Here are my official 2018 NFL standing predictions. I have put into account certain tendencies, history, schedule strength and overall team performance to try to come up with a realistic final order for each division.
I’m not predicting records because that’s a fool’s errand this early in the offseason, as you’ll note below.
- New Orleans Saints (Editor’s Note: Noooooo)
- Atlanta Falcons
- Carolina Panthers
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A few teams that I think have a serious shot at the Super Bowl are the Eagles, Rams, Saints and Falcons. Something I love most in a team is being well-rounded, and all four of those teams are exactly that. Unfortunately, they all also play in the NFC.
I like the Titans, Bears and Jets as teams the league doesn’t widely believe will do well. The Titans upgraded both sides of the ball and from what I believe, will see an increase in production from Mariota because of Matt LaFleur over Mike Mularkey. The Bears are very well-rounded, and to my belief, Mitch Trubisky is about to perform at a very high level. The Jets stacked their defense over the off season, they’re getting Quincy Enunwa back from injury, on top of an already talented Kearse + Anderson duo, and they drafted their franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold this year. If Darnold is ready to play—or Teddy Bridgewater impresses in his bridge year—they can make some noise.
Jimmy Garoppolo is going to shine in San Francisco and I believe he will bring them to the playoffs. He fits Shanahan’s offense very well, and according to former Patriot, Cassius Marsh, Jimmy would shred the first team defense, and played similarly to Tom Brady. Now that San Francisco has a running back receiving threat in Jerick McKinnon, an improved offensive line and a couple new wide receivers via the draft, I see big things for San Francisco, even if I’m hoping they won’t go very far in the postseason.
I think the Falcons unfortunately are in a very talented division, so nothing is guaranteed. I have no doubt we will do very well and make a playoff push, but the Saints are very talented and may win the division again. I am a fan of being unbiased, and if that’s what i’m standing for on this one, I have New Orleans in front of Atlanta this year, in the standings, that is.
It all comes down to how well Atlanta starts the season, because unlike New Orleans, the Falcons’ schedule gets much harder in the second half of the year. However, if you think about it, we probably have the most well-rounded NFL team overall. On offense, we have Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, a top five running back duo, arguably a top five WR corps in Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley, a solid offensive line and a great quarterback. On defense, we have an insanely talented front seven and a solid secondary with some young playmakers. Because of that, I do believe the Falcons can win the division, but I’m going to be conservative.
If you have any questions for my reasoning, feel free to comment! I am looking forward to your questions, comments, and insights regarding the 2018 standings.