NFL Spin Zone
The Atlanta Falcons would make it back to the playoffs after Not having Andrew Luck was going to make the Indianapolis Colts absolutely horrendous.
Sean McVay would make Jared Goff better. Boat parties are fun, but have lingering effects. And of course, I got a lot of things wrong. Maybe the New Orleans Saints did have an incredible draft after all? And the Buffalo Bills made the freaking playoffs! Folding tables have never been more afraid this millennium. So yes, I am going to go out on a limb and predict some things. Will I be wrong on some of these? Absolutely, as I am a power hitter that swings for the fences. But will I be right?
See, this is why you need to check this out. Here is my one bold prediction for each NFL team for The Arizona Cardinals are in a bit of a rough spot. Arizona has to replace offensive guru Bruce Arians as head coach and Carson Palmer as a franchise quarterback. Both retired after the NFL season. While the Cardinals were in the mix for a guy like former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to be their next head coach, Arizona has decided to go with a first-year defensive coordinator in Steve Wilks of the Carolina Panthers.
But did anyone ever think Stafford might be more efficient now? Stafford himself implied that he would need to apply himself more, study more, with Johnson not in the mix.
While it should be slightly disturbing for Lions fans that their quarterback -- a seven-year veteran -- might have been avoiding cracking the books until now, it does make sense that Stafford will have to read the whole field and go through his progressions. One other note on this: It was time for the offense to have a slightly different focus. Putting myself out there, in July, and saying the Packers make it to Houston in February, despite the mass affinity for the aforementioned "All or Nothing" Cardinals and the logical assumption among Carolina partisans that the Kelvin Benjamin-is-back Panthers will be better.
A huge reason is the schedule. Have you seen it? Did you know it's the easiest in the NFL, based on opponents' winning percentage? That means Mike McCarthy's group has a heckuva shot at securing home-field advantage for the playoffs. And the Packers ' all-time home postseason record just so happens to be Laquon Treadwell wins the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Mike Zimmer has publicly asked that quarterback Teddy Bridgewater take more of a leadership role.
Everyone not named Mike Zimmer wonders if Bridgewater will take more vertical shots. If he does, that will certainly help Treadwell's productivity.
Really, though, the first-round pick's body positioning and ability to compete successfully should make a difference on third-and-6 and in the red zone, and that is precisely where Minnesota needs him. It's between the receiver and running back Ezekiel Elliott for the hardware, man. I see a last-place finish for the first time since the Joey Harrington era. The Joey Harrington era We refuse to toss Dale Murphy under the bus.
Look for the Panthers to win the division for the 90th straight year. Tampa will be better -- read below -- and should beat the Falcons twice. That leaves the Saints , who landed a quality -- albeit small -- draft class, and who still feature a QB the equal of Cam Newton. After going in , the reigning NFC champs lose at least six games. Staying with the "end product" theme, Carolina isn't coming close to matching its finish. The projected drop rests on three factors:.
Charles Johnson 30 is getting on in years. Sure, Kony Ealy three sacks, a forced fumble and a pick enjoyed a fine Super Bowl performance. What if Jonathan Stewart can't stay healthy? I wouldn't be surprised if every team in the division splits with Carolina.
Brandin Cooks tops 1, receiving yards. Drew Brees simply gushed when talking on-air about working with Cooks. He posted 1, yards as a second-year pro last season -- and that was with Marques Colston who has since been released and Ben Watson who has since joined the Ravens taking away targets.
Obviously, 1, yards is no small benchmark. Only four guys surpassed it last year. In , only Josh Gordon pulled it off. But considering Brees' confidence in Cooks, and with New Orleans bound to participate in track meets again, we are confident in this bold prediction. No more losing seasons in Tampa Bay. Well, maybe not forever. In terms of , however, the Bucs will at least break even. They'll split with the Panthers.
They'll finish ahead of the Falcons , too, who many feel will be better in Year 2 of the Dan Quinn era. The key is not Jameis Winston taking a step forward although if the quarterback regresses, that could be problematic.
It's the improvement of the defense, which finished 26th in points allowed in With free agent Robert Ayers and rookies Vernon Hargreaves and Noah Spence in the fold, we can do better than 26th, fellas. David Johnson leads the NFC in yards from scrimmage. Which is important, as this bold prediction isn't solely based on David Johnson 's talents. While the kid showed what he could do, including in the passing game, bear in mind that Chris Johnson was fourth in the NFL in rushing at the time he got injured.
For all the banter about Bruce Arians being an aggressive play caller, the man likes to run the football. Arizona was a top rushing offense last year. Todd Gurley leads the NFL in rushing -- by a healthy margin. It's tough to decipher how the Rams will fare with rookie quarterback Jared Goff potentially starting sooner rather than later. But Gurley, who rushed for over 1, yards in 13 games en route to capturing the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, made believers out of everyone.
Bell is a fantastic all-around running back who is also in a passing offense and is coming off a major injury. Martin has his own injury history, and he might be pass-blocking more than he expects this season. Gurley will finish with 1, yards, tops in the NFL. Blaine Gabbert starts the whole season. Are we all merely waiting for the real Colin Kaepernick to emerge and send us on a time warp to the playoffs, when Clay Matthews was futilely chasing the Niners QB as he ran a bazillion yards to the end zone?
It doesn't look like it's happening.