Are you ready for some football? NFL Season Preview

NFL Season Preview: Are You Ready for some Football?

  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Bill Belichick
  • Brett Favre
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Dak Prescott
  • dallas cowboys
  • deshaun watson
  • Green Bay Packers
  • houston texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • New England Patriots
  • new orleans saints
  • NFL Week 1
  • Patrick Mahomes
  • Philip Rivers
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Tom Brady
By Nick Holz September 10, 2020 0 Comment

Previews and predictions for the 2020 NFL Football Season. Can Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs repeat? Or will an upstart team spoil the party?

Amidst the woes of a global pandemic, NFL football is set to return. Football is really happening in 2020!

Tonight, the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs will battle it out with the Houston Texans. Patrick Mahomes and company will look to return to glory. The familiar foes will renew acquaintances to kickoff the season. But, which teams will be playing for the Super Bowl in early February?

Here’s why the New Orleans Saints will defeat the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl LV.

NFL Season of uncertainty

After an off-season full of surprises; Cam Newton is the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots, Teddy Bridgewater is in Carolina, Philip Rivers moved his troupe to Indianapolis, and Tom Brady now operates in Tampa Bay; NFL football is officially back.

We’ve been through one of the most unusual off-seasons in the history of sports, and football is here to lead the way out.

NFL Season Preview: AFC Playoff Predictions

  1. Kansas City
  2. Baltimore
  3. Buffalo
  4. Tennessee
  5. Pittsburgh
  6. Houston
  7. New England

Kansas City remains the team to beat. The league’s first $500 million man, Patrick Mahomes leads his squad of speedsters into the season as the favorites to retain their title. Challengers in the AFC West will be sparse with the Raiders, Broncos and Chargers each seemingly a year away. Somehow, the Chiefs also have the league’s fifth easiest schedule in 2020. This freight train isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

The NFL will eventually catch up to the Ravens power running scheme, but until then, Lamar Jackson and co. will dominate. The MVP will need to improve his passing skills to take this team to the next level. Moreover, the backfield pairing of Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins will be crucial to Baltimore’s success. An elite secondary and deep defensive line will propel this team to elite status. If Jackson’s passing and play in January improves, the sky is the limit.

Josh Allen has been touted as the next Cam Newton. Look for the Buffalo signal caller to take a major leap with Stefon Diggs in tow. Diggs and John Brown excel at creating separation, while Cole Beasley gives Allen a go-to target underneath. Buffalo’s thunder and lightning combo of Devin Singletary and rookie Zack Moss backfield will aid Allen’s quest.

An underrated defense led by star corner Tre’Davious White should be even more effective in year four of coach Sean McDermott’s tenure. Buffalo will surprise the masses this season.

The Tennessee Titans are a popular pick to run roughshod through the NFL in 2020. Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry will look to continue with their late season momentum. Creative offensive coordinator Arthur Smith should have them on track to do just that.

On the whole, the Titans had a fantastic off-season. Re-signing their dominate backfield tandem, and landing superstar pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney just before the season. Additionally, Kevin Byard remains an underrated center field play maker. If Clowney plays anywhere near his potential, the Titans could boom. But, does anybody really trust Ryan Tannehill?

As noted in the best bets for Super Bowl LV article, the Pittsburgh Steelers enter 2020 as the ultimate sleeper in the AFC. Many are betting big on Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow. But, if Big Ben can return to form, he’s surrounded by weapons to make his life easier. James Conner, Benny Snell, and Anthony MacFarland Jr can carry the load in the backfield. Juju Smith-Schuster will also be looking to bounce back from a subpar season. Flanked by James Washington and underrated young gun Diontae Johnson, he should have the space to do just that.

Pittsburgh’s defense will be terrifying. Minkah Fitzpatrick will continue to wreak havoc on opposing offensive game plans. Cam Heyward bosses the inside of the defensive line, while TJ Watt and Bud Dupree attack opposing passers off the edges. Keith Butler’s unit will be one of the elite groups in the NFL this season.

Nobody in the football world can figure out what Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has been up to. Trading all-world wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins may not have been a popular decision, but it could help open up the offense. O’Brien has surrounded superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson with speed. Additionally, Duke and David Johnson each bring pass-catching versatility out of the backfield. Houston can get creative with their formations and hunt mismatches all game long.

JJ Watt isn’t the dominant force he once was, but he remains disruptive enough to alter opposition game-plans. Houston’s secondary will leave a lot to be desired. At the end of the day, the Texans will make the playoffs through the power of Deshaun Watson’s right arm.

A number of prognosticators have been pretty vocal about the New England Patriots missing the playoffs in 2020. I’m not one of them. Can you ever really count out the greatest coach in the history of the game? Sure Tom Brady is gone, Dont’a Hightower opted out, and the Patriots have lost almost half their defensive starters from last year to free agency and COVID-19 concerns. But, Bill Belichick is a magician.

New England slips into the playoffs thanks to the newly created seventh seed.

Frank Reich and Chris Ballard have staked the immediate future of the Indianapolis Colts on the noodle arm of Philip Rivers. Can Rivers turn back the clock in Indy, a la Brett Favre in Minnesota? Or will the father of 9 continue to be the turnover machine we saw in 2019? It would be wise to bet on the latter here.

Miami has done some wonderful roster maneuvering in the Chris Grier/Brian Flores era. All of a sudden, the Dolphins have a strong young nucleus of talent to build around. Ryan Fitzpatrick will start week 1, however, any hope the Dolphins have at contending rests on the left arm of Tua Tagovailoa. The Fins’ are at least a year away.

AFC Championship Game

Baltimore 38, Kansas City 34.

NFL Season Preview: NFC Playoff Predictions

  1. Dallas Cowboys
  2. New Orleans Saints
  3. San Francisco 49ers
  4. Green Bay Packers
  5. Seattle Seahawks
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  7. Minnesota Vikings

Dallas has one of the league’s easiest schedules, and play six games against Cincinnati, Cleveland, the Giants and Washington. Thus, I have Dallas as the one seed due more to their advantageous schedule, than the team’s overall ability.

Nonetheless, Jerry Jones’ troops should be far better coached under Mike McCarthy this season. Their front seven has the potential to be the most disruptive in the NFL, and the offense should be very hard to stop. However, this team will only go as far as Dak Prescott takes them. The fifth year quarterback still struggles to make full-field reads. Can Dak develop into an elite processor with McCarthy’s guidance? If so, the Cowboys could be playing in Super Bowl LV.

There’s no denying the fact that Drew Brees has played some mediocre football in January the past two seasons. It’s as if the Minneapolis Miracle took the wind right out of Brees’ playoff sails, and he has yet to recover. However, aided by an elite offensive line and playmakers at every level, he should bounce back in 2020. Brees’ health, and the strength of his right arm are key to the Saints success. Should Brees keep his arm fresh heading into the postseason, New Orleans is a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

If you’re going to San Francisco at this time of year, you’re probably an NFL wide receiver. Even with their pass-catchers decimated by injury, the 49ers will outlast the Seattle Seahawks atop the NFC West. Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s scheme is nearly impossible to stop at this point. Breakout star Raheem Mostert will look to continue his momentum from last year’s playoffs. Alas, Jimmy Garoppolo will have to take the next step as a poised, confident passer if the 49ers are going to return to the Super Bowl.

Additionally, the Niners employ one of the scariest defensive fronts in the NFL. Defensive rookie of the year Nick Bosa will continue his ascendance into the upper echelon of pass-rushers. San Francisco will be deep in the playoff mix of the uber competitive NFC.

Instead of using the 2020 NFL Draft to load up on play-makers around their aging superstar quarterback, the Green Bay Packers drafted his successor. The Packers brass obviously feels like this team has enough talent to win. Green Bay still employs one of the league’s better offensive lines, an elite wide receiver in Davante Adams, and one of the best dual threats in the league in Aaron Jones. If Matt Lafleur can find a legit third weapon in the passing game, look out. Aaron Rodgers still has some magic left in his right arm.

Ultimately, the Packers defensive line will lead them back to the playoffs. In their first year in the frozen tundra, the Smith brothers, Preston and Za’Darius, were one of the most disruptive duos in the league. Furthermore, recently re-signed nose tackle Kenny Clark is among the finest young defenders in the NFL, while sophomore Rashan Gary is an athletic freak ready to take the next step in his development. The Packers will be a threat in January.

A blockbuster trade for celebrated safety Jamal Adams has many Seahawks fans reminiscing on the “Legion of Boom” of days gone by. On the other hand, the pass-rush will leave a lot to be desired at Century Link in 2020. Anyhow, the success of Seattle ultimately rests on the greatness of Russell Wilson.

This could finally be the year Wilsons’ wizardry earns the superstar an MVP vote, and perhaps the award itself. The addition of much maligned receiver Josh Gordon gives the Seahawks a formidable wide receiver trio. Wilsons’ powers will lead this team into January, but they will struggle to defeat more complete teams.

What’s left to say about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Much like the Browns last season, and the famous Philadelphia Eagles of 2011, the Bucs undoubtedly have won the off-season. Now, there’s just that small matter of actually winning football games. Tom Brady leads an outstanding cast of characters into the deep blue sea that is the 2020 season.

More importantly, the nuts and bolts of the NFL’s top rated run defense return. Along with promising youngsters like rookie Antoine Winfield Jr. to patrol the secondary. Lost in the thick of the Brady circus, the Buccaneers defense will have more of an impact on whether or not this team will contend this season. Will the Bucs become the first team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl in their own stadium? The odds are far more likely they do not, but Tampa Bay will certainly be must see tv in 2020.

Look for the Minnesota Vikings offense to be even better this season. Gary Kubiak is an offensive genius, and running back Dalvin Cook should just be hitting his stride. On the defensive side, the addition of Yannick Ngakoue could make this unit absolutely scary.

However, the Vikings lost their top three corners this off-season. An unproven secondary is likely to be Minnesota’s downfall in a division with both Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers. Plus, their quarterback is still Kirk Cousins.

In order to reach the playoffs in the hyper competitive NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles will need their youth to step up on offense. With so many injuries on the offensive line before the season even begins, dragging this group to the playoffs will be a tall task for Carson Wentz.

Can the Detroit Lions defense make enough plays to allow Matt Stafford to go out and win football games? Doubt it.

The Los Angeles Rams have a number of star players on defense, but the loss of Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks will be too much for this team to overcome. The Rams play in the league’s most competitive division, against the powerhouses of San Francisco and Seattle, and upstart Arizona Cardinals. Quarterback Jared Goff taking a gigantic leap in play and leading this undermanned squad to the playoffs is unlikely.

Speaking of those upstart Cardinals. Kyler Murray is a fantastic quarterback, and watching the diminutive signal caller operate Kliff Kingsbury’s offense is pure football euphoria. Injecting DeAndre Hopkins into this scheme should lead to even more explosive plays. Still, can the Cards protect Murray well enough to beat the likes of Seattle and San Francisco and make the playoffs? Maybe. However, Arizona is probably a year away from being a legit Super Bowl threat.

NFC Title Game

Saints 30, Cowboys 27

Super Bowl LV

From Tampa, Florida: Saints 34, Ravens 31.

Led by the strong play of Demario Davis and Cameron Jordan, the Saints defense does just enough to slow down Lamar Jackson in the fourth quarter. Drew Brees gets one final chance to win, and conjures just enough Bayou voodoo to hit Taysom Hill in the corner of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

No matter what happens on this planet, NFL football is inevitable.

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