2015 NFL Predictions

With 2015 NFL season around the corner, here are my 2015 NFL Predictions. Last year I predicted the Saints to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, so assuredly, all my predictions will be wrong…or half right. So without further ado, here are my 2015 NFL Predictions.

AFC

AFC East AFC North AFC South AFC West
Patriots 12 – 4 Ravens 11 – 5 Colts 11 – 5 Broncos 11 – 5
Dolphins 9 – 7 Steelers 9 – 7 Texans 8 – 8 Chargers 9 – 7
Bills 7 – 9 Bengals 8 – 8 Jaguars 4 – 12 Chiefs 8 – 8
Jets 5 – 11 Browns 6 – 10 Titans 3 – 13 Raiders 5 – 11

Wild Cards: San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins

AFC East: Suspended or not, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are still the class of the AFC East and will once again win the division pretty much uncontested. Ryan Tannehill will take a step forward and the Dolphins defense, led by Ndamukong Suh, will be among the best in football, leading the ‘Fins to a wild card berth. While Rex Ryan and the Bills will also trot out a vaunted defense, poor quarterback play will haunt Ryan the entire season as the Bills improve, but once again, miss the playoffs. As for the Jets, with or without Geno Smith, the Jets will be cellar dwellers, their defense only capable of taking them so far.

AFC North: Joe Flacco and the Ravens pull out another division title, eking it out over the Steelers, whose defense just isn’t up to par with those of the past. The Steelers will have the best offense in the division, but without a great defense, they’ll just miss the playoffs. Andy Dalton and the Bengals miss the playoffs as well, leading to Marvin Lewis’ ouster as Dalton proves he isn’t capable of leading a team the distance, especially with a defense that could take another step backward. And the Browns: Josh McCown proves capable, Manziel not, and the Browns, with lots of the right pieces, will look to find their QB in the 2016 draft.

AFC South: The Colts are the class of this division, but they’ll have more trouble than expected as they didn’t do enough to improve their defense and offensive line, instead drafting yet another wide receiver. Brian Hoyer can only lead J.J. Watt and the Texans so far, meaning Houston fans might see Tom Savage by the season’s end as an injured Arian Foster cripples Houston’s offense and playoff chances. The Jaguars and Titans both show some improvement, but growing pains for Blake Bortles and Marcus Mariota mean another season picking in the top 10 of the 2016 draft.

AFC West: The Broncos, once again, win the division with ease, as a balanced offense, in what might be Peyton Manning’s last year, and an improved defense, give the Broncos one last shot. With talk of moving to Los Angeles in the future, the Chargers give San Diego one final season, as Phillip Rivers puts together a sensational season with a contract extension under his belt and the Chargers make the playoffs. The Chiefs finally throw a touchdown to a wide receiver; but a downfield threat in Jeremy Maclin isn’t enough to cure their woes as they miss the playoffs for the second straight year. Derek Carr and Amari Cooper lead an improved Raiders team that’s still a few years away, and probably moving to L.A.

NFC

NFC East NFC North NFC South NFC West
Eagles 11 – 5 Packers 12 – 4 Saints 10 – 6 Seahawks 12 – 4
Cowboys 10 – 6 Vikings 8 – 8 Falcons 7 – 9 Cardinals 9 – 7
Giants 9 – 7 Lions 7 – 9 Panthers 7 – 9 Rams 8 – 8
Redskins 3 – 13 Bears 6 – 10 Buccaneers 5 – 11 49ers 6 – 10

Wild Cards: Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals

NFC East: With an improved defense, as long as Sam Bradford stays healthy, which is a big IF, the Philadelphia Eagles should have enough to jump the Dallas Cowboys in the division, with what could be one of the top offenses in the league. And without DeMarco Murray, the Cowboys offense will take a step back, but the combination of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant is too much to hold out of the playoffs. The New York Giants will also put up points, but questions on defense, especially in their secondary, will be too much, keeping them out of the playoffs. As for the Washington Redskins, the feud between Dan Snyder and Coach Jay Gruden over RGIII will continue as the Redskins finish as the worst team in football.

NFC North: Not only are the Green Bay Packers the class of the NFC North, but they’re also the class of the NFC, coasting to a division crown even without Jordy Nelson as Aaron Rodgers can make any receiver look good. With Teddy Bridgewater at the helm, and Adrian Peterson playing under his new contract, the Minnesota Vikings will be sneaky good, but are still a year away from the playoffs due to offensive line struggles. The Detroit Lions will take a step back this year, especially on defense where the loss of Ndamukong Suh will sting. And in Chicago, injuries to his wideouts will hurt Jay Cutler, but the Bears’ defense isn’t anywhere near good enough for this team to do anything right now.

NFC South: After just missing the playoffs last season, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints return to the top of the NFC South, with a high-powered offense led by Mark Ingram and their run-game for the second straight year. The Atlanta Falcons have the offensive firepower to compete with the Saints, but their defense isn’t enough to be talking playoffs. Without Kelvin Benjamin and having done little to improve their offensive line, Cam Newton will be under duress the entire season and the Carolina Panthers will find themselves missing the playoffs. As for Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Winston will show growing pains, but the Bucs have found their franchise QB.

NFC West: If Carson Palmer stays healthy the Arizona Cardinals will put up a fight, but once again the Seattle Seahawks, with their vaunted defense, will take the NFC West division crown. With a healthy Palmer though, the Cardinals will make headway similar to last season and find themselves once again the in the playoffs. Nick Foles will vastly improve the Rams offense, but the Rams and their offense are a year away from being good enough to contend. And without Jim Harbaugh, the San Francisco 49ers defense is a mess with numerous players retiring, leaving the 49ers to finish in last place as Kaepernick continues to struggle.

Playoffs:

Seeding:

  • AFC: Patriots, Broncos, Ravens, Colts, Chargers, Dolphins
  • NFC: Packers, Seahawks, Eagles, Saints, Cowboys, Cardinals

Wild Card Round:

  • AFC: Ravens over Dolphins and Chargers over Colts
  • NFC: Eagles over Cardinals and Cowboys over Saints

Divisional Round:

  • AFC: Patriots over Chargers and Broncos over Ravens
  • NFC: Packers over Cowboys and Eagles over Seahawks

Conference Championships:

  • AFC: Broncos over Patriots
  • NFC: Packers over Eagles

Super Bowl L

  • Broncos over Packers

Awards:

  • Super Bowl MVP: Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos
  • Offensive MVP: Phillip Rivers, QB, Chargers
  • Defensive MVP: J.J. Watt, DE, Texans
  • Offensive Rookie of the Year: Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles
  • Defensive Rookie of the Year: Shane Ray, OLB, Broncos
  • Coach of the Year: Chip Kelly, Eagles
  • Comeback Player of the Year: Sam Bradford, QB, Eagles
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