AFC North Winner – The Baltimore Ravens
This Ravens team is improving year after year in terms of not only personnel, but in coaching as well. Coach Kaddius has made the strides to compete in this league within a young and inexperienced division in terms of coaching in the Red Zone. Lamar Jackson, the reigning MVP, is going to post another amazing season and make his bid for a consecutive MVP trophy. The Ravens are going to win 11+ games as long as Lamar stays healthy. The Browns will follow by posting a 9 win season and improving on last season’s outcome. The Steelers and Bengals will both be overwhelmingly inferior, but still tough games for opposing teams.
AFC East Winner – The New York Jets
I chose the New York Jets to win this division due to Coach BP’s ability to get the most of out his defense. This defense has stars like Quinnen Williams, CJ Moseley, Leonard Williams, and Jamal Adams. This defense will be a force this season, but the offense leaves a lot to be desired. Robby Anderson and Phillip Lindsay will make the occasional big play, along with Chris Herndon’s production from the TE position. The focus needs to shift to getting a reliable QB to make the big throws to create a lead. The Patriots will be mediocre this season, and the Bills and Dolphins will get pounded as usual.
AFC South Winner – The Jacksonville Jaguars
This division is close in my opinion, but the Jaguars will emerge the division champion in season 56. Coach Smokes may not belong in the front office, but he is making the right calls on the field. Last postseason, he made a run that the league did not expect from him. I like this Jaguars team to continue to grow and gain the experience to compete with the “big dogs” of the Red Zone. I like the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans to have decent seasons, and for the Colts to have a 5 win season.
AFC West Winner – The Los Angeles Chargers
Coach Astin has added to his already loaded trophy case with his seventh Super Bowl victory over the Washington Redskins in spectacular fashion. This team is going to continue to get better through development of their young guys to cycle through the game rotation. Tyree Jackson, for some odd reason, is still the guy in LA and is thriving under his coach’s leadership. The Chiefs will be tough competition throughout the season, to earn a wildcard spot. The Raiders will make a run for a Wildcard spot, but Denver is still far away from contention.
NFC North Winner – The Detroit Lions
This Detroit Lions team has improved every single year with young guys being at the core of their roster. Duncan McBride is the man in charge of this offense, and they are going to take charge of this division for the remainder of this cycle. (hot take!) The Lions defense will need to improve in order for them to make noise in the postseason, but I like this Lions team a lot. The Vikings, Bears, and Packers will all be mediocre teams this season and all finish with above 7 wins.
NFC East Winner – The Washington Redskins
This Redskins team is reeling off of a Super Bowl loss to the Chargers, but I like them to win their division this year for multiple reasons. The first being that Dwayne Haskins is improving at QB every season, on top of his mobility. The Redskins rushing attack is second to that of the 49ers, but elite in its own right. Guice, if there is no suspension this season, is going to have another top 5 rushing yardage total this season to win 11+ games and the division crown, The Cowboys will put up a fight and be within 1 game of the Redskins, but Coach Chapstick has something special for them.
NFC South Winner – The New Orleans Saints
Do I need to spend time on this section? Probably not, but I will anyways. The Saints have been the superior team since the cycle’s beginning, even with flashes from the Atlanta Falcons. Coach Mojica has his QB now, but needs to rally his defense to play better. I like the Saints to win 11 games this year, and make a deep postseason run as usual.
NFC West Winner – The San Francisco 49ers
Coach Porter is seeing success thus far this cycle through a RIDICULOUS defensive line and a strong offensive line presence. The Cardinals and Rams are great teams under great leadership, but this 49ers team is too good to stop. When will be the year Coach Porter breaks the mold and wins a Super Bowl? In my ignorance, I am going to continue to pick them because if it was not for the crazy catch in the Redskins game, they would have been in the Bowl. Look forward to another playoff appearance for the San Fran squad, and hopefully a a Super Bowl win to follow.
More predictions to come!