New Orleans Saints – Last year I looked at the Saints, looked at their schedule and anointed them a 13-3, a first round bye, and then just a loss to one of the other top NFC teams. They stunk out the joint and made that one of my least accurate predictions. This year they have changed up the entire game plan and have Brees now using a variety of weapons while they concentrate on a running attack that will eat the clock and keep their D fresh. Their O line has been improved some. The Special teams needs help. The D can’t be worse than last year unless they finish 32. The schemes will work if there is nominal growth on the both the D line and at linebacker and secondary. Still it isn’t all that bad as they only need to keep the opposition down a little while their team scores a lot. The schedule is another gimme and they could almost run the table again. I think if all goes well they will be 13-3 and have a first round playoff bye and be defeated in the division round. If the D tanks then 6-10 is not out of the question. I will drink the Kool-Aid once more and say 12-4 and they win the division and get a bye as the #2 seed in the NFC.
Carolina Panthers – The Panthers are now thought to be at a crossroads with the loss of Kelvin Benjamin in the preseason. I say thee nay. I think Caaaaaaam has a new O line anchor, a dedicated one man RB with a good rookie Sub, a super TE, and a cadre of receivers who will get the job done. Add to that a fantastic D that has a great front 7 and a secondary that is coming on. They have solid special teams and they have a pretty ridiculously easy schedule as a ‘reward’ for winning the division and a playoff game (how did that happen?). I see them going 4-0 into their bye and then cruising through the remainder and not really getting a challenge. If all goes beyond their dreams, they could be 12-4. If the secondary falters and the receivers aren’t there then 9-7 is possible. I think the ease of schedule helps settle them to an 11-5 and that may just be the division title.
Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons had the worst defense last year and they have made wholesale changes to stop that. It may not come as fast as they hope. Dan Quinn the new HC is a maven and Vic Beasley will add a pass rush but they need serious help at the secondary and are hoping a 2nd round character gamble will ignite an otherwise ordinary unit. Matt Ryan is getting older but can still sling it. Julio Jones can be elite at WR if he can be healthy. Two kids are in the mix for RB and I don’t know doesn’t just play third base he plays TE for Atlanta. The Schedule is tough pre-bye and better after. If they have issues on D they could lose their first 5 to start. I think if they struggle they might be 6-10. If it all clicks *someone on ESPN radio says Superbowl lol* then 9-7 is possible. I think it is rebuild and 7-9.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Bucs are starting from scratch with a new QB, 2 new Oline and a fresh start altogether. Winston may be a superstar once he gets his feet under him. The O line is working on growing together. He has two great WR, a hopeful TE and depth at RB. The D is what it was but for the steal of the draft with their 4th round MLB Kwon Alexander, who is now captaining the D. The special teams are ok but need kick return production to come out of the draft too. The schedule is ok but this team is a work in progress. If the team gets it together in the first 4 games they could have a spectacular 8-8 season. If the struggles go past mid-season then 4-12 is possible. I think they will be proud to go 6-10 after the 2-14 and be ready to be heard from in 2016.
MR N the BEARS Fan