As summer comes to a close and the weather cools down, millions of Americans (and Canadians) are getting ready for the 2018 NFL season – Andy gets you ready for all the action.
Consider this the only NFL preview you’ll need this year.
RLGT OFFICIAL NFL 2017 PREVIEW
Teams To Watch:
Green Bay Packers:
Fresh off his split from long time girlfriend Olivia Munn and sporting a new ‘stache, Aaron “A-A-RON” Rodgers leads a talented Packers team into a season full of promise. With a healthy Jordy Nelson and the addition of Martellus Bennett at TE, the Packers will be one of the most exciting and high scoring teams with plenty of weapons for perennial MVP candidate Rodgers to throw to. On defense, the green and gold are led by Pro Bowler and second team All-Pro Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. He is the cornerstone of a revamped and much-improved secondary that should solve most of the Packers defensive woes that have hindered them in the past, especially against Atlanta last year when Matt Ryan had a field day vs the Packers secondary.
Coming off a 9-7 2017 season that saw a playoff loss to New England, the Texans come in to 2018 with modest expectations. Their #1 ranked defense lost some key players, most notably Vince Wilfork, but is still in sturdy shape. Led by superhuman defensive end JJ Watt, and former #1 pick Jadeveon Clowney this pass rush will be almost unstoppable and will take a lot of pressure off of a mediocre at best offense. While Houston will most likely endure growing pains and struggle score at some points in the season, they have a tremendous upside and potential to be very good because of Deshaun Watson.
Fresh off a National Championship at Clemson, Watson will start the year as backup to Tom Savage – however, I fully expect Watson to be the starter by week 17. Not only is it fact that Tom Savage isn’t very good, but Watson is a true dual threat QB who’s speed will extend plays for the offense behind their average offensive line.
Will Colin Kapernick get a job?
Without getting too political, yes, Kaepernick will be employed by someone. People tend to forget that Kaep took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and has better statistical numbers than a good portion of quarterbacks with NFL jobs. While Kaep may not be the passer or the runner he was in 2012, he still has experience and can run, which makes him an attractive backup (or starter) in places like Cleveland, Jacksonville and with the New York Jets. All three of these teams are an absolute mess at QB and are the best bets for Kaepernick to find work. One potential landing place by simply need could be Buffalo. The Bills are down to 1 healthy QB and Kaep is by far the best free agent QB left. While Buffalo would be a temporary spot, Kaep could be a backup for the first couple weeks of the season.
Of course the usual suspects like Brady and Rodgers will get plenty of consideration, my pick for MVP is Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Carr has shown tremendous growth year after year since being drafted in 2014 and has a ton of weapons at his disposal this year, most notably Amari Cooper. To me, Cooper is the second best receiver in the league and has the height, speed and surrounding cast to lead the league in receiving in 2018. Carr and Cooper will be the best QB WR duo in the league this year and Carr finally has a balanced, deep and talented Raiders team he can lead to a 12+ win record and an NFL MVP.
Biggest League Disappointment:
I’ll cut right to the chase: It’s the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks play in the weakest division in football and are basically given 4 wins this season by playing bottom feeders LA Rams and SF 49ers. Combine a favourable schedule, with the “Legion of Boom” on defense and a deep receiving and running game for QB Russell Wilson, the Seahawks will once again fall short of the Super Bowl because of their offensive line. Seattle gave up 42 sacks last year (the most by any playoff team), and Wilson faced pressure virtually every time he dropped back to pass. The Seahawks will disappoint again in 2018 because they have failed to address their Offensive Line woes which will leave Wilson with 0 time to distribute the ball to all of Seattle’s offensive weapons. While the ‘Hawks defense will keep them in every game, the offensive line will once again cost Seattle a Super Bowl appearance, and to me that will be a huge disappointment. (Editors Note: “Senational” – Future)
OFFICIAL RLGT Super Bowl Prediction: Packers win Super Bowl LII, 31-20
While late August is a long way from February and lots can happen in the next 6 months, RLGT is predicting a Steelers vs Packers Super Bowl rematch, with the Green Bay Packers taking home the Lombardi Trophy.
Steeltown is led by the freak of nature James Harrison on defense and Le’Veon Bell running the rock. Pittsburgh has everything needed to win the AFC, especially now that Julian Edelman, Tom Brady’s #1 target in New England, will miss the entire year with a torn ACL.
The Packers have Aaron Rodgers, a great pass blocking offensive line, the deepest receiver corps in the NFL and have upgraded their defense enough to reach and win the Super Bowl, again defeating Big Ben and the Steelers.