Tag Archives: 32in32

3rd Annual 32 in 32ish NFL Previews: Playoff predictions and Super Bowl LI winner

Time to finish up the season preview posts with my predictions for the NFL playoffs, based on how they are seeded per the season records I came up with. Now I’ll predict each of the playoff games to ultimately get a winner in Super Bowl LI.

AFC Playoff Seeds
1-Chiefs
2-Bengals
3-Patriots
4-Texans
5-Steelers
6-Broncos

NFC Playoff Seeds
1-Panthers
2-Seahawks
3-Packers
4-Redskins
5-Cardinals
6-Lions

AFC Wild Card Round

Texans defeat Steelers
Patriots defeat Broncos

AFC Divisional Round

Texans defeat Bengals
Patriots defeat Chiefs

AFC Championship Game

Patriots defeat Texans

NFC Wild Card Round

Cardinals over Redskins
Packers over Lions

NFC Divisional Round

Seahawks defeat Cardinals
Packers defeat Panthers

NFC Championship Game

Packers defeat Seahawks

Super Bowl

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defeat

new-england-patriots

I’m picking the Packers to beat the Seahawks in the NFC Championship for a second straight season, while Tom Brady and the Patriots would make it to another Super Bowl if this scenario pans out. They would, however, lose to the Packers to give Aaron Rodgers his second Super Bowl title.

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3rd Annual 32 in 32ish NFL Previews: Season predictions

Here are my predictions for how the 2016 NFL season will play out. I went through and picked who I think will win each game and these are the final records, standings and playoff seedings. Thanks to the NFL Playoff Predictor for making it easy to track everything. Some records won’t necessarily match what I had in each team’s write-up because I’ve gone back and picked each game a second time, using new information from the preseason, such as the Vikings’ injury to Teddy Bridgewater and subsequent trade for Sam Bradford, which lowered my expectations for their season.

afc_1

AFC East
Patriots 12-4
Jets 9-7
Dolphins 7-9
Bills 6-10

AFC North
Bengals 13-3
Steelers 12-4
Ravens 4-12
Browns 3-13

AFC South
Texans 11-5
Colts 9-7
Jaguars 5-11
Titans 2-14

AFC West
Chiefs 15-1
Broncos 11-5
Raiders 10-6
Chargers 5-11

AFC Playoff Seeds
1-Chiefs
2-Bengals
3-Patriots
4-Texans
5-Steelers
6-Broncos

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NFC East
Redskins 11-5
Giants 8-8
Cowboys 6-10
Eagles 5-11

NFC North
Packers 13-3
Lions 11-5
Vikings 7-9
Bears 4-12

NFC South
Panthers 13-3
Saints 9-7
Falcons 4-12
Buccaneers 3-13

NFC West
Seahawks 13-3
Cardinals 11-5
Rams 3-13
49ers 1-15

NFC Playoff Seeds
1-Panthers
2-Seahawks
3-Packers
4-Redskins
5-Cardinals
6-Lions

You can check out my game-by-game picks here. Coming this weekend, I’ll make my postseason picks, including the Super Bowl and my picks for Week 1’s games.

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3rd Annual 32 in 32ish NFL Previews: Seattle Seahawks

We finish our previews of all 32 NFL teams with the Seattle Seahawks, who finished in second place in the NFC West last season.

The Seahawks took a step back in 2015 but still finished with a 10-6 record as QB Russell Wilson led the way for the team. The Seahawks’ biggest loss in the offseason was the somewhat-surprising retirement of RB Marshawn Lynch, leaving RBs Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael to take on the majority of the work in the backfield.

Last season, Wilson threw for 4,024 yards and 34 touchdowns, with 8 interceptions. WR Doug Baldwin was his favorite target, hauling in 78 catches for 1,069 yards and 14 touchdowns, while WR Tyler Lockett had 51 receptions for 664 yards and 6 touchdowns. WR Jermaine Kearse added another 49 catches for 685 yards and 5 touchdowns. In the running game, Rawls started seven games and had 147 carries for 830 yards and 4 touchdowns. In limited playing time, Michael carried the ball 39 times for 192 yards. TE Jimmy Graham had a disappointing season after between traded by the Saints, with 48 receptions for 605 yards and 2 touchdowns. The defense led the league, allowing just 277 points,  while their 14 interceptions were right around the league average.

Wilson is still without a big-time receiver, which the team thought Graham would be last year before injuries limited his offensive output, with his season ending a month early with a torn patellar tendon. There are still some questions about his injury status heading into the 2016 season, with some reports leading to speculation that he will not be able to play in Week 1. With the questions surrounding Graham, Baldwin will likely have to lead the receiving corps as he comes off a career year. Although another 1,000-yard season could be on tap for Baldwin, he likely won’t be able to find the end zone 14 times like he did last season. There is uncertainty in the running game with Lynch having gone off into the sunset and Rawls and Michael both unproven in their ability to carry the load for an entire season. The team selected RB C.J. Prosise in the third round of the draft, but as a rookie he likely won’t see much of a workload barring injuries to the other running backs.

The Seahawks begin their schedule hosting the Dolphins in Week 1, then head to Los Angeles to take on the Rams in their long-awaited return to the City of Angels in Week 2. After a Week 4 visit to the Jets, the Seahawks have a Week 5 bye before hosting the Falcons in Week 6. The Seahawks then visit the Cardinals in Week 7. They head to Foxboro to take on the Patriots in a Week 10 contest that could be a Super Bowl preview. The Seahawks host the Panthers in Week 13 before heading to Green Bay to take on the Packers in Week 14. The Seahawks finish off their season hosting the Cardinals in Week 16 and visiting the 49ers in Week 17. I’m expecting the Seahawks to bounce back from last season and win more than 10 games this season.

And that wraps up our previews of all 32 NFL teams. Coming up tomorrow is a preview of the Panthers-Broncos season opener in a Super Bowl 50 rematch, then this weekend it’ll be our season preview and playoff predictions.

Source: http;//www.seahawks.com, http://www.pro-football-reference.com

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3rd Annual 32 in 32ish NFL Previews: San Francisco 49ers

Next up for the NFC West in our previews of all 32 NFL teams is the San Francisco 49ers, who finished in third place in the division last season.

The 49ers are in a down period, which seemingly hit rock bottom last season with a 5-11 record — or did it? They brought in head coach Chip Kelly to try to right the ship, but that may be hard to do with their roster. The quarterback position featured a battle between QBs Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick to get the starting job, with Gabbert eventually landing the gig — something that would have been unthinkable just a couple of years ago. Gabbert eventually supplanted Kaepernick as the starter during last season, and that will continue in the 2016 campaign.

Gabbert and Kaepernick each started eight games last season, with Gabbert putting up better numbers. He threw for 2,031 yards and 10 touchdowns with 7 interceptions. Kaepernick threw for 1,615 yards and 6 touchdowns, with 5 interceptions. WR Torrey Smith caught just 33 receptions last season for 663 yards and 4 touchdowns while WR Quinton Patton added 30 catches for 394 yards and 1 touchdown. TE Vance McDonald caught 30 balls for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns. RB Carlos Hyde was the team’s leading rusher, carrying the ball 115 times for 470 and 3 touchdowns in seven games. In six games, RB Shaun Draughn had 76 carries for 263 yards and 1 touchdown. The 49ers didn’t get much out of the offense and the defense also struggled, allowing opponents to score 387 points and grabbing only 9 interceptions from opposing quarterbacks, tied for third fewest in the league.

It’s not going to be a good season for the 49ers. Gabbert’s career numbers shouldn’t give the team much confidence that he’ll be a viable starter, and with Kaepernick seemingly on the outs with the 49ers, the other quarterbacks on the roster, Thad Lewis and Jeff Driskel, also shouldn’t be expected to give much production if they’re called upon to play; Lewis is a journeyman and Driskel is a rookie who was selected in the sixth round of the draft. Smith is a fine receiver, but none of the other receivers have had much success in the league. HYde is really the only bright spot on the team, and that won’t be enough to win many games for the team.

Looking at the schedule, the 49ers start their season with a home game against the Rams in the second game of the Monday night doubleheader. They then hit the road for back-to-back games against two of the best teams in the conference — the Panthers in Week 2 and the Seahawks in Week 3. They then host the Cardinals in the Thursday night game in Week 5. The 49ers get their bye in Week 8, then host the Saints the following week. They visit the Cardinals in Week 10 before hosting the Patriots in Week 11. The 49ers end their season at the Rams in Week 16, then hosting the Seahawks in Week 17. The 49ers could be the worst team in the league this season, possibly winning just a couple games.

Source: http://www.49ers.com, http://www.pro-football-reference.com

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3rd Annual 32 in 32ish NFL Previews: Los Angeles Rams

Up next in our previews of all 32 NFL teams is the Los Angeles Rams, who finished in third place in the NFC West last season.

This is a season of change for the Rams, who have moved from St. Louis back to their former home, Los Angeles. With the move comes what the team hopes is a new franchise quarterback, QB Jared Goff, the first-overall draft pick out of California. But the offense will probably run through RB Todd Gurley, who put up impressive numbers in his rookie season in 2015.

QBs Case Keenum and Sean Mannion return from last season’s squad. Of the two, Keenum is the only one who got significant playing time; he played in six games — five starts — and threw for 828 yards and 4 touchdowns, with 1 interception on 125 passes. WR Tavon Austin was the leading pass-catcher despite having just 52 receptions for 473 yards and 5 touchdowns. WR Kenny Britt added 36 catches for 681 yards and 3 touchdowns. TE Jared Cook had 39 catches for 481 yards without a touchdown. In 13 games, 12 of which were starts, Gurley carried the ball 229 yards for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, the Rams were slightly above average in points allowed and just below the league average with 13 interceptions.

The Rams didn’t get much out of the quarterback position last season, which led to a lack of production from the receiving core. The Rams have not yet announced which quarterback will get the start in Week 1, but neither Keenum nor Mannion has much of a track record and you never know what you’ll get out of a rookie like Goff so the team can’t really count on getting much in the passing game this season. That means Gurley will once again have to play a key role in the offense. The better he does, the better the offense will be.

The schedule starts off with a road game against the 49ers on Monday night in Week 1. After that, the Rams host the Seahawks in Week 2 in their first home game in Los Angeles since 1994. They hit the road in Weeks 3 and 4, taking on the Buccaneers and Cardinals, respectively. The Rams “host” the Giants in Week 7 in a game being played in London. That leads into the Week 8 bye, followed by a home game with the Panthers. The Rams visit the Patriots in week 13, and travel to the Seahawks in Week 15. The Rams host the 49ers in Week 16, then complete the season with a home game against the Cardinals. The Rams are coming off a seven-win season, but I think they’re taking a step back in their return to Los Angeles; I’m projecting a 6-10 record for the Rams.

Source: http://www.therams.com, http://www.pro-football-reference.com

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3rd Annual 32 in 32ish NFL Previews: Arizona Cardinals

The NFC West is the final division in our previews of all 32 NFL teams, and the first team we’re previewing in the division is the Arizona Cardinals, who won the division last season.

The Cardinals set a franchise record last season, winning 13 games on the way to winning the NFC West title and eventually making it to the NFC Championship, where they didn’t play a good game. The Cardinals did well on both sides of the ball last season, but their window of opportunity closing, as QB Carson Palmer will be 37 by the end of the season and WR Larry Fitzgerald just turned 33. They have youth in the running game, though, with second-year RB David Johnson.

In his 12th season in the league, Palmer threw for career highs in passing yards and touchdowns, with 4,671 yards and 35 touchdowns. Fitzgerald led the team with 109 receptions for 1,215 yards and 9 touchdowns. WRs John Brown and Michael Floyd also put up good numbers despite not playing in all 16 games. Brown caught 65 balls for 1,003 yards and 7 touchdowns while Floyd added 52 catches for 849 yards and 6 touchdowns. RB Chris Johnson led the team in rushing last season, running for 814 yards and 3 touchdowns on 196 carries in nine starts. David Johnson started five games, running the ball 125 times for 581 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also added 457 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns to his totals. The defense ranked in the top 10 in points allowed and grabbed the fourth-most interceptions in the league, with 19.

The Cardinals look like they should be able to have another good season, with the majority of the team’s core returning intact. If the receivers can stay on the field more than they did last season, the team may even seen a bit of an uptick in production from the unit. If the running game and defense can keep up what they did last season, the Cardinals should continue their success. One thing to worry about for the defense is a knee injury plaguing S Tyrann Mathieu that could keep him out of action to begin the season, although that is not known at this point.

The Cardinals begin the season with a Sunday night home game against the Tom Brady-less Patriots in what will be QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s first career start. Their first road game comes in Week 3 against the Bills. In Week 6, the Cardinals hos the Jets on Monday night. They stay at home in Week 7, when the Seahawks come to town. In Week 8, the Cardinals hit the road to take on the Panthers in a rematch of last season’s conference championship game, which leads into a Week 9 bye. Coming out of the bye, the Cardinals host the 49ers in Week 10, then visit the Vikings in Week 11. The Cardinals head to Seattle to take on the Seahawks in Week 16 before concluding their regular season in Week 11 at the Rams. The Cardinals won 13 games last season, and I’m projecting another similarly strong season in 2016.

Source: http://www.azcardinals.com, http://www.pro-football-reference.com

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3rd Annual 32 in 32ish NFL Previews: San Diego Chargers

The San Diego Chargers, who finished in last place in the division last season, are the final AFC West team to preview as we near the end of our previews of all 32 NFL teams.

The Chargers are coming off their worst season since 2003, a disappointing 4-12 record, and things didn’t go very well this offseason, either. They had a long, drawn-out contract negotiation with their first-round draft pick DE Joey Bosa, who just signed a four-year deal with the team earlier this week, becoming the last first-round pick to sign with his team. Although he signed before he season, he missed essentially all of training camp and the preseason, meaning he will be at a distinct disadvantage in his rookie season so he won’t be able to help the defense — which was in the bottom-third of the league last season — as much as the team would’ve liked, which was probably why they went with a defensive player with the third overall pick in the draft. He likely won’t be ready to take the field in Week 1.

Despite the team’s poor record last season, QB Philip Rivers put up decent numbers, throwing for 4,792 yards with 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His most frequent target was RB Danny Woodhead, who had 80 receptions for 755 yards and 6 touchdowns. WR Keenan Allen was the most productive player among wide receivers, despite playing in just eight games, as he caught 67 passes for 725 yards and 4 touchdowns. Veteran TE Antonio Gates, who was limited to four games, added 56 receptions for 630 yards and 5 touchdowns. On the ground, RB Melvin Gordon had 184 carries for 641 yards, but no touchdowns, in his rookie season. Woodhead added 336 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns to his receiving totals. The defense ranked 22nd in the league with 398 points allowed and was tied for 22nd with 11 interceptions.

Allen will look to bounce back from his disappointing, injury-plagued season in 2015. He’ll be joined in the receiving game by WR Travis Benjamin, who signed with the Chargers in the offseason. Gates, at 36, is in the twilight of his career and needs to step up after the departure of TE Ladarius Green in the offseason. With a year under his belt, Gordon should do better in his sophomore season than he did last year, and Woodhead provides a nice complement to him as the pass-catching running back.

The Chargers’ schedule begins on the road at the Chiefs before hosting the Jaguars in Week 2. The Chargers get back-to-back divisional games in Weeks 5 and 6, when they visit the Raiders and host the Broncos, respectively. The Chargers then head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in Week 7 before the return matchup with the Broncos on the road in Week 8. The Dolphins come to San Diego in Week 10, leading into the Chargers’ Week 11 bye, which is followed by a road game at the Texans. The Chargers visit the Panthers in Week 14, then host the Raiders in Week 15. The Chargers finish the 2016 campaign at home against the Chiefs in Week 17. I think the Chargers will be better than they were last season, and I’m projecting a 8-8 record, which would double their win total from 2015.

Source: http://www.chargers.com, http://pro-football-reference.com

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