Many teams share the dream. Few teams can feel the dream. And only one team will get to taste that dream. As we envision the endgame, there is loads of drama and theater that must play out on the field of battle. The following is a preview of where the 2019 season may shape up and an account of how the chips will fall in the Greatest Show on Turf. Without further adieu, here is a list of my 2019 picks, predictions, hot takes, and awards.
2. Dallas Cowboys (10-6)
3. Washington Redskins (6-10)
4. New York Giants (4-12)
2. Green Bay Packers (10-6)
3. Chicago Bears (8-8)
4. Detroit Lions (6-10)
2. New Orleans Saints (9-7)
3. Carolina Panthers (9-7)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9)
2. Seattle Seahawks (11-5)
3. San Francisco 49ers (5-11)
4. Arizona Cardinals (3-13)
2. New York Jets (9-7)
3. Buffalo Bills (5-11)
4. Miami Dolphins (2-14)
2. Cleveland Browns (10-6)
3. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-12)
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5)
3. Indianapolis Colts (8-8)
4. Tennessee Titans (6-10)
2. LA Chargers (10-6)
3. Denver Broncos (6-10)
4. Oakland Raiders (3-13)
2019 is shaping up to be just the same as a few teams will fail to make the playoffs as others will play the Cinderella role and become the new darlings of football past. Coming into the season, there seems to be an influx of parity and many of these races could be tighter than experts have predicted.
So as we look to the playoff predictions, it appears that five new teams will again enter the postseason (NFC-Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers/AFC-Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers.) In contrast, there are 5 teams that will not make another run in 2019 (NFC-Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears/AFC-LA Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts).
With that being said...Here are my Playoff Predictions:
MVP: Patrick Mahomes, QB Chiefs
Offensive Player of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB Giants
Defensive Player of the Year: Fletcher Cox, DT Eagles
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Kyler Murray, QB Cardinals
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Ed Oliver, DT Bills
Comeback Player of the Year: Carson Wentz, QB Eagles
Coach of the Year: Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland Browns
However, this season Andy Reid is finally able to exercise his demons of playoff past as he leads the upstart Kansas City Chiefs to an upset over the Texans in the AFC Championship. But, in a cruel turn of events, his former team the Philadelphia Eagles win the NFC and will be his opponent in the big dance. And in true Andy Reid fashion, the Chiefs will loose to the Eagles in the Super Bowl and Reid will still be chasing that dream.
NFL 2019 will see its share of story lines. If its anything like the offseason and weeks leading up to the opener on Thursday, this season will be one of epic consequences. So far this offseason, we have saw multiple players sign new long term deals (Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Ezekiel Elliott) to name a few. We also had the holdouts of Zeke and Melvin Gordon. We saw a few big trades including Jadaveon Clowney and Laremy Tunsil.
But all of these breaking news events are pale in comparison to the story of Antonio Brown. With all of the craziness of the NFL, expect many more side stories to develop in front of our eyes. Needless to say, 2019 is shaping up to be another exciting version of football lure. So you have saw my predictions. You have witnessed my award winners. Now let me leave you with a few hot takes as we head into the opening game on Thursday:
1) The Dallas Cowboys have a very good season and Ezekiel Elliott wins a rushing title- but the Cowboys fall just short of making the playoffs.
2) The new NFL- 5 Quarterbacks throw for 5,000 Yards (Pat Mahomes, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Philip Rivers.
3) Saquon Barkley is once again the leading all-purpose yardage leader and runs away with the fantasy football points total.
4) Nick Foles leads the Jacksonville Jaguars to a playoff berth in his first season as a starter while playing his first FULL season in the NFL.
5) Julio Jones is the most dominant receiver in 2019 as he leads the league in both receiving yards and touchdowns.
6) Baker Mayfield does in fact avoid a sophomore slump leading the cinderella Cleveland Browns to the playoffs. He also sets franchise season records in Completions, Yards, and touchdowns.
7) Although the Eagles win their second Super Bowl behind an all-star offensive cast, its the defense that ultimately overachieves and finishes in the top ten.
8) The Saints fail to make the playoffs and Drew Brees decides to retire after the season.
9) The Miami Dolphins do in fact tank and land the first pick of the 2020 Draft.
10) LeSean McCoy has a comeback season for the ages as he once again eclipses 1,000 yards rushing and scores 10TD's in the Chiefs version of a Tecmo Bowl offense.
11) Carson Wentz is beaten out by Patrick Mahomes for MVP but he does eclipse all of his 2017 numbers as he finally stays healthy for a full season, which graners him the Comeback Player of the Year award.
12) Playing for the doormat Miami Dolphins, Xavien Howard (CB) leads the NFL with 12 Interceptions.
13) Kyler Murray beats out David Montgomery for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Both players have admiarble numbers but Murray ultimately wins the award due to the padded stats of the "air raid" offense.
14) The Cleveland Browns finish inside the top 5 in both offense and defense during the regular season.
15) Russel Wilson throws for over 4,500 yards while eclipsing 500 yards rushing to become the only player to do ever do so in NFL history.
16) Daniel Jones supplants Eli Manning as the lead signal caller for the New York Giants in Week 3. Manning retires at the end of season.
17) JJ Watt sacks Tom Brady in the Divisonal Round of playoffs knocking him out of the game which ultimately ends their run of conference titles.
18) Le'Veon Bell finishes in the Top 5 in rushing once again establishing himself as an offensive juggerneaut.
19) Dez Bryant makes a comeback but its derailed after only playing in two games as he once again suffers a season ending injury.
20) Diva Wide Receiver Antonio Brown becomes the first NFL player ever to be traded three times during a season as he fails to ever set foot on the field.
That completes my 2019 NFL preview. I hope you enjoyed the predictions as well as my not so awful takes. Needless to say, these are obviously predictions and I will be lucky to get any of them right. Nonetheless, that's what makes sports interesting. The thrill of the take and the journey one takes to chase that take. Stay tuned for my Eagles predictions and more sports related news.
Its so awesome to have football back and I am completely pumped for the beginning of the season. Buckle up and enjoy the ride folks. And as Hall of Famer Terrell Owens once said..."Get Your Popcorn Ready!"