During the NFL offseason, the Chin Bin went along and predicted the final records for all 32 NFL teams. Now let’s see how he fared this season. Without further ado. . . Oh wait, one thing. Teams are listed in order by their regular season records.
I have to be honest, I knew the defense was good and they had a shot to be .500 simply because of them, but Lamar Jackson taking over midseason and guiding these guys to a first-place finish and the postseason? What? Never in my wildest dreams would the guy who’s more running back than anything come in and go on a tear, leading this pesky Ravens team into the playoffs. To top it all off, they made a game out of what looked to be a blowout in the wild card round.
Le’veon Bell not bothering to play this season in search of a bigger contract led me to believe that the Steelers were going to have a rough year. Tie that in with a tie (get it?) with the Cleveland Browns in week one and you had a team that never could quite put it all together. Ben Roethlisberger’s age is showing now more than ever and the Antonio Brown controversy to end the season (and a missed trip to the playoffs) and this team looks more like it’s going downhill rather than uphill. On a positive note, that guy who replaced Le’Veon Bell, James Connor, yeah, kid can play!
The opening day tie had Browns fans eager for what the rest of the season would hold. That excitement faded quickly the second they realized Hue Jackson was still at the helm. A paltry 2-5-1 to start the season and Jackson was finally booted (and hopefully booed) out of Cleveland. Fear not Hue fans, he found another job for the remainder of the season. Freddie Kitchens took over as Offensive Coordinator and Gregg Williams as interim head coach and all of a sudden, the Browns were exciting to watch. They finished the season with a 5-3 record and a lot of promise. Next season with Kitchens at the helm looks enticing.
Okay, so they finished better than I thought but they certainly played like a 3-13 team throughout the season. It was a miracle to see them even show up on Sundays with how bad that defense was. In case you missed it, they set an NFL record by allowing the most consecutive games of 500+ yards to opposing teams. Then, to rub more salt in the wound, they hired Hue Jackson, ya know, that guy from Cleveland. That was a horrible choice. Now that both Marvin Lewis and Hue are out, maybe the Bengals can begin a rebuild with someone not nicknamed “The Red Rocket” under center.
New England Patriots
Okay, so I was one game off here too. That’s okay. I was hoping that age would hit TB12 a little harder than it did, but nevertheless it showed. By the way, what happened to Rob Gronkowski? He’s a shell of his former self and clearly needs to leave the game at this point. Another super bowl in the books and everyone that doesn’t live in Boston (and even some that do) is sick of it. One can only hope another year will knock Tom Brady into the ground. . . for good.
I’m not sure I could have been more wrong here. I guess if I would have had them going 16-0 that would be worse (or better)? Not really sure, but somehow, they managed to win seven games this season, one of which came against the Chicago Bears (Thanks Cody Parkey, garbage kicker). It amazes me that they could muster a single win, let alone seven. My ego, my pride. All shot thanks to the Dolphins.
I was dead on for this one. You shipped out the quarterback that got you to the playoffs the prior year, what did you think was going to happen? Couple that with one of the worst offensive lines in football and you get a team that musters six wins because of Josh Allen’s legs and the defense showing up. . . sometimes.
New York Jets
I guess I should have seen this one coming. More no name receivers than one can even imagine and a rookie quarterback who is super talented but has no one around him, there wasn’t much chance for the Jets to win week in and week out. They did muster up some surprising performances and one could say the potential is there if they can add a few more pieces. Oh, by a few, I mean a lot. Moving on.
The Texans had a streak of nine straight wins at one point, clearly vaulting them to the top of the division. They kept finding ways to win until it came to the end of the season where they cooled off on their way to a first round exit. The worst part about this team is the lack of a running game and the WORST offensive line in football. The defense played well most of the time. Deshaun Watson spent most of the season running for his life and playing through injuries from getting smacked so many times.
Um, excuse me, can someone explain the Indianapolis Colts to me? Even with an offense that could play ball, where did that defense come from? Pro Bowl snub Darius Leonard was the heart and soul of this defense and brought the Indianapolis Colts screaming into the playoffs, winning nine of their last ten to clinch a playoff berth in the final week of the season. Quentin Nelson was 100% as advertised and that offensive line was a godsend for Luck staying healthy for the whole season.
Sorry, I’m a little dyslexic sometimes. The Titans could have been in the playoffs had they simply beat the unstoppable Colts to finish the season, but alas, no luck (get it?). Derrick Henry came along late in the season as Mike Vrabel started to figure out how this team needed to be run. There were some flaws as Marcus Mariota couldn’t stay healthy for the entire season and they couldn’t get the big plays they needed from him when they needed them. I would almost suggest drafting a quarterback at this point, but that’s just me.
Literally ZERO people predicted the Jaguars would regress as hard as they did but my god was it almost a thing of beauty to watch. Jalen Ramsey talks mad shit throughout the offseason claiming everyone is trash, then the Blake Bortles show came to town and made sure that the Jaguars had no chance. It’s almost like the opposing team would pay him to drop the ball or throw a pick. Quite a site to watch. It’s almost like watching Jay Cutler in his hay-day. Good Blake, bad Blake? What happened to Leonard Fournette? He may not be back in Jacksonville if he doesn’t shape up.
Kansas City Chiefs
I did not see in a million years Patrick Mahomes coming in and blowing the doors off the NFL with insane stats and no look passes to boot. I mean, how talented is this guy? Apparently, his talent knows no bounds and I am caught with my pants around my ankles in public. That defense needs help though. Kareem who?
Los Angeles Chargers
Another one in the W column for me, sort of. I expected the Chargers run away with this division this year, but they ended up with a Wild Card spot. Hmmmm. Interesting. They looked so good most of the season and just fell short to finish it out.
At one point this season, the Broncos were contenders for the playoffs and just when you thought they could make a run, they lost, and they lost badly. Loss after loss and a Case Keenum that looked more like a rookie than the Case we saw last year. A few bright spots moving forward in Bradley Chubb who had 12 sacks this season and Phillip Lindsay who came out of NOWHERE (undrafted rookie) to rush for 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns. WOW.
Okay, so Jon Gruden’s first year was a train wreck in every possible way. Trade Khalil Mack, the best edge rusher in the NFL for draft picks was his first mistake. Follow that up by trading your clear-cut number one receiver in Amari Cooper for more draft picks. This season had tank written all over it, but they weathered the storm and finished where everyone thought they would, in the basement. Now theey have a mad number of draft picks for Jon Gruden to build the team he wants. Oh, don’t forget they replaced Reggie Mckenzie with Mike Mayock, the draft guru. Have fun in a few years. . . Vegas.
Well, I was completely wrong here. Dak look liked an average quarterback, someone that I would NOT build a franchise around; Zeke was a nightmare for opposing defenses, but the best aspect of this team by far was the defense. Somehow very quietly and quickly the Cowboys D became one of the best in the league and they ended up in the playoffs. Coincidence? I think not. Dak was carried late in the season by Amari Cooper, who sliced through the NFL and it’s cornerbacks like butter.
A tale of two seasons? A super bowl hangover? An injured Carson Wentz coming back too soon and then leaving again? You name it, it was part of the Eagles demise this year. The funny part is, the season still went relatively the same. It took some Nick Foles magic to get the Eagles into the playoffs. Last season, he only had to hold on to get into the playoffs and then proceeded to light everyone up. They fought hard and hung on as long as they could but, no repeat for the Eagles. Thanks, Alshon, for having the best hands in the league.
This is a team that started the season 5-2 and looked like they turned the page with Alex Smith at the helm, but injuries absolutely decimated this team. They were missing half their offensive line, running backs and lastly, quarterbacks, by a little past the midway point of the season. You couldn’t believe that they had a shot after that. The Redskins fell fast with the likes of Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson trying to play quarterback. It must be tough being a Redskins fan.
New York Giants
I honestly didn’t think Eli was going to be THAT bad for most of the season. Saquon Barkley is not a human being, period. Outside of Odell Beckham Jr. and Barkley, the Giants need new players at all their skill positions. The offensive line showed minimal promise but enough to make me think that a year together will really help them hit their potential.
If not for the Khalil Mack trade just before the start of the season, this defense would have been top seven, not umber one overall. What a difference a single guy can make. Trubisky took strides throughout the year and started playing his best football towards the end of the season. Too bad about Cody Parkey. Who decided to pay that guy any money? It is my personal guarantee that if Parkey is on the Bears sideline next season, I will not watch a single game. . . even the super bowl (if they make it). Nobody expected a 12-4 finish from a team that was in the basement last year but here we are!
Two ties in the NFL this season, is there a dark force at play here? Nope. Just the Vikings being the Vikings. A team that finally has their quarterback and a stacked roster on all sides, were expectations too high or what? Cousins is no better than Keenum and I will continue to say that until he can prove me wrong. Firing John DeFillippo wasn’t a bad idea, though I’m not sure Kevin Stefanski will be any better with his OCD QB.
Green Bay Packers
Okay, Green Bay. You guys suck. (Had to take my shot, BEAR DOWN!). In all honesty, Aaron Rodgers was not 100% for the entire season. That’s issue number one. Then the rumors came around with Mike McCarthy and Rodgers not being on the same page. The obvious turning point of the season was the game against the LA Rams, where Ty Montgomery blew it and then was traded. It was a mess of the season for the Packers and they need a fresh start next season. They’ll get one with a new head coach and offensive coordinator.
This one was pretty obvious. The talent in the division and the talent in the NFC as a whole made it tough or me to believe a team like the Lions could really come out at their usual 8-8. What I didn’t expect was the Lions to completely fall apart, as they looked lost most of the season. They fired their offensive coordinator, so hopefully that means they’ll get someone who can bring Matt Stafford back to pro bowl form.
New Orleans Saints
My god, I hate it when I’m right. Not really, I love it. The Saints were rolled opening day by the Buccaneers, but afterwards it was all business all day. The Saints were every bit of the team they were last year and then some. It’s no surprise they tied for the best record in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams. That playoff loss may prove to be too much for the Saints, who go into next season as my dark horse team to MISS the playoffs.
This team lost so many key players and the defense was atrocious. There was no chance for Matt Ryan and Julio Jones to beat everyone single handedly. On a positive note, that Calvin Ridley guy can play. Maybe next season when they have an entirely healthy squad and they figure it out defensively. That would help them make it back to the playoffs.
The Panthers ride or die with Cam Newton. If he had a bad game, so did the team. It seems that however Cam played would dictate how the rest of the team played. It’s only logical that that be the case, but what stands out here is in contrast, a playoff team gets a bad game from their quarterback and they find a way to win (look at the Bears or Saints). The Panthers lost when Cam lost and won when he won. Christian McCaffrey is something of an elite talent, so they had that going for them. Everybody else, meh.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston should be gone from Tampa, but new head coach Bruce Arians seems confident that he’s the guy. Only time will tell, but I think that’s a huge mistake. The Bucs are a deflated team, switching between QBs every few games and the locker room divided. Hopefully Arians can turn that around. If not, look for the Jon Gruden approach in the coming year.
Los Angeles Rams
Not to say they had a bad season, but they definitely had their flaws. On paper, this team was unbeatable. In real life, come game time, the defense was only half as good as I thought they would be. The only name on their defense worth his name is Aaron Donald, who isn’t human at all. I refuse to believe that Khalil Mack or Aaron Donald are human. Either way, this team balled out this season and though they had their up’s and down’s, they are an elite team in the NFL. My question becomes, did they miss their window of opportunity?
Well, I was way wrong on this one too. I didn’t see the Seahawks pulling it together. So many bad things went on in the offseason that they were all but written off. They ended up taking a three headed monster to the playoffs (their ground game) and falling short against the Cowboys. Kudos to Pete Carroll for making a competitive team out of thin air.
San Francisco 49ers
My, my, my. The injuries to this team left them like the Redskins, but the 49ers had the injury bug bite early and often. Jimmy G went down way too soon, they had to replace nine out of eleven defensive starters because of injury at one time or another and it took their backup “starting” quarterback a start on Monday night football to get his twitter account verified. Talk about a wild season. Look for a healthier team next season, hopefully.
The number one overall pick is theirs, so that’s nice. Kliff Kingsbury is their new head coach and Steve Wilkes is out after one season. The offense didn’t exist. Who is David Johnson? He looked lost the entire season after missing the prior season due to injury. Josh Rosen showed some promise throughout the season, but with the first overall pick, there’s rumors about Kingsbury going after “his” quarterback, Kyler Murray. We’ll have to see if this team can drag its feet out of the basement next season as this division looks menacing as ever.