NFL Predictions

Predicting the entire 2015 NFL season:

Finally, the regular season is on its way and we’re starting a brand new season of football. For the start of this one I decided to predict every award, every leader in major statistical categories and tell you who I think will square off in Super Bowl 50. Let’s get in on the way!


Awards:

Most Valuable Player:

Aaron Rodgers

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Andrew Luck
  3. Matt Ryan

Many people doubt that Aaron can do it without Jordy Nelson, but he has proven to be able to lift receivers to greatness. He will carry this team once again. I believe the Colts will win a lot of games in the regular season and Luck will be the orchestrator. Matt Ryan will fight with the Falcons for the NFC South crown and with a monster named Julio Jones on the outside he will put up some big numbers.


Offensive Player of the Year:

Andrew Luck

  1. Andrew Luck
  2. Adrian Peterson
  3. Jamaal Charles

No doubt, this Colts offense will be gangbusters. Luck will throw it all over the field and lead his troops to a ton of scores. The offense and the team around him have changed, but Adrian Peterson is still the guy everything will run through. Maybe the Vikings will try to spread it around more early, but they need to feed 28. Charles is just such a versatile and productive player, he should always be considered to win this award. This year, with some help on the outside, he will have more chances to do his thing on the inside.


Defensive Player of the Year:

Watt

  1. J.J. Watt
  2. Von Miller
  3. Darrelle Revis

This may be boring, but I just think Watt has the best chance to take this award home once more. He is the football player on the planet right now. That can’t be denied. Miller will be fully healthy this year and be a terror on the outside. You just had to watch the first series of preseason game one, when he stripped Russell Wilson and set the tone. Revis is back in the green and white and might be a part of the best defense he’s ever been on. He will not only shut down the opponent’s number one receiver, he will have a chance to make some plays as well.


Offensive Rookie of the Year:

Cooper

  1. Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders
  2. Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers
  3. Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles

To be honest with you, I’m pretty sure on this one. I’ve followed Cooper since his first day at Alabama and come to understand what kind of player he is. Sophomore quarterback Derek Carr will look for him on almost every play just because he’s a complete receiver. The Chargers brought in Gordon to make them more than a one-dimensional team on the offensive side of the ball. If he can give them a ground game running behind a mediocre offensive line he deserves serious consideration. Agholor is an explosive weapon in an offense with dynamite potential. He might put up some big numbers.


Defensive Rookie of the Year:

Falcons Football

  1. Vic Beasley, OLB, Falcons
  2. Randy Gregory, DE, Cowboys
  3. Marcus Peters, CB, Chiefs

When you look at who’s won defensive rookie of the year award in previous years, statistics often are the primary decisive factor. That’s why I have Beasley and Gregory as the top candidates, because they could put up double-digit sacks on teams that lacked pass rushers. Beasley is a freakish athlete and if he did his work in training camp, he’ll be a hot name in 2015. Gregory should have been a top 10 draft pick when it comes to talent and he will be fired up to get on the field and show that. The other guy I went with is Peters, who can play the run and the pass very well and if he can put it all together he will get a lot of opportunities to make plays.


Comeback Player of the Year:

Bowman

  1. NaVorro Bowman
  2. Eric Berry
  3. Sam Bradford
  4. Adrian Peterson

This one is pretty hard for me to decide just because there were so many great players out for the season at some point. I went with Bowman right here just because it’s been such a struggle to get onto the field again and because I think he will once again emerge as one of the, if not the very best linebacker in the game. Berry’s fight against cancer has been so inspiring, if he returns to his old form, he will clearly be one of the favorites to take home this award. Bradford has missed so much time of his career to injuries, if he can get it done in Chip Kelly’s quarterback-friendly system, he will get a lot of attention this season. And I listed Peterson as well because when you consider what I expect him to do this year, he should be one of the prime candidates, but I’m not sure he will be with the reason he missed last season.


Coach of the Year:

Rex Ryan

  1. Rex Ryan
  2. Chip Kelly
  3. Bill O’Brian

If the Bills can take the AFC East crown from the Patriots, which only happened once in the last 12 years and if he ends the Bills playoff drought, he should take home this award. With Chip Kelly finally having the roster he always envisioned and Sam Bradford as his main man, he will carry the Eagles to one of the top seeds in the NFC and get himself a lot of recognition. Arian Foster’s health status is still not clear quite yet, but if he returns after a month, which reports let us think, and with Houston having one of the top defenses in the league, they will make the playoffs after being just two years removed from being the worst team in the NFL and O’Brien will get the recognition he deserves.



Leaders in major categories:

Jones

Passing yards: Andre Luck (4800)

Rushing yards: Adrian Peterson (2000)

Receiving yards: Julio Jones (1800)

Tackles: NaVorro Bowman (152 combined)

Sacks: Robert Quinn (20)

Interceptions: Earl Thomas (6)

Forced Fumbles: Von Miller (6)

Return touchdowns: Tyler Lockett (4)



Road to the Super Bowl:

Super Bowl 50

AFC playoff seeds:

  1. Indianapolis Colts
  2. Denver Broncos
  3. Baltimore Ravens
  4. Buffalo Bills
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers
  6. Houston Texans

Why not the Patriots?

Yes, this seems crazy, especially with Tom Brady under center already. I think Brady can still get it done, Gronk is a beast and they have quietly put together one of the defensive top front sevens in the league, but I’m worried about their rebuilding offensive line and a secondary that just lost their top three cornerbacks including the very best in the game in Darelle Revis. Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler will be their number one corner, from whom not a lot of people had heard before he made the game-sealing play in the Super Bowl.

I also like the Chiefs, Chargers and Dolphins to make some noise when it comes to December, but I think they’ll all come up just short.


NFC playoff seeds:

  1. Green Bay Packers
  2. Philadelphia Eagles
  3. Arizona Cardinals
  4. Atlanta Falcons
  5. Seattle Seahawks
  6. Dallas Cowboys or Detroit Lions

I just couldn’t decide between the Cowboys and Lions, because I think both teams will win pretty much the same amount of games. With that being said, I look for the Vikings, Saints and Rams to challenge the teams mentioned for a playoff spot. Ultimately I don’t think the Vikings or Rams are quite there yet and the Saints won’t play good enough defense to make them a contender.


Super Bowl matchup:

Ravens Baltimore Ravens – Green Bay Packers Packers

How did they get here?

When you look at the favorite candidates from the AFC, I don’t think the Patriots or Steelers have a playoff caliber defense or at least defensive backfield to make it to the big game. I like the Broncos D and what they have at the skill positions, but with left tackle Ryan Clady out for the year and Peyton’s health as a huge question mark to me, I don’t think they can get their either. So with the Bills and Texans lacking one of the better quarterbacks in the league, I’m betting my money on a Ravens team, which came up just short of beating the reigning Super Bowl winners because of a secondary that saw some of their best DBs on the sideline. With one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, a healthy secondary that has added some key pieces, the most dynamic set of linebackers and one of the best playoff quarterbacks out there, I really like them to go for another championship run.

When it comes to the NFC, I see a couple more contenders. The NFC champions of the last two years certainly have what it takes to claim the crown once again, but I just think they’ll start the year slow because of a Super Bowl hangover and not having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs will hurt them big-time. Everyone talks about Eagles offense, but they have one of the most underrated defenses. Still, they will have to play in Green Bay at some point and the last time they went there, the Pack but a 50-burger on them. The Cardinals have one of the most complete teams, but still could see their offense struggle at times. I’m not sure if the Cowboys will even make the playoffs just because there are so many great teams in this conference, but if they do they’ll be one of the top contenders out there. And I don’t think the Falcons and Lions are quite ready to win it all. The Packers will be without Jordy Nelson this season, but still have the top quarterback in the game, the best offensive line they’ve had in some time, one beast of a back, an improved defense and Davante Adams lined up opposite Randall Cobb, to take on some of the role Jordy usually does. I liked them last year to win it all and in 2015 I still do, to at least play for the Lombardi trophy.


So, to wrap this one up, I just want to wish everyone of you another great season of NFL football. May your team fare well!

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