2018 NFL Outlook
Welcome to the Patriot invitational. Another year has come with the typical merry-go-round flurry of activities. The typical big names sent to human resources to receive their severance package, the future bartender who found that lucky rabbits foot and now has a roster spot as the backup nickel corner. And of course there is the jaw breaking, wallet busting contract that raises the bar so high that Steve Fosbury would be scratching his head. And now we are off to begin the 2018-19 football season.
Conventional wisdom and chalk says the final party of the season will have friends, coworkers and the “hot neighbor” coming over to watch over priced commercials interrupted by the Patriots and Eagles. The Official Word Sports will try its best at predicting the so-called unpredictable.
AFC East: Patriots (12-4)
The other three teams continue in their yearly battle for second place. The Jets will be the leader of the pack. Sam Darnold will have some struggles, but compared to Ryan Tannehill and Nathan Peterman, even though he is a rookie signal caller, he is most equipped to lead his team.
AFC North: Browns (10-6)
The Hard Knocks gang breaks the curse and surprises everyone. Arguably the toughest division in the league Tyrod Taylor has something to prove and has weapons on the outside like never before, with the addition of Jarvis Landry and the return of Josh Gordon. The Defense will unleash Myles Garret under the tutelage of Greg Williams. Pittsburgh’s reign is on the decline and with Le’Veon Bell’s holdout and the failure to replace Ryan Shazier. the Steeler’s can only hope that Big Ben can take them back to the playoffs. Flacco and Dalton will get their typical seven wins.
AFC South: Texans (11-5)
A healthy Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt will make the Texans kings of the south. The Jaguars were the default winners due to significant injuries to every other team in the division. The off-season was not kind to the team from DUVAL County considering they lost the duo of Alan’s – Robinson & Huard. Plus they doubled down on Blake Bortles. For the Colts and Titans is all about that quarterback – Is Andrew Luck healthy enough and when will Marcus Mariota take the next step as the second pick overall.
AFC West: Chiefs (10-6)
It is Pat Mahomes time. The kid with the golden arm is set to take aim and let it fly. Mahomes may be Andy Reid’s best quarterback he has coached in his career. Plus it’s not just the quarterback, the Chiefs have playmakers at all of the skilled positions. John Gruden’s ego will be the downfall of the once emerging Oakland Raiders. Anyone who would not talk to the former Defensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and the best player on your team speaks volumes to the maniacal egotist known as CHUCKY. Anthony Lynn will keep the Chargers competitive while John Elway continues to prove that not every Hall of Famer has an eye for talent.
NFC East: Eagles (11-5)
Philadelphia is the class of the NFC East and there will not be a hangover in the city of brotherly love. The addition of Mike Wallace gives Wentz/Foles another weapon to an already high-powered offense. The Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot will play a full season; however, the key losses of Jason Whitten and Dez Bryant equate to production that cannot be found on the current roster.
NFC North: Vikings (13-3)
The Minnesota Vikings are healthy and now they have their quarterback. Kirk Cousin’s no longer playing under the franchise tag and Dalvin Cook is healthy. With an already top defense, this offense could put up numbers like the 1998 team who averaged 35 ppg. Aaron Rodgers may have his money but his team is imploding around him. The Monster’s of the Midway on the other hand will push the Vikings every step of the way. It will be all about Khalil Mack!
NFC South: Saints (10-6)
It resembles a revolving door for the division winner in the south. Next team up should be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but not this year. The New Orleans Saints will break tradition and repeat. For any other team a suspension would affect a team. Mark Ingram’s four game suspension will only allow 2017 Rookie of the Year winner Alvin Kamara to put up video game numbers. Matt Ryan’s Dirty Birds will continue to struggle from the 28-3 choke job in the super bowl. On paper, the Bucs have one of the most talented rosters in the league, but two things will plague them, Jameis Winston’s three game suspension for a league violation, and coaching. Until Dirk Koetter is relieved of his duties, the team from the bay will always think of what could have been.
NFC West: Rams (11-5)
The Los Angeles Rams have all of the ingredients for a great season – coaching, offense and defense. Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald are forces every team will need to prepare for. The remaining teams in the west will be a hodgepodge of mediocrity. The Seahawks are officially rebuilding, the Cardinals will experience life without Carson Palmer and then the 49ers. San Francisco is the most over-rated team in the league. Sure, Jimmy Garoppolo looked like the second coming of Joe Montana after his trade from New England, but this is a new team with little talent across the skill positions. Kyle Shanahan will need to earn his money with this team.