxwell should rank the Dolphins defense in the top 10 respectively. However, Ryan Tannehill’s accuracy on long passes that mirror former quarterback Chad Pennington should halt the Dolphins playoff hopes.

Buffalo Bills (6-10) The Bills have a rather good defense with mastermind Rex Ryan as their head coach and a talented quarterback Tyrod Taylor. However, LeSean McCoy’s down year last year and Sammy Watkins knee issues should keep them in the cellar of the division.

AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) The Bengals have quarterback Andy Dalton returning from a finger injury he suffered towards the end of the season last year. The Bengals also have one of the best wide receivers in the game in AJ Green. With the suspension of Vontaze Burfict, the Bengals will have a little to none chance of a 1 or 2 seed in the playoffs.

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7) The Steelers have the most intriguing offense in the league on paper, but suspensions to Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant could keep them from attaining the best passing game in the league. In addition, a ruptured secondary on defense should keep them from clinching the division.

Baltimore Ravens (7-9) The Ravens will have Joe Flacco back under center with Steve Smith Sr. returning should keep them in contention for a wild card spot. However, if the Ravens want any hope of the playoffs they need quality yards from running back Justin Forsett and consistent defense.

Cleveland Browns (0-16) The Browns have an extremely tough schedule this season and with Robert Griffin III at quarterback and a somewhat average defense, the Browns will struggle to put points on the board. It’s pretty clear the Browns will struggle to find a victory this season.

AFC South

Houston Texans (12-4) The Texans welcome in a new quarterback in Brock Osweiler and former Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller. The Texans retain a star studded defense with a potential defensive player of the year in J.J. Watt. Look for star wide receiver Deandre Hopkins to have a season full of touchdowns.

Indianapolis Colts (11-5) The Colts will have quarterback Andrew Luck back, who is coming off a season ending injury from the previous season. The Luck and T.Y. Hilton combination will pick secondaries apart all season. However, the Colts defense should keep them from winning the division.

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) The Jaguars are an intriguing team with a potential top 10 defense in the league. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey and edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr should keep the Jaguars from the cellar of the division. Look for quarterback Blake Bortles to have a tremendous season.

Tennessee Titans (5-11) The Titans welcome in second year quarterback  Marcus Mariota with a new and improved offensive line. The running back combination with Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry should run down defenses. The Titans poor defense will keep the Titans from competing for a wild card spot.

AFC West

Oakland Raiders (10-6) The Raiders star quarterback Derek Carr should have a passing attack with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree at wide receivers. Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin and Mario Edwards Jr. should creates nightmares for opposing teams quarterbacks.

Kansas City Chiefs (8-8) The Chiefs have a stable quarterback in Alex Smith and a great running back in Jamaal Charles. The Chiefs may have the third best defense in the division and with an average wide receiver core, the Chiefs likely will miss out on a wild card spot.

Denver Broncos (6-10) The Broncos will once  again have the league’s top defense led by Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller. However, with a potential quarterback in Mark Sanchez or rookie Paxton Lynch it’s hard to see the Broncos winning enough games to clinch a playoff spot.

San Diego Chargers (6-10) The Chargers have a top tier quarterback with Philip Rivers under center and a future superstar running back in Melvin Gordon, that should make the Chargers a balanced offensive attack. The Chargers have a poor defense, but made a step in the right direction by drafting a terrific edge rusher in Joey Bosa.

NFC East

New York Giants (11-5) The Giants have a great quarterback in Eli Manning and star wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr and Victor Cruz that should generate a passing threat  for opposing defenses. The Giants spent 200 million of defensive improvement that should give them the division.

Washington Redskins (10-6) Quarterback Kirk Cousins should have a great season with wide receivers Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson should keep consistent points on the board. A shocking free agent signing of the league’s top cornerback Josh Norman should greatly improve their defense, however they will fall short of a playoff spot.

Dallas Cowboys (9-7) The Cowboys drafted a stud at running back in Ezekiel Elliott and have one of the league’s top wide receivers in Dez Bryant. The Cowboys front seven on defense will likely keep them from contention in the division.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-11) The Eagles will either start Sam Bradford or rookie Carson Wentz that should be a mediocre offense at best. The Eagles defense should help the team win a few games this season.

NFC South

Carolina Panthers (15-1) The Panthers finished last season at 15-1 and will likely finish the same. With the returning league MVP Cam Newton reunited with his number one wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, the Panthers should be practically unstoppable on the offensive side of the ball. Although, the Panthers lost cornerback Josh Norman in free agency, the Panthers should make a deep run in the playoffs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) The Buccaneers have second year quarterback Jameis Winston matched up with wide receivers, Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans and will dominate through the air. However, a poor front 7 on the defense will likely keep them from the playoffs.

New Orleans Saints (5-11) The Saints will win a few games because of their star quarterback Drew Brees and running back Mark Ingram. However, the Saints have one of the worst defenses in the league, so expect about 5 wins this season.

Atlanta Falcons (5-11) The Falcons still have one of the best quarterback-wide receiver duo in Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. However, the Falcons defense might be as bad as the Saints. Look for a similar record as the Saints this season.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers (14-2) The Packers had a deep postseason run last season and should be even better with the return of their star wide receiver Jordy Nelson. The Packers also have arguably the best quarterback in the league in Aaron Rodgers.

Minnesota Vikings (10-6) The Vikings have a great quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater and an outstanding running back in Adrian Peterson. The Vikings also have an exceptional defense.

Chicago Bears (6-10) The Bears have Jay Cutler at quarterback, so expect many turnovers and the loss of Matt Forte will really hurt this team.

Detroit Lions (4-12) The Lions will have Matthew Stafford under center, but will certainly miss star wide receiver Calvin Johnson. The Lions will struggle mightily to find victories.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals (14-2) The Cardinals will storm back after a disappointing championship game against the Panthers. The Cardinals will have standout safety Tyrann Mathieu back from a season ending surgery. The Cardinals also acquired a star edge rusher Chandler Jones who will only add to the stacked defense.

Seattle Seahawks (12-4) The Seahawks once again will have a great season, with Russell Wilson at quarterback. As long as Richard Sherman is at the cornerback position with Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, the Seahawks will always have a top 10 defense.

Los Angeles Rams (4-12) The Rams have a star running back in the making with Todd Gurley. In addition, they drafter Jared Goff with the number one pick in the draft. The Rams won’t improve much this year, but are heading in the right direction.

San Francisco 49ers (2-14) The 49ers have questions at the quarterback position. The 49ers have a run down defense and will struggle to win games under head coach Chip Kelly.

 Prediction – I believe back to back MVP Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will defeat a run down New England Patriots 34-31 in an exciting Super Bowl 51.

 

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