With the NFL season just around the corner and the pre-season just starting, and with all the transactions made this year from the return of Marshawn Lynch to the trade of Brandin Cooks, we will be looking at the predictions for what most people think are the best teams in the NFL.
It’s a do or die season for the Cardinals. Carson Palmer is on the edge of retirement and Larry Fitzgerald isn’t getting any younger. With an offense led by superstar running back David Johnson and a defense that was ranked 2nd in the league last year, there should be no excuse for them to make a deep playoff run. It all depends on if Carson Palmer can stay healthy.
9. Tennessee Titans
The Titans were well on their way to a playoff spot until Marcus Mariota season ended prematurely. Expect the same thing this year especially with weapons like first year receiver Corey Davis. Expect the defense to improve with the additions of Logan Ryan and Jonathan Cyprien.
8. New York Giants
The Giants play in arguably the most competitive division in football competing alongside the Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins. With an offense led by Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr they will be able to keep up with top offenses in the league. With Paul Perkins expecting a bigger workload and an improved defense, critics shoudn’t be surprised if the Giants win the NFC East
7. Seattle Seahawks
The Legion of Boom isn’t as feared as it once was, but is still one of the leagues best defensive teams. The offense improved a bit by adding Eddie Lacy. If he can keep his weight down, he will have a great year. The offensive line will be a constant struggle as its one of the worst in the league. Critics may see them getting in as a wild card and then receiving an early exit.
6. Oakland Raiders
It’s the year of the Raiders. The Raiders surprised everyone last year and made the playoffs as a wildcard due to Derek Carr’s injury. If the Raiders manage a healthy Derek Carr and maintain great defense led by Khalil Mack, and if Marshawn Lynch can get back into dominating the field, audiences shoudln’t be a surprise if the Raiders become a top contender for the Super Bowl.
5. Green Bay Packers
Year in and year out the Packers have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers once again will be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and Jordy Nelson will hopefully be one of the top receivers in the game. The defense on the other hand is a problem, their secondary is one of the worst in the league and their defensive line is atrocious. Ty Montgomery will go in as the number 1 running back. He has shown he can run the ball sometimes, but struggles with inconsistency. Overall, the Packers should be set for a great season especially under Mike McCarthy who proves to be a great coach. They just need healthy receivers.
Many will agree that this might be the last year the Steelers will be competitive in a while. Ben Roethlisberger is seriously considering retirement after this season, and Le’Veon Bell is playing under the Franchise Tag this year and he wouldn’t want to resign with a team led Josh Dobbs. Without Bell that leaves Antonio Brown to lead the offense. It’s either show up or shut up for the Steelers.
Last year the Cowboys surprised everyone by going 13-3 under rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot. Expect them to repeat that success even though Elliot is facing a suspension. With rookies Ryan Switzer and Taco Charlton expecting to be big impact players and with 2nd year linebacker Jaylon Smith healthy coming off knee surgery, don’t expect an early exit this year from the Cowboys.
28-3. The score that has haunted Falcon fans for the past six months. The Falcons have a huge chip on their shoulder after surprising everyone and going to the Super Bowl and almost pulling off the biggest upset in NFL history. Expect the Ryan-Jones connection to be even stronger this year, and first round pick Takkarist McKinley has the raw emotion to play at an elite level but has to learn to control it. Even though they have a better team, don’t expect them getting past the divisional round of the playoffs.
1. New England Patriots
They were by far the best team in football last year. They completed the comeback of the century and they somehow figured out how to get better. They signed cornerback Stephen Gilmore to compliment Malcolm Butler. They traded for Brandin Cooks, resigned Dont’a Hightower and traded for Dwayne Allen. After the season they had, they figured out how to become even more dominant. The Patriots may be the only team to go undefeated the entire season.
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