Sports: NFL Quarterly Review
by Lucas Garrison
So far, the 2018 NFL season has been a rollercoaster ride, as teams that very few people thought would be contenders are proving everyone wrong.
The Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals have all proved that they are contenders in the league this year. On the flip side, your typical top contenders such as the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles have all had shaky starts and are struggling.
Below are bold predictions for the rest of the season and some thoughts on what the NFL might look like by February.
Is the Patriots Dynasty Over?
- After last season’s Super Bowl loss, the offseason was a bizarre one for the Patriots. It was leaked that the big three (Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft) were not getting along and Belichick was being cast out and seen as the bad guy. When it came to the NFL Draft, Belichick and the front office seemed to be leaking who they were looking at potentially drafting. Rob Gronkowski trade rumors surfaced, and the team seemed to be in a bad spot.
- In the month of September, the Patriots have always been shaky. Plus, they just added wide receiver Josh Gordon and now have veteran receiver Julian Edelman back from suspension. Expect the Patriots to be in easy playoff contention and run through the weak AFC East.
Everyone needs to calm down. It’s the New England Patriots.
Will the Buccaneers Make the Playoffs?
- The Bucs are now 2-2 after starting 2-0 behind an unreal start from journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has since been relieved of his starting job by Jameis Winston.
- The Bucs are now giving up on “Fitz-Magic” after one bad outing. Jameis Winston aka “The Disaster” came in and on his first drive of the season, threw an interception. They will no longer be looking the way they did through the first quarter of the season with Winston at the helm and finish in contention for a top ten pick.
- As long is Jameis is the quarterback, the Bucs won’t be a contender for anything except last place.
Will the Steelers Make the Playoffs?
- The Steelers defense has been horrible and the offense has been somewhat shaky and inconsistent throughout the first four weeks of play.
- The Steelers – for the past three years – have opened the season poor and slow. However, the month of October always seems to be promising with the team, reigning true in their recent huge victory on October 7th against the Atlanta Falcons.
- James Connor has done a fine job filling in as the Steelers running back due to the contract holdout of superstar Le’Veon Bell. However, the Steelers defense is a disaster and they will need to either make a change at defensive coordinator or bring in a solid cornerback or middle linebacker to fill the needs they have at those positions to contend.
- The Steelers will finish in the top three in the AFC.
Updated Division Predictions
AFC North: 1. Steelers 2. Ravens 3. Bengals 4. Browns
AFC South: 1. Jaguars 2. Titans 3. Texans 4. Colts
AFC West: 1. Kansas City 2. Chargers 3. Broncos 4. Raiders
AFC East: 1. Patriots 2. Dolphins 3. Jets 4. Bills
NFC North: 1.Bears/Packers, 3.Vikings, 4. Lions
NFC South: 1. Saints, 2. Falcons, 3. Panthers, 4. Bucs
NFC West: 1. Rams 2. Seattle 3. 49ers 4. Cardinals
NFC East: 1. Eagles 2. Redskins 3. Cowboys 4. Giants