The 2018/2019 NFL Season will include the most all-around and complete squads in recent years. What does this mean for the playoffs? Well, I believe this year’s playoffs will have a lot of entertainment in store for fans, filled with hard-nosed football, maybe a little controversy, and players ready to fight until blood, sweat, tears, and great football plays lead them to the greatest game in all of sports… the Super Bowl. In recent years, many teams have experienced what most fans call ‘an easy road’, to get to the Super Bowl. But, in no way or form will this be an easy road for any team destined to make the 2018/2019 NFL playoffs.
- New England Patriots- The Patriots have great history of dominance and are a well-known team in the NFL Playoffs yearly, and regularly. To start off, the Patriots Regular Season Schedule isn’t frightening, yes, they play teams such as the Vikings, Packers, Steelers, and Jaguars but for the most part the Patriots are no underdog. During the Off-Season the Patriots lost a few key weapons on the offensive side of the ball including; Danny Amendola (WR), Dion Lewis (RB) and Brandin Cooks (WR). The Patriots filled the departure of running back Dion Lewis by signing former Bengal, Jeremy Hill, And hope to find a Danny Amendola look-a-like in rookie Braxton Berrios out of the University of Miami. The Patriots did everything right last year to help the team get to the Super Bowl, they did all, but place a period at the end of the Super Bowl. No player that was on the Patriots squad last year is happy with the result, this will lead to harder work, better team chemistry, and all around better football, this will lead them i the right direction for the upcoming season.
- New Orleans Saints- The Saints had great success last year and were just games away from playing in Minnesota for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, all until a last second play by the Minnesota Vikings ended the Saints season and many fans dreams all in seconds. A few reasons why I believe the Saints are the NFC best team, 1- Drew Brees… no explanation is needed, stats back this up, 2- Saints no longer struggle to establish a defense, with Marshon Lattimore (CB), and Cam Jordan (DE) this defense is heading to the top, 3- They have the best RB duo in all of football, it’s like a two headed monster… unstoppable, 4- The talent in Michael Thomas isn’t a fluke, he has top 5 attributes that puts him above some of the league’s best. I think it’ll be a tough road for the saints, but in the same though, I believe they’ll be victorious in the NFC Championship.
- Minnesota Vikings- After a season that ended in the NFC Championship the Vikings find themselves among the best teams in the NFL the following season. The Vikings mad it to the NFC Championship on a season that was predicted by many to be average, mediocre. But, it was all but a fluke. throughout the season the Vikings experienced many downfalls, the two main ones being the loss of Running Back Dalvin Cook to a torn ACL, and their captain, their QB Sam Bradford. After these two losses many would have predicted that the season was over, but the Underdog Vikings wanted to prove that adversity can be defeated. During the off-season, the Vikings acquired QB Kirk Cousins from the Washington Redskins for a whopping $84 Million Dollar contract… oh, and all $84 Million is guaranteed. Kirk Cousins has always been near the brink of having a historic season in the NFL, but the Washington Redskins weren’t a good fit and also didn’t include help regarding O-Line Protection, and reliable weapons to target. By joining the Vikings, he now gets to throw too what I believe is a top 3 WR duo and a top 5 TE, while also being protected by the 6th best O-Line in the NFL, Per PFF. The Vikings also have a very young and Talented RB in Dalvin Cook who by the end of the season could rank in the top 10.
- Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers have the same kind of knack like the Patriots, a feared organization to face, a tough head-to-head battle, and one of the best organizations in the history of the NFL. The Steelers are making the playoffs, 100% and I guarantee this with only one thing… a healthy season for QB Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers have the best WR in the NFL in Antonio Brown and arguably the best RB in Le’veon Bell as well. The Steelers acquired WR James Washington out of the University of Oklahoma State, Washington, is similar to Julio Jones, one of the league’s top wide outs. He big bodied, plays physical, and has a mindset that will make a DBacks fear him. The Steelers have an average schedule and i believe they will finish the regular season 12-4 only behind the Patriots (14-2) in the AFC, i have their four losses coming to the New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens (@ Home) and the New Orleans Saints (@ Home). In recent years the Steelers have ranked bottom half in defense efficiency, last year Pittsburgh’s coaching staff did a great job in helping the young and old players for a chemistry that would later lead to lower scoring games by their opponents.
- Los Angeles Rams- The Rams are a squad sort of similar to the Vikings, not many, if any would have predicted this team to go as far as they did. With the youngest coach in NFL History, Sean McVAy has orchestrated a very young and talented team which is led by 3rd year QB Jared Goff. Goff ranked within the top 10 in QB Efficiency per PFF during the 2017 NFL season, the rams also have another top 10 player in Todd Gurley, during the 2017 season Gurley finished just 22 yards shy behind Kareem Hunt RB of the Kansas City Chiefs for the 2017 Rushing record. During the off-season the Rams acquired WR Brandin Cooks (Patriots), Marcus Peters (Chiefs), Aqib Talib (Broncos), and Ndamukong Suh (Dolphins). These 4 players bring a mindset that not many players van provide off their first year with a team, Cooks will have an immediate deep threat impact, and Suh, Peters, and Talib will all play a big role in helping this defense form into a top 5 overall defense in the NFL.
Honorable Mentions- Packers, Eagles, Jaguars, Chargers, 49ers.