Today is the final day of my 2019 NFL countdown. I'm not done with the NFL after today though. I will come back tomorrow with my division winners, Super Bowl matchup, champ and award winners, and on Friday I will be writing one of my favorite pieces, my 2019 college football preview. But, today I will give you my final four NFL teams going into the 2019 season.
Coming in at number 4 I have the defending champs, the New England Patriots. Part of me was kind of shocked that I didn't have them as my number one overall team. I mean, they seem to be in the hunt every year, or at least since 2001, when Tom Brady took over as the QB. The Patriots, as much as I dislike them, are the biggest, flashiest and best dynasty of the 21st century. In any professional sport. I don't think anyone could argue that. In an era of cap space, player movement and coaching changes, they remain the one constant. But, they are getting older, and at some point, old age wins out. This team will not be this great for much longer, possibly only one or 2 more years. I know they just gave Brady an extension, but he will be 44 when that contract is up. I genuinely feel that this is it for him as the best QB in the game. I truly believe that he is the greatest QB that has ever played, but every great before him slowed down when they turned 40. Joe Montana, while still solid as a Chief, wasn't as great. Dan Marino aged poorly. We are watching guys like Eli Manning regress right now. Brett Favre was never the same, even with that one year in Minnesota, as he was with the Packers. The Broncos won a Super Bowl in spite of Peyton Manning. These things happen, and it will happen to Brady very soon. It will also happen with Julian Edelman, who is not a hall of fame player no matter what the Boston media tells you. Sony Michel is a good back, but how good will he be without Brady. Rob Gronkowski retired, but who really cares? They have an okay o line. They will still be good this year, but they have holes. Their defense is a true bend, but don't break defense. They will give up a ton of yards, but they will make it tough for you to score in the red zone. Just ask the LA Rams about that. I do like that they signed Michael Bennett, but I was wrong about him last year. And they took Chase Winovich in the third round, and while I think he will be a fine rush end, I don't see him becoming a star. I do like that they are giving N'Keal Harry a shot. He has the look and feel of a solid wide out. The Patriots are going to be good this year. Hell, they may even make another Super Bowl. But, they are older and that means key guys could miss time. Still, they will win their trash division with ease, and probably win 12 games during the regular season.
At number 3 I have a team that I seriously flirted with putting number one, the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are a very, very good team, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Drew Brees is another one of these older QB's, but he gets rid of the ball so fast, and he is deadly accurate, that he doesn't take too many hits. He has one of the better receivers in the game locked up now in Michael Thomas. This offense is so perfect for him, and he is the man at wide out for the Saints. Alvin Kamara is fast becoming one of my favorite NFL players, and he is the prototype modern NFL back. While guys like Ezekial Elliot and Melvin Gordon are holding out or asking for trades, Kamara is surpassing them in every category, and he is the one dude I would want if I were starting a NFL team today. He can run, catch passes and is blazing fast. Their o line can protect when needed. And Sean Payton is an offensive guru. Maybe the best in the league. Their defense is why I have them at 3, and not 1. They got so much better last season, but they still have lapses. They still have moments that make you shake your head. And you cannot always rely on your offense to bail you out. Sometimes that defense will have to make plays. I think they can get better, but I am still a little wary of how good they can be. The Saints also play in a tough division, and it won't be as easy as last year was for them. I still think they will win the division, probably win 13 games, and be a real threat to be in the Super Bowl, but it all depends on how much that defense can improve from last year.
At number 2 I have the Philadelphia Eagles. This current construct of the roster reminds me so much of their Super Bowl winning team. I know that Carson Wentz hasn't been entirely healthy during his career, and Nick Foles kept this team afloat last year and won a Super Bowl for them, but Wentz is a better, and younger QB than Foles. If he can stay healthy, he will have a humongous year. It helps that he has abut 5 guys that can run the ball, a great group of receivers that know what to do and very, very, very good o line protecting him. The Eagles also have one of the most sound and devastating defenses in football. They can stop any team in the run and pass game. They can rush the passer. The linebackers can cover and hit. The secondary is lock down. The Eagles are a very good football team with solid depth and big name players. They also have a very good coaching staff, no matter what the people over at The Ringer say. The Eagles will coast in their division, and I wouldn't be shocked if they went 14-2 or 15-1. They are that good. They are a legit Super Bowl contender.
The final team on my countdown, coming in at number 1, coached by Andy Reid, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have the best offense in football. By about a thousand miles. Patrick Mahomes is the next generation of QB. He is the modern NFL QB. He can run, and he can fling it. I would not be shocked, at all, if 5,000 yards passing and 50 TD's is his new norm. He is so fluid and calm and collected in the pocket. And when he has to scramble, he does crazy shit like no look passes, and he hits receivers in stride. He is an amazing QB. I'm not a Chiefs fan, but I am a big time fan of watching Mahomes play QB. He has great protection from, maybe, the best o line in the NFL. He has awesome, and fast, wide outs. Travis Kelce is a much more fun version of Gronk. He is also about a thousand times more likable. They have guys that can run the ball, although it is very disturbing to me that the NFL is letting Tyreek Hill suit up this year. Their defense was the problem last year, but they went out and signed guys that will help, mainly Tyrann Mathieu. He was such a great addition for this team. They will now be able to get after the passer, but also be able to cover when they do have to go man. The Chiefs seem to have it all right now. The only question, how will an Andy Reid coached team perform with this high of expectations? Andy Reid is a good head coach, in the regular season. That is why I could see the Chiefs winning 14 or 15 games, and easily winning the division. But in the playoffs, he has had some horrid moments. Will that happen this year? Maybe. But, I think Mahomes is good enough to erase any of Reid's past antics and guide this team to a big time season. They are the team to beat in my opinion.
Okay, that is my 2019 NFL countdown. I'm sure some people are mad at me, think I was too soft on some teams and probably think I am crazy for thinking that the 49ers or Browns are still going to be not that good. We will see. Come back tomorrow for picks.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Every year sports guys like Ty keep waiting for Brady and Brees to get older, and every year those two guys keep proving us wrong. Makes you think.
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