2019 NFL Midseason Predictions

The first half of the NFL season has presented us with many surprises, and a surge of a new generation of NFL talent. The San Francisco 49ers remain the only undefeated team in the NFL currently, the Cincinnati Bengals remain the only winless team, and players like Christian McCaffrey are taking over the league and putting on an MVP-worthy performance. Here is what has happened this season, and what will continue throughout the season.

The Panthers are 5-3 Without Cam Newton, and Will Make the Playoffs

Currently, the Panthers are on the outside looking in as the 8-seed in the NFC and 2ndin the NFC South, but their 5-3 record, Christian McCaffrey’s video-game numbers, and the new-look defense has put them in a position to compete with Kyle Allen, not Cam Newton, at quarterback. Allen, who took over for the now-on-IR Newton in Week 3, has gone 5-1 as the starter, losing only to the undefeated 49ers. Allen hasn’t done anything out of the ordinary, just played mistake-free, smart football that has kept his team in a position to win. Sure, they have 2 dates with New Orleans, a home game against Seattle, and tough road games against Green Bay and Indianapolis, they should be able to win the home games, Indianapolis, and potentially one game against New Orleans to go at least 9-7, and considering how teams like the Eagles, Vikings, and Rams have struggled this season, Carolina should be able to get the 6-seed in the NFC.

Like I Predicted in Preseason, Aaron Rodgers Will Be the MVP

Aaron Rodgers got off to, well, a sluggish start in the new Matt LeFleur offense, but Green Bay’s defense stepped up big. Then, Rodgers said that the offense needed to ‘step it up’, and A-Rod and the Pack offense has not looked back since. Currently standing at 6-2 and the 3-seed in the NFC, they will be one of the top NFC Super Bowl contenders along with the Saints. Rodgers is currently 5thin passing yards and 4thin passing TDs, is among the top of the MVP race along with Russell Wilson and Christian McCaffrey, and if he keeps this pace up, he can outpace Wilson in the MVP race and get his 2ndNFL MVP award.

Lamar Jackson Proved Everyone Wrong… and He Won’t Stop Anytime Soon

Lamar Jackson was critiqued by Bill Polian before last year’s NFL draft and was told to convert to Wide Receiver. Jackson was drafted in the first round as a QB by the Ravens and guaranteed that they would get a Super Bowl out of him. He eventually took the starting job from Joe Flacco and led the Ravens to the playoffs. This season, Lamar has been able to use his arm along with his legs and become an elite QB. Last Sunday, he beat the record-setting Patriots defense and the GOAT Tom Brady to end their undefeated season up to that point. Now, he put the Ravens in position to potentially go to the Super Bowl, currently leading the Ravens to the 2-seed in the AFC, good enough for a first-round bye and homefield in the AFC Divisional Round. Expect Lamar to keep playing the way he always does, prove people wrong, and keep winning.

The Eagles Need to Sign Either Dez Bryant or Antonio Brown

So, yeah, Philadelphia, the Super Bowl 52 Champions, have changed a lot roster-wise since then. They have lost LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi, Torrey Smith, Trey Burton, a plethora of signings that have not worked out, such as DeSean Jackson and Zach Brown, and many underperforming players, such as Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz, and just about everyone on defense. Oh, and they lost their savior Nick Foles, but everyone knew Wentz would be starting either way. Anyways, the Eagles have lost many games this season due to their poor receiver play, most notably Agholor. Wentz has been let down by receivers dropping passes than I could catch, and has lost many winnable games because of it, like the game at Atlanta where Agholor dropped the ball, the game at home against Detroit where rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside dropped a wide-open TD. The other games they lost, being to Dallas and Minnesota on the road, they’ve simply been blown out due to poor overall team play. If Philadelphia really wants to compete and be the Super Bowl-contending team they once were, they NEED to sign a big-name wide receiver. They missed out on Josh Gordon, as he went to Seattle to join Russell Wilson and his already-stacked WR core, so now that leaves them with Dez Bryant, who tweeted today that he is ready to reach out to teams soon, and of course, the drama-king of the NFL, Antonio Brown. While both risky due to character issues and health, either would be an immediate impact to a team that desperately needs hands. With AB, the Eagles can challenge Green Bay, Seattle and New Orleans, and with Bryant, they can at least win the NFC East if not contend with Green Bay, Seattle and New Orleans. Whoever they decide out of these two, they need to sign one of these in order to be a legit contender.

My Saints-Chiefs Super Bowl Prediction Remains the Same

I still see these two teams meeting in the Super Bowl. In the AFC, do I think that the Ravens are ready? Not yet, simply because the defense has been suspect for the majority of the season. Does New England beat Kansas City in the playoffs again, if they meet up? No because the offense isn’t at the point where they can keep up with Kansas City. Their inconsistency in the run game will outweigh the consistency of Julian Edelman, James White, and Mohamed Sanu’s production. In the NFC, is Green Bay good enough on defense to sustain the play of A-Rod and the offense? To me, this is the very-early frontrunner to win next year’s Super Bowl, but not this year. Seattle lies in the same realm, with their defense not being able to get to the level of Wilson and the offense. The Saints and Chiefs have complete rosters, and defenses good enough to meet the level of the offense and keep them in it. Kansas City has dropped games this year due to Mahomes playing through injury and not because they have regressed as a team. If anything, they are probably better, especially with their run game, and New Orleans, the NFL’s most complete team currently, just has everything you want in a team, with their next-man-up mentality, going 5-0 with Teddy Bridgewater replacing the injured Drew Brees and Latavius Murray replacing the injured Alvin Kamara, and their big-play ability on defense as well. So, expect some fireworks in Miami on February, and expect the Saints to take home the Lombardi.

Super Bowl LIII: What to Expect, and Who Wins

17 years ago, Super Bowl XXXVI was played between the then-St. Louis Rams and the New England Patriots. The quarterbacks were Kurt Warner and Tom Brady. Back then, Tom Brady was just 24 years old and a second-year quarterback, and Bill Belichick was in his second season coaching the Patriots. Now players WR Julian Edelman and TE Rob Gronkowski of the Pats were 15 and 12 years old, respectively, Rams coach Sean McVay was 16, and Rams quarterback Jared Goff was 8. On Sunday, Super Bowl LIII will be played between the now-Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots, with players such as Edelman, Gronkowski, and Goff playing, and McVay coaching. Oh, how time flies. But the guys that are still there are Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and they are not showing many signs of not showing up to Super Bowls anytime soon. The Patriots are an older, more experienced team, going against a team of young guys who are new to the Super Bowl party, yet the two teams have very similar playing styles, with prolific passing games on offense, bend-but-don’t-break defenses, and big-play special teams units. Here are how the teams compare, and who will lift the Lombardi Trophy.

The Game, The Teams, The Storylines, and The Prediction

The LA Rams started the season 8-0 and looked like the hottest team in the league until they went into the Superdome and got humbled by the Saints. As the season went on, the offense was questioned, as they began to have a dropoff, as shown in games against Chicago and Philly. They finally showed they belonged in the playoffs with wins against Dallas and New Orleans (which yes, they didn’t deserve to win because of the referees, but we can’t do anything about that anymore). Anyways, everyone knows that Todd Gurley is the best player for the Rams by far, but with him not having been 100% the past few weeks, CJ Anderson has stepped in and been their best player ever since. Bill Belichick is known for taking away the best player(s) from the opposing team, so do not expect Gurley and/or Anderson to have the same type of numbers that they have been the past few weeks. Belichick will force Goff to beat them, and with Goff being a young, yet good quarterback, you can bet Goff will get a bit frazzled at times. Sean McVay, on the other hand, will have to take away Julian Edelman, which if you watch the Patriots play in Super Bowls, you know how hard that is to do. Edelman is always the one who comes up clutch in Super Bowls and always delivers for Brady. As far as matchups go, Patriots have the advantage. As far as experience goes, Patriots have the advantage. As far as the stats and on-paper comparison goes, Rams have the advantage. But what is really going to be the determining factor for this game? Which quarterback has the ball last. This Super Bowl will be quite similar to the past two, where offenses fly around the field, but the offense that blinks first is the one that loses. If I had to guess which offense blinks first, I would go with the Rams. I just do not trust the fact that the Rams secondary can do enough to stop Brady from getting the ball to guys like Edelman (who leads the team in receiving yards this postseason with 247), Gronkowski (who had two touchdowns in Super Bowl LII), and James White (leading the team in receptions, and also holds the NFL record for most receptions in a Super Bowl game with 14 in Super Bowl LI). The Rams pass rush simply is not enough to disrupt the Pats offense, and as far as the Patriots defense goes, while they may not be great, they have all been here before, and they have stepped up to the challenge this postseason. I simply do not see a way that the Patriots lose back-to-back Super Bowls as long as Brady and Belichick are present. Another fun fact, Brady is undefeated against non-NFC East teams in the Super Bowl (two losses to NY Giants, one to Philadelphia Eagles). To all the Rams fans and Patriots haters out there, don’t get too excited. Pats win, 38-34.

Conference Championship Weekend: Who’s Going to Atlanta?

The time of year is quickly approaching. The cold nights of January are perfect for playoff football, so we have to preview the games coming up this Sunday and see who is packing their bags to stay home, and who will live another few weeks and go to Atlanta.

AFC Championship Game: Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots

So, per usual, the AFC Championship Game runs through the Patriots, as it has for the past 8 years. This time, however, we go from cold Foxborough to cold and possibly snowy Kansas City. With the kickoff temperature expected to be in the 20s now rather than in the single digits, fans going to the game can be a bit more excited about the fact that their chances of getting hypothermia and frostbite went down a bit, but this may be just another thing that plays into New England’s advantage. The Patriots play in these temperatures in January all the time, whether they practice in it, or play in it. Kansas City doesn’t know what an AFC Championship Game is like, it has been over 40 years since that last happened. That being said, soon-to-be NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes will lead his Chiefs in a rematch against the GOAT Tom Brady. The last time these teams played was a Sunday night in October, where the offenses were nonstop, defenses non-existent, and Pats Kicker Stephen Gostkowski was money. The game once again will come down to who has the ball last, and who can make the biggest plays at the right moment. The last time they played, Patrick Mahomes found Tyreek Hill on a huge touchdown play late in the 4thbut left over 3 minutes for Brady to work with to get into field goal range. Mahomes better make sure that if he wants to score a touchdown, that he doesn’t leave too much time on the clock, because Brady will find a way. 3 minutes is an eternity for Brady. Despite Brady being 1-4 lifetime on the road in AFC Championship Games, and his best target Rob Gronkowski being AWOL for most of the season, Brady always finds a way, and against a defense as terrible as the Chiefs, he won’t lose. Oh, and not to mention, the biggest choker in NFL history, Chiefs coach Andy Reid, is coaching the Chiefs still (despite all the leads he’s blown, and the lack of playoff wins before this year), so it is safe to say the Chiefs will find a way to lose this game. No betting against Brady here, Pats win.

NFC Championship Game: New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Rams

Another rematch of a game that ended up being an absolute thriller, with the Rams being undefeated at 8-0 at the time, and the Saints being the only team that could seemingly stop them. Surely enough, the Saints were able to end the dominance of LA, and neither team has really slowed down since. The two most complete teams in the NFC will meet again in New Orleans on Sunday, yet this time with some more questions to answer. Will Jared Goff play like he did in November when they played New Orleans (he had 391 yards passing and 3 TDs), or will he play like he did last year in the Rams NFC Wild Card Game against Atlanta? Will Sean McVay prove to be the prodigy the world is amazed by? Will Drew Brees cement his place as potentially the Greatest of All Time? Since the last rematch, Goff has been off-and-on, McVay has proven his prodigy-like skills, and Brees has broken records and put up an MVP-caliber season. Since then, the Saints have also been the #1 scoring defense, which will prove to be the difference on Sunday. The Saints defense’s ability to slow down the Rams potent offense will be what wins them this game. Last week, when they played the Eagles, they were down 14-0 after the Eagles’ first 2 possessions, but the defense didn’t allow any points the rest of the game and came up with the game-winning stop on a Marshon Lattimore interception, all thanks to Alshon Jeffery’s ‘best hands in the NFL’. There will be a ton of points scored for sure, but it will come down to if Jared Goff can outplay Brees and if the Saints defense fails to stop Goff and the Rams. I do not see that happening, so Saints win.

The Divisional Round: Will The Powerhouses Fall?

Many of us are waiting anxiously to see what powerhouse teams like the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers can do after their extra week of rest and relaxation. Well, here I am to give you the record straight, with my predictions below:

AFC Divisional Round Predictions

(2) New England Patriots vs. (5) Kansas City Chiefs

TE Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots got a shot in the knee because of his recent knee injury from practice earlier this week. That causes a lot of concern because their offensive line is playing terribly right now and the Kansas City defense is hotter than hot right now. Their offense has figured out how to win without their big-time stars. Chiefs win. Final Score: Chiefs, 29-26.

(1) Denver Broncos vs. (6) Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh simply put has too many injuries. Broncos win with Peyton Manning returning to legendary form. Final Score: Broncos, 48-34.

NFC Divisional Round Predictions

(1) Carolina Panthers vs. (6) Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson vs. Cam Newton is turning into Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady in a rivalry sense, as the 2 QBs have nearly identical playing styles, and so the teams’ defenses. This will be one game that could get ugly and physical, and Carolina loves that. Final Score: Panthers, 28-23.

(2) Arizona Cardinals vs. (5) Green Bay Packers

Now 3 weeks back in the desert, Green Bay got manhandled and saw their QB Aaron Rodgers get sacked 8 times and picked off twice and fumbling twice, and backup QB Scott Tolzien got sacked as well, and the Pack scored just 8 points, so clearly, Arizona has a crazy good defense, and that was WITHOUT Pro Bowl Safety Tyrann Mathieu, The ‘Honey Badger’. The offense is number one in the league, with a balance in run and pass, scoring 38 points in that game. This game will be closer, but ‘Zona will still win. Final Score: Cardinals, 44-31.

 

Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots or Seahawks?

The controversy of the Deflategate surrounding the New England Patriots hasn’t seemed to effect the Patriots. Deflategate really makes no sense because there is no real punishment that New England can see. In 2007, they were involved in Spygate, and nothing happened to New England, so punishing New England 8 years later for something doesn’t even make sense and cannot exactly be proven is just messed up. The Seattle Seahawks, on the other hand, had a miracle happen against the Green Bay Packers 2 weeks back at CenturyLink Field. Literally, a miracle. If Brandon Bostick hadn’t dropped that onside kick, Green Bay would be playing New England (New England won fair and square over the Indianapolis Colts people, so they would be here). Chris Matthews, instead, got the 12th Man roaring like never before, as they forced OT, and won. But honestly, they need more effort if they want to beat New England. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup.

Super Bowl XLIX: New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks

As I said earlier, the effort by Seattle was not the typical type of effort that we normally see. Russell Wilson threw a career-high 4 interceptions, but threw the OT winner. Marshawn Lynch was great as usual, 25 carries, 157 yards, and the touchdown that put Green Bay down 22-19 in regulation. Aaron Rodgers was stellar for the Packers despite the torn calf. If Seattle can’t beat a one-legged quarterback who has won only 1 Super Bowl, how are they going to matchup with a 3-time champ (trying to make himself a 4-time champ)? New England has more weapons than last year’s Denver Broncos team on both sides of the football. On offense, you have Brady, then you have TE Rob Gronkowski, RB LeGarrette Blount, and WRs Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola who could both put the icing on the cake for New England. On defense, they have CB Brandon Browner, who won the Super Bowl last year with the Seahawks, CB Darrelle Revis, the best CB after the Seahawks Richard Sherman, you have LBs Jamie Collins, Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones, and DE Vince Wilfork, who solidify your pass rush. Seattle has just Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, and WRs Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse on offense, who aren’t known as great receivers, and defensively, CBs Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell, SS Kam Chancellor, and FS Earl Thomas III, but LBs Bruce Irvin, Cliff Avril, and last year’s Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith cannot matchup with Gronkowski, and neither can Sherman, Maxwell, Chancellor, or Thomas III. Along with that, Seattle struggles with power runners such as LaGarrette Blount, and Edelman and Amendola come up with big, game-deciding plays. Brandon LaFell is another wideout for New England who is key. Also, there have been 12 Super Bowls with a pick-6, and teams with more pick-6’s than the other team are 12-0. Expect Revis, Browner, SS Kyle Arrington, or Collins to take one to the house. This game will be decided by the final drive.

Final Score: 35-28, New England Patriots

MVP: Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Super Bowl XLVIII: How Each Team Can Win

The NFL has probably the best Super Bowl ever coming your way on Feb. 2nd at 6:00pm on FOX. It’s Richard Sherman’s mouth and skills vs. Peyton Manning’s legacy. Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos. Here’s the analysis of how each team can beat each other and help their team get a victory.

How The Seahawks Can Win:

1. Get Marshawn Lynch running hard!

If Marshawn Lynch doesn’t get a running game going on, then the Broncos will have the game in the bag. Lynch needs to get good yards and early. He can’t fall into another slump like he did vs. the 49ers.

2. Sherman and Byron Maxwell Must Limit Receivers

Sherman and Maxwell were key in limiting the amount of throws made by Colin Kaepernick that went towards Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, and to win, they have to do the same by covering Wes Welker and Demariyus Thomas.

3. Russell Wilson Needs To Use Receivers Other Than Jermaine Kearse

The Kearse has worked lately with Hail Mary’s that land in his hands, but he has other receivers. Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Zach Miller are some great targets that he should be using effectively.

If all of these scenarios work in favor of Seattle, they have a 31-20 win over Denver.

How The Broncos Can Win:

1. Manning Cannot Choke In The 4th!!! Again!!!

Manning cannot throw another pick-6 in a Super Bowl. He is 11-13 in regular season games under 40 degrees, and 2-3 in playoff games when under 40 degrees. He cannot choke again.

2. Moreno Needs To Run All Over The Front Line

If Moreno does what he has been doing, he will breeze past the defenders.

If all of these scenarios work in favor of the Broncos, they have 33-19 advantage.

The Winner Is…

THE DENVER BRONCOS, 33-26.

MVP: Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos QB

The NFL Playoff Picture: Today – #Thanksgiving

This year is a year with new, rejuvenated teams, and many surprises to come your way this year during the playoffs. See who I think goes to the Super Bowl in East Rutherford, New York/New Jersey.

Wild Card NFC Matchup 1: San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions

The 49ers proved big in their win over the Redskins. QB Colin Kaepernick has returned to his old, 2012 self, and is proving his doubters wrong, and has ended his sophomore slump. WR Michael Crabtree is back! QB Matthew Stafford has been off the mark lately, and WR Calvin Johnson is not very healthy. WR Nate Burleson is out, and their defense is cheap, cannot handle anything. 49ers will go to Ford Field and take this one easy. Final Score: 27-14, 49ers.

Wild Card NFC Matchup 2: Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Carolina is the surprise this year, making things unreal, and leaving opposing defenses clueless thanks to QB Cam Newton. QB Tony Romo and WR Dez Bryant is like the QB Troy Aikman and WR Michael Irvin duo from the 1990s. Both teams defenses need improvement, though the Cowboys have veterans on defense, who have playoff-winning experience. Final Score: 13-10, Cowboys.

Wild Card AFC Matchup 1: Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are terrible compared to last year! Letting go of coach Bruce Arians was a terrible idea. Andrew Luck has been ice-cold, and WR Reggie Wayne and RB Vick Ballard are out for the season. The Titans are running with some Fitzmagic with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, and have the great sensation in TE Delanie Walker. This is no contest! Final Score: 44-3, Titans.

Wild Card AFC Matchup 2: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Kansas City has had some ups to starts, and gone downhill from there. The Bengals have been the opposite. WR AJ Green is proving doubters wrong, becoming recognized as an elite WR in the NFL. Cincy has a slight upset. Final Score: 38-35, Bengals.

 

Divisional Round NFC Matchup 1: San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have been the hardest matchup for Kaepernick in his career, and the Seahawks are big and talented, better than ever. QB Russell Wilson is great, but is in a sophomore slump, like Kaepernick. Do the 49ers have an upset? That’s a yes! Final Score: 30-27, 49ers.

Divisional Round NFC Matchup 1: Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints

The Cowboys got sent home with a 49-17 loss from the Saints, but Dez Bryant was not a target, despite the Saints not having CB Jabari Greer or SS Malcolm Jenkins covering him. Cowboys have the upset, due to the Saints lack of playoff wins. Final Score: 24-21, Cowboys.

Divisional Round AFC Matchup 1: Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos

QB Peyton Manning and the Broncos have to beat Fitzmagic. Can they do it? Final Score: 28-27, Broncos.

Divisional Round AFC Matchup 2: Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots

The Patriots have had an up and down season, like the Chiefs, and they have ways of winning and losing. In this case, QB Tom Brady has a win on his mind. Final Score: 31-21, Patriots.

 

Conference Championship NFC Matchup: San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys

The 49ers and the Cowboys are the teams that would meet in conference championships in the ‘90s. We experience that in the 21st century for the 1st time. The 49ers shall return to the Super Bowl, and Romo, once again, will choke in the playoffs again, losing. Final Score: 27-3, 49ers.

Conference Championship AFC Matchup: New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning meet for the last time in Manning’s long career. Tom Brady is 10-4 vs. Manning in regular season games, and 2-1 vs. Manning in the playoffs. Manning’s career will come to an end. Final Score: 27-20, Patriots.

 

Super Bowl XLVIII: San Francisco 49ers vs. New England Patriots

The last time Kaepernick and Brady faced off in Boston, Kaepernick helped the 49ers win 41-34. It will be even bigger when they face off in the NFL’s biggest stage on February 2nd, 2014. Kaepernick led the 49ers to a comeback last year vs. Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, and they nearly won, but the Ravens won 34-31. When the Patriots played the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, they lost 21-17. Kaepernick will push Brady to 3-3 in Super Bowl games. Final Score: 45-38, 49ers.