This is my first of many articles that show my predictions for the upcoming NFL season. I broke everything down by divisions and went through everyone’s schedule to have a complete prediction of every game this upcoming season. Was this a little time consuming? Absolutely. Was it just as fun as a Slip n’ Slide? You bet. Is it accurate? I like to think so, I’m the football guru around here after all.
I did not account for unpredictable injuries (maybe they are predictable sometimes, but that’s not the point), and of course the random upset is still bound to happen so I doubt my predictions will be down to a “T”. Still, I think I have a pretty accurate thing going on here.
Without more delay, here’s how the NFC South will go down this year.
Tied for last place is the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons with a piss-poor record of 4 – 12.
For the Saints, this record is very attainable. They lack a lot of things these days, a defense (in every aspect), a solid offensive line, and they also lack stud pass catchers (maybe aside from Brandon Cooks). So what do they have? Drew Brees at Quarterback. Brees can’t carry them on his back forever, he’s an old dude nowadays and his back may just collapse at any given moment. Still, I’d watch for Brandon Ingram and the rest of the running back crew to give them a solid year running the ball.
With them at the bottom of the barrel is the Falcons. I doubt the Falcons record will be as poor as 4 – 12, but I just couldn’t see them winning a lot of their matchups. Look for a few upsets to come their way, but there’s still a very small chance they have over a 500% winning percentage. This is a team with a very young and raw defense, but they have a defensive minded coach who could eventually mold the D into something fun to watch. The issue I have with them is Kyle Shanahan as the offensive coordinator. He’s pretty simple and easy to pick apart as a offensive strategist (check out his past coaching seasons). Obviously, there’s some explosive pieces moving around like Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman, but is it enough to translate into wins?
Second in the division we have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, sitting at an even 8-8. They could easily surprise people and surpass this record, as they’re a team on the rise. With Jameis Winston at the helm and an all around young and talented team, this is a team on the rise in the next few years. I have the Bucs getting a few upsets this season, particularly Week 2 with the Arizona Cardinals and Week 12 against the Seattle Seahawks. Why? Because even though this is a young team, this a team with hustle and tenacity. I think Jameis is the next star QB in the NFL, and I think he already showed us that last year. Expect things to get better for him.
In first place, the Carolina Panthers take the division for a third straight year with a record of 13 – 3. Hold on folks, what about the fact that they lack anyone with starting cornerback experience? Doesn’t matter. Yet again, they have an insanely easy schedule, with only 6 games against playoff teams from last year, only 3 of those teams I’d consider Super Bowl contenders (Broncos, Seahawks, Cardinals). The rest is a cakewalk. Once again, I’m certain, we will see Cam be Superman and the Panthers’ defense crack some skulls. It won’t be until they get a true and worthy division opponent that their fortune might change. But until that happens, it’s their division to loose.
Next week I’ll show you how the NFC West will shape up. Stay tuned.