2016 NFL Season Prediction: This is my record predictions for every NFL team right before the year gets going with a small analysis behind it.
1.Cincinnati Bengals (12-4): The Bengals defense will struggle early but find their footing once the beast Burfict is back and if Dalton and Eifert can stay healthy this offense will explode with AJ Green finally having his QB. Maybe Marvin Lewis can win a playoff game this year?
2.Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5): The Steelers will miss Le’Veon Bell but that won’t slow them down with DeAngelo Williams running the rock. I think their defense is their only question mark and the loss of Bud Dupree doesn’t help much to start the year. I think their offense is terrifying but you need defense in the NFL. Still a playoff level team.
3.Baltimore Ravens (8-8): The Ravens need a secondary as bad as Skip Bayless needs to actually learn sports instead of just rambling facts. Joe needs to stay healthy and so does Steve Smith if this offense wants to fire on all cylinders.
4.Cleveland Browns (7-9): I love Hue Jackson but he took over a team still not rebuilding the right way due to the worst front office in the NFL. Keep a coach for more than two year to give your team time to rebuild under a steady direction. Corey Coleman is a beast and Josh Gordon is back soon and I actually believe he has his head back. RGIII will be the story otherwise Kessler deserves the shot at the helm of this team. This team will be the interesting one to watch this year.
1.Green Bay Packers (12-4): My original pick would have been 13-3 but I am taking a win away for the loss of Josh Sitton. That move was dumb and made no sense whatsoever. They just lost one of the best interior middle lineman in the league and Rodgers needs protection. Either way Jordy Nelson is back and that is not just good news for Rodgers it is also good news for Randall Cobb because without the primary focus he could shine again. Lacy shredded the weight and he is a monster finally. I think they have a sneaky add late in preseason with Jhurell Pressley who could return kicks instead of Ty Montgomery and could beat out Starks as the change of pace back behind Lacy. Green Bay is NFC Championship bound this year.
2.Minnesota Vikings (9-7): Ground and pound will be the name of the game in Minnesota especially with Bradford at QB or Shaun Hill it doesn’t matter. AP will carry the team on his back along with Harrison Smith carrying the defense on his shoulders. This team has the potential with Stefon Diggs and LaQuan Treadwell out wide they have some legit options going forward in their passing game.
3.Detroit Lions (6-10): No Calvin Johnson and a lack of a run game this team’s offense is in for a world of hurt. Their defense is nothing special either it is clearly led by Ansah and DeAndre Levy at this point. This could be a nightmare season for the Detroit fans.
4.Chicago Bears (5-11): Jay Cutler will be pissed off all season long as they have a weak defense and a questionable run game. Their O-line just got better with Sitton signed but that might not be everything they need. Alshon and Kevin White need to stay healthy and losing Bennett at TE is an issue itself. Sorry Chicago your cubbies are all you have to hope for this year until the Blackhawks get on the ice.
1.Dallas Cowboys (9-7): I mean I have no idea this division is the definition of a mess. I think Dak is a beast! Zeke is a freak! Dez is Dez and Jason Witten is still a top 5 tight end in the NFL. This team just needs defense to really hold up in the NFC and I think it is slowly getting there. I just have no idea what to make of this team.
2.New York Giants (8-8): New coach at the helm for the first time in forever and Eli needs to return to classic Eli. The defense is getting better year by year at this point and the addition of Janoris Jenkins makes this defense have a true show stopping playmaker. The run game is what worries the most with this team and we will have to see what happens with it.
3.Philadelphia Eagles (7-9): First year with Carson Wentz will be a learning process but if he really shines they could get into the lead of this division. I just never trust the borderline QB’s to make a significant difference their rookie season because there is a major learning curve in the NFL, especially with a QB coming from North Dakota State. The level of corners he sees there aren’t equal to the ones he will see in the NFL and I think overtime we will see why I had him as my 2nd best QB in this draft behind Paxton.
4.Washington Redskins (6-10): I do not trust this defense at all and Kirk Cousins needs a more reliable run game and offensive line in front of him. The one plus for the Skins is that their wide receivers are incredibly talented and deep on the depth chart especially when you throw in Jordan Reed. The Skins have a long way to go to make a playoff push and they still need even more work sadly.
1.Carolina Panthers (10-6): They might be the defending NFC Champs but they have no secondary. Their offense is more lethal but I think they lost a huge element to their team with the loss of their secondary. If anything happens to their front 7 they could be in for a real hurt and with QB’s like Winston, Ryan, and Brees they need to be able to stop the pass 6 games a year alone.
2.Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7): This team is on the rise and their defense is starting to show signs of life. Winston and Mike Evans are continuing to develop together and Doug Martin proved to us all what he can do with a good QB taking the focus off the run game. I am really interested to see where the Buccaneers go this year and how much Winston improved in the offseason. Roberto Aguayo will win them a game this year with his incredibly reliable leg.
3.New Orleans Saints (8-8): The Saints pass game and running game is solid. Their defense is a huge hole on this team but I think it will continue to improve and keep this team around .500 this year and that should be an accomplishment with this defense in this league. Brandin Cooks will have to learn what it means to be the true number one WR this year and we could see a temporary adjustment period just keep an eye out for that as a fantasy owner.
4.Atlanta Falcons (7-9): The defense is young in Atlanta and still developing. They have a good o-line and a great run game. They still have Matty-Ice and Julio but they didn’t do much as far as getting a second WR. I need to see more out of Sanu to believe he can be a true number 2. The big thing for the Falcons this year is their pass game and if it can gain more ground that last year. I love Dan Quinn and want the Falcons to improve because he is one of my favorite coaches in the NFL.
Sports give us as the human race something to cheer for and support and give hope to all of us.