Sports and Bets — September 7, 2017 at 9:46 am by

So after what always seems like the longest off season of any professional sport, the NFL returns tonight with the defending champs taking on the KC Chiefs.  All the fantasy drafts are done and we finally can watch meaningful football games.  So like everybody else I figured I’d make some predictions that will undoubtedly be more than half wrong by the time the season ends, but isn’t that the fun in it?

AFC East Winner: New England Patriots

Do I really need to explain this?  Nope didn’t think so.

AFC North Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

Right now you have to go with the Steelers as the class of the AFC North as much as it pains me to say.  The Bengals and Browns cannot be seen a legit contenders and the Ravens have too many injuries to really contend for the AFC North Title.

AFC South Winner: Tennessee Titans

This might be one of the most wide open divisions in all of football.  The Indianapolis Colts hinge on the health of Andrew Luck.  Luck will miss week 1 but if he misses more time it could spell bad news for the Colts.  The Texans defense with a healthy JJ Watt should be a top 5 unit in the league but their offense will keep this team down unless DeShaun Watson is the real deal.  Jacksonville is a complete mess, so that why Tennessee gets the nod, Marcus Mariota for me is the most interesting player to watch this season to see if takes that next step, if he does Tennessee could be dangerous.

AFC West Winner: Oakland Raiders

I’m not sure if the Raiders would have made the Super Bowl if Derek Carr didn’t get hurt last year, but it would’ve been nice to find out.  The Raiders (if they stay healthy) might be the biggest threat to Brady and the Patriots for the AFC Crown.

AFC Wild Cards: Kansas City Chiefs & Baltimore Ravens

The Chiefs seem like that sleeper team every year that might make a surprise run in the playoffs but then never do.  I see the same thing this season, they might win 9-11 games but I really don’t consider them a threat to win the AFC.  As for the Ravens, the season hasn’t even begun yet and they have already suffered some tough injuries.  If the defense is as good as everyone says they will be they might be able to steal a game or two and sneak into the playoffs as a six seed.

NFC East Winner: New York Giants

This was the toughest to pick but I’m giving a slight nod to the G-Men.  I really like the addition of Brandon Marshall, another year with Sterling Shepard and of course OBJ might make the Giants the best WR core in the game.  The Cowboys should still make the playoffs but everything swirling around Elliott and still not being sold on Prescott is why I have them second.

NFC North Winner: Green Bay Packers

This is kind of like the AFC East, unless Green Bay vastly underperforms or suffer too many injuries, they should win this division with relative ease.

NFC South Winner: Atlanta Falcons

Ok so unless Atlanta wins the Super Bowl the players involved in last year’s collapse will never forget it.  Still opening a new stadium I think gives them the boost they need and the fact that I don’t think any other team in their division is quite ready to take the next step.  Tampa is the closest and a favorite for me to at least make the playoffs.

NFC West Winner: Seattle Seahawks

I don’t want to say this will be easy for Seattle, but really other than Arizona, no one should give them any trouble in repeating as division champs.

NFC Wild Cards: Dallas Cowboys & Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dallas takes a slight step back this season but still good enough for the playoffs.  Tampa produced their first winning season last year since 2010, and they are trending in the right direction.


Packers over Patriots

Not going to lie, I’m picking Green Bay mainly because I can’t stand to see another Patriots Super Bowl.  That being said other than maybe the Raiders I don’t see a lot of bumps on the road to the Super Bowl for New England.  Green Bay goes as far as Aaron Rodgers can take them and this year I’m predicting it’s all the way to the Lombardi Trophy.

So like I said before I’m sure most of these will be wrong, but how do you think the NFL season will play out?

Follow me on Twitter @AndySnaks

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