32 NFL teams head into training camp, full of hope and optimism. At seasons end, only eight will be able to call them Division Champions, today we predict each of those.
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
I firmly believe Aaron Rodgers will be the quarterback for the entirety of Green Bay’s season. If off-the-field distractions stay put, the Packers have a well-built roster around the reigning MVP. Coming off back-to-back 13 win regular seasons, the Packers have fallen in the NFC Championship game in both seasons. Much to the dismay of Rodgers, the Pack have done little this offseason to get much better. On the other hand, no other teams in the North have done enough to clear the gap between Green Bay and them.
In the Hunt: Vikings and Bears
Not a chance: Lions
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
Every year I find myself in this same boat where I look at the Cowboys roster and say “dang, these guys are going to be good” and every year by October I’m proven wrong. To be completely fair, the expectations for the Cowboys this season are low. The offense has a chance to be really good, but the defense has shown no inclinations of being any good. This pick has so much to do with the rest of the division and very little with how much confidence I have in Dallas.
In the hunt: Football Team and Giants
Not a chance: Eagles
NFC South: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The defending Super Bowl champions are returning all 22 of the starters from their dismantling of the Chiefs. The Bucs defensive front seven is as good as any in the NFL and if the protection of Tom Brady holds tight, Tampa will find themselves in a comfortable spot come January.
In the hunt: Saints
Not a chance: Panthers and Falcons
NFC West: San Fransisco 49ers
No team in the NFL was as decimated by injuries as the 49ers were a season ago. From top to bottom, San Fran has a top-five roster in football. The glaring problem for the 49ers as it sits is quarterback play. I am all in on the selection of Trey Lance, given time I feel it could pay massive dividends. The NFC West is easily the toughest division in all the NFL. You can make an argument that any of the four teams can win the division. I feel the secondary losses in L.A. and the mismanagement of Russel Wilson in Seattle all lead to the 49ers claiming the west.
In the hunt: Cardinals, Rams, and Seahawks
AFC North: Cleveland Browns
The Browns took notice of their weaknesses in the offseason. They seem to be on one mission and that is catching the Kansas City Chiefs. They have the line and skill position players to play with anybody and they addressed their needs at pass rush and in the secondary. I feel the Browns are the second-best team in the AFC and the biggest threat to Kansas City and another Lamar Hunt trophy.
In the Hunt: Ravens
Not a chance: Steelers and Bengals
AFC East: Buffalo Bills
The Bills are perplexing to me. At times, they seem like they’re on the cusp of something great and then the moment hits and they wilt under the pressure of the moment. Josh Allen at times plays like an MVP and then he goes out of and has two games against the Chiefs where he looks like Brock Osweiler. I’ve mentioned many times on social media that I don’t think the Bills have done anything to get better this offseason, but it may be just enough to keep the rest of the East at bay.
In the hunt: Patriots and Dolphins
AFC South: Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehill keeps improving in his time as the Titans quarterback. The addition of Julio Jones ultimately gives this roster a boost. We will see if Derrick Henry can maintain his excellence in the running game of the last two seasons and can carry the Titans to another division title. If the defense improves the South will be all Titans.
In the hunt: Colts
Not a chance: Texans and Jaguars
AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs
Was there any doubt? The “Run It Back” tour may have ended with a bust, but I think this so-called “Redemption” tour could be a thing of beauty. The Chiefs sleepwalked their way to a 14-2 regular season last year. Tampa came out with an unbelievable game plan that stopped the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, yet I don’t think it can be replicated. I think Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are out to break records, and the defense especially in the middle has a chance to be extremely good. I’m not predicting 20-0 but I think the Chiefs will once again be the number one seed in the AFC.
In the hunt: Chargers
Not a chance: Broncos and Raiders