It’s Finally Here
Baseball may have its claim on the ‘Dog Days of Summer’, but just like everything else the NFL has staked its claim on that moniker. The sweltering heat from training camp, the anticipation (or fear of) of the Turk coming to the locker has all been put to bed. Now each team has made their final cut to set their rosters to fifty three. The 2019 Football season brings the renewed hope of culminating the year hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. The crew from Official Word Sports will now put our calculators to work, grab our media guides, game tape film, and miscellaneous news and notes, put it in a blender and determine which team will reign supreme for the 2019 season. Unfortunately, we do not have Hue Jackson roaming the sidelines and so our job just got a lot harder. There are however, several new faces leading their teams. We have Matts and Kirks and Bruces to just name a few. This year will not be about those guys, it’s about the men who wear helmets and shoulder pads. So let’s get going!
Will anyone ever stop the team from New England? If you look at their offseason, the combination of father time and dysfunction they might be stopping themselves. Gronk is gone, the offensive line has become a ragtag group, the owner is in a scandal getting Happy Endings, and the safety is doing his impression of Tony Montana and much more in the off season to show the cracks in the franchise. However, they still have #12 and the Hoodie. This combination may be enough to stop two teams with second year quarterbacks and a dumpster fire in South Florida.
OWS Take – All good things must come to an end, or in this case a beginning. Look for the rebuilt franchises of Buffalo and New York to compete for the division title, with New England battling for the last wild card
The Killer B’s are gone and there is a new Sherif in town – Baker Mayfield. Forget all the hype, the bravado, the cockiness – This guy is a winner. Oh and by the way he is not alone. The Browns are stacked. They traded for Odell Beckham Jr, to compliment other stars like Myles Garrett, Sheldon Richardson, Olivier Vernon, Denzel Ward to name a few.
OWS Take – The old saying what goes up must come down. The Cleveland Browns are on the way up and the Steelers are on the way down. The Ravens and their second year quarterback, who if can stay healthy will contend for a wild card, while the Cincinnati Bengals and first year head coach will trail the pack.
Boys II Men put it so well, “It’s so hard to say good-bye…” and for Andrew Luck it was a tearful press conference in Indianapolis, but not for the other three teams in the division. The Colts were poised to regain the top spot. Now with the sudden departure, it looks to be a two team race. Then again the Houston Texans jettisoned their former first round pick for a king’s ransom leaving JJ Watt to fend for himself.
OWS Take – Injuries, trades, and retirements have the Jacksonville Jaguars sitting pretty in the AFC South. Houston will have a run with Madden Rated 99 wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but the loss of Lamar Miller and the trade of Clowney may be too much for the Texans to compete in the division.
There is a new King of the NFL (as long as the cover jinx doesn’t bite him). Patrick Mahomes has every tool in the bag. Surrounded by an all-star class, including call ups like Sammy Watkins, LeSean McCoy, and even Mahomes (if you consider the gift trade) from their minor league team the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs have a dominating Offense. There is no one in the division who can compete with the Chiefs when it comes to scoring points. And remember the old school mottos of 3 yards and a cloud of dust or defense wins championships… well never mind. The only intriguing story lines coming from the west will be how many points the Chiefs score each week, when will Melvin Gordon sign, and what are the band of misfits doing in Oakland.
OWS Take – Can the Chargers survive to get a wild card berth? Without Melvin Gordon the answer is NO and the Chargers know it. Since Zeke has signed it should make it a little easier for the negotiations to begin. No matter how it plays out, the Chiefs will be scoring points at will and run away with the West.
ZEKE is back! The saga of the NFL offseason came to an abrupt end days prior to opening kickoff. In the words of Rod Tidwell “SHOW ME THE MONEY” and the Dallas Cowboys did just that. Now that the Cowboys front office have taken care of their business, it’s time for the players and coaches take care of business on the field. The road to the division title should be between the Cowboys and Eagles, considering the division will likely have two rookie quarterbacks making their debut sometime this season for both the Giants and Redskins.
OWS Take – The Eagles may have peaked. Carson Wentz can’t seem to stay health and their secret weapon in Nick Foles has landed in Jacksonville. In as much as the Eagles will field a formable roster, it’s not going to be enough to stop Jerry’s kids.
The hype of Khalil Mack has faded from was swept across the Windy City in 2019. Not saying that his skill has diminished, because the Bears Defense will be as good as they were in 2018 but now the true coaching will have to kick in for Matt Nagy. Nagy is going to have to take third year starter Mitchell Trubisky and have him start to ascend to the level and expectation of a #2 pick overall. If Trubisky doesn’t make a sizable jump, the Minnesota Vikings will be sitting there to take claim of the division title. The Norse men are healthy and have all the weapons to be dominate in the NFC North. The Green Bay Packers have gone all in with Aaron Rodgers, and will rue the day they decided to let Mike McCarthy walk. And then there is the Lions – no more needs to be said.
OWS Take – The NFC North is going to be a fight to the very end. The winner is going to be the one who can withstand injuries and make it to the finish line. The Bears are going to realize that they are going to have to address the quarterback position, as the Vikings take the division.
Could this be the Drew Brees farewell tour? If not wanting to win it for Drew, the other motivating factor is the blown call late in the 4th quarter of last year’s NFC Championship Game. Known as the call the rocked the league, the Saints and their Fleur-De-Lis fan base are still bitter. Sean Peyton will down play it publically, but we all know that video was shown more than once during training camp. Second place is going to be the battle between Atlanta, Carolina and Tampa Bay. Atlanta is still trying to figure out how they blew a 25 point lead in the Super Bowl, the Panthers seem to be stuck in the mud, and low and behold the Kangol wearing swaged out coach Bruce Arians will help rejuvenate Jameis Winston to what could be his breakout season.
OWS Take – There is no doubt the Saints are head and shoulders the leaders of the NFC South. As long as they stay healthy Who Dat Nation is hanging another divisional banner.
The major question is not if but how many games the Rams will lead the division. Todd Gurley finally admitted to the worst kept secret regarding his knee injury and this is the key to the Rams success. The former highest paid running back in the league, needs to get the touches to ignite the Ram offense, but now that the team is fully aware of Gurley’s health, they can properly prepare each week. In Seattle, their defense was bolstered with the recent acquisition of Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney has everything to gain here. He’s playing for a play’s coach with Pete Carol, he’s playing for a great owner, and the obvious, and he is playing for a new contract.
OWS Take – The excitement of Kyler Murray will dominate the headlines early, but Heisman winner is going to struggle. There is no way the NFC Defensive player of the year is going to disappoint. The Seahawks are going to be the benefactors of a weak NFC west and pull in to second place.
|Vince’s Predictions||Steve’s Predictions|
|AFC East||Buffalo Bills||AFC East||New England Patriots|
|AFC North||Cleveland Browns||AFC North||Cleveland Browns|
|AFC South||Jacksonville Jaguars||AFC South||Houston Texans|
|AFC West||Kansas City Chiefs||AFC West||Kansas City Chiefs|
|AFC Wild Card||Los Angeles Chargers||AFC Wild Card||Buffalo Bills|
|AFC Wild Card||New York Jets||AFC Wild Card||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Vince’s Predictions||Steve’s Predictions|
|NFC East||Dallas Cowboys||NFC East||Dallas Cowboys|
|NFC North||Minnesota Vikings||NFC North||Chicago Bears|
|NFC South||New Orleans Saints||NFC South||New Orleans Saints|
|NFC West||Los Angeles Rams||NFC West||Los Angeles Rams|
|NFC Wild Card||Chicago Bears||NFC Wild Card||Minnesota Vikings|
|NFC Wild Card||Seattle Seahawks||NFC Wild Card||Seattle Seahawks|
|Vince’s Pick||Steve’s Pick|
|Most Valuable Player||Patrick Mahomes||Patrick Mahomes|
|Offensive Player of the Year||Baker Mayfield||Drew Brees|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Aaron Donald||Khalil Mack|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||Kyler Murray||Kyler Murray|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||Devin Bush||Ed Oliver|
|Comeback Player of the Year||Le’veon Bell||Le’veon Bell|
|Coach of the Year||Freddie Kitchens||Freddie Kitchens|