Predicting NFL Divisional Winners
With Week 8 of the NFL season set to continue tomorrow, we’re just about halfway through the 2018-2019 football year. Now that each team has some games under their belt, let’s take a look at the favorites to win each division (at least in my mind).
AFC East: New England Patriots
This has become a tradition now. They start the year a little unsteady, Brady gets fired up, the media calls the end of the Evil Empire, they grab a big win and they get back to their winning ways. No one else in this division is close to contending, so it should be another runaway year for the Pats.
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens
Yeah yeah, I know the Steelers are more talented and have the pedigree and the Bengals seem to finally have figured something out, but these Ravens are for real. They’ve allowed a league-low 101 points, and it’s not even close. Throw in the resurgence of Joe Flacco and a semi-stable running game and you get the most consistent, well-rounded team in this division.
AFC South: Houston Texans
There’s a reason Houston has won five in a row and a reason why they will find themselves atop this division at the end of the season: they have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL. Throw in the dropoff of Jacksonville and the always-mediocre Titans and Houston looks like it could walk into the playoffs.
AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes reminds me of what Deshaun Watson did last year but on steroids. With so many playmakers the Chiefs force defenses to leave someone open, and their steadily-improving D has rounded out the squad nicely. I just don’t see them ever scoring below 30 points in a game (I am aware of their Week 4 win).
NFC East: Washington Redskins
Similar to the Texans, the Redskins have a very easy schedule and play in a division where multiple teams are performing below expectations. Philadelphia looks like the classic case of a Super Bowl hangover and Amari Cooper is not going to save the Cowboys’ offense. Heck, Alex Smith keeps finding ways to get his teams W’s and that Washington defense is fierce...
NFC North: Minnesota Vikings
I hate to bet against Aaron Rodgers but when you barely escape the 49ers on your home field, I have to be wary. Kirk Cousins has been worth the money so far and with this ever-scary Vikings’ D getting healthier and stronger, we could see another great year from the Men in Purple. Oh yeah, and Adam Thielen is now a top wide receiver.
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
I’m sorry, but am I supposed to see Cam Newton as a threat? Drew Brees is playing like the same guy from 10 years ago and he’s surrounded with all the weapons he could ever hope for. The defense started awfully but has quickly returned to form, and the Saints should take this division for a second straight year.
NFC West: Los Angeles Rams
They’re the Chiefs of the NFC, and they also play in the worst division. They could lose six in a row and probably still be in first place.