Show/NFL Preview

Hello blog readers, my name is Noah Alvarez and I am a new Volunteer DJ for KSSU radio this semester. I am a HUGE sports fan thus, my show will be formatted as a Sports talk show. Since I will talk about nothing but sports…I’m thinking of naming my show the “No.B.S. Hour” (acronym for Nothing But Sports of course). But I am still unsure about it.
A little background on myself, I was born in Santa Ana, CA and lived my whole life in Southern California. I went to Golden West JC where I declared to be a Communications major. After 2 1/2 years there I was able to transfer to Sacramento State University & am currently on my 2nd semester here.
I was always busy playing sports growing up as a kid. Football, karate, basketball, soccer, baseball, swimming, etc. any sport you can think of, I probably tried it, but I stuck with Football & Baseball  the longest. I played football through my freshmen year at Golden West and I am currently playing baseball still for the Sac State Club Baseball team (no not the D1 team but it is still competitive). Playing sports my whole life and following in my dad’s footsteps, I developed a strong passion for following professional sports.
Sports was not the only influence my dad had on me. my dad’s music also caught my attention as a child. One of my dad’s favorite genres of music(and mine as well) are Old School Hip Hop & Funk. Everything from Run DMC, Lakeside, NWA, George Clinton, Earth Wind & Fire, Prince, Public Enemy and many more were constantly played throughout my childhood. So during my show I plan on playing a couple of songs from that era as a tribute to my dad.

Now onto the second part of this blog post, a 32 NFL team preview. With the NFL season coming up I wanted to talk about what I like and dislike about each team and there chances this year. Lets get started…

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs past couple of years have had a really great defense and incredible run game headed by Jamaal Charles, but they’ve lacked the ability to really stretch the field vertically with Alex Smith at Quarterback. New WR Jeremy Maclin is a great deep threat but Alex Smith failed to throw a TD to any WR last season so Maclin might not get many targets. Like I stated earlier, Chiefs have a very strong defense that gets safety Eric Berry back from his battle with cancer. With dangerous offensive weapons in Jamaal Charles, Travis Kelce, & Jeremy Maclin the Chiefs are a real threat to win 10 or 11 games and possibly the AFC West.
San Diego (possibly LA??) Chargers: The Chargers got a little younger this offseason drafting rookie RB Melvin Gordon to fill the hole at the position after Ryan Mathews left for the Eagles. Philip Rivers loses long time target Eddie Royal so it will be up to Keenan Allen & Malcom Floyd to really step it up at WR. Rivers still has old reliable in Antonio Gates at the tight end position. The Chargers have a solid defense this year with a strong secondary led by Saftey Eric Weddle. But in years past, the defense has just been average for the most part, nothing spectacular. We all know that Philip Rivers is capable of playing really great…but also really bad at times as well. If we see good Philip Rivers for the majority of the year, Chargers will be in contention for a wild card spot in the AFC this season.

Denver Broncos: Last few years Denver has easily been one of the best NFL teams but do not have any Super Bowl victories to show for. They still have WRs Demaryius Thomas & Emmanuel Sanders but lost stud TE Julius Thomas to Jacksonville. New Head Coach Gary Kubiak will employ more of a run heavy style of offense than Denver has had in the past, in hope to take some of the workload off an aging Peyton Manning. Denver still has a star studded defense led by players like Von Miller, TJ Ward, Aqib Talib & Demarcus Ware. It will be interesting to see if Peyton can deliver a Super Bowl championship to Denver this season knowing that his career is coming to an end…
Oakland(maybe back to LA) Raiders: The Raiders are my candidate for Most Improved Team this upcoming season. Derek Carr in his 2nd year as starting Quarterback has new weapons at WR in Michael Crabtree & Amari Cooper. The RB position will be manned by Latavius Murray & Roy Helu Jr as former 3rd overall draft pick Trent Richardson did not make their 53 man roster. The Raiders defense looks to be very strong this year as young Linebacker Khalil Mack continues to take the league by storm. The secondary does still need some work but I think the Raiders this year are going to turn some heads and 8-8


Arizona Cardinals: Cardinals the past couple of years have been plagued with injuries. Carson Palmer, Tyranna Mathieu, Darnell Dockett, Andre Ellington, & John Abraham just to name off a few impact players that missed chunks of last season with injury. When healthy though, the Arizona Cardinals are a really good team. They lost genius Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles this offseason as he took the Jets Head coaching position, but I am sure their defense will not take a dip in production. They have one of the most elite secondary groups which allows them to play man coverage a lot & blitz more rushers with confidence. As long as Carson Palmer & Andre Ellington can stay healthy this year and give some balance to that offense they can easily win 10 to 12 games. But being in the same division as the Seahawks, that might not be enough to win the NFC West.

Seattle Seahawks: Seattle was literally INCHES away from winning back-to-back Super Bowls last postseason, but I am sure Seattle fans have forgotten about that and are looking forward to this upcoming season. They still have Beast Mode (Marshawn Lynch), they still have the crafty Russell Wilson, they still have the Legion of Boom (Sherman, Chancellor, & Thomas), they still have an elite front 7, AND they just traded for Jimmy Graham this offseason…well, the rich just got richer. They are most people’s favorite to win the Super Bowl and it is hard to disagree. Pete Carroll has turned this franchise around since taking over as head coach. Russell Wilson continues to impress the nation as an underdog being drafted late in the 2012 NFL Draft. Seattle this year could easily win 15-16 games and could possibly go undefeated all they way, bearing any serious injuries. This will be a scary good Seahawks team this year.

St. Louis Rams: The Rams have been getting better and better the past couple of seasons and I think this year they will fully bloom to their potential. This offseason they swapped Quarterbacks with the Philadelphia Eagles bringing in Nick Foles to lead the team. Foles is still a young Quarterback and has shown inconsistency, yes, but they were very lucky to be able to get rid of Sam Bradford. The Rams have been playin with backup Quarterbacks most of the time in their ‘Sam Bradford era’ because he just simply could not stay healthy. This year Nick Foles has some very explosive weapons around him in Brian Quick, Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Tre Mason, Jared Cook, and rookie RB Todd Gurley. And just like the previous two NFC West teams, they have an elite Defense and possibly the best D-line in the NFL. Chris Long, Michael Brockers, Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn & Nick Fairley are going to wreak havoc on opposing backfields this year. If Nick Foles can take care of the ball and stay healthy, the Rams could win anywhere from 9 to 11 games this year and earn a Wild Card spot. If they weren’t in the tough NFC West, they would be favorites to win almost any other division.

San Fransisco 49ers: The 49ers probably just had one of the WORST offseasons that I can remember in recent history. They lost…well pretty much almost everyone. Where do I begin: HC Jim Harbaugh went back to Michigan to coach, Frank Gore to the Colts, Mike Iupati to the Cardinals, Dan Skuta to the Jaguars, Perissh Cox to the Titans, Andy Lee to the Browns, Chris Culliver to the Redskins, Stevie Johnson to the Chargers, Michael Crabtree to the Raiders, released Aldon Smith due off field issues, & lost Patrick Willis, Jonathan Martin, Anthony Davis, Chris Borland, Justin Smith, & Marcus Lattimore all to retirement. But lets look at some positives, they did bring in Reggie Bush and Torrey Smith to provide explosiveness for the offense. In reality, 49er fans have to accept their team is going through a rebuilding phase. A key player to watch this year is Colin Kaepernick. His production has slowly declined since taking over as the starting Quarterback, as NFL defenses are starting to figure out how to defend his style of play. Since Jim Harbaugh was the one who started Kaepernick & stuck with him the past seasons and is no longer head coach, will Jim Tomsula bench Kaepernick if he starts struggling again? We all know Kaepernick has incredible speed but last season he really struggled throwing the ball to his WRs. In fact, he did not throw a 4th quarter touchdown all last season and as a team, you won’t win that many games with that happening. 49ers will be lucky to win 5 games this year as a top 10 draft pick is in their near future next offseason.

Baltimore Ravens: Now on to the AFC North which I think will be the best division in the NFL this year. Last year the Ravens surprised most people by making the playoffs despite losing their best RB, Ray Rice, to a suspension in preseason. Justin Forsett stepped up into the starting position and rushed for over 1200 yards last season. This offseason Ravens lost deep threat Torrey Smith to free agency. Now Joe Flacco’s targets include veteran (my favorite receiver)Steve Smith Sr., and bunch of young unknown WRs and TEs. Ravens this year will have a really tough time scoring the ball unless these young WRs step up big time. The Baltimore defense should be really solid this year. They lost big nose tackle Haloti Ngata but they still have great Linebackers in Terrell Suggs, Courtney Upshaw, Elmis Dumervil, & CJ Mosely. The run defense will suffer a bit but I think their linebacker core and secondary can carry the defense. Because their options are limited on offense, I only see the Ravens winning 7 to 9 games which will not be enough to sneak into the playoffs this year.

Cincinnati Bengals: Who Dey nation! Bengals the last couple of years have no trouble winning in the regular season…it’s when they get to the post season when they (and by ‘they’, I mean mainly Andy Dalton), they seem to forget how to play football. They have the best RB tandem in Giovanni Bernard & Jeremy Hill and a top 5 WR in AJ Green. But when defenses take away those 3 options, Quarterback Andy Dalton doesn’t have that good of options to get the ball too. The Bengals defense is arguably the best in the AFC North. A great D-line led by Geno Atkins, a solid Linebacking core led by veteran Rey Maualuga, and a deep secondary led by cornerback Leon Hall. This team definitely has the talent to make the playoffs again, but unless Mohamed Sanu, Tyler Eifert or somebody else on offense steps up as a solid threat, I predict another first round exit for the Bengals.

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers are going to struggle the beginning part of season due to starters Le’Veon Bell & Martavis Bryant serving suspensions and center Maurkice Pouncey on IR/Designated to return. Once this offense gets all their starters back & healthy this will be one of the most dangerous offenses in the NFL. Antonio Brown tore secondaries apart last year with almost 1700 receiving yards. Le’Veon Bell is the best RB in the league (in my eyes), giving the Steelers great balance on offense meaning defenses can’t overplay the run or pass. And Big Ben…well he’s Big Ben & still one of the craftiest Quarterbacks in the league. The once “Steel Curtain” definitely has some holes now, especially in the secondary. Both Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor retired this off-season and the defense will miss their leadership. The Steelers do have some great young Linebackers and in a couple years, Pittsburgh will return to having a top 5 defense. Due to a slow start this season, I predict Pittsburgh will only be able to win 8-10 games which won’t be enough to win the division but possibly grab a wild card spot.

Cleveland Browns: As long as Josh McCown is the starting Quarterback in Cleveland, the Browns have a really good chance to go 0-16 this season. The Browns have a solid Offensive line and brought in new WR weapons in Brian Hartline & Dwayne Bowe…but for Johnny Manziel to lead the offense, not Josh McCown. McCown had a horrific season last year in Tampa Bay turning the ball over 24 times in 11 games and finished with a QBR below 33. I know Manziel was inconsistent last season in his limited playing time as a starter, but last years Browns team had no offensive weapons for him to work with. This offseason Johnny reported to have matured as a person, and I think his upside is to big for him not to be starting over McCown. Back to the rest of Cleveland, the Browns do have a sneaky good defense this season with new additions Danny Shelton and Tramon Williams. In addition, Joe Haden has emerged as a top 3 man-to-man cornerback in this league. Having Paul Kruger & Barkevious Mingo both rushing off the edge gives Cleveland a great pass rush as well. It’s too early to have any kind of playoff hopes for the Browns but if Manziel gets a couple starts later in the season, I predict them winning 3 or 4 games.

Green Bay Packers: It does not matter who you line up at Wide receiver, if you have the best Quarterback in the NFL, you have a pretty good chance to win it all. Jordy Nelson tearing his ACL this preseason would be a huge loss, but Rodgers can make good receivers out of average ones. Eddie Lacy, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, & (recently signed) James Jones are more than enough for Aaron Rodgers to work with. Biggest task for the rest of the Packers is going to be protecting Rodgers and giving up a  few amount of points. The defense did lose Linebacker AJ Hawk but they gained back Nose tackle BJ Raji from injury last season. This is a talented defense that has some big names such as Clay Mathews, Julius Peppers, Ha ha Clinton-Dix, Morgan Burnett, & Sam Shields. Bearing any huge injuries, this Packer team could win 12 to 14 games easily and earn that #2 playoff seed in the NFC.

Detroit Lions: The Lions were robbed of a playoff win last postseason against Dallas but they look to make some noise again this season. They still have the best WR in the NFL in Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, but the past couple years he has struggled to stay healthy for a full season. Shouldn’t matter too much because Matthew Stafford has a solid backup #2 option in Golden Tate. They lost Reggie Bush this offseason but drafted Ameer Abdullah out of Nebraska University who looks to be a promising NFL running back. The Detroit defense did take some major losses this year. Both defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley departed this offseason but they somewhat replaced that void with big Nose tackle from Baltimore, Haloti Ngata. Deandre Levy and Stephen Tulloch are both really good linebackers that make tackles all over the field. In the secondary, Safety Glover Quinn led the league last year with 7 interceptions and looks to duplicate that production. All in all, this team will go as far as Mathew Stafford can lead them. Detroit won’t have an as dominant defense this season so that puts a bit more pressure on Mathew Stafford’s shoulders. 9 to 11 wins is a realistic goal for Lions fans and that could be good enough for them to earn a wild card spot.

Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater is the future! And guess what, the Vikings get Adrian Peterson back from  suspension last year. Remember the numbers AP put up that season after his ACL injury? Now he comes back with a whole year’s rest under his belt and looks to take back his title of best RB in the NFL. This Vikings team is going to be sneaky good. I don’t think they are ready to fully blossom just yet but in 2-3 years this is going to be an elite team. Having speed threat Mike Wallace gives Bridgewater a legit #1 target to throw too and it creates more running room for AP since defenses won’t be able to load the box. Kyle Rudolph is emerging as really good TE in this league as well. The Vikings defense was very underrated last year and is full of young players like Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith, & Xavier Rhodes, that are only going to keep getting better. Realistically this Vikings team can win anywhere from 7 to 12 games. Don’t be surprised if this Vikings team beats out your team for an NFC wild card spot this season.

Chicago Bears: Remember when the Bears year after year had better defenses than their offense…well that’s not the case anymore. The Bears defense was sorry last year giving up over 6000 yards of total offense and finishing the year with a -5 turnover ratio. The low turnover ratio was all the defense fault as you can thank quarterback Jay Cutler for contributing to that number as well. Jay Cutler had a rough season last year and was benched in the last game. It looks like another rough year for Jay Cutler as he lost favorite target Brandon Marshall this offseason. New Head Coach John Fox has already publicly announced his dislike for Jay Cutler as starting Quarterback, but no team was willing to trade with Chicago because of Cutler’s extremely high contract. Sort of a lose-lose situation for both parties. The positive for this team is that they still have young pieces to build around in Alshon Jeffrey, Matt Forte, Kevin White, Kyle Fuller, Lamar Houston, & John Bostic. Bears fans may not enjoy a 2 to 4 win season, but will enjoy the upcoming off-season when the Bears get a top 5 draft pick.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Now onto the most “up for grabs” division in the NFL, the NFC South. Tampa Bay made a splash this offseaon drafting Jamies Winston as their new franchise quarterback. Say what you want about the guy, his off the field issues, or his work ethic, but this guy can flat out win. Tampa Bay already has a really really good defense with arguably the 2nd best defensive tackle in the league Gerald McCoy. Jonathan Banks and Alterraun Verner are both good young cornerbacks manning the outside and Linebackers Lavonte David & rookie Kwon Alexander look to be a promising Linebacker tandem. This team went 2-14 last year mainly because of one reason…McCown kept turning the ball over. If Winston can limit the turnovers and get the ball to his weapons in Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, & Doug Martin out of the backfield, this could be a playoff team. Yes I said playoff team because honestly I believe an 8-8 record wins this division.

Carolina Panthers: Speaking of 8-8 records, the Carolina Panthers won this division last year going 7-8-1 (YES their is ties in football!). I would say the Panthers’ playoff hopes ended when star WR Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL this preseason but all they have to do is reach 8-8. The Panthers still have a really solid & underrated defense. Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis without a doubt are the best Linebacker duo in the NFL right now. The Panthers D-line is very deep as well but lost a big playmaker in Greg Hardy at DE. Keep a lookout for Cornerback Josh Norman to have a breakout year and emerge as a top 10 lockdown corner in the NFL. So no Benjamin this year means WR by committee on offense with guys like Jerricho Cotchery, Ted Ginn Jr, Philly Brown, and rookie WR Devin Funchess. The biggest need this offseason for Carolina was addressed as they brought in Michael Oher at left tackle. Cam Newton did not look the same last season mainly because he was under pressure so quickly and so frequently. Remember that Monday night game where the Eagles sacked him 9 TIMES! Just horrific. If Cam gets the protection, Jonathan Stewart stays healthy, & the receivers step up, Carolina can reach 8-8 and win this division for a 3rd year in a row.

New Orleans Saints: The Saints shocked the nation this offseason by trading away pro bowl tight end Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks(…of all teams) for center Max Unger. Saints wanted to transition from a passing first offense to a run first offense this offseason and made moves accordingly. They resigned Mark Ingram to a long term contract & brought in CJ Spiller to play that “Darren Sproles” role they had a few years ago. Brandin Cooks looks to emerge as the Saints new #1 WR and is poised to have a breakout year. The Saints went with complete overhaul on defense bringing in Brandon Browner, Daniel Ellerbe, & Kevin Williams to help out Cameron Jordan & Kenny Vaccaro. Jarius Byrd also returns this year from his Achilles tear last season. Other than those names I mentioned, lots of these players on the defensive side are below average & not very well known players. It will be interesting to see how the defense meshes together and if Drew Brees can successfully lead a run first  offense to an 8-8 record.

Atlanta Falcons: Matty Ice and the Dirtybirds. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, and…well really that’s kind of it. Not many household names in Atlanta this season. After Stephen Jackson didn’t work out at RB last year, Falcons are going with a platoon of young RBs such as Devonta Freeman & Tevin Coleman. Rookies Vic Beasley Jr. & Jalen Collins look to make an impact on an Atlanta defense that was not very good last year. The Falcons did bring in free agents like Justin Durant & Adrian Clayborn to help out the defense but who knows if that will be enough. The key to success for the Falcons is in the trenches. If their O-line or D-line can get some sort of push that they have lacked in the past years, they can bring some balance to the offense and the team as a whole. 8-8 is the goal for Atlanta although I think they are the least likely to win the division.

 Indianapolis Colts: Really the only team worth talking about in this division is the Colts. Andrew Luck has emerged as the second best quarterback in the NFL and is poised to have a huge year. The Colts brought in University of Miami teammates Andre Johnson & Frank Gore to help the cause. Along with T.Y. Hilton at receiver, the Colts have two good options at Tight end as well in Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. The Colts’ defense isn’t spectacular but they do get elite pass rusher Robert Mathis back from injury this season. Vontae Davis has emerged as an elite cornerback in the NFL as well as help make the Colts’ secondary the strongest part of their defense. Maybe near the trade deadline they bring in someone else to help out that front seven. Even if they don’t, the Colts still have enough talent & potential to reach the Super Bowl and possibly win it all.

Houston Texans: The next best team in the division is the Texans but its not even a close race. The Texans do have a really good defense that contains a great front seven. Oh and don’t forget about JJ Watt. I think most people can agree he is the best player in the NFL right now. He did practically everything but play Quarterback for the Texans last year. But JJ Watt and this Texans defense can’t win many games on their own. The offense opening day will be lead by Brian Hoyer, not Ryan Mallet, as the starting quarterback. The Texans QB situation has just been a mess since the decline of Matt Schaub and Houston has not really been relevant since. Arian Foster is going to miss the first 4-6 games of the season too so they are already without their best offensive player. I think the Texans will be lucky to come away with 7 or 8 wins this season and miss the postseason for another year.

Tennessee Titans: Similar to the Texans, the Titans have been in a Quarterback carousel for a couple of years now. They hope they have found their answer in rookie quarterback out of Oregon, Marcus Mariota. Mariota is not surrounded by much talent as I’m sure he’s realized already. He’ll be sharing a backfield with Bishop Sankey & Dexter McCluster. His top targets are gunna be WRs Kendall Wright & Harry Douglas along with tight end Delanie Walker. Brian Orakpo, Jason McCourty, & Perrish Cox highlight the names they have on defense. Clear to say Tennessee is in rebuilding mode. Winning 3 to 5 games is what I predict the Titans will do.

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars too are in a rebuilding phase but are one step ahead of the Titans because they got their franchise quarterback last draft. Blake Bortles had a pretty decent rookie season considering the weapons he was given to work with. The Jaguars added another stud rookie this year in T.J. Yeldo, running back out of Alabama University. Jaguars also gave Bortles a legit threat at tight end in Julius Thomas from the Broncos. On the defensive side, not too many recognizable names. Paul Posluszny has quietly gone under the radar but is a really good middle linebacker. Jaguars would be happy to win 3 to 5 games and get another top 5 draft pick to keep rebuilding.

Philadelphia Eagles: You want to talk about overhauls, then look no further at what Chip Kelly has done with the Eagles. In 3 years as head coach of the Eagles, Chip Kelly has gotten rid of:(be ready this list is long) Desean Jackson, Trent Cole, Jeremy Maclin, Lesean McCoy, Nick Foles, Byrce Brown, Evan Mathis, Michael Vick, Kurt Coleman, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Casey Mathews, Brandon Boykin, Cullen Jenkins, & Cary Williams. Phew that was a mouthful. Some Philly fans have faith in Chip Kelly trading for his own players, and others are a little skeptic and confused just like the rest of us are. Guys like McCoy & Desean Jackson I thought were perfect for that system. On to present day, the Eagles have a loaded offensive roster. Demarco Murray, Ryan Matthews, & Darren Sproles are all going to be sharing the load at running back. Sam Bradford is the new quarterback for this team and his main targets at WR will most likely be Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor. Miles Austin, Brett Celek, & Zach Ertz round up the other targets Mark Sanchez can throw too. Yes I said Mark Sanchez because Sam Bradford can’t stay healthy to save his life. On the defensive side the Eagles aren’t elite, but they do have a sneaky good defense. Conner Barwin, Kiko Alonso, Fletcher Cox, DeMeco Ryans, & Bryon Maxwell are some big names to keep an eye out for. Eagles will go as far as Sam Bradford stays healthy, if he plays all 16, Eagles can 11 or 12 games. But if Bradford misses significant time, I don’t see Mark Sanchez winning more than 5 games as a starter.

Washington Redskins: Remember when RG3 was good…yea neither do lots of people. It feels like ages ago when Robert Griffin III took the league by storm his rookie season. Since his ACL injury at the end of that season, RG3 simply has lost his magic and cannot stay healthy. This preseason, Redskins announced they are moving on with Kirk Cousins as their starting Quarterback. Looks like the RG3 era is done and so might be his career. Cousins has shined in some games coming off the bench and has great weapons to throw to in Desean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Andre Roberts and Jordan Reed. If Cousins learns to stay within himself, this can be an above average offense. Washington’s defense is what fans should be worried about. They still have good Linebackers in Perry Riley Jr and Ryan Kerrigan but lost big time pass rusher Brian Orakpo. They brought in Chris Culliver, Dashon Goldson, Terrence Knighton, and Stephen Paea but the rest of this defense is still really young and inexperienced. This could be an ugly season for the Redskins. Best case scenario  I have them winning 5 games, but they should be looking forward to having a top 10 pick in this upcoming draft.

Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys really surprised some people this off-season by not resigning Demarco Murray and not really addressing the need at the position. Looks like they have faith in Joseph Randle and Run DMC (Darren McFadden) to fill the void. This Offensive line is great, and Dez Bryant is a great WR as well, but without a balanced offensive attack I don’t think Romo can lead this team to the playoffs. On the defensive side Cowboys get back pro bowl Linebacker Sean Lee back from injury. Later in the season they also get both Greg Hardy & Rolando McClain back from suspensions. So this can be a really good defensive team in the second half of the season. They did lose cornerback Orlando Scandrick for the season which leaves a huge void in their secondary that Claiborne & rookie Byron Jones will look to fill. But without Demarco Murray I don’t see this Cowboys team winning more than 8 games. Good news for them is that might be good enough to win division depending on the health of Sam Bradford in Philly…

New York Giants: Eli Manning reminds me of Phillip Rivers (except Eli has rings), they both can be potentially really great quarterbacks but then have times where they look worse than Josh McCown. Eli Manning flat out has a really really good offense this year. Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham Jr. (who only needs three fingers to catch a football), Rueben Randle, Larry Donnell, and then Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen & Andre Williams in the backfield. OBJ is the real deal out in New York as he took the league by storm last year. There should be no one but himself to blame if Eli can’t score 20 or more points a game with this team. New York’s defense does have some big question marks though. The front seven seems to be vulnerable especially if Jason Pierre Paul does not play for the Giants this season after a firework incident caused him to have a finger amputated. The secondary will have to carry this defense led by players like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie & Prince Amukamara. Due to a lackluster defense, Giants win anywhere from 5-8 games this year which won’t be enough to top the Eagles or Cowboys for the Division.

New England Patriots: The AFC East should just be renamed the Patriots division am I right? Coming off a VERY lucky Super Bowl victory last season, Tom Brady and the Patriots look to duplicate their success. Tom Brady is also no longer suspended as he won his court case against the NFL for Deflate gate suspension. So the Patriots gets away with cheating (AGAIN) and have another controversial Super Bowl victory in their records. Patriots offense isn’t a concern this year and never will be as long as Brady & Gronk are still there. And minus the downgrade at Cornerback this year, the defense is still really good. I thought with Brady suspended a couple games this team would miss the playoffs, but now that he’ll be here all season, Patriots take the division (AGAIN) with 12 or 13 wins.

Miami Dolphins: I really wanted the Dolphins to win the division this year but seems unlikely now with Brady’s suspension overturned. They added  a whole lot of beef on defense in Ndamukong Suh. Add Suh to a Defensive line that already has Cameron Wake, Earl Mitchell, & Olivier Vernon…look out opposing Quarterbacks. On the offensive side Ryan Tannehill is loaded with weapons this year. I predict Lamar Miller will have a breakout year this season. Jarvis Landry, Greg Jennings, DeVante Parker, Jordan Cameron, & Kenny Stills round up the targets Tannehill will have the pleasure of getting the ball too this season. This Miami Dolphins team can win 10 games this year and possibly sneak into an AFC wild card spot.

New York Jets: Great new coach, great defense, great offesnive weapons…but no Quarterback. Geno Smith literally got knocked out by a teammate this summer that is going to sideline him until halfway through the season. So it looks like Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starter right now. He has weapons like Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker & Chris Ivory so this offense can score, but it won’t if Fitzpatrick plays like the Fitzpatrick of the past. The Jets’ defensive line is scary good and they also brought Revis & Cromartie back this offseason. With Todd Bowles as Head coach as well, this could be potentially a top 5 defense. Bottom line, Jets are only a 6 win team until they figure out their Quarterback situation out… *cough Jay Cutler cough*

Buffalo Bills: Great new coach, great defense, great offensive weapons…but no Quarterback. Sound familiar? Well it should because the Bills are almost in an identical situation as the Jets. Tyrod Taylor beat out both Matt Cassell & E.J. Manuel this preseason for the starting job. This offense is going to have a lot of speed with players like Lesean McCoy, Sammy Watkins, Charles Clay, & Percy Harvin. On defense, the only weak point is maybe at the Linebacker position since they traded away Kiko Alonso this offseason. All around, this defense has the potential to be a top 5 defense, just like the Jets, but the Bills will only win 6 games this year until they figure their quarterback situation out.

So now my playoff predictions and I’ll make this quick:

NFC Seedings: 1. Seattle, 2. Green Bay, 3. New Orleans, 4. Philadelphia, 5. Detroit, 6. Arizona.

Seattle & Green Bay in NFC Championship.

Seattle advances to Super Bowl.

AFC Seedings: 1. Indianapolis, 2. New England, 3. Kansas City, 4. Cincinnati, 5. Denver, 6. Dolphins.

Indy & Kansas City (shocks New England)

Indianapolis advances to Super Bowl.

Colts beat Seahawks in Super Bowl 26-22


Noah Alvarez is a DJ with KSSU Sacramento States only student run radio station.

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