Yeah, it’s August. Whatever. Just for laughs, let’s talk about what’s in store for the 2018-2019 NFL season. Vegas is updating its sportsbooks as we speak and everybody’s feeling good about their teams, so why not make some crazy early NFL predictions, right? Like, a few guesses that are off the wall and way too soon. Just for fun. Don’t get your feelings hurt. Here are our Super Bowl 53 picks and feelings about the upcoming NFL season.
The Jaguars Make It to the Super Bowl
After being the butt of sports jokes for years, the Jags really showed up last season. Nobody actually thought they’d beat out the Patriots in the AFC Championship, but they did a good job trying. Sure, they had some postseason matchups that worked out in their favor, but this is a team that can handle the pressure. They’ve got a great defense and running game. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey is awesome (like one of the NFL’s best players awesome). Blake Bortles is solid, and maybe he’ll become more consistent this season. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Also, you don’t necessarily have to have an amazing quarterback to win the Super Bowl…
One big opposing argument? The AFC South is going to be super competitive this season with tons of star players – like Andrew Luck and JJ Watt – coming back, so some argue the Jags won’t even make the playoffs. We disagree though.
So Do the Packers
This is a more popular pick because Aaron Rodgers is returning. If he stays healthy, he could be the season’s MVP. Green Bay has been quiet for a while, but they’re gonna come raging back with a vengeance this year. They also had a great draft, with two strong cornerbacks coming to the team – Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson.
Most think they’re only a fourth to sixth pick for Super Bowl 53 right now in terms of odds, but we’ve got faith. Even with Jordy Nelson gone, we think Rodgers will pick up the slack. (Because man, they were awful without him.) And don’t forget: The last time Rodgers broke his collarbone like this, he came back as MVP the following season and made it to the NFC Championship. It could happen again!
Other experts say there’s no way the Packers will have their defense fixed by this season. Last year, opposing teams completed almost 70% of passes when facing the Packers defense. (And these weren’t teams with crazy good QBs either.) Can new cornerbacks and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine make up for it? Guess we’ll have to wait and see…
The Eagles will Still be Awesome
We predict the Super Bowl champs will return with a fire underneath them. Philly won the Super Bowl 52 basically because of their outstanding defense… which will only get better with Michael Bennett coming to the team. A healthy Carson Wentz could be an MVP candidate this season, even though Nick Foles was pretty darn impressive himself in the postseason. Depending on how running back Jay Ajayi shows up, the Eagles could even make it to the big game again. Haven’t we learned not to underestimate them yet?
They’ve got depth and adaptability. Losing Patrick Robinson and Michael Kendricks will be tough on their defense, but hey, they adapted to losing a QB last year! To keep up the success, they’ll need to stay true to their culture, keep having fun, and keep adapting. We really saw their coaching skills and personalities shine through last year on the road to the Super Bowl and if they keep it up they could do it again!
The Vikings Won’t
Sorry, Bold North. We were really rooting for you last season, but we’re not super hyped about new quarterback Kirk Cousins. While the franchise is expecting him to take the team to new heights, we have our suspicions. He might carry them through a pretty good regular season, but we don’t see it happening for them in the playoffs. Plus, the NFL has given them a tough slate to navigate in 2018, with difficult road stretches and games against several playoff teams.
It’s pretty normal for a team to be awesome one year and then mediocre the next and this is what we could see happening with the Vikings. They’ve got to test out their reworked roster, and losing Pat Shurmur might hurt their offense a lot more than they expect. While even optimistic experts are predicting a 12-4 season, most don’t think they’ll make it through the playoffs.
Could we be wrong? Of course! Cousins is great at NOT throwing interceptions and the Vikings are strong at cornerback with both Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes. Also, Dalvin Cook could come back healthy and lead the league in rushing yards. Ya never know!