NFL Season Kicks Off With Predictions


Carson Wentz will make himself known as an elite player in 2019. Returning from injuries and a 2018 record of 9-7, Wentz will take another step forward this season.

Jordan Eisen, Sports Commentator

On Sept. 5, the 2019 NFL season will kick off as the Green Bay Packers face the Chicago Bears. With the start of a new season comes a lot of excitement from every team’s fan base and predictions from analysts. In honor of that, I predicted which teams would win and lose every single game, after tallying up the results, I found the following to be the teams that will make the playoffs.
12-4 New England Patriots: With Tom Brady’s interception total rising to 11 in 2018, it’s thought that the Patriots’ dynasty may be collapsing (even after being crowned Super Bowl Champions). Unfortunately, five of those interceptions were deflected or dropped, and Tom Brady is not slowing down. If last year is any indication of how they will do this year, the Patriots will be on top of the AFC once again.
11-5 Los Angeles Chargers: Even if Melvin Gordon doesn’t start a single game this season, the Chargers may still be the most complete team in the NFL. With a talented defense, top receiving core, and Philip Rivers at quarterback, Gordon’s absence shouldn’t affect much. Also, adding Hunter Henry to the offense will create an extreme mismatch for opposing defenses and help Keenan Allen and Mike Williams get open. With or without Gordon, the Chargers will give the Patriots a run for their money.
9-7 Houston Texans: Prior to last season, I expected the Texans to have an insane defense, with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney rushing the quarterback, a solid linebacking core, and Tyrann Mathieu playing deep. I thought they’d set the league on fire. Unfortunately that didn’t come to be; now, having lost Mathieu, Clowney, and lots of depth, I worry their defense isn’t much better than league average. Not to mention, with a reconstructed offensive line and a running committee: consisting of one whom in his career has failed to exceed 105 rushes and the other; a journeyman, their rushing attack projects to be a non-factor. Despite all that, looking at this team based on talent, the argument can be made that they’ll be both a top three offense and defense.
9-7 Cleveland Browns: The most talked about team in the NFL in the offseason, the Browns’ hype train has gone off the rails. They are still a solid team, but with so much emotion in the locker room and weak chemistry, I can’t see them making it deep into the playoffs this year.
10-6 Kansas City Chiefs: 2018 was a magical year for the Chiefs. Don’t get me wrong, Mahomes is fantastic, but plays happened that normally wouldn’t have happened. Due for regression, Mahomes and the Chiefs won’t be able to near 35.3 points per game that they achieved in 2018. Still, every starter on this offense could be an Olympic sprinter if they so choose. With so much speed, this offense is still capable of carrying their defense to another playoff appearance.
10-6 New York Jets: Once recovered from his foot injury in late 2018, Sam Darnold was on fire. In addition to a stellar preseason, I expect him to have a great year. With the additions of C.J. Mosely, Le’Veon Bell, Quinnen Williams, and a much improved offensive line, the Jets will have a great run game and a prominent defense to help Darnold make the leap to an elite status.
12-4 Seattle Seahawks: Last year, the Seahawks proved they are still a top team. Just when it seemed like they may be on the downturn, they came back. The Seahawks have reinstalled a run oriented scheme which allows Russell Wilson to pass for unthinkably efficient stats. Since 2017, leading NFL analysts have argued that Wilson’s numbers were too efficient and had to regress, now, I’m buying in. Despite their wide receivers and running backs closely resembling that of a bottom offense like the Jaguars, there is one major difference, that being Wilson. Since his rookie season, Wilson has stood out as one of the NFL’s best. With his absurd mobility and stunningly accurate deep ball, at the end of his career, Wilson will be regarded as one of the best of all time. Due to Wilson’s remarkable skill set, the Seahawks can run the ball more than most teams, which, in turn, aids the defense. With Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney applying pressure on the opposing offense, I expect tremendous things from this team.
12-4 Philadelphia Eagles: In 2017, Carson Wentz would’ve unquestionably been named NFL MVP if it hadn’t have been for his ACL tear. In 2018, Wentz encountered many struggles: wearing a knee brace which restricted his mobility, battling minor injuries, and enduring lingering back issue in particular. Now, with Wentz completely healthy, added weapons, and a much improved running back committee, the Eagles may be able to return to the Super Bowl.
11-5 Atlanta Falcons: Arguably the most consistent offense since 2016, the Falcons seemed to have had a major down year in 2018, but the fact of the matter is that injuries bombarded the Falcons. After week one, Ricardo Allen, Deion Jones, Keanu Neal, Andy Levitre, and Devonta Freeman started a combined nine games, five of those being a handicapped Jones. Now, fully restored, the Falcons should return to their previous form and make a run at the playoffs.
11-5 Green Bay Packers: Matt LaFleur’s new coaching staff comes with both an upside and downside for the Packers. For the past two seasons, Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been himself: in 2017, it was due to injury, and in 2018, it was simply a fluke. Given his enormous sample of being arguably the best quarterback of all time, Rodgers and the Packers seem to be set up for their first great season in awhile. Also, adding Adrian Amos, Preston Smith, and Za’Darius Smith supplies the defense with the necessary means to bolster the team back to the playoffs.
10-6 New Orleans Saints: The Saints have been the most steady team for awhile now and with minimal offseason transactions it may seem obscure that I have them as borderline wild card team. My record prediction is more of a testament to their schedule than anything else. Prone to upsets against run heavy teams with good defenses, the schedule makers seemed to have cursed the 2019 Saints with matchups against the Seahawks, Jaguars, Colts, and Titans. In spite of that, the Saints will still make the playoffs by a hair, and once Drew Brees is in the playoffs, it’s a challenge to get him out without the referees’ assistance.
10-6 Chicago Bears: Last year, the Bears’ defense took the league by storm, leading the league in almost every defensive category. The Bears are now considered one of the favorites for the Super Bowl. With the loss of Vic Fangio, however, the defense will regress considerably. Still, the offense may be able to put up big numbers in the second year of running the Matt Nagy offense. However, it’s important to take that with a grain of salt. In his entire career, including his “breakout” in 2018, Mitch Trubisky’s accuracy and throwing mechanics have been abysmal. Whatever his mechanical problem is, whether it’s turning his hips improperly or inability to lead receivers, if Trubisky can fix it, the Bears’ offense will explode.