Celebrating the first of the preseason games (other than the Hall of Fame game), we will move onto to our next division — the NFC North. The Packers have owned this division recently, winning 5 of the last 6 seasons. The Vikings took 2015 and opened a scorching 6-0 last year with new QB Sam Bradford but fizzled down the stretch. The Packers added Martellus Bennett at the TE spot and look primed to repeat as champions. The Lions have not been able to capture the division crown since 1993. Let’s take a look at how the staff thinks the action will unfold this year.
- All the writers are in agreement that the Packers will make it a 6th division crown in 7 years. Allen & Kevin have the Packers primed to take the 1 seed in the NFC.
- The Bears look to have a high draft pick yet again as everyone picked them to finish below 5 wins for the season.
- The Vikings will be mediocre this year — everyone has them around the .500 mark.
- Tyler is the only one who thinks the Lions will be able to have a wild-card eligible season.
Our season preview has concluded with the AFC, which leads us to its counterpart — the NFC. We start with the highly contested NFC East. The Cowboys re-captured the division championship last year amidst a 13-3 finish led by their tandem rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot. Although falling short in the playoffs in typical Cowboy fashion, their season was nothing short of an amazing turnaround. With Romo out of the picture, the Cowboys seem ready to defend their division crown. The Giants, who fell short in the wildcard game against the Packers, added a few pieces including Brandon Marshall to bolster their attempt to take the division back. Let’s take a look at the picks:
- All of the writers are in agreement that the Giants have done enough to put themselves in position to win the division. Their receiver corp of Beckham, Marshall, and Shepard is clearly not one to be overlooked.
- Some regression for the Cowboys after their outstanding 13-3 season. Danny is the only one not to keep them above .500.
- YOU LIKE THAT? We don’t. The Redskins have a disappointing season amidst the Kirk Cousins contract issues and finish middle of the pack in the NFL.
- Danny has the Eagles above .500 but the rest of the writers agree that it’s 6-10 for second year QB Wentz.
We conclude the AFC portion of our season preview with the AFC North. Often a closely fought division, we’ve seen every team except for Cleveland win twice in the last six years. Pittsburgh looks to repeat as division winners once again this year amidst a contract holdout from Le’Veon Bell. These disputes always seem to work themselves out in time so it would be a shock to see the Steelers start the season without him on the field. Let’s take a look at the predictions:
- The Steelers join the Patriots as the only unanimous division winners among the staff for the AFC.
- This also was the first division that everyone agreed on the placement of teams.
- All four put the Ravens at 9-7 despite the uncertainty behind Joe Flacco to start the season.
- Cleveland looks to be one of the biggest come-back teams of the year according to our writers — improving upon their franchise worst 1-15 season last year.
- Looks like this is the end of the road for Marvin Lewis, who has avoided being fired despite not being able to get one win in the playoffs since he was hired in 2003.
Day 3 of the Season Preview series brings us to the AFC West. Dominated by the Broncos between 2011-2015, the AFC West was snatched by the Kansas City Chiefs last year for only the second time in 13 years. The Raiders made a strong push to take the division but sputtered down the stretch when their star QB went down with an injury. Let’s take a look at the outlook for the upcoming season:
- Split in half here: Allen and Tyler seem to think the Chiefs will repeat, while Kevin and Danny are pushing for the Raiders to bring Oakland a division championship before moving.
- Everyone agrees that the AFC West will produce two double-digit win teams, likely meaning one of the wild-card spots will be snatched up in this division.
- Kevin is the only one who believes there will be 3 double-digit win teams.
- Looks like the Chargers move to LA will not be an exciting one to watch — the highest prediction for them here is 6 wins.
Day 2 of the season predictions kicks off with the worst division in football lately — the AFC South. The Texans and Colts have been the only winners of this division since 2008, when the Titans went 13-3 to take first place. The Titans seemed poised to snatch the throne from two time defending champion Houston, with their young core starting with QB Marcus Mariota. Let’s take a look at the picks:
“Put the Browns in the AFC South and you have a 10 win team.” – Danny
- Only Danny has the Texans repeating as division champs — everyone else is betting on the Titans to finally reach their potential and snatch the division crown.
- Everyone agrees the Texans remain an above .500 team even with the question mark at QB after shuffling through 3 last year.
- Kevin likes the Colts to finish above .500 while the other three are looking at a grim 6-10 finish and likely firing of Chuck Pagano.
- Everyone likes the Jaguars to improve upon their 3-13 record in 2017. Blake Bortles faces a ton of uncertainty in what will be a huge year for determining the future of the Jaguars.
Since this is the first week with football back, we figured it’d be best to start our predictions for the 2017-2018 NFL Season.We’re going to break it down by division daily but here is our not-so expert prediction for the AFC East.
“16-0 — never been more sure of anything in my life” – Kevin
- No surprise that the Patriots fell on top of everyone’s list — seems to be a consensus that the reigning SB champs have bolstered their lineup and are ready to take the AFC East for the 14th time in the last 15 years.
- Kevin is the only one who thinks first year coach Sean McDermott leads the Bills to a second place finish — bold prediction there.
- Seems that nobody thinks a second AFC East team will make an appearance to the playoffs — only Kevin & Tyler have another team above .500.
- Looks like it’ll be a tough year for the dumpster fire known as the Jets organization.
Cleveland definitely made it a close one but hit in their sixth run in the top of the ninth inning to give us a perfect start to the lock of the day. The bonus pick hit as well, with the Celtics staying put to draft Jayson Tatum to round out the top 3. Onto the next.
Record: 1-0-0 Streak: 1W Last 10: W
Ireland Premier League – Cork City FC vs Derry City (2:45 EST)
Not the most popular league in the world, the Ireland Premier League is in its mid-season stride. Let’s take a look at the table:
As you can see, Cork City being dominant is an understatement. With an 18 point lead on second place, Cork travels to Derry in an attempt to raise the gap between the rest of the table. Derry, no slouch at home at 5-2-2, will not be a pushover. Cork City took the win in the teams’ first match of the season on April 7th by a score of 3-0. Cork will be without their captain Dunleavy due to a possible season-ending injury but look to continue their run of brilliance and take the win here.
Pick: Cork City ML (-155) WIN
BONUS PICK (1-0-0)
New England Revolution @ Toronto FC (ML, -139) WIN
MLB – Cleveland Indians vs Baltimore Orioles
The Indians are hot right now, winning 7 of their last 10 games. In those games, they have driven in an average of 7.1 runs per game. Baltimore however has been reeling in the month of June and finds themselves giving up 7.3 per game.
Wade Miley, who hasn’t been exceptional with a 4.29 ERA, is on the bump for the Orioles tonight. The Indians tend to have some success against lefties (first in hits against LHP with 222), so this one should be over quickly as Cleveland looks to finish the series.
Pick: Cleveland OVER 5.5 Team Total RUNS (-110)
Office Locks: 0-0-0 (Win-Loss-Push) — Streak: N/A
NBA Draft: Josh Jackson OVER 3.5 (-125)
Of course if the Celtics trade their pick, all hell can break loose but I’m going to bet on Danny Ainge keeping the pick. There’s not enough value for the Celtics to give up this pick and Jackson hasn’t even worked out for Boston. The Celtics seem to love Tatum so I’m going to take the risk on Jackson falling to the Suns.
Fresh off a historic comeback in Super Bowl LI, the New England Patriots are storming into the 2017-2018 season with key acquisitions on both sides of the ball. Though raising some eyebrows with all these seemingly “win-now” pick-ups, the Patriots know their window with Tom Brady at the helm are dwindling down.
Let’s take a look at the key games on the schedule:
Continue reading The Case for 19-0