As I skimmed the site’s archives over the summer, I realized I’ve gotten away from the half-assed NFL predictions that used to be a staple this time of year. That is mostly because I was busy with kid sports and the beginning of the NFL season often snuck up on me. And because I loathe how the NFL offseason dominates sports media and largely tune it out, not checking back in until the games begin.
Both to honor the heritage of this site and because I listened to a few NFL preview pods this week, I’m going to jump back in and offer some extra half-assed NFL predictions.
Lots of people seem down on the Bills after their struggles to match the hype they entered last season with. I’m going to chalk a lot of that, along with their early playoff exit, to injuries. Plus I don’t trust the other teams in the division. Buffalo
Maybe the best and most intriguing division in the game. One injury to a key player could tip the entire thing. Since I’m a partial Bengals homer now, I’m going with Joe Burrow and his crew. Cincinnati
Ugh. The Colts should really suck this year. Every preview I’ve either listened to or read, though, suggests that at least Anthony Richardson is going to be interesting enough to watch their games. He’s going to have amazing moments and look completely overwhelmed at times. Often within the same drive. I suppose the question is whether the organization can shake its recent dysfunction and build around him as he (hopefully) turns into a star, or is he destined to be a Must Watch QB stranded on a terrible team his entire career?
As for the division, both Tennessee and Jacksonville have strong selling points. Culture in Nashville, youth in Jax. Yet both teams have huge holes that have some people squinting and suggesting that if the Colts can protect Richardson, bring back Jonathan Taylor in week five, and keep the defense healthy, they could actually steal the division. Yikes. I like Trevor Lawrence’s potential the most, so I’ll take Jacksonville.
Kansas City until Mahomes can’t throw.
There are a lot of good teams in the AFC. But once you get past the top three, they all have serious questions. Can Tua stay healthy? Is Aaron Rodgers washed up or revitalized? Can the Ravens still stop people? Was that late season-run by the Steelers legit? Can Sean Payton really fix the Broncos? What new ways will the Chargers find to squander their potential? I’ll take Pittsburgh and New York.
Oh, wait, I just remembered there are three Wild Card teams now. Shit. Throw in San Diego just because their eventual loss will be highly entertaining.
If Washington were better, this would match the AFC North for overall strength. Lots of people are jumping on the Cowboys’ bandwagon, but I can’t possibly trust that franchise not to fuck it up somehow. Philadelphia was clearly the best team in the NFC last year. No reason they won’t win the division again this year.
All the love for the Lions is cute. Get back to me when they’ve won a meaningful game. I think Minnesota holds off Green Bay.
Man, what is it with the South divisions? They both suck. New Orleans I guess?
The Niners are a weird team, man. They might have the best, most complete roster in the game. With one glaring exception: quarterback. They always seem to have a couple huge injuries, too. I still trust them more than I trust Geno Smith to repeat last year’s performance. San Francisco
Dallas, New York, and Green Bay
Buffalo over New York
Pittsburgh over Jacksonville
Cincinnati over San Diego
Kansas City over Pittsburgh
Cincinnati over Buffalo
Kansas City over Cincinnati
Dallas over New Orleans
New York over Green Bay
San Francisco over Minnesota
Philadelphia over Dallas
San Francisco over New York
San Francisco over Philadelphia
Niners get another chance at the Chiefs. Their defense slows Mahomes down, but when forced to play the entire game with some quarterback they signed in November – Carson Wentz!?!? – they can’t put any points on the board. Kansas City 24, San Francisco 9, and the Chiefs officially enter dynasty territory.
As always, never, ever take use these to make actual bets.