Joe’s Predictions

Joseph Frescott and Anthony Colavito

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NFL MVP: Aaron Donald

Traditionally an offensive award, the NFL MVP has been awarded to a QB for the past 6 years. Only two players have ever been awarded MVP as a defensive player, Alan Paige in 1971 and Lawerence Taylor in 1986. If Aaron Donald was to win this year, he would join some elite company and solidify himself as one of the greatest DE ever. The 6’1’’ 280 lb machine had an insane season last year, leading the league with 20.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. The two time defensive player of the year looks to continue his league domination this season and should be in the running as a wildcard to win this years MVP award.

Offensive Player Of the Year: Saquon Barkley

The 2018 New York Giants were nothing short of a disaster. The one bright spot, however, was Saquon Barkley, who solidified himself as a top 3 running back in the NFL after his first NFL season. The Pro Bowl back had over 2,000 total yards from scrimmage, insane numbers for just his rookie season. With the Giants looking worse than last year, Saquon will have to carry his team and have an even better year if they have any chance of competing this season. Luckily, Saquon is the best bet to do so and should establish himself as the best offensive player in the league. 

Defensive Player Of the Year: Myles Garrett

Myles Garrett has been one of the best defensive players in the league over the past two seasons and has been one of the biggest bright spots on the newly contending Browns. In his 29 starts, he already has 25.5 sacks with 4 forced fumbles. Garrett should take a huge step forward with the help of the Browns improved defense to support him. The First Team All-Pro DE already has 5 sacks and 7 QB hits in the first two games this season and is looking to continue dominating quarterbacks across the league this year. Look for him to have a breakout season and establish himself as a top 5 defensive player in the league this year. 

 

 

 

 

Rookie Of the Year: Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray is one of the most controversial talents in the NFL today. After being taken number 1 overall this year by the Arizona Cardinals, many people questioned whether his style of play would translate to the NFL. Standing at 5’10”, the Heisman winner has undeniable talent, with the ability to make big plays at any time. If he can utilize his talents and use his scrambling ability effectively, he has the potential to be a franchise QB that the struggling Cardinals desperately need. With the help of David Johnson and the never-aging Larry Fitzgerald, Murray will silence the haters this year and show why he was worthy of the first pick.

 

 

 

Breakout Player of the Year: Bradley Chubb

In the 2018 Draft, the Denver Broncos had a difficult decision to make. After the retirement of future HOF QB Peyton Manning, they were in the need for a franchise QB. Instead of addressing that issue through the draft, they went with the best player on the board in DE Bradley Chubb. In his first season, the 5th overall pick had a solid year, having 12 sacks with 2 forced fumbles. With the addition of the defensive-minded head coach Vic Fangio, Chubb and Von Miller solidify themselves as the best pass-rushing duo in the NFL. Expect Bradley Chubb to be a dominant force this year in this new look Broncos defense.

Comeback Player of the Year: Earl Thomas III

Earl Thomas III was one of the most dominant safeties over the past decade. After being one of the most durable players in the NFL, the six-time Pro Bowler has been battling injuries for the past 3 seasons, only playing 29 games. Last season, Thomas III was negotiating a new contract with the Seahawks, but neither side could agree to a deal. In Week 3, Earl broke his leg, ending his season and any chance of him signing an extension with Seattle. Finding a new home in Baltimore this offseason, Thomas III will be the backbone of this already solid defensive core. If he can manage to stay healthy this season, there is no reason why the 30 year old can’t return to his All Pro form and add this award to his legacy.

Before we get to our big Super Bowl predictions, let’s break down which four teams will win their divisions in their respective conferences, starting with the AFC.

 

 

 

AFC North: Baltimore Ravens

Through the first two weeks of the NFL season, it has become clear that this year’s Ravens team is a legit contender. With Lamar Jackson playing like a future MVP, the Ravens are the most well-rounded team in the league. Although they have a tough schedule ahead of them, there is no reason why this team can’t finish as with one of the best records in the entire NFL. With Big Ben injuries and the Brown’s early struggles, the Ravens are an easy pick to win the AFC North.

 

 

AFC South: Houston Texans

After the retirement of Andrew Luck and the season-ending injury to Nick Foles, the AFC South is one of the weakest divisions in the NFL. The Houston Texans have been one of the most consistent teams over the past few seasons, making the playoffs 3 of the last 4 years. Despite their great seasons, they have yet to make a deep playoff run. With their most talented roster to date, the Texans have a great chance to make a playoff push this year, as they have an easy path to the playoffs. However, it remains to be seen whether Deshaun Watson and Co. can take that next step.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East: New England Patriots

There is not much that needs to be said about the reigning Super Bowl champions. The never-aging Tom Brady has a great roster around him and will once again lead the Patriots to a top two seed in the AFC. Barring a devastating injury, it is safe to say that the Patriots will win their division for the 11th straight season.

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West: Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos have been one of the most disappointing teams over the last few seasons. Following their miraculous Super Bowl 50 win, Denver has yet to make the playoffs or even have a winning record. This can be attributed to their coaching and quarterback issues. General manager John Elway saw these issues and made the changes he thought would bring them back into contention. New head coach Vic Fangio is one of the best defensive minds in the NFL and will have the Broncos playing at an elite level once again. As for the offense, new QB Joe Flacco has a great chance to rejuvenate his career and will lead this talented offensive unit. With these new additions, the Broncos will be a surprise contender this season.

NFC North: Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers have been getting a lot of hate over the past few seasons. After under-performing and missing the playoffs for the past two seasons, star QB Aaron Rodger’s leadership has been scrutinized by the media. Knowing they needed a new identity, General Manager Brian Gutekunst fired long term head coach Mike McCarthy and brought in the offensive-minded Matt LaFleur to lead this roster. Although the NFC North is one of the best divisions in the NFL, don’t be surprised if the Packers run away with the division and return to the playoffs.

 

NFC South: New Orleans Saints

No one can deny that the New Orleans Saints were robbed out of a Super Bowl appearance last season. Bringing back the same roster as last year, New Orleans was on everyone’s list as Super Bowl contenders at the start of this season. However, after Drew Brees’ thumb injury in week 2, it remains to be seen how this team can hold up with their future HOF QB gone for half the season. Despite Brees’ injury, the Saints should have enough talent to win them games and come out on top of the NFC South.

 

 

 

 

NFC East: Dallas Cowboys

Based on the moves the Dallas Cowboys have made over the past year, it is safe to say that this organization is in win-now mode. Owner Jerry Jones has been clear that he wants to win another ring before it is all said and done, and the moves he made this offseason emphasized this. The Cowboys retained most of their key pieces, giving out huge contracts to DE Demarcus Lawerence and RB Ezekiel Elliot. After signing all of their key players to extensions, the Dallas Cowboys look like the team to beat in the NFC East, especially with all of the Eagles early season injuries.

 

 

NFC West: Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks have been average at best over the past couple seasons. The 2013 Super Bowl champs haven’t won a playoff game since 2016 and had a decent off-season at best. However, QB Russel Wilson has an established run game in Chris Carson and great weapons such as Locket and DK Metcalf at his disposable, making them a really tough team. Despite their offensive talent, they are gonna have an uphill battle to win the division, with the Rams and 49ers looking like serious contenders as well. With all of this being said, the Seahawks have a great chance to surprise a lot of people this year and make a playoff push.

 

 

Super Bowl LV: New England Patriots v. Green Bay Packers

If you ask any NFL fan, they will tell you that this is one of the Super Bowl games they would love to see. Brady vs. Rodgers would be an all-time great Super Bowl QB match-up and luckily for us fans, this year looks like a real possibility. The New England Patriots have looked dominate so far this season and no team in the AFC besides the Chiefs look to even compete with the reigning champs. As for the NFC, the Green Bay Packers have an explosive offense and a surprisingly great defense that has led the league in forced turnovers through week 2. If their defense can continue this outstanding play, the Packers have a great chance to make it back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2010. Despite both teams having solid defenses, this Super Bowl would be an offensive shootout. Rodgers and Brady would both have great games, but Aaron Rodgers would secure his second Super Bowl win by a score of 38-35