Hello,everyone,and welcome to my NFL Season Preview,where we will look at all 32 teams and make predictions for how each team will do,and that includes the playoffs and a pick for who will win Super Bowl LV. Let’s start with the AFC!
Kansas City (13-3)
The Chiefs are looking to repeat as champions as they defend their first title in 51 years. Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes looks to continue his dominance as he powers a high-octane offense with Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill,Sammy Watkins and newcomer Tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The defense looks to continue to play well with stalwarts Frank Clark and Chris Jones on the defensive line and Tyrann Mathieu, Charvarious Ward,and Bashaud Breeland in the secondary. I expect Kansas City to be just as good as they were last year and to have many challenges that coach Andy Reid will gladly accept.
Towards the end of last season the Broncos gave fans plenty of optimism that the future looks bright as they won four of their final games to finish 7-9. Drew Lock went 4-1 in that stretch as the starter and now the sophomore signal caller will look to guide an offense with Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay in the backfield along with Courtland Sutton,Noah Fant and rookie Jerry Jeudy as Lock’s primary targets in the receiving core. Von Miller anchors the Denver defense along with Bradley Chubb in the linebacking core. A.J. Bouye headlines the secondary. I think these guys are going to push for a playoff berth this year, it wouldn’t surprise me considering how well they played at the end of last season, they will be picking up where they left off.
Las Vegas (7-9)
It’s the first year of the Raiders playing in the Silver State and they hope to make a splash. They did almost make a playoff push last season,but it was not to be. My main question is this: Will Derek Carr be able to stay as the starting signal-caller or is Marcus Mariota waiting in the wings to take over at the first sign of trouble? For the time being,he’s tasked to lead the offense with outstanding tailback Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller (who I think is great for this team), and receivers Nelson Agholor, Hunter Renfroe,and rookie Henry Ruggs III. For some reason, Jason Witten is also on this team. Clelin Ferrell hopes to produce better in his second season and the secondary is pretty stout with Johnathan Abram,Jeff Heath,and Erik Harris. Overall I think Las Vegas is going to miss the postseason mainly because there are many better teams ahead of them,but if they can steal a few wins away from teams that should beat them,then they’re in the playoff conversation.
L.A. Chargers (6-10)
The Justin Herbert era in Los Angeles is arriving at some point,he just has to sit behind Tyrod Taylor before he gets his chance to be the team’s signal caller of the future. Taylor will lead an offense that has Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson in the backfield and receivers Keenan Allen,Mike Williams,and tight end Hunter Henry. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram anchor the defensive line while Casey Hayward,Desmond King,and Chris Harris,Jr. Headline the secondary. Derwin James is out for six to eight months to repair a torn Achilles. I think the Chargers are going to have a down season only because they lost a great deal of talent in the offseason and on offense they aren’t as good as years past.
The Ravens are hoping to make a run at the Super Bowl and they’ll do it with the reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson under center. He’ll have Mark Ingram II, Justice Hill,and J.K. Dobbins in the backfield and Marquise Brown,Willie Snead,and Mark Andrews to throw to. On defense, the team added Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe from Jacksonville and Denver,respectively. They drafted Patrick Queen in the first round this year to bolster the roster of linebackers. Baltimore boasts an outstanding group in the secondary with Marcus Peters,Marlon Humphrey, and Jimmy Smith. Justin Tucker remains one of the league’s best kickers. I think the Ravens will be better than they were last year and Jackson could be more dynamic than his MVP year in 2019. It’s up to him how far they go.
Many are wondering when this Browns team is going to be playoff bound and I thought it was going to be last year, but it was not to be. Is it this year? Yeah,sure why not? I think they have a decent offense with Baker Mayfield as well as Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the backfield. Odell Beckham Jr. hopes to improve on a dismal 2019 and Jarvis Landry remains a reliable target. Austin Hooper was brought over from Atlanta to be their new tight end. Jack Conklin was brought in to improve the offensive line. The defensive line features standouts such as Olivier Vernon,Sheldon Richardson,and Myles Garrett,who returns from his suspension from last year. The secondary is headlined by Denzel Ward,Greedy Williams,and Karl Joseph who comes over from the Raiders. Some people may think I am nuts for having the Browns in the playoffs,but they have to break this drought sometime. I think it’s going to happen this year. It’s 2020, anything can happen!
If we were in the current playoff format last season,the Steelers would’ve been in. This year,they’ll try to do just that. Ben Roethlisberger returns for his 17th NFL season and returns from injury. Big Ben has James Conner in the backfield and receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and rookie Chase Claypool. Vance McDonald and Eric Ebron give Pittsburgh a one-two punch at tight end. The defense looks stellar as always with Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt holding the defensive line down, great linebackers T.J. Watt,Bud Dupree,and Devin Bush Jr. and a sharpo secondary with Joe Haden and Minkah Fitzpatrick. I think they will be in contention for the playoffs but will fall just short of it, however, I could be wrong since they’ve been so close the last two years.
The Bengals are hoping the Joe Burrow era will usher in some excitement and have something good brewing for the future. The rookie quarterback has very decent weapons on offense like Joe Mixon in the backfield, receivers A.J. Green (inactive all of 2019), Tyler Boyd, John Ross and rookie Tee Higgins. Defensively, Cincinnati has standouts Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap on the defensive line and Trae Waynes in the secondary. I think the team will be much better and could be in many close games, but will fall short on a few wins this year. In a year or so they might be better than anyone expects, we shall see.
Last season the Texans lost in the second round against the eventual Super Bowl Champions, this year they hope to get even further. Deshaun Watson will lead his offense with two Johnsons in the backfield, David and Duke Jr., with the former coming over in the DeAndre Hopkins trade to Arizona. Receivers Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb, Kenny Stills,and Will Fuller V will look to fill the void left by Hopkins. Rookie Ross Blacklock joins a defensive line starred by J.J. Watt,the linebacking core is led by Whitney Mercilus,and the secondary with standouts like Gareon Conley,Bradley Roby, and Vernon Hargreaves III. I think Houston is going to win the division again,but they face some stiff competition with the Titans to try and win it again. I think they will,though.
The Titans came within a game of reaching the Super Bowl but this year they hope to duplicate their postseason magic and go further. Ryan Tannehill leads the charge for the Tennessee offense. Derrick Henry powers an outstanding backfield and shows why he’s one of the league’s best tailbacks. Wideouts A.J. Brown,Corey Davis,and Adam Humphries will be Tannehill’s prime targets to throw to. Defensively, Harold Landry and Jadaveon Clowney (signed on Saturday) star in the linebacking core,while Vic Beasley hopes to resurrect his career that’s been on a downturn. The secondary is littered with great talent with Malcolm Butler,Adoree’ Jackson, Jonathan Joseph,and rookie Kristian Fulton. While it wouldn’t surprise me if the Titans reproduced their 2019 magic, it’s going to be tough,but I do think they’ll be a playoff team.
The Colts have brought in 38-year-old Philip Rivers to head their offense and get them back to the postseason. He will lead an offense that features Marlon Mack and rookie Jonathan Taylor in the backfield as well as the venerable T.Y. Hilton,who looks to bounce back after an injury-plagued 2019 season and Parris Campbell as primary targets for Rivers. Jack Doyle is now the feature tight end as Eric Ebron fled to Pittsburgh in the offseason. DeForest Buckner is a new addition to the Indianapolis defensive line, joining Justin Houston and Denico Autry. Darius Leonard looks to continue his dominant play at outside linebacker. Xavier Rhodes is a new face in this place in the secondary along with Malik Hooker and rookie Julian Blackmon. I think the Colts will have to surprise a lot of us if they’re to get back to the playoffs. It could happen, but I think it’s going to be a down year for them.
The Jaguars look more like contenders for the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft than the Super Bowl and it shows with some of the roster moves they made. It is now Gardner Minshew’s offense to steer. Leonard Fournette is gone and it’s unclear who will be the starting tailback for this team at this time. The team does have talented wideouts in D.J. Chark Jr. and Dede Westbrook. Jacksonville does have a pretty good defense with guys like Josh Allen and Timmy Jernigan on the line, linebackers Miles Jack and rookie K’Lavon Chaisson, and the secondary with Tremaine Brock and rookie C.J. Henderson. I think this team is going to struggle quite a bit and will more than likely finish at the bottom of the standings, making them the favorites to land Trevor Lawrence next year.
The Bills are coming off of their second playoff appearance in three seasons,but came up just short in the Wild Card round in 2019. Josh Allen and the gang are hoping to get farther and even win the division. I think they will do just that! Devin Singletary enters his second season as the feature tailback with T.J. Yeldon backing him up. Stefon Diggs comes over from Minnesota to give Allen a top target to throw to along with Cole Beasley and John Brown. A.J. Epenesa joins Ed Oliver on the Buffalo defensive line while Tremaine Edwards headlines the linebackers. Josh Norman hopes to have a career bounceback and joins Tre’ Devious White and Micah Hyde in the secondary. I think they’re going to win their first division title since 1995 this year, they have something very good brewing here and I think this team may surprise us this year.
New England (8-8)
The Tom Brady era in Foxboro is over and a new one begins this season. At press time we don’t know who is starting under center, but it is assumed that it will be Cam Newton,but it also could be Jarrett Stidham. Many players have opted out,including Dont’a Hightower, Brandon Bolden, and Patrick Chung and I think this will affect them this season in terms of wins and losses. Here’s who is remaining: Sony Michel,James White,and Rex Burkhead in the backfield. The ever-so-good Julian Edelman leading the receiving core and N’Keal Harry who hopes to have a breakout year. Deatrick Wise Jr., Chase Vinovich,and Derek Rivers anchor the defensive front for New England while Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore leads the secondary along with the McCourty brothers,Jason and Devin,Jonathan Jones,and rookie Kyle Duggar. I think while the team will be very competitive, it’s going to be a season where they miss the playoffs. This team under Bill Belichick,however,always finds a way to prove doubters wrong.
The Tua Tagovailoa era in Miami is here. The rookie signal caller looks to lead an offense with Jordan Howard and Matt Breida in the backfield, receivers Devante Parker and Preston Williams, and tight end Matt Gesicki. Emmanuel Ogbah and Shaq Lawson star on the defensive line for Miami with Kyle Van Noy coming over from the Patriots at linebacker.Byron Jones and Kyle Rowe headline the secondary. I think the Dolphins are rebuilding and it may take some time before they’re truly competitive again. I think Tua is going to be a shining light in a dim season in South Beach.
N.Y. Jets (3-13)
Yes,the Jets were 7-9 last season, but somehow I don’t think they’ll win as many games this year. Sam Darnold comes back after an illness-plagued 2019. Le’ Veon Bell and the ageless Frank Gore tow the rock in the backfield. Former lacrosse player Chris Hogan joins the receiving core which features Jamison Crowder and rookie Denzel Mims. Quinnen Williams starts his second year on the New York defensive line while Avery Williamson heads the linebackers. Quincy Wilson leads the secondary. A few notable absences like rookie cornerback Bryce Hall, C.J. Mosley,and Josh Doctson may hurt the Jets winning more games than they did last year,as well as trading away Jamal Adams. I think it’s gonna be a down year for them.
San Francisco (13-3)
The NFC Champions are hoping to get back to the Super Bowl and win it again for the first time in 26 years. Jimmy Garoppolo looks to guide his team back with superb talent such as Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman,and Kyle Juszczyk in the backfield. Newcomer Trent Williams joins a great offensive line to provide protection along with Mike McGlinchey. Deebo Samuel,Kendrick Bourne,and Brandon Aiyuk give the 49ers some good weapons to throw to as well as one of the league’s best tight ends in George Kittle. San Francisco’s defensive line continues to shine with Nick Bosa,Dee Ford,Arik Armstead,and rookie Javon Kinlaw. Kwon Alexander,Dre Greenlaw,and Fred Warner headline the linebackers. Warner is on the reserve list as he recovers from COVID-19. The secondary is led by Richard Sherman, Jacquiski Tartt, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Jimmie Ward. I think this team is just as good as last year’s and should have no trouble picking up where they left off.
The Seahawks do one thing every year and one thing only: Make the playoffs! I see this year being no different. They still have Russell Wilson under center who is still a productive quarterback. Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde patrol the Seattle backfield. D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are Wilson’s primary targets. Bobby Wagner,Bruce Irvin and K.J. Wright headline the linebacking core while Jamal Adams is a bright new spot in the secondary coming over from the Jets. This team is always good enough to make the postseason yet again this season and I don’t see them doing anything less than that. They have a good system in place that is and has been successful year after year.
L.A. Rams (9-7)
Had we had the current playoff format in place last season,the Rams would’ve made it in, but they didn’t, but they sure would like to. Jared Goff leads the offense with newcomer Cam Akers in the backfield along with Malcolm Brown. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are Goff’s primary targets to throw to and rookie Van Jefferson joins the mix as well as Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett at the tight end position. Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers look to continue their outstanding play on the defensive line while Leonard Floyd looks to be a bright spot for the linebacking core. Jalen Ramsey hopes to continue to shine in the Los Angeles secondary. I think it’ll be an on the bubble year for the Rams as far as the postseason goes. They could sneak in, but I see them on the outside looking in this time around. If everyone stays healthy,they could make it,though!
The Cardinals hope to make waves in Kyler Murray’s sophomore season with Kenyan Drake in the backfield (who I think is a much better fit for this offense than David Johnson), new weapon DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk,and of course,Mr. Cardinal himself,Larry Fitzgerald. Rookie Isaiah Simmons joins Chandler Jones and Arizona’s linebackers to solidify the middle defense. Dre Kirkpatrick comes over from Cincinnati and joins Patrick Peterson and Budda Baker (who is the league’s highest paid safety despite not netting an interception in his career) in the secondary. I think the Cardinals may steal some games they shouldn’t have won,but are still longshots from a playoff berth. I do think Murray and Hopkins will be a fun combo to watch this year,though.
Green Bay (11-5)
The Packers were a game away from reaching the Super Bowl and I’m sure Aaron Rodgers and company want to get farther. Rodgers is still the main guy,but one might wonder when it’s Jordan Love’s time as he was drafted in the first round by Green Bay. Offensively, the team boasts a good backfield with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams and good receivers like Devante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Defensively,the Packers have Kenny Clark on the defensive line, Preston Smith and Za’ Darius Smith playing very effectively at linebacker and Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, and Kevin King in the secondary. I think Green Bay is still the team to beat in the division and I think they can get back to the conference championship. It’s just a matter of if they can win it or not.
The Vikings got back to the playoffs last season and hope to do it again with Kirk Cousins as their signal caller. Dalvin Cook looks like one of the league’s best tailbacks after an injury-riddled start to his career. Adam Thielen hopes to recover from a 2019 that sidelined him and Justin Jefferson joins the receiving core as a rookie. Kyle Rudolph remains a viable red zone weapon at tight end. Anthony Barr is back with the Minnesota defense while in the secondary Harrison Smith and Mike Hughes welcome Jeff Gladney to the mix. I think the Vikings will be in the playoff conversation once again, they have a good enough offense to make it again, I just don’t see them in the Super Bowl anytime soon.
The Bears went 8-8 last season and seemed to be falling out of favor with Mitchell Trubisky but the fourth year quarterback is still the starter ahead of Nick Foles. David Montgomery looks to improve in his second season as the primary tailback along with Tarik Cohen doing some of the heavy lifting. Allen Robinson II and Anthony Miller headline the receiving core for Chicago and Jimmy Graham hopes to squeeze some production out of his twilight years in his career, rookie Cole Kmet looks to make a splash at tight end. The defense with Akiem Hicks on the defensive line, linebackers Khalil Mack,Robert Quinn and Danny Trevathen, and Kyle Fuller,Tashaun Gipson,and rookie Jaylon Johnson in the secondary look to be an effective group. I don’t see the Bears getting very far,especially with who they have at quarterback,but I have been wrong about these guys before,so…
The Lions were not very good at all last season,mostly because of Matthew Stafford having been gone due to injury. He is back for his 11th season in Detroit and this team has some work to do. The backfield consists of Kerryon Johnson, rookie D’Andre Swift,and 35 year old Adrian Peterson,who was just signed over the weekend. Detroit has a very polished group of receivers in Kenny Golladay,Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola. Tight end T.J. Hockenson hopes to improve in his second season. Trey Flowers anchors the defensive line while Jamie Collins headlines in the linebacker core. Rookie Jeff Okudah hopes to fill the void left behind in the secondary by Darius Slay,who was traded away to the Eagles in the offseason. He joins Desmond Trufant and Duron Harmon. I don’t think the Lions are much better than they were last year and it may not even be enough to keep Matt Patricia’s job safe. Aside from the receivers, there are a lot of holes on this team. Plus,it’s the Lions,they never win anything!
New Orleans (11-5)
The Saints won their division last season and are facing competition to do it again,but Drew Brees is still there and at 41 he is still playing well. Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray continue to carry the ball in the backfield. Taysom Hill is still doing whatever the team needs him to do. Michael Thomas continues to shine as one of the league’s best wideouts and Emmanuel Sanders joins the group coming from a Super Bowl appearance with the 49ers. Cameron Jordan and Sheldon Rankins stand out on the defensive line with Demario Davis coming off an All-Pro season last year at linebacker. Kiko Alonso starts the year on injured reserve. The New Orleans secondary has no shortage of great names like Marshon Lattimore, Janoris Jenkins, Malcolm Jenkins,and Marcus Williams. While there are teams that are breathing down their necks for the division crown, I think they will still win it. They are well coached and play well enough to win regularly. I see no sign of that slowing down.
Tampa Bay (10-6)
The Tom Brady era in Tampa has begun. The 43 year old quarterback is hoping to get this team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Joining him on this voyage is newly signed Leonard Fournette,who was inexplicably cut by the Jaguars. He joins a backfield with Ronald Jones II and LeSean McCoy. Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement to join Brady. He is part of a receiving core that features outstanding pass catchers O.J. Howard,Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. On defense, the longtime veteran Ndamukong Suh heads the defensive line with Jason Pierre-Paul, Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David rounding out the linebackers. I think the Buccaneers will make the playoffs and may get farther than people think, but their success hinges on how well the offense plays. If they aren’t playing up to par,it’s not going to go well for them.
The Panthers are ushering in the Teddy Bridgewater era. Two two-glove wearing signal caller has one of the best weapons in the backfield at his disposal in Christian McCaffrey who runs and catches very well. His receiving core has notables D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel,and Robby Anderson. Rookies Derrick Brown and Yetur Gross-Matos join Brian Burns on Carolina’s defensive line. Shaq Thompson looks to lead the way for the linebackers following Luke Kuechly’s retirement. Tre Boston and Eli Apple star in the secondary. I think the Panthers will be competitive but I think they will narrowly miss the postseason.
The Falcons have been on a downturn the last couple seasons,but are hoping to get it together this season. Matt Ryan returns for his 13th season and will guide an offense that welcomes a new tailback in Todd Gurley. Julio Jones is one of the league’s best wideouts and is part of a core that features Calvin Ridley. Hayden Hurst comes over from Baltimore to give Ryan an extra weapon at tight end. Marlon Davidson joins Grady Jarrett,Dante Fowler and Takk McKinley on Atlanta’s defensive front four, Deion Jones heads the linebacker core and A.J. Terrell joins Ricardo Allen,Keanu Neal and Darquese Dennard in the secondary. While the team has a lot of talent on offense, I don’t think they have the right coaching in place to make a trip back to the playoffs,not to mention that competition in the division is much better.
The Cowboys missed the postseason in 2019 and are going to be hard pressed to avoid doing that again. With new head coach Mike McCarthy at the helm, Dak Prescott will lead his offense with one of the league’s best tailbacks,Ezekiel Elliott, in the backfield. Receivers include Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup,and rookie CeeDee Lamb. Dontari Poe and Everson Griffen join Dallas’ defensive line, while they boast an outstanding group of linebackers in Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith,and Sean Lee. Rookie Trevon Diggs joins Xaiver Woods in the secondary. I think the Cowboys are the best team in the division and should win it easily,but then again I have seen them fumble this away before.
The Eagles won their division despite having a depleted roster and virtually nobody to throw to. They’re hoping to be healthy again and flying high with Carson Wentz returning from an injury-plagued 2019. He’s got his backfield with Miles Sanders and Boston Scott to tote the rock and receivers Alshon Jeffery,rookie Jalon Reagor, and longtime veteran DeSean Jackson. Marquise Goodwin,who came over from the 49ers, is on injured reserve. Zach Ertz continues to be one of the league’s best tight ends. Jason Peters,38,is back for another year,his 12th with the team. The defensive line is one of the best with Derek Barnett,Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham,and Malik Jackson. Darius Slay joins the secondary to give it a well-needed boost. If this team can stay healthy, Philadelphia can definitely get a playoff berth. If not, they better pray for a repeat of 2019 where they got in and Dallas didn’t.
The Washington Football Team (which is so weird to say) doesn’t have only a new name,but a new coach as well in Ron Rivera. He will try and guide a team with second year quarterback Dwayne Haskins hoping to be better. One story I like about this team is Alex Smith returning after nearly losing his leg to injury when he got hurt in 2018. The backfield is a patchwork one with Peyton Barber coming over from Tampa, J.D. McKissic and Bryce Love in his second season. Terry McLaurin hopes to continue to be a bright spot among all the pass catchers after a surprise rookie campaign. Second overall pick Chase Young joins the Football Team defensive line along with Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat. Veteran Thomas Davis headlines the linebackers while Landon Collins and Kendall Fuller round out the secondary. I think Washington will be better and more competitive than people think,but I don’t expect much out of them other than news of them coming close to a new team name.
N.Y. Giants (3-13)
It’s now the Daniel Jones era in New York and the second year quarterback hopes to show more than just the flashes of success he had last season. He has one of the league’s best tailbacks in Saquon Barkley on offense with him and some pretty good receivers in Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard,and Darius Slayton. Evan Engram hopes to bounce back after his 2019 season was cut short from injury. Leonard Williams is one of many bright spots on the Giants defense along with Marcus Golden,as well as Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers in the secondary. This team is in a rebuilding phase and I think it’s going to be a while before we see them coming back to successes they saw during Eli Manning’s time with the team.
Wild Card Round
Baltimore over Tennessee
Buffalo over Cleveland
Denver over Houston
Green Bay over Minnesota
New Orleans over Tampa Bay
Seattle over Dallas
Kansas City over Denver
Buffalo over Baltimore
San Francisco over Seattle
New Orleans over Green Bay
AFC Championship Game
Buffalo over Kansas City
NFC Championship Game
San Francisco over New Orleans