2019 NFL Predictions

The business of predictions is inherently stupid. Yet, everybody loves reacting to them. So, let’s get you riled up:

AFC East
Patriots
Bills
Jets
Dolphins

I will eat my metaphorical hat if ____ makes the playoffs: Miami. I don’t think Buffalo or the Jets making it is particularly likely either, but they can swing a lot of wins out of the bottom of the division and you can’t completely rule out massive year two improvements from either of their starting quarterbacks.

AFC North
Ravens
Browns
Steelers
Bengals

I will eat my metaphorical hat if ____ makes the playoffs: Cincinnati. If Zac Taylor makes that offense with that offensive line look 75% as effective as the one in Los Angeles, he deserves a 10-year extension.

Yes, I’m predicting every good AFC North team to make the playoffs. The hardest projected schedule any of them has is Baltimore at 0.1% DVOA.

AFC South
Texans
Colts
Titans
Jaguars

I will eat my metaphorical hat if ____ makes the playoffs: None. I apologize to the Texans haters that believe I am one of them for this pick, I really do. I think Jacksonville being a dominant defense is probably the most likely way for the Texans to miss the playoffs. I’ll take the Colts in second because I think they’re much more well-coached than any other team in the division. I could see any team winning it. Probably a race to nine wins.

AFC West
Chiefs
Chargers
Broncos
Raiders

I will eat my metaphorical hat if ____ makes the playoffs: Oakland. Jon Gruden’s abstract art project continues.

A note on picking the Chargers to miss the playoffs: I think this division is quite tight. I am not a big fan of Anthony Lynn’s coaching. Derwin James being gone is a huge concern for me. Russell Okung starting on NFI concerns me. That offensive line is Mike Pouncey and four guys who have never played well.

If Melvin Gordon comes back my prediction does not change in the slightest.

NFC East
Eagles
Cowboys
Giants
Washington

I will eat my metaphorical hat if ____ makes the playoffs: New York or Washington. Both teams have massive talent deficits in this division. Both teams have rookie quarterbacks who I think will eventually start and make a lot of mistakes.

NFC North
Vikings
Bears
Packers
Lions

I will eat my metaphorical hat if ____ makes the playoffs: None. They’ve all got good cases to make the playoffs and this projects as a tight division. I would be most surprised if the Lions did it just because I think Matt Patricia’s offensive style is ultra-conservative and his defense isn’t good enough in my opinion to get away with that.

NFC South
Saints
Falcons
Panthers
Bucs

I will eat my metaphorical hat if ____ makes the playoffs: Tampa. I think they can take a big leap on offense, but that defense with Gerald McCoy released was too complicated to solve in one offseason.

NFC West
Seahawks
Rams
49ers
Cardinals

I will eat my metaphorical hat if ____ makes the playoffs: Arizona. It would take an amazing rookie season from Kyler Murray just to drag this team to .500 as currently constructed, and I suspect even the people who believe in Kliff Kingsbury would expect some NFL learning curve for him.

Wild Card Round
Browns over Texans
Chiefs over Steelers
Rams over Vikings
Cowboys over Seahawks

Divisional Round
Patriots over Browns
Ravens over Chiefs
Saints over Cowboys
Eagles over Rams

Championship Games
Patriots over Ravens
Eagles over Saints
Eagles over Patriots

Feel free to laugh about this post at any time, including the moment you first read it, the moment you think about it in Week 5 when one of the playoff teams I’ve projected is 1-4, the moment that the currently unsigned Antonio Brown signs with a bubble team and lifts them, or after the season when you’ve got 20-20 hindsight and I don’t. I am not going to get Mad Online at you. As I said: Predictions are inherently stupid.

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