If there’s one thing we have an abundance off in the offseason, it’s predictions.
After all, we have to find something to do while we wait for football to return.
Every year brings new surprises and upsets, and this upcoming season is sure to be the same. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make educated predictions on how it’s going to play out.
Patriots Return to Super Bowl
This isn’t the boldest of predictions, but it’s a common prediction for a reason. The New England Patriots have claimed their title as one of the best, and that doesn’t look like it will be changing anytime soon. Don’t be shocked if you consistently see predicted wins for the Patriots on your NFL free pick this season.
Coming out with a post-free agency ranking at number one, this team made aggressive moves to ensure a return to the big stage.
Their pass game will not only have the return of TE Rob Gronkowski, but they also acquired Brandin Cooks. Add on the fact that Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore will both be at cornerback and Dont’a Hightower was re-signed.
Expect a No.1 seed and back to back Super Bowl appearance for the Pats.
Redskins Snag a Wildcard
While some would argue against this due to the loss of wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, the Redskins still have Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson going into the 2017 season.
Additionally, the Redskins could lean towards relying on their running game over their pass game this year, with Rob Kelley or newly drafted Samaje Perine leading the way.
The addition of Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson will strengthen their defensive line and pass rush as well.
Add all of this on top of a potential slump for the Dallas Cowboys, and you’ve got a good chance of Washington getting a wildcard bid.
Buccaneers Take NFC South
Since acquiring Jameis Winston, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have shown steady growth. Going from 6-10 to 9-7, they barely missed the playoffs this past year.
Going into 2017, all of the major players that brought the Bucs so close to the playoffs are still there, along with several stout additions.
DeSean Jackson will be joining fellow receiver Mike Evans, and O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate will be at tight end. Pairing them with Winston adds up to a powerful offense guaranteed to give everyone a run for their money.
If the Bucs offensive line can keep pressure off of Winston, a division title is well within their grasp.
Miami Takes a Step Back
While the Dolphin’s running back Jay Ajayi showed promise with 1,272 rushing yards and the team made a playoff appearance last year, their inconsistency with their offense won’t take them that far this season.
Ryan Tannehill’s inconsistencies at the quarterback position have shown that despite having talented receivers, Miami doesn’t have the necessary firepower to win their division.
The fact is the Patriots will once again win the AFC East. The Dolphin’s simply did not make strong enough offensive moves in the offseason to hold on to a wildcard spot in the AFC.
Green Bay Wins the NFC Championship
With Aaron Rodgers at the helm of the Green Bay Packers, the NCF North is a guarantee. With the new acquisitions made in the offseason, the NFC Championship is a very real possibility.
The addition of TE Martellus Bennett will add to an already strong receiving corp that includes Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams.
The Packers drafted Jamaal Willaims and Aaron Jones to accompany converted RB Ty Montgomery, which adds depth to a depleted backfield.
Cornerback Kevin King and safety Josh Jones also help address their needs in a lacking secondary.
Add of this up, and you’ve got a team poised to take the NFC Championship.
Hopefully these predictions help you with your NFL picks – good luck!