2018 NFL Season Predictions. (AFC)

Randomator
With another NFL football season soon to be upon us it’s time to take a stab at what I think will happen. Will the Eagles defend their Super Bowl? Will the Jags get over the hump and make the Super Bowl? Will the Broncos Texans and Giants rebound from disastrous seasons last year? Only time will tell. Here’s my take. Just expect this to be inaccurate by February. I’ll start with the AFC

AFC East:
New England Patriots: While they were on the losing end of the Super Bowl the Pats will still be in the conversation for Super Bowl contenders. Brady and Belichek are still with the team. Plus they still have a few weapons like Julian Edelman, Gronk, Chris Hogan, Corraddelle Patterson and Sony Michel. If New England can improve on their defense they could make it back to the Super Bowl and try to get one last ring in the Brady/ Belichek era. I’m predicting they stay atop the AFC East. Unless something happens to Brady, No one else in this division looks ready to dethrone them at the moment.

Predicted record: 12-4

Miami Dolphins: I feel like this team is going to go nowhere after being mediocre last year. They do have Ryan Tannehill back but they lost Jarvis Landry and Jay Ajayi. Overall I think there’s too many changes to this roster for people to assume that Adam Gase can bring the Dolphins back to the playoffs especially with a kinda hard schedule
Predicted record: 5-11

Buffalo Bills: Coming off a playoff appearance was a nice gift to Bills Mafia However the Bills still have work to do if they want to go deeper than round 1. Also keep in mind that they just barely made it. If it wasn’t for Cincinnati Baltimore would have made it. Their season will depend on if McCarron can be decent until Allen is ready and if they can improve the run defense. However it won’t be easy in a division with New England and having a schedule with 5 of the first 7 games on the road. Buffalo just brace yourselves for a possible setback season.
Predicted record: 9-7

New York Jets: After going nowhere last year the Jets need to make progress for Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagan to keep their jobs. Not necessarily making playoffs but at least 6 wins in my book. And they better not screw up with Darnold like they have with nearly every other QB. The schedule will be tough but they might have a few upsets depending on when Darnold starts
Predicted record: 5-11

Overall I expect this division to be a pretty clear cut and go to the Patriots once again. The Bills are the only other team that could make the playoffs from this division.
Standings:
Patriots
Bills
Dolphins
Jets

AFC North
Pittsburgh Steelers: Last Year they went down to the Jaguars in the playoffs. This is one of those teams that hasn’t changed much. The Steelers still have some decent pieces to make a run at the Super Bowl. How much longer they will be a contender remains a mystery. My guess is they will start their decline either now or next year. Overall I still expect them to take the division once again
Predicted record: 11-5

Cincinnati Bengals: The way I see Cincinnati they will either be mediocre or terrible. They have a few decent pieces. Billy Price should help fix that offensive line. But it all depends on Andy Dalton and how he performs. If he can put up a decent performance they could win a few more games and be in the wild card discussion. However if they underperform they will be 8-8 at best and miss the playoffs. That’s what happens when you decide to keep your weird love relationship with Marvin Lewis when everything about last year suggested he should be fired
Predicted record: 7-9

Baltimore Ravens: seeing how they barely missed the playoffs last year I’m assuming that Harbaugh will have to get them back to the playoffs to keep his job. With that said I see 1 of 2 scenarios happening. Either they use both Flacco and Jackson or they just use Jackson. They have some decent weapons now including Michael Crabtree, John Brown, Willie Snead, Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.the Ravens defense was decent but even they collapsed when it mattered most. It’s tough to say how they will do with Jackson and Flacco sharing the QB job.
Predicted record: 9-7

Cleveland Browns: The Browns officially hit rock bottom last year going 0-16. Their big question now is how will they bounce back? This team made a ton of moves during the off-season. Getting Tyrod Taylor and Jarvis Landry and drafting Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward. Myles Garret will hopefully stay healthy. It’s safe to say that this roster has improved drastically. This team now has offensive playmakers and they will win a few games. No they won’t be a playoff contender but they will at least improve.
Predicted record: 2-14

The AFC North is another pretty clear cut division that will go to the Steelers once again. Baltimore is the only other team I could see possibly making the playoffs from this division.
Standings:
Steelers
Ravens
Bengals
Browns

AFC South
Houston Texans: After a disaster of a season last year Houston looks destined to make a comeback. The offense basically relies entirely on Watson so it will be interesting to see how they perform with Watson back. The defense should also be back and even better. If injuries don’t hammer this team again they will be able to make some noise this year especially with the AFC being relatively weak
Predicted record 12-4

Tennessee Titans: Coming off an upset over KC last year the Titans clearly have positive momentum going into this season. The AFC south is a winnable division. The Titans have a nice young core with no obvious weakness. This is the year for Tennessee to establish itself as a contender. Anything short of a playoff appearance should be considered a failure.
Predicted record 11-5

Jacksonville Jaguars: After a shocking season last year the hype for Jacksonville is real. However they must must find a way to continue that and take the next step. The Jaguars have built one of the best defenses and improved the offense. Keeping Fournette healthy and continuing their defense will be keys to taking the next step. Time to prove last year wasn’t a fluke Jacksonville.
Predicted record: 12-4

Indianapolis Colts: as much as they try the Colts can’t rely on just Andrew Luck. This is a team that still has some pretty big holes to fill. Being in this division doesn’t help either. Houston Jacksonville and Tennessee are all looking like legitimate contenders. For right now if they want to improve 8-8 should be the goal
Predicted record: 5-11

The AFC South is really a 3 team race between Houston Tennessee and Jacksonville. It’s going to be a battle when these teams play each other that’s for sure. I’m going to say that Jacksonville proves that last year wasn’t a fluke and wins the division again with their elite defense and solid offense. But really any of those 3 could make a strong case to win the division. And don’t be surprised to see these teams in the wild card race as well
Standings:
Jaguars
Texans
Titans
Colts

AFC West
Denver Broncos: The Broncos enter 2018 with some hope now that they have a decent QB in Keenum and Bradley Chubb on defense. The question is can they climb out of the AFC West basement and back to respectability? Can they win an AFC West road game again? I’m saying it could happen. It’s going to be an uphill battle but it could happen.
Predicted record: 7-9

Oakland Raiders: After a disappointing season last year can Jon Gruden bring Oakland back to glory? Derek Carr needs to get back on track and Amari Cooper needs to bounce back.They added Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant and Jared Cook. If things get back on track this team could compete for a playoff spot. If Tennessee and Buffalo both got in with 9 wins that gives this team a reasonable goal
Predicted record: 9-7

Los Angeles Chargers: This team barely missed out on the playoffs last year and they are setting up nicely to make the playoffs. The Chiefs lost Alex Smith and Marcus Peters. The Raiders and Broncos are in a rebuilding process. This could be the year Phillip Rivers leads the Bolts back to the playoffs. They have the pieces to get there especially with the AFC being relatively weak Predicted record: 10-6

Kansas City Chiefs: After going full Reid once again in the playoffs Kansas City now comes into the season with a huge challenge ahead of them. With Alex Smith and Marcus Peters gone the Patrick Mahomes era is officially underway. The offense looks good so there’s definitely hype in KC but they have got to improve on defense if they want to go anywhere. I think that was what led to the Titans win was poor defense. If they can’t improve defensively they will be 9-7 at best with a tough schedule ahead. They Miss the playoffs, and likely fire Andy Reid. However I expect some sort of improvement on defense.
Predicted record: 10-6

The AFC West should be pretty competitive once again. However every team has questions and they have a case to win the division. I’m going to be bold and say the Chargers will win it. Honestly any of these teams could win the division or appear as a wild card
Standings:
Chargers
Chiefs
Raiders
Broncos

Playoff predictions
Byes: Patriots, Jaguars
Wild card hosts: Steelers, Chargers
Wild cards: Texans, Titans

AFC Super Bowl contestant: Jaguars.
A bit of a Surprise but the hype is real for the Jaguars. Simply put I believe that they can take the next step and make the Super Bowl. Bortles can silence the haters and prove them wrong. The defense is one of the best in the league.Honestly this team has no obvious weaknesses compared to every other team.

Comments

Nice analysis. For me, I think Kansas City will be in the range of 6-10 to
9-7. I don’t see them as legitimate playoff contenders. I also expect Buffalo to get into the 5-11 to 7-9 range due to what they have done over the offseason. The rest of the predictions are near spot on, especially the Broncos and Colts. - PackFan2005

I think the Broncos will be little better. The rest is good. - 2storm

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