NFL Season Outlook

By Brett Malamud

Football Fans, the waiting is finally over. Today marks the the start of the NFL season. For many teams comes a fresh start, a clean slate. For others, comes a window of opportunity. As is tradition, the opening day of any of the big four sports leagues means that it is time for me to unveil my season outlook. Here’s my division and playoff picks for this year.

AFC

AFC East

Team Record
New England Patriots  12-4*
New York Jets  9-7*
Miami Dolphins  8-8
Buffalo Bills  6-10

NE- They’ve got Tom Brady and he still knows how to win. Not the coach (who I still believe would have been fired long ago had he spent more than one day as head coach of the Jets back in 1999), but Tom Brady. No further comment.

NYJ- While I am a known lifelong Jets fan, this is not an example of me being bias. The addition of Eric Decker should prove to be a huge step for a team that had no WR’s last year. Chris Johnson should really help in the backfield and will take pressure off QB Geno Smith. I may be crazy but I believe that the Jets will start the season at 1-7 before driving to win the final eight games to take themselves back to the playoffs, but ultimately fall during Wild Card weekend.

MIA- They’ll struggle at times on offense due to a weak offensive line.

BUF- Sammy Watkins could be a great addition but it doesn’t mean anything if he doesn’t have a strong QB.

AFC North

Team Record
Cincinnati Bengals  10-6*
Baltimore Ravens  8-8
Pittsburgh Steelers  8-8
Cleveland Browns  5-11

CIN- Andy Dalton and AJ Green will carry the team into the playoffs.

BAL- I feel like the Ravens will get into a groove in the final four weeks of the season, but will fall just short of the playoffs.

PIT- No major improvement from last year.

CLE- Predicting Week 5 for when Johnny Manziel sees the QB position fall into his lap. Still, they’ll miss Josh Gordon. Look for Jordan Cameron to have a great year though

AFC South

Team Record
Indianapolis Colts  11-5*
Tennessee Titans  7-9
Jacksonville Jaguars  5-11
Houston Texans  4-12

IND- Andrew Luck will lead one of the top offenses in the league on a journey that could go deep into the playoffs.

TEN- Jake Locker will be good, but not good enough.

JAX- Won’t be much better than last season.

HOU- Still have a lot of work to do on offense. Will have a fun defense to watch though.

AFC West

Team Record
Denver Broncos  12-4*
San Diego Chargers  9-7*
Kansas City Chiefs  8-8
Oakland Raiders  4-12

DEN- The absence of Wes Welker looks like it could lead to the downfall of the Broncos but Peyton always finds a way.

SD- I think that Philip Rivers will be a top 4 NFL passer.

KC- A tougher schedule than last year means that the win total will go down. Unfortunately, they play the 49ers, Patriots, and Seahawks, in addition to their normal divisional schedule that includes the Broncos and Chargers for two games each. Still like the talent on this team and think that Jamaal Charles will have a big year.

OAK- Rough schedule for a weak team.

NFC

NFC East

Team Record
Philadelphia Eagles  11-5*
Washington Redskins  9-7*
Dallas Cowboys  8-8
New York Giants  6-10

PHI- I really like the Eagles this year. Adding Sproles could make for some good dual RB packages with a lot of screens.

WAS- Another intriguing team. Reed, Garçon and Jackson can’t all be tightly covered, can they?

DAL- Distractions will lead to another season of an upset Jerry Jones and missing the playoffs.

NYG- A lot of people are overrating them, more specifically the New York media. They’re not going anywhere except for the basement of the NFC East. (*Eli-Face*)

NFC North

Team Record
Green Bay Packers  11-5*
Chicago Bears  8-8
Detroit Lions  6-10
Minnesota Vikings  5-11

GB- Aaron Rogers MUST stay healthy for this team to compete but I believe that he will.

CHI- Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall highlight a veteran team in a “win-now” mode. Will be tough to get to the playoffs unless the Packers stumble through the final stretch of the regular season.

DET- I think that their RB’s won’t be as strong as last year, and with a tough schedule down the stretch, the team will suffer.

MIN- They’re not ready to compete with the big boys of the NFL yet, but they’ll get there fairly soon.

NFC South

Team Record
New Orleans Saints  12-4*
Carolina Panthers  8-8
Atlanta Falcons  8-8
Tampa Bay Buccaneers  6-10

NO- The clear favorite. Another Championship could be on it’s way to NOLA.

CAR- Steve Smith will be missed but we’ll see if Kelvin Benjamin can fill that role

ATL- I believe they’ll scratch their way to .500

TB- I don’t see the offense in them that other people see. Their QB isn’t really that good and they don’t have a lot of options other than Doug Martin, who’s coming off a major injury, and Vincent Jackson, who will probably be doubled. Also the loss of Revis should prove to hurt them.

NFC West

Team Record
Seattle Seahawks  13-3*
San Francisco 49ers  11-5*
Arizona Cardinals  8-8
St. Louis Rams  3-13

SEA- Nobody will be stopping them. Clear Super Bowl favorite coming in to this season

SF- A major Super Bowl contender. Think they’ll get taken down though by the Saints in the Superdome in the Divisional round.

ARI- Their defense will carry them to a .500 record.

STL- You can’t win without your QB. A hurt Bradford leaves the Rams with nowhere to hide.

*Denotes that the team will clinch a playoff spot

AFC Championship

I’m going to take the Colts over the Broncos

I’m being a bit risky here with my pick, but hey, it’s not like a team hasn’t made a run in the playoffs (like this guy)

NFC Championship

Saints over Seahawks in an upset

I really do like this Saints team and think that they’ve got what it takes to take down the top dog in the NFL.

SUPER BOWL XLIX

Saints over Colts

I believe that Drew Brees will deliver the title after leading his team through the 49ers and Seahawks. I also think that he’ll winning the Super Bowl MVP in addition to the NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

Can Drew Brees bring another title to NOLA?

Can Drew Brees bring another title to NOLA? (Via AP)

I hope that everyone enjoys this NFL season. Stay tuned in to Dabuzzza this season as we bring you weekly analysis and fantasy football picks.


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

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