I know it is one day late, but today, I have my postseason picks, my awards winners and my Super Bowl matchup and winner, to round out my 2018 NFL coverage. I'll start with the division winners, then my 2 wild cards. I will also start with the AFC because it is so much less competitive than the NFC. After all of my playoff predictions, then I will give my award winners for all the major awards.
Alright, lets go.
The AFC East is a joke. The Patriots are going to absolutely walk with this spot. I have no faith in the Jets, Dolphins or Bills in even having a winning record. The Patriots could win this division by week 10 and I wouldn't be shocked.
The AFC North will be more competitive than the East, but not by much. The Steelers will dominate, and easily win this division. But, the 2nd and 3rd spot will be a fight between the Ravens and Bengals, but it will be a fight to .500. The Browns are the Browns. Wake me when they win 4 games. The Steelers will walk with the North.
The AFC South is the best division in this conference. I'm not joking. If the Texans stay healthy, they could win 10 games. The Titans were in the playoffs last year and won 9 games. The Colts have Andrew Luck back, and he could push them to be competitive. But, the Jaguars have the best defense in football, and they will ride that and their run game to the division crown again. That said, I wouldn't be shocked if three of the 4 teams had, at least, 9 wins.
And finally for the AFC, we have the West. I don't know what to make of this division. The Raiders have talent, but they also have Jon Gruden as their new head coach. The Broncos have a solid defense, led by Von Miller, but they have no run game and are counting on Case Keenum. The Chargers are perpetually a "sleeper" team, but they are already suffering major injuries, and Phillip Rivers is a thousand years old. And the Chiefs still have a great run game, some solid receivers and Travis Kelce. They also have Andy Reid, which is a blessing and a curse. But, they are breaking in a rookie and their defense is suspect, especially after letting Marcus Peters go. That being said, I will take the Chiefs simply because Andy Reid can coach regular season football. He is dreadful in the playoffs, but he is a 9 or 10 win guy every year.
So, my division winners are the Patriots, Steelers, Jags and Chiefs. If I had to put them in order from 1-4, I'd go Steelers, Patriots, Jags and Chiefs. My 2 wild cards will come from the South, and those teams are the Texans and Titans. Round one will pit the 3 seed Jags against the 4 seed Texans and the 4 seed Chiefs against the 6 seeded Titans. I have the Jags and the Titans, just like last season. That would put the 1st seed, the Steelers versus the Titans and the Patriots against the Jags. A little different from last year, but not by much.. But this time, the Jags will beat the Patriots with defense and the Steelers will roll over the Titans. That would give us a Steelers-Jags "rematch". I feel like the Jags are the only team that can stop the Steelers offense, and they will, once again. That's right, I have the Jags in the Super Bowl.
Now, the NFC.
The NFC East is the Eagles to lose. They are loaded everywhere, and when Wentz gets back, they will destroy teams. Washington has an older Kirk Cousins in Alex Smith, no run game and a minimal pass game. The Cowboys are a perpetual 8-8 team as long as Jason Garrett is the head coach. Also, screw Jerry Jones. And the Giants are a dumpster fire, even with Odell Beckham Jr. The Eagles roll.
The NFC North is all about the Vikings and Packers. The Vikings have one of the best defenses in football, a great run game, and what some think, not me, an upgrade at QB. The Packers have Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Geronimo Alison and Jimmy Graham. Unfortunately, their defense is rough. The Lions, bless them, are doomed to regress back to a 6 or 7 win team. I like Matt Stafford, but this team is not great. And the Bears, while they may be on the come up, are still are few years away from being a real threat. Also, I still think Mitch Trubisky stinks. I'm going to go with the Vikings because they are, overall, a better, fuller team. But, the Packers, if healthy, will put up a fight.
The NFC South is real good. It is just like the AFC South. There are three really, really solid teams. The Saints have a run game, a solid defense now, Drew Brees still and a great receiving corps. The Panthers have Cam Newton, and if he plays pissed off, and is out to prove people wrong, they could be great. And the Falcons have Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman and Calvin Ridley. They will be deadly on offense. And then there is Tampa Bay. They stink, they have a horrible QB and a horrible coaching staff. They deserve all the bad that is coming their way. I'm going to go with the Saints, but it wouldn't shock me if the Falcons or Panthers won the division. This will be another division with three teams at, or above, .500.
Finally in the NFC we have the West. The Rams are, far and away, the best team. I do not buy the preseason 49ers hype. They have to prove it. The Cardinals are in a transition, and they are getting David Johnson back, but he is coming off a brutal injury. And the Seahawks are not that good. I feel like they don't know it, but they are not good. They cannot protect their QB, run the ball, have no real receiving threat and their defense has been ripped to shreds. They are a 6 win team at best.
So, my division winners, and in order from how I think they will be seeded, Eagles, Vikings, Rams and Saints. My 2 wild cards are the Packers and Falcons. I wanted to put the Panthers in, but I just think the Packers will claim that final spot. The first round in the NFC would pit the 3 seed Rams versus the 4 seed Saints and the 5th seed Falcons against the 6th seed Packers. I think the Rams will beat the Saints because the Rams defense is better, and Todd Gurley is further along than Alvin Kamara. I then have the Packers beating the Falcons in a high, high scoring game. It will be in a dome, and Rodgers and Ryan will light it up. I just feel like the Packers will score a little more and win the game. So, that would put the 1 seed Eagles facing the Packers and the 2 seed Vikings facing the Rams. The Eagles are still loaded, and will be in full stride by this point, and the Packers will not be able to stop them. The Vikings and Rams game will be a slugfest, and just because their defense is a little better, I am going with the Vikings. So, the NFC title will be a rematch, and I feel like it will be much of the same. The Eagles are just way too stacked. They will roll into their second straight Super Bowl.
I have the Jags playing the Eagles. And for as much shit as I gave the AFC, I'm going with the Jags to win it all. I know, sounds crazy, but their defense is so god damn good. They are elite at all three levels, and as we have seen, save for last season, the team with the better defense wins the Super Bowl, and that is the Jaguars. By the way, I just really want to see these 2 play for the Super Bowl.
As far as my award winners, I'm going with Bradley Chubb for defensive rookie of the year. He and Myles Garrett will be the only bright spot for the Browns. They will be the only reason to watch them. For offensive rookie of the year, and there is a bundle of players to choose from, I'm going to go with a QB, and that QB is Josh Rosen. I think he will be great when he replaces Sam Bradford as soon as he gets injured. The Cardinals will close strong, a la the 49ers last year, and it will be because of Rosen. Coach of the Year is going to go to Mike Zimmer. He will have a great, all time defense, and the offense will be better. Also, he deserved it last year and didn't win, so they will make up for that this year. My defensive player of the year, and I'm going way out there with this pick, is Khalil Mack. I feel like he will be on a new team very soon, and he will go and ball the hell out. He will be out to prove how dumb the Raiders are, and he will show it on the field. Also, he is an incredible player. My offensive player of the year, because I am so god damn tired of QB's winning this, is Alvin Kamara. He is the modern Marshall Faulk, and he will only get better this year. He is an amazing talent. Finally, for MVP, I am going to give it to the guy that I thought deserved it last year, and I think will have an even better season this season, Todd Gurley. The Rams use him perfectly, he just got paid and he is great. He should have won it last year, and he will win it this year.
Alright, that is my 2018 playoff preview and award winners. That is all the preseason NFL stuff I have. Please tell me how wrong I am. On Monday I will wrap up all my football previews with a very in depth NCAA football preview. Come back then.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is looking forward to visiting Jacksonville and being the toast of town with his championship pick. Get ready North Florida.
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