Thursday, September 6, 2018

Game Bibs’ 2018 NFL Predictions

We’re not sure even Nostradamus could have predicted the way the 2017 NFL season panned out. A surprise Philadelphia squad surged their way into the playoffs and won the championship despite losing their young, exciting franchise quarterback to a knee injury. Meanwhile, the Vikings turned heads with a backup quarterback of their own, which gave us an offseason quarterback carousel that’s only just settling. Who can forget the Jacksonville Jaguars and their stout defense that nearly made it to the Super Bowl? Put on your prediction caps as we give our picks for top teams in 2018.

Can we safely pick the Eagles to come out on top in the East? The Giants clarified their contract issues with Odell Beckham, Washington picked up a proven leader in Alex Smith, and the Cowboys are young and hungry. If Carson Wentz makes a healthy comeback around the quarter mark of the season, however, we think you can put your bets on the Eagles.

If Aaron Rodgers is healthy, you can never count out Green Bay. The team may have lost Jordy Nelson from their receiving corps, but they stabilized their tight end group with Jimmy Graham and other solid veterans. Khalil Mack running wild in Chicago won’t mean an easy road for the likes of Rodgers, Matt Stafford, or Kirk Cousins, however. We see the Packers eeking out a few close victories over Detroit and Minnesota to take the division.

Last season feels like a bit of a rarity with three teams all finishing near the top of the table. Unless Drew Brees finds Tom Brady’s Fountain of Youth, this is likely Atlanta’s division to lose. We’re betting the Falcons come out on top after a few tough divisional games.

Los Angeles signed Aaron Donald to a massive contract, solidifying their defensive line for the near future. We’re picking the Rams to prove last year wasn’t a fluke.

All of their competitors made some nice draft picks and signings, but this division is, yet again, owned by the Patriots and their ageless quarterback. It won’t be close in 2018.

The ongoing Le’Veon Bell talks in Pittsburgh have us wondering what the Steelers can patch together if their star running back holds out well into the season. There’s also the question of whether or not his team wants him there. Maybe they only win 11 games this year, but Baltimore wins 11 as well. It could come down to a late-season showdown between the two teams, with the Ravens prevailing in nail biting fashion.

Jacksonville, often the doormat of the league, is out to prove they’re a sustainable, legitimate contender in the AFC. A near upset of New England in last season’s conference championship has people believing, but the return of Andrew Luck likely gives the Colts a fighting shot in the division. Don’t forget about the sneaky Titans, either. We think the Jaguars will come out just one win above their trailing teams for the division crown.

The Chiefs have moved on from Alex Smith and are entrusting their offense to young, dynamic Patrick Mahomes. Can he sustain the Kung Fu grip they’ve had on the division lately, or will the Chargers or Raiders bounce back and take the division? We see the Chargers surging back to prominence and claiming the AFC West.

Thus concludes our infallible look at which teams will reach the postseason in 2018. Given how last season’s playoffs went, we won’t even begin to guess which teams will make the Wild Card round or score an upset victory. What do you think will happen this season? Let us know in the comments below, and we hope to see a few of you in your bibs cheering from the stands!