2018-19 NFL Predictions

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This season is going to be interesting. We have intriguing rookie story-lines. We have hold-outs. We have players that just got PAID. We have general consensus that the Browns will actually win a game this season. Now it is time for the talk and speculation to end, and for the action on the field to take place.

As usual, I will have my weekly NFL picks with the spread posted each week of the season. But before we begin the season, let’s get to how I see the 2018-19 NFL season finishing up:

AFC East
1. New England Patriots
2. New York Jets
3. Miami Dolphins
4. Buffalo Bills

Comments: The Patriots will win this division easily again. The rest of the division is playing for the future.

AFC North
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. Cleveland Browns
4. Cincinnati Bengals

Comments: Yes, I believe the Browns will not finish in last place this season and that will signal the end of the Marvin Lewis era. Even if Le’Veon Bell misses half the season, I think the Steelers have enough fire power to win the division, but don’t sleep on the Ravens.

AFC South
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
2. Houston Texans
3. Tennessee Titans
4. Indianapolis Colts

Comments: The key to this division is the health of J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson and the play of Blake Bortles. The Jaguars defense is going to keep all games close, Leonard Fournette will control the ground game, they just need Bortles to manage the game and not turn the ball over. The Texans have the skill to win this division, but Watt and Watson will need to be healthy for the full season.

AFC West
1. Los Angeles Chargers
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. Denver Broncos
4. Oakland Raiders

Comments: The Chiefs and Chargers will be battling for this division all season, and I think they will both make the playoffs this year. The Raiders are a mess and despite paying $100 million for a head coach and QB with a $125 million contract (although they do have an out after this season with minimal dead money), the Raiders seem to be playing for the future and not this season.

NFC East
1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. New York Giants
3. Washington Redskins
4. Dallas Cowboys

Comments: The Giants are intriguing. They need Saquon Barkley to be the real deal immediately to justify the #2 overall pick. Can their offensive line hold-up this year? Cowboys in last? I think it could happen. Elliott is great, but they have no wide receivers (although Allen Hurns returns to his 1,000 yard receiving form, they could surprise this division). He will be facing an 8 man box every game.

NFC North
1. Minnesota Vikings
2. Green Bay Packers
3. Chicago Bears
4. Detroit Lions

Comments: Possibly the toughest division in football? The Packers and Vikings are both legit Super Bowl contenders, but one might not even make the playoffs if this division beats up on each other. The Bears had a top ten defense last year and then added Khalil Mack, scary.

NFC South
1. New Orleans Saints
2. Atlanta Falcons
3. Carolina Panthers
4. Tampa Bay Bucs

Comments: The Saints might have their most complete team of the Drew Brees era, which is scary. I think the Panthers will regress from last season and miss the playoffs this year.

NFC West
1. Los Angeles Rams
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Seattle Seahawks
4. Arizona Cardinals

Comments: Unfortunately for Garoppolo, I think he will face his first NFL loss as a starter in Week 1. From there can the 49ers keep it together? The secondary is going to be shaky, as will the pass rush, but the potential is there. The Rams, on paper, might have the best roster in the NFL. They also have a combustible locker room.

Postseason
AFC
Wild Card Weekend
3. Chargers over 6. Texans
4. Jaguars over 5. Chiefs

Divisional Round
1. Patriots over 4. Jaguars
2. Steelers over 3. Chargers

AFC Championship
1. Patriots over 2. Steelers

NFC
Wild Card Weekend
3. Vikings over 6. Falcons
5. Packers over 4. Eagles

Divisional Round
1. Rams over 5. Packers
2. Saints over 3. Vikings

NFC Championship
2. Saints over 1. Rams

Super Bowl LIII
Patriots over Saints

NFL Honors
MVP: Alvin Kamara (Saints) – Going on a limb with the non-QB MVP
Coach of the Year: Anthony Lynn (Chargers)
Offensive Player of the Year: Antonio Brown (Steelers)
Defensive Player of the Year: Jalen Ramsey (Jaguars)
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley (Giants)
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Roquan Smith (Bears)
Comeback Player of the Year: Richard Sherman (49ers)

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