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The Official 2018 DMR NFL Season Preview

Are you ready for some football?

Tonight, the season kicks off with the Falcons traveling to the defending Super Bowl Champion Eagles. Can the Eagles repeat? Are the Patriots still the kings of the AFC? Will Le’Veon Bell ever play? There are a lot of great storylines and the season has not even begun.

Another season means it’s another year for predictions from the (so-called) experts, myself and LordTreeSap. In last season’s preview, I nailed the Cowboys taking a step back, but looked silly with the Raiders to the Conference Championship (RIP Khalil Mack). LTS had a little more success than me, nailing the Panthers as a dark horse as well as not riding the Jay Cutler train in Miami. However, the Chargers and Philip Rivers hate the first two months of the year so LAC did not make the playoffs.

How will we do this year? Let’s check out the predictions.

Team To Take a Step Up

DG: Houston Texans

Houston was decimated by injuries a season ago with the biggest ones happening to JJ Watt and Deshaun Watson. Both stars are healthy and both are expected to have monster years. DeAndre Hopkins is still a beast last time I checked. Remember the name D’Onta Foreman. The running back is currently on the PUP list, but if he returns from injury, there could be a competition in the backfield with Lamar Miller. I would not be surprised if the Texans go into New England this week and leave with a victory.

P.S. The obvious answer is the Packers, but that’s a no brainer. *Justin Bieber voice*

LTS: Baltimore Ravens

After just missing the playoffs at 9-7 thanks to a crushing week 17 loss to Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco returns with Lamar Jackson breathing down his neck and a totally revamped offense. It’s now or never for Joe Cool. Adding Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead should help rework a putrid passing game with a strong offensive line returning to help. Pair that with a potential top 5 defense and a weak AFC and Baltimore isn’t a team you’re going to want to face down the stretch.

Team To Take A Step Back

DG: Seattle Seahawks

I used to believe in the saying, “Death, taxes, and the Seattle Seahawks.” That’s how confident I was in Pete Carroll and the Legion of Boom. Now, it’s the legion of Earl Thomas (who just showed up to camp, by the way) as Richard Sherman went to the 49ers and Kam Chancellor hung up the cleats. The offense still has Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and one of the best QBs in the league with Russell Wilson. However, with question marks at running back and on the offensive line, the ‘Hawks will struggle to reach .500.

LTS: Buffalo Bills 

I don’t think I’ve ever been more confident in a team regressing than this year’s Buffalo Bills. They’re in no rush to see Josh Allen with Nathan Peterman under center. A dearth of weapons outside of an aging Shady and a horrid offensive line should make for a recipe for disaster. At least the Bills Mafia finally ended their playoff drought last season.

Dark Horse

DG: Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs have made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, but every expert under the sun predicts that the Chargers will finally win the division this year. Did Andy Reid, a top 5 coach in the game, die? The answer is no. Why is there so much disrespect for the Chiefs? The answer is Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs decided to trade veteran Alex Smith in the offseason in order to turn over the keys to Mahomes. Mahomes can flat out spin the pigskin. The kid has a rocket arm and he’s mobile within the pocket. Mahomes will throw a good amount of interceptions, but they will be off of downfield throws, which is something they were missing with Alex Smith. There will be no disrespect out of this guy because the Chiefs will win the division.

LTS: Los Angeles Chargers

I loved the Chargers last season, but bad luck and poor late game execution plagued LA on the road to a 9-win season. Rivers and co. should separate themselves as the class of the AFC West with no true juggernaut. Opposing QBs are going to have nightmares going against a pass rush featuring Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Now, if a couple kicks go their way along with Rivers avoiding the dagger interceptions, the Chargers should find themselves back in the post-season.

Awards

DG:

MVP: Aaron Rodgers
OPOY: Antonio Brown
DPOY: Joey Bosa
O-Rookie: Saquon Barkley
D-Rookie: Derwin James
Comeback: Deshaun Watson
Coach: Bill O’Brien

LTS:

MVP: Aaron Rodgers
OPOY: Alvin Kamara
DPOY: Jadeveon Clowney
O-Rookie: Saquon Barkley
D-Rookie: Bradley Chubb
Comeback: Andrew Luck
Coach: Sean McVay

AFC

DG:

  1. Steelers
  2. Patriots
  3. Jaguars
  4. Chiefs
  5. Texans
  6. Chargers

Wildcard Round:
Jaguars over Chargers
Chiefs over Texans

Divisional Round:
Patriots over Chiefs
Steelers over Jaguars

Conference Title:
Steelers over Patriots

LTS:

  1. Patriots
  2. Steelers
  3. Chargers
  4. Jaguars
  5. Ravens
  6. Chiefs

Wildcard Round:
Chargers over Chiefs
Ravens over Jaguars

Divisional Round:
Patriots over Ravens
Chargers over Steelers

Conference Title:
Patriots over Chargers

NFC

DG:

  1. Rams
  2. Eagles
  3. Saints
  4. Packers
  5. Vikings
  6. Falcons

Wildcard Round:
Saints over Falcons
Vikings over Packers

Divisional Round:
Rams over Vikings
Saints over Eagles

Conference Title:
Saints over Rams

LTS:

  1. Vikings
  2. Rams
  3. Saints
  4. Eagles
  5. Falcons
  6. Packers

Wildcard Round:
Saints over Packers
Falcons over Eagles

Divisional Round:
Saints over Rams
Vikings over Falcons

Conference Title:
Saints over Vikings

Super Bowl LII 

DG: Saints over Steelers 

LTS: Saints over Patriots

Note: Sap and I did this separately. We did not see each other’s picks until we combined them for this article. We have 11/12 playoff teams and the same Super Bowl champion. That’s the DMR brotherhood.

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