A Change of Pace

Did your NFL team suck last year? Are you hopeless in thinking your team is destined to fail again? Well, there’s finally hope for you. There are a few solid teams in the NFL that will have bounce-back years this season.

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First on the docket is the Miami Dolphins. How many years have we been waiting for the Dolphins to put out a good record? Last year at 6 – 10, Miami struggled through a couple head coaches with a talented crew that was missing just a few pieces and in turn could never quite get it together. This year, the Dolphins have a new coach in Adam Gase who will literally give this team a 180-degree change in the right direction. Although he hasn’t been a head coach, Gase has made an all star out of Joe Flacco and turned Jay Cutler into a competent quarterback (truly and impossible feat). Tannehill has the tools; all he needs is the right direction that Gase can provide. With that being said, there’s a solid offensive core in Landry, Parker, Cameron, and Stills that can help get the job done. On defense some new additions Kiko Alonso, Byron Maxwell, and Mario Williams can help Suh and company look better than last year’s ultra-shabby defensive efforts. Expect this squad to give the Pats a run of the money in the AFC East (especially with Brady now out for 4 games). My prediction: Miami finishes the season going 10 – 6.

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Another squad that should have a bounce-back year is the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens broke tradition by not firing a Harbaugh after a bad season, and instead they retooled through the draft and will once again be a powerhouse in the AFC North. An all-injured squad brought the Ravens to a sad 5 – 11, giving them a high draft pick to work with. Adding veteran leadership such as Eric Weddle, Ben Watson, and Mike Wallace will help the Ravens as well. I have the Ravens penned in at 10 – 6, but it’s hard to tell because of the Steelers and Bengals highly competitive teams in the division.

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Lastly, look for the Jacksonville Jaguars to have a turnaround season from the last few seasons. Head Coach Gus Bradley is on year 4 of his 5-year rebuilding plan, and it’s hard not to get immensely hyped over the additions this team has made this offseason. Through the draft, marquee players Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack will be instant starters (if they remain healthy). Through free agency, players like Tashaun Gipson, Chris Ivory, Malik Jackson, Kelvin Beachum and Mackenzy Bernadeau will be starters as well. In a matter of months, this team turned from a laugh into a serious threat for the AFC South, and I expect a solid turnaround to a 9-7 season for the Jags.

Plenty of other teams will have better seasons, such as the Eagles, Raiders, and Bears, but these 3 will have the largest win-difference margins in the league (from my professional prediction).

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