The National Football League always gives sports fans plenty to talk about, and the 2018 season was no exception. This season had it all: scandal and controversy, drama and excitement, the highs of winning and the lows of defeat. We had some truly memorable games, like when the Green Bay Packers invaded Los Angeles to do battle with the Rams, a game in which both teams came back from 10-point deficits. We also saw the New England Patriots march to their third Super Bowl in three years, this time emerging victorious thanks to a strategic defensive game plan that resulted in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL history.
Not everyone had such a successful year, though. Buffalo tight end, Charles Clay, performed poorly for eight games and was released from his contract in February. Another lackluster performance came out of Houston as the Texans offensive line gave up an NFL-high 56 sacks during the season.
Whether they found success or suffered defeat, it’s important for all NFL teams to put 2018 behind them. The 2019 regular season is right around the corner and anything can happen in a fresh season. NFL fantasy football players will have kept a close eye on the 2018 season and, with next season’s possibilities in mind, will be starting to make their predictions. Here are a few of ours:
Elliott Will Be Cowboys’ MVP
Ezekiel Elliott works notoriously hard and is considered to be one of the hardest working players in the NFL. He came to the end of 2018 with 381 touches, which was 29 more than the next closest running back, for over 2,000 total yards and nine touchdowns. He earned his second league rushing title with his 1,434 yards on the ground. There’s still a little work to do with him off the field, and he’s only 23 years old, but the young running back oozes potential.
Patriots Or Chiefs Will Win The Super Bowl
The New England Patriots have proven to be a constant when it comes to competing for the Vince Lombardi trophy. This has led many to predict that the Pats could show up yet again this year and take home some more hardware. The team is co-favorites at 6-1 with the Kansas City Chiefs to win it all in 2020. The Pats hold the record for the most appearances in a Super Bowl (11); most Super Bowl wins (6); and most Super Bowl losses (5). They share the latter two records with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos respectively. Keep an eye on Kansas City, too.
Packers Sit Atop The NFC North
The Green Bay Packers have been busy this offseason in an effort to bolster their roster and improve their performance. They’ve added three defensive starters in free agency in Adrian Amos, Za’Darius Smith, and Preston Smith and two more defensive players in the draft – Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage. Not only that, they’ve upgraded their offensive line and tight end. All of this is just on the field. On the sidelines the Packers have appointed a new head coach in Matt LeFleur. Cheeseheads can expect their Packers to come out swinging this season to keep pace with their tough division that was led by upstart Chicago last year. Don’t be surprised if Green Bay winds up 11-5.
Falcons Will Lose In The Playoffs
Some had tipped the Falcons to win the Super Bowl before the 2018 campaign, but they were a mile off the mark. The team was injury plagued at nearly every level, especially on defense at linebacker and safety. The offensive line crumbled, and the team’s offense would move the ball but failed to score in the red zone. The Falcons will come back from all this failure, as teams tends to, but will then come apart in the playoffs. Teams have a habit of picking off those from the NFC South in the postseason.
Cardinals Will Win Just 2 Games
It’s a harsh prediction, and not one Arizona or its fans will appreciate, but that’s how some are calling it for the Cardinals this season. Given the Cardinals’ 3-13 record in 2018, it’s not too outlandish to predict that they be at the bottom of the league again. In an effort to right the ship, the club has removed head coach Steve Wilks and quarterback Josh Rosen from the team and replaced them with first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, who was the No. 1 overall pick. It’s going to take a while for both men to settle into their roles, and some feel this settling-in period will take its toll on the Cardinals’ fortunes on the field. Odds released by The Washington Post give the Cardinals a 0% chance to win the NFC West.
Garoppolo Will Be The Comeback Player Of The Year
Despite naysayers suggesting that Kyle Shanahan isn’t the man to lead the San Francisco 49ers, others believe he is. They also believe that Jimmy Garoppolo will be the man he wants as the quarterback. Garoppolo will be returning from an ACL injury and will have high expectations to meet given the hype around him and the value of his contract. Fortunately for the Bay Area, Garoppolo is the type of guy to succeed when he sets out to achieve something. He plays well under pressure and has the right attitude. As a consequence of his injury, he spent most of last season on the sideline learning the intricacies of the team’s offense and patiently watching what did or didn’t work with C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens under center
A Final Word
The 2019 NFL season is rapidly approaching. The media, fans, players and NFL executives are busy making predictions that they hope will benefit their team. From gut-wrenching defeats and inspirational Super Bowl glories, to players making a successful path down the comeback trail and potential new football stars in the making, there’s a lot to look out for this season. One thing that is certain is that when you follow the NFL, anything can happen. The mighty can fall and the underdogs can defy the odds, and it’s the possibility of moments like this that will make this season of the NFL compelling. We wouldn’t want it any other way.