Are You Ready For Some Football?

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By Jessy Dhillon

Hey football fans! The National Football league returns next Thursday with the Super Bowl Champions Baltimore Ravens playing against the Denver Broncos.  Fans have waited six long months for the start of what will be another exciting and memorable season. This week I will offer my predictions on how I see the NFL season will go.

AFC East: In one of the weakest divisions in football, I see New England repeating as division champs. Tom Brady has lost some of his top pass catchers (Welker, Hernandez and Lloyd); however Brady is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league and makes receivers better. The Dolphins have a pretty decent defense led by former BC Lion’ Cameron Wake. On offense; look for second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill and receiver Mike Wallace to show great chemistry. The Buffalo Bills have one of the most dynamic and exciting running backs in the league in CJ Spiller. However, their inexperience at the QB position will be the issue. The Jets will be lucky to get 4 wins this season, a once dominating and feared team is now a laughing stock of the league.

New England Patriots (12-4) Miami Dolphins (9-7) Buffalo Bills (6-10) New York Jets (4-12)

AFC North: The Baltimore Ravens will have a tough time on repeating as division champs. They lost the heart and soul on defense with Ray Lewis retiring and Ed Reed moving on to Houston. On offense, Joe Flacco must back up the big contract he signed on the off-season. The Cincinnati Bengals look to be the emerging force in the AFC’s North. Andy Dalton and AJ Green are one of the best QB/WR duos in the NFL. The Bengals will have one of the best defenses in the league this season. The Cleveland Browns are improving and are a team on the rise. Trent Richardson is one the best running backs in the league. The Browns have a good young receiving core with a decent quarterback. The legendary Pittsburgh Steelers will bring up the rear in this division. The defense is aging, there are big time issues at their running back position and the loss of Mike Wallace really hurts the ability to stretch out the field.

Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) Baltimore Ravens (10-6) Cleveland Browns (7-9) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-10)

AFC South: The time is now for the Houston Texans. Their defense is stacked at all 3 levels. JJ Watt, Brian Cushing and Ed Reed lead this scary defense. On offense the Texans have one of the best receivers in the game Andre Johnson and an elite running game featuring Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Its Super Bowl or bust for the Texans. Andrew Luck will continue to amaze and have the best season of second year starters and lead Indy to a second consecutive playoff berth. Jackson. Tennessee and Jacksonville will have yet another pair of frustrating seasons.

Houston Texans (13-3) Indianapolis Colts (11-5) Tennessee Titans (5-11) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)

AFC West: The Denver Broncos will win the AFC West easily. Peyton Manning is locked and loaded on offense. The addition of Wes Welker to the receiving core just makes their offense even scarier from last season. The Von Miller suspension and the loss of Elvis Dummervil hurt however the Broncos should still win the division with ease. Kansas City will have an improved offense with the addition of offensive minded head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith. Jamaal Charles is an elite running back and Dwayne Bowe is always a deep threat. The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders will both struggle to win games this season and will be in the first overall 2014 draft pick sweepstakes.

Denver Broncos (13-3) Kansas City Chiefs (7-9) San Diego Chargers (4-12) Oakland Raiders (4-12)

NFC East: With Robert Griffin the third back to 100%, the NFC East is the Redskins to lose. The ‘Skins have one of the best young running backs in the league in Alfred Morris. Look for Pierre Garcon to have a monster year. The New York Giants are always a sleeper team that catches fire out of nowhere. Like it or not, Eli Manning is an elite quarterback that is unstoppable when he catches fire. Dallas Cowboys will have a better season and may contend for a wildcard spot. It is all up to Tony Romo to keep the Cowboys in contention. He has shown over the years that he cannot get it done in late season games. The Eagles will struggle under new coach Chip Kelly.

Washington Redskins (12-4) New York Giants (9-7) Dallas Cowboys (7-9) Philadelphia Eagles (5-11)

NFC South: The Falcons are the team to beat in the South. They have the best one-two punch at wide receiver with Julio Jones and Roddy White. The pickup of Stephen Jackson is huge. The New Orleans Saints will be back in the playoff picture with Sean Payton back on the sidelines. Drew Brees is still a top 3 quarterback in the league and look for the Saints to have an improved defense. The Tampa Bay Bucs have a scary defense but their young Quarterback Josh Freeman cannot take care of the ball. Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will struggle to have a .500 record.

Atlanta Falcons (13-3) New Orleans Saints (10-6) Tampa Bay Bucs (6-10) Carolina Panthers (4-12)

NFC West: The best division in football! The 49ers and Seahawks are arguably the two best teams in the NFL on paper and will battle for NFC West supremacy. Both teams are built identically; Mobile quarterbacks that can throw, a great running game and dominant defenses. The St. Louis Rams are the sleeper team in the division; they went 4-1-1 in within the division. The Rams are the up and coming team in the NFL. Meanwhile in Arizona, Larry Fitzgerald must be one happy camper that he finally has a decent quarterback. Unfortunately, it won’t be enough for the Cardinals to get out of the NFC West basement.

San Francisco 49ers (13-3) Seattle Seahawks (12-4) St. Louis Rams (7-9) Arizona Cardinals (5-11)

NFC North: This will be an exciting division to watch. I feel Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league and will lead the Packers to the NFC North title. The Packers defense will be improved from last year. The Bears will challenge for a wildcard with their new offense implemented by former CFL coach Mark Tressmen. NFL Adrian Peterson will not be able to carry his Vikings team like he did last season. I feel defenses will set their whole game plan around stopping him. The Detroit Lions will struggle because of their weak defense, the pickup of Reggie Bush may help but their offense will not be able to cover up for their defense.

Green Bay Packers (12-4) Chicago Bears (10-6) Minnesota Vikings (7-9) Detroit Lions (4-12)

There is my NFL Season preview! Look out next week for my playoff predictions and who I see winning it all.