This will be my 2017 NFL team prediction version of my Thoughts. Later this week a few of our other writers will give their NFL predictions as well.
1) I’ll start my predictions in the NFC North, and I hate to do it again, but this is still the Green Bay Packers’ division. As long as they have Aaron Rodgers slinging it, I’ll be picking them to win the North. Their defense may be slipping, but their O is going to be damn good.
I hate to say it, but the Chicago Bears are still a year away from being in the playoff mix. They’ll be better this season, laying the foundation to climb out of the cellar, but the rebuild will continue.
2) I have the Carolina Panthers taking the NFC South behind a bounce back year from Cam Newton.
The Atlanta Falcons will avoid the Super Bowl hangover and grab the second NFC Wildcard spot.
4) The NFC West still belongs to the Seattle Seahawks, and the Legion Of Boom will be bringing the pain all year long. The trade to bring in Sheldon Richardson will give their defensive line a big boost, and their offense will again be efficiently led by quarterback Russell Wilson.
5) In the AFC North, I think the Pittsburgh Steelers repeat because their offense is just too powerful. My only concern is if running back Le'Veon Bell, who just ended his holdout on September 1, isn’t ready to play and like many other holdouts, suffers a soft tissue injury of some sort.
6) I have the Tennessee Titans taking the AFC South, behind a powerful running game and another big season from quarterback Marcus Mariota, who has his best group of receivers ever.
7) Is anyone going to slow down the New England Patriots in the AFC East? Tom Brady has speedsters Brandin Cooks and Phillip Dorsett going deep, with Rob Gronkowski working the middle of the field.
I have a Wildcard coming out of the AFC East, with the Miami Dolphins doing it again, but this time behind Jay Cutler.
9) I think the Giants will come out of the NFC, beating the Packers in the championship game, with the Patriots winning the AFC title again, this time by knocking off the Titans.
I think most of the country is sick of an all east coast championship in sports, but they’ll be even sicker when they see my pick for the winner of Super Bowl LII.
10) The Patriots won it all last year, then went out and had an outstanding off season. They’ll be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for a record tying sixth time. Even with Julian Edelman going on IR, that offense has too many weapons and the best quarterback to spread the ball around, and that quarterback will be Super Bowl MVP for a fifth time.
Stay tuned later in the week when my individual award predictions will go up with the rest of the WCG staffers.