Final Division Champion Predictions.
The Hounds of Justice.
I've gotta say... Tom Brady's suspension being lifted really changes how I view the upcoming season.
I just assumed that he'd miss the first four weeks and the Patriots would start on the wrong foot.
This seriously changes everything.
The AFC East- The New England Patriots.
Okay, if we're being honest here, the Patriots were going to win the division anyway.
I'm just not sold on the Miami Dolphins. Their roster has been better than this before and the Patriots have been worse and if they didn't get over the hill then, I don't see them doing it now.
Tyrod Taylor and the Bills? Please.
Ryan Fitz-magic and the Jets? Lol.
Tom Brady will be playing week one, Gronk is healthy, they've improved their pass rush, and you just can't rule Brady out.
With the weak ass schedule they've got and the excellence the Patriots have enjoyed for the last decade, I see no reason why the Patriots shouldn't have the best record in football this year.
The AFC North- The Pittsburgh Steelers.
This division makes no sense to me.
The only team I can rule out for certain is the Cleveland Browns.
They've got QB issues, offense issues, defense issues, and...
Really? Terrelle Pryor on the main roster? Mk.
Here's why I picked the Steelers.
They're the most talented.
The Ravens hired a passing game guru to be their offensive coordinator... and they have no eligible receivers.
Their most consistent receiver is a 36 year old who can't get on all the rides at Disneyworld.
After that... It's a slippery slope.
First round pick, Breshad Perriman has yet to make a splash and might not be ready for week one. There's no depth or experience after that.
Even at tight end, where I thought they found a blue chip player in Maxx Williams, they're opting to start Crockett Gilmore instead.
The defense should be solid, but I just don't see how they're going to generate any offense.
The Bengals are well rounded, but they lack the X factor. I can see this team losing a lot of winnable games and the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton has been... serviceable at best. AJ Green is still very good, and the defense has a lot of upside... But I just don't feel comfortable picking them.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have easily the most talented offense, but it seems like they keep losing players! If you're not suspended, you're hurt, and if you're not hurt or suspended, you get to play the Patriots in week one. The road to the AFC North championship will be a marathon, not a sprint, and I think between Bell, Bryant, and Brown, they've got enough offensive weapons to pull out the win.
The AFC West- The Denver Broncos.
I think this is Denver's last hurrah as division champions.
Not that I think Kansas City or San Diego are very close behind, or that Oakland will make a remarkable recovery soon, but because... This is Peyton Manning's last season.
He's in it to grab the passing record and then it's happy trails for #18.
They're already committing to the run with the hiring of Gary Kubiak and the additions of players like Evan Mathis, and that'll help them down the road.
The AFC South- The Indianapolis Colts.
This is easy. The AFC South is garbage.
The Texans are the most competitive team, but ultimately, the guy who wears the #12 jersey puts them head and shoulders above the rest.
The Jags and the Titans?
Well, the only thing they'll compete for is the first pick next year.
The NFC East- The Dallas Cowboys.
This division is a threeway race between the Giants, Cowboys, and Eagles.
When discussing who will win the NFC East, you really have to discuss who won't lose it.
The Eagles could be a pretty good team, but they're playing on thin ice. Rumors run rampant about racial rifts in the locker room, and Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray, and Ryan Mathews are just a bad play away from injury at any time. The secondary still has so many questions and it's hard to bet on them.
The Giants are the same way. Very solid all around, plenty of talent at wide receiver, but... There will always be questions about how consistent Eli Manning can be. And with JPP's hand being out, the Giants are without a signature pass rusher for the first time in almost twenty years. Will they be able to generate pressure? Can Eli carry the team if the run game struggles?
They just didn't lose all that much this off-season. They were able to re-sign Dez Bryant, add some pieces on defense, and keep Romo healthy. I'm one of those people who honestly believes that the success they achieved running the ball last year had more to do with the offensive line than with who was actually carrying it. I believe the combination of McFadden and Randle can actually work in Dallas, opening up the passing game and giving the Boys their second consecutive division title.
The NFC North- The Green Bay Packers.
As I explained in my piece about the Vikings, the Packers are just too explosive to be held back. Aaron Rodgers was the favorite for the MVP before Jordy Nelson went down with a knee injury, but they still have a solid defense, and I don't think the rest of the division is there yet.
The Packers will probably get a first round bye again this year.
The NFC West- The Seattle Seahawks.
It seems like every division has an ugly duckling.
The Raiders, Titans (And Jags), Bills, Browns, Bucs, Bears, and Redskins all lowlight the other divisions.
In this division, the 49ers are the ugly duckling.
After having the worst off-season in NFL history, I wouldn't hold my breath if I was a niners fan.
The Cardinals should be a pretty good team if Carson Palmer stays healthy and their defense can play up to last year's form.
The Rams look to be very formidable. They've got the best defensive line in the entire league and the addition of Nick Foles and Todd Gurley give them real punch on offense. I think they're a talented receiver or so away from being a real threat in the NFC.
However I give it to the Seahawks because the house of cards hasn't collapsed yet. They've still got all of the pieces they need and then some to be successful. They've got one more year of Marshawn Lynch to lean on, the addition of Jimmy Graham doesn't mean as much as it would for some teams, but it does force defenses to treat him like a legitimate passing threat.
Wilson has one more year under the umbrella, in 2016, we'll learn if he can fly on his own.
The NFC South- The Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons are the best of a bad situation. They've got more explosive weapons than anyone else in the division.
The Saints have really waffled over the last couple of seasons and regardless of how "explosive" their offense is, they haven't been able to cash in on any of it.
The Panthers might have been a threat to win yet another division title, but the loss of Kelvin Benjamin absolutely neuters their offense.
And the Bucs?... Don't make me laugh.
1. The New England Patriots
2. The Indianapolis Colts
3. The Denver Broncos
4. The Pittsburgh Steelers
WC. The Baltimore Ravens
wc. The Miami Dolphins
1. The Green Bay Packers
2. The Seattle Seahawks
3. The Dallas Cowboys
4. The Atlanta Falcons
WC. The St. Louis Rams
wc. The New York Giants