NFL Season Long Predictions

Chargers Keenan Allen

My NFL Season Long Predictions are here just in time before we all jump into our season long leagues, weekly DFS dreams, and become way too preoccupied with our home town teams while avoiding our families. I took some time to write about predictions for each division winner, my Super Bowl pick, and other interesting nuggets I’ll be keeping an eye on during this NFL Season. Without further ado, we start in the NFC…

Division Winners

NFC East: Eagles -190

It’s not fun, but the defending Super Bowl champ’s roster remains loaded on paper, and is far superior to everybody else’s in their division. Between Dallas losing All-Pro center Travis Frederick indefinitely to something called guillain-barre syndrome, and Washington trotting out AP to start at running back like it’s 2013 after the devastating Derrius Guice preseason injury, there are already major concerns for the season long outlook for both these franchises just to begin 2018.

As I stated on the world famous AOP podcast earlier this week, I love what the Giants are attempting to do, bringing in ex-Pat Nate Solder to solidify left tackle, allowing Ereck Flowers to move over to the right side where the only direction for his play to go is up. If. And, I mean IF this move pans out, and they hit on their second round selection in Will Hernandez, this revamped offensive line with Saquon Barkley in the backfield could make this offense overpowering and explosive to the point they won’t need much out of a defense that projects to be better, but fairly shitty once again.

The problem is the more I write “if”, “and”, “but”, and “could”, I am less confident in all this working so swell in NYC this season. Besides, with the way Flowers spells his first name, I can’t in good conscience, pick them over Philly no matter how much upside their offense has.

NFC North: Vikings +110

Speaking of poor parenting decisions, we arrive in the division where I was conceived, relegating me to pro football hell taking in over three decades of Lions football in pure Michigan. One thing that’s helped subside the Lions nonsense over the years has been Michigan St. football the last decade, which brings me to one of my many MSU heroes–Captain Kirk Cousins. Along with adding Sheldon Richardson to an already elite defense, Minnesota went all in on Cousins ponying up a guaranteed $84 million over the next three years. Time will tell if this was the right move, but the signs are there that Cousins is the right guy to put a ready made Super Bowl team over the top.

For the past two seasons, he has already proven to be a reliable top 10ish option at QB in Washington without much going on around him. He’s done this with one of the most dysfunctional organizations in sports that openly showed no support for him while playing on one year deals. As I mentioned on twitter, as much as any stat, a guy’s attitude matters and should be part of any good fantasy/gambling analysis. When you have an instinct about a player’s ability/character from what you read about them, the interviews they give, or the individual journey they’ve experienced to get to where they are–trust it! Or, maybe you’re just a bias MSU slappy. Either way, it’s put up or shut up time for Cousins and the Vikings in a Super Bowl or bust year. I think they comfortably win the North.

Side note: I really liked the Bears this year even before the Mack trade. If I had any balls at all I’d pick them, but I’m saving those for my DFS and ATS picks coming out later today 😉

NFC South: Falcons +150

There will be no comfortable anything in winning what is probably the toughest division in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE with three legit Super Bowl contenders. Picking Atlanta has nothing to do with pairing Julio with fellow Alabama stud Calvin Ridley. Nope, it’s when they don’t have the ball that has me salivating over this team’s upside this season.

In his third season as head coach following a Super Bowl appearance, Dan Quinn and staff took what was a liability finishing ranked 17th against the run, and bottom five against the pass in 2016, to a borderline top 10 unit last season lead by a breakout year from All-Pro linebacker Deion Jones. It’s no coincidence, with the exception of Ridley, that Atlanta has used countless high draft picks including three first rounders on the defense since the former Legion of Boom architect took over in 2015. It isn’t just making the investment with high picks though. It’s been their ability to procure and develop these guys that has me convinced that there is a culture, and pride on that side of ball that Quinn brought over from Seattle. Take a look at what these top picks have been able to do in just their second season:

Player Year Rd Accolade
Vic Beasley 2015 1 2016 1st Tm All-Pro
Keanu Neal 2016 1 2017 Pro Bowl
Deion Jones 2016 2 2017 2nd Tm All-Pro

Which brings me to last season’s first rounder–remember this name my friends–Takkarist (Tak) McKinley. In limited time, mostly on passing downs, playing some DE and OLB he recorded six sacks which tied him for third among all rookies, and just one behind top pick Myles Garrett. This season, the former UCLA Bruin is slated for full-time duties on the opposite end from a fully healthy Beasley. Assuming the year two breakout trend continues, McKinley and Beasley have potential to be NFC’s dynamic DE duo version of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram in the AFC that everyone (including myself) will not stop gushing over this entire off-season.

It’s like Jerry said at the car rental place, it’s not taking, but HOLDING the reservation that makes the whole transaction work…

Dan Quinn and company aren’t just taking talent; they’re developing it. Trust a person who has watched the same team have high picks in consecutive years for decades that end up in prison, an insane asylum, or selling insurance before their rookie contract is expired–DEVELOPING is what makes this whole “having high draft picks” thing work.

NFC West: Rams -175

However, if you don’t hit on your picks, or don’t feel like waiting to have a talent rich roster, just say fuck it and go full Playstation on it like Sean McVay in year two. Outside of a team plane crash, this is happening. Anyone who isn’t picking them here is just trying to be a cheeky hot take douche bag. Now, I may be a douche bag, but it’s not because of my cheeky hot NFL takes. RAM IT!

NFC Wildcards

Bears +300 (odds to make playoffs)

Saints -170 (odds to make playoffs)

Before we get to the AFC, we need to settle a few props…

More Awkward

Joe Tessitore and Jason Witten transitioning back to football after a live promo read of A Million Little Things: +110

Jim Nantz and Tony Romo transitioning back to football after a live promo read of Murphy Brown: -135

Wowzers! This is harder than any call I can think of in 2018! However, my expert analytics has me leaning toward Nantz/Romo, and here’s why:

  1. Jim probably remembers Murphy Brown, and possibly can make references to it, or what was going on at the network during that era while Romo has never heard of it and we’ll just respond with blank stares, and very vague wording like “oh, that’s interesting/funny Jim… anyway, the Jags are in a tough spot here…”
  2. Or, even better, the opposite happens and little do we know Romo turns out to be a huge fan of the original while Nantz mistakenly asks his producer over a hot mike during break, “who the fuck is this idiot.. the former Dallas Cowboys QB, or my sister in-law?…”
  3. There is already a set level of awkwardness between these two where we have no reference point how potentially stiff the Tessitore/Witten combo could/will be making Nantz/Romo the safe bet.

First To Be Canceled

A Million Little Things: -150

Murphy Brown: +125

Pretty sure I have this one dialed in. It’s all about identifying which one is dumber and going with that one to survive longer. I don’t watch any of these network shows, and are only aware they exist from the awful promos during live sports, but I know who does watch them–dumb people. That established, it comes down to which is the stupidest of the stupid–the blatantly reprehensible This Is Us knock off starring Peter Gibbons, or a reboot of a sitcom that I knew wasn’t funny at the age of 10 whose best moment was having a cameo in a Seinfeld episode.

I know the huge cable networks and movie studios have been out of ideas for decades, but bringing back Murphy Brown has to get the edge in dumbness here. That, and I’m guessing the very diverse group of baby boomers that CBS is targeting with it’s 9:30-10:00 Thursday night time slot has been rigorously tested, and will remain loyal to whatever all white television program is on no matter how bad the jokes are.

Seya Peter Gibbons! We need you to make a follow-up to Office Space anyways.

It’s time. On to the AFC!

AFC East: Patriots -1000

Yup. Moving on…

AFC North: Baltimore +230

At this point, I feel like I have to pick one non-favorite. I don’t like what’s going on with Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh. The Red Rifle cannot be trusted. Hugh Jackson isn’t an option. Fine. I’ll talk myself into Joe Flacco with a shiny new receiving core, last season’s 11th ranked running game that returns all starters on the offensive line, and a top 10-12ish defense from last season that returns all starters including numerous fast large scary men at linebacker.

AFC South: Jaguars +140

No need to talk myself into these odds. As much as I want to drink Deshaun Watson‘s sweat, the Texans having the second best odds at +150, and being that close to a team that should’ve been in the Super Bowl last season is getting a bit out of control. Not to mention, way ahead of the Titans who won a fucking playoff game!

Anyway, the Jags have at least the next two years with this core before things start getting tricky financially. They’re not going anywhere.

AFC West: Chargers +100

As previously mentioned, I’m all in on them along with the rest of the world. At least I can take comfort in the fact that if I look stupid in a month, so does everyone else!

AFC Wildcards

Titans +145

Chiefs +100

AFC Title Game

Jaguars over Chargers

NFC Title Game

Falcons over Rams

Super Bowl

Falcons over Jaguars

Good luck this season! Follow me on twitter @realBobbyAdcock to see all my awful predictions.

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