Home / Football / Around the NFL / 2017 NFL Season Preview

2017 NFL Season Preview

It just seems like yesterday that the New England Patriots mounted their 28-3 epic comeback, but here we are again, as the NFL is back again. With so many storylines and expectations for each team, we break down every team. Here’s our 2017 NFL Season Preview.

Here is our SBNY Podcast NFL Season Preview: With Over/Under’s & Playoff Predictions if you would like to listen along.

AFC East

New England Patriots: Reloaded For Ring #6

Brandin Cooks Patriots

The Patriots won the Super Bowl without their best offensive weapon in Rob Gronkowski. They come back this season with a healthy (for now) Gronk, Brandin Cooks, Dwayne Allen, Mike Gillislee, Rex Burkhead, and Stephon Gilmore on the defensive side. They are the heavy favorite in the AFC and overall favorite to win the Super Bowl. When people criticize the NBA because you already know who is going to play in the Finals, they need to start doing the same in the NFL, as the Patriots are bound to go to their third Super Bowl in four years.

Vegas Over/Under: 12.5 – OVER

Miami Dolphins: They Will Fall Under .500

I can’t recall another time when a playoff team lost their quarterback and no one has really flinched. Jay Cutler kinda isn’t that good anymore, so I’m not buying that him joining the team a month before the season will have no effect on them. This is what I think happened: they called Cutler and asked him what will it take to come back, he didn’t really want to go back so he gave them a really high price tag, and then they gave him $10 million and he had to say yes. Cutler isn’t invested in this team and knows this isn’t going to affect how we remember him, as he already has a job in the booth. Stay away from the Fins this year.

Vegas Over/Under: 7.5 – UNDER

Buffalo Bills: Are They Tanking?

With three blue chip quarterbacks expected to be available at the top of the draft, the Bills are one of the handful of teams that need a quarterback of the future. With the Bills, Jets, 49ers, and Jaguars all needing a new signal caller, it will be a race to the bottom. However, the Bills have a new coach and he’s going to want to make an impression as his first year as a NFL head coach. They are rebuilding in Buffalo and with LeSean McCoy being the only show in town, they shouldn’t be expected to be a good football team.

Vegas Over/Under: 6.5 – UNDER

New York Jets: Will Be Painful To Watch

Jamal Adams Jets

The New York Jets have all the ingredients to be an all-time bad offense. Their only formidable player, Quincy Enunwa, will miss the entire season, which gives the group of Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg a weak group to work with. The Jets defense should still be pretty good, as they are very tough to run on and you hope Jamaal Adams and Marcus Maye supply over the top coverage on defense. Spin zone: maybe since the Jets offense is so young and inexperienced, that they are fighting for their careers and they don’t’ even think they can play bad.

Vegas Over/Under: 3.5  – UNDER

AFC South

Tennessee Titans: Is The Hype Too High?

The Titans have one of the brightest upcoming stars in the league in Marcus Mariota and have surrounded him with playmakers and a top offensive line. However, let’s see him put it all together before we crown them division champions. Remember when the Jaguars were the sexy pick for the division last season? That didn’t end well. I think this is a playoff team, but let’s not get too carried away. Mariota is also coming off a nasty injury, just something to be aware of. That being said, they should compete and perhaps earn a playoff spot.

Vegas Over/Under: 8.5 – OVER

Houston Texans: Is Bill O’Brien The New Marvin Lewis?

The Texans are never bad enough to completely rebuild, and aren’t good enough to make a deep playoff run. They are the perfect template for a mediocre team. This team will probably win the division by a game, make the 4th seed, and lose to a team like the Raiders or Chiefs in the first round, as per usual. If we see Deshaun Watson some point this season, and he plays well, then Bill O’Brien will play his “I’m developing this kid” card and stick around. I can see him being the new Marvin Lewis. Can’t get rid of him.

Vegas Over/Under: 8.5 – OVER

Indianapolis Colts: Someone Save Andrew Luck

You take Andrew Luck completely off this team, and they are a bottom 5-6 team in the NFL. We don’t know when Luck will be back or how productive he will be when he comes back. Would it be crazy if they just completely shut him down this year so he’s 100% moving forward? If he gets back on the field, and gets hurt again, this will be an even more serious problem. When Chuck Pagano gets shown the door, this becomes one of the most sought out jobs in recent years. I’m punting on the Colts in 2017.

Vegas Over/Under: 7.5 – UNDER

Jacksonville Jaguars: Should They Enter The Quarterback Sweepstakes?

Will the Jaguars finally put it together this season? Probably not. With uninspired quarterback play, it’s hard to see the Jags going 7-9 or 8-8. What is stopping teams from stacking 8 in the box against Fournette and daring Bortles to beat them? The Jags should enter the Darnold/Allen/Rosen sweepstakes, but you know Tom Coughlin would never give up on a season, even behind the scenes.

Vegas Over/Under: 6.5 – UNDER

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Kings In The North

ben roethlisberger antonio brown le'veon bell

It will be very hard to pick against the Steelers in this division. This is a huge if, but if Big Ben and Bell can stay on the field, along with Martavis Bryant, they are a 12-14 win football team. They have an improving secondary that just added Joe Haden, sharp linebackers, and decent defensive line. Their offensive line has no holes in it and is near the top of the league. They should easily be the Kings In The North.

 

Vegas Over/Under: 10.5 – OVER

Baltimore Ravens: Scream Mediocre

I was always under the impression that a John Harbaugh team would always compete, and I still am, but they don’t be competing at a high level. With shaky offensive players all over the field, and a mediocre quarterback (sorry PFT) with a Super Bowl ring, this team just screams 8-8 or 7-9.

Vegas Over/Under: 8.5 – UNDER

Cincinnati Bengals: Final Year of Marvin?

Could this finally be it for Marvin? I just said the Ravens are mediocre, but the Bengals have been mediocre for about five years now They aren’t bad, but aren’t great. A.J. Green is still an elite playmaker, when Tyler Eifert is healthy he is a touchdown machine, and Joe Mixon could be a game changer one he earns the starting job. The loss of their starting left tackle hurts, as I think the Bengals trend downs wad this season.

Vegas Over/Under: 8.5 – UNDER

Cleveland Browns: Are Not The Worst Team In The League

On our podcast, I declared DeShone Kizer is the best quarterback the Browns have put out in a few years, even though he hasn’t played one NFL snap. That statement had nothing to do with Kizer’s potential, but more with the donations the Browns have been trotting out there. They are still a bottom five team, but if Corey Coleman and Kizer can make some big plays behind a top 5 offensive line, they can put a few wins together and take a step in the right direction.

Vegas Over/Under: 4.5 – OVER

AFC West

Oakland Raiders: Not Buying Lynch

As much as I love Derek Carr and Khalil Mack, I’m not completely sold on this team yet. They didn’t make many improvements to their team besides adding a 31 year old Marshawn Lynch, who I think will be a dud. There’s no precedent for a 31 year old running back coming out of retirement and producing.  I think the Raiders make the playoffs, but as a 9-7 Wild Card team.

Vegas Over/Under: 9.5 – UNDER

Kansas City Chiefs: Second Best Team In AFC?

Tyreek Hill vs. Patriots

The Chiefs have an elite defense, offensive playmakers in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, and an innovative offensive mind in Andy Reid. Alex Smith makes little mistakes, but he isn’t exactly going to go out there and take over a game. The Steelers are probably the second best team in the conference, but watch for the Chiefs to put up double digit wins this season.

Vegas Over/Under: 9 – OVER

Denver Broncos: Championship Defense But Backup Quarterback

The Broncos have elite and above average  talent all over field except at the most important position. The Chiefs and Raiders are good, and the Chargers lost heartbreaker after heartbreaker, so expect them to comeback this season. I think the Broncos can finish in the basement of the AFC West.

Vegas Over/Under: 8.5 – UNDER

San Diego Chargers: Heartbreak Kid No More

Nearly every loss last year for this team was a one possession game. If they pull out a minimum of 2 or 3 more wins, you see them as a completely different team. Joey Bosa is ready to become one of the best pass rushers, they have a very good secondary, and weapons all over the field for Philip Rivers. I’m buying the Chargers as a serious playoff contender.

Vegas Over/Under: 7.5 – OVER

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: Can They Win With The Pressure On?

No one would have guessed that the Cowboys would have been the best team in the conference last year. Now the pressure is on. Like the Raiders, the Boys didn’t make any improvements, especially on defense. They had a bend, don’t break defense last year, and that’s hard to duplicate again when you look at their roster. No Zeke is going to hurt, especially since he helped their defense so much because of the dominant ball control. I think Cowboys take a leap back this year.

Vegas Over/Under: 9.5 – UNDER

New York Giants: NFC Championship or Bust

New York Giants 2017 Defense

We all know the money Jerry Reese put into the defense last year, which paid off for him. Now with Jason Pierre-Paul with a new deal, Landon Collins emerging as the league’s top safety, and an elite secondary, they could have the makings of a Super Bowl defense. Brandon Marshall is a great compliment to Odell, but the offensive line and lack of running game is a concern. With all that, when you look at this roster, Giants fans have to have the NFC Championship or bust mentality.

Vegas Over/Under: 8.5 – OVER

Philadelphia Eagles: Is Wentz A Franchise Guy?

It’s kind of hypocritical to have three teams over, but this division can go so many ways, it’s nice to have your tracks covered. I’m buying the progression of Carson Wentz because of the additions of Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith and being behind the best offensive line in football. The Eagles will compete for that division spot this season.

Vegas Over/Under: 8.5 – OVER

Washington Redskins: Kirk Has His Weapons

On the podcast, I picked the Redskins to win the division. Give me Captain Kirk, Terrelle Pryor, Jamison Crowder, Jordan Reed, Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine to compete with the offenses in this division. Rookie Jonathan Allen can have an immediate impact, while Josh Norman leads the secondary. Love that 7.5 over.

Vegas Over/Under: 7.5 – OVER

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: Classic Super Bowl Hangover

The easy pick around the league is to pick the Falcons to have a Super Bowl hangover. They have all the classic ingredients: a catastrophic loss, top coordinator leaving, and no additions. I buy it all.

Vegas Over/Under: 9.5 – UNDER

Carolina Panthers: Taking Back The Division

christian mccaffrey panthers

The hot pick here is to pick the Panthers to win this division. If you think Christian McCaffrey is going to cut through defenses, then you have to love this team. As for McCaffrey, he essentially went untouched in college, so I think he’s in for a huge culture shock in the NFL. I am rooting for him and think he is going to have a very successful NFL career, but let’s tamper down the expectations. He went for $56 in my auction league! With that said, I think Cam has a comeback player of the year type season and the Panthers take back the division.

Vegas Over/Under: 9 – OVER

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Hard Not To Root For Them

The sexy Hard Knocks pick. My hot take here is that Mike Evans it the third best receiver in the NFL, behind Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham, and ahead of Julio Jones. Jameis is very fun to root for and the signing of T.J. Ward tells me that his team was craving that veteran presence in the locker room. Ward knows what it takes to make a deep playoff run, and that is key for a young, talented team.

Vegas Over/Under: 8.5 – OVER

New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees Record Watch

The Saints are my second favorite team. Always loved Brees carve up a defense. I don’t think this team can compete within this division. Brees maybe has one or two more years left, as is 5,829 yards away from breaking the all-time record. That is the only thing worth paying attention to on this team.

Vegas Over/Under: 8.5 – UNDER

NFC North

Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers Needs A Second Super Bowl Appearance

Aaron Rodgers Super Bowla

Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks we have ever seen, there’s little debating that. However, there’s also little debating that he’s only been to one Super Bowl. I know that’s a very harsh critique, but if we are going to remember Rodgers an an all-time, all-time great, I need to see him in a couple of more Super Bowls.

Vegas Over/Under: 10.5 – OVER

Minnesota Vikings: Who Is On This Offense?

Stefon Diggs and Dalvin Cook are great players, but this offense just seems so static. the defense is playoff worthy, but after this team fell apart after this hot start last year, Their offense isn’t complex to figure out, and I think that is the Achilles’ Heel of this team.

Vegas Over/Under: 8.5 – UNDER

Detroit Lions: Lions Are A Mirage

When everyone thinks Lions, they think they suck but have a good offense. This team choked horrible down the stretch last year and gave up the second most passing touchdowns in the league. I think the Lions go back to their losing ways.

Vegas Over/Under: 7.5 – UNDER

Chicago Bears: Maybe They Aren’t That Bad

Everyone thinks the 49ers, Jets, Browns, and Bears are the worst teams in the league. Rightfully so. I just don’t think all of those teams are going to meet those losing expectations. I think this team can squeeze out six wins.

Vegas Over/Under: 5.5 – OVER

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks: Best Defense In The League?

Sheldon Richardson Seahawks

This defense is absolutely loaded. Sherman, Thomas, Chancellor, Wagner, Avril, Bennett, and now Sheldon Richardson. Their offensive line is pretty putrid and a glaring weakness, but the mobility of Russell Wilson can ease that. The Seahawks can vouch for a top seed in the NFC.

Vegas Over/Under: 10.5 – OVER

Arizona Cardinals: Sneaking Under Radar?

The Cardinals were my Super Bowl team last year, but fell on their faces last year due to many mistakes and the decline of Carson Palmer. With less pressure on them, I think the defense comes back as one of the best in the league, and they make a run for the playoffs in Larry Fitzgerald’s last year.

Vegas Over/Under: 8.5 – OVER

Los Angeles Rams: BUY JARED GOFF STOCK NOW!!

The #1 pick last year was basically punished with Jeff Fisher as his head coach. They brought in a 31 year old star offensive coordinator as their coach to lead this team in the right direction. Todd Gurley will be back and maybe even Sammy Watkins unleashes. The Rams need to pay Aaron Donald, no excuse there, but they have always had a strong defense. They are now used to living in Los Angeles after coming from St. Louis. I’m buying stock in the Rams!!

Vegas Over/Under: 5.5 – OVER

San Francisco 49ers: New Era Begins

Kyle Shanahan is going to want to make an impressive debut as a coach and even though he has little to work with, he will make nothing out of something. John Lynch had a very good draft and will preach competitiveness to his team. I am looking forward to watching Reuben Foster destroy guys.

Vegas Over/Under: 4.5 – OVER

Playoff Predictions

AFC

  1. New England Patriots 13-3
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5
  3. Kansas City Chiefs 11-5
  4. Houston Texans 9-7
  5. Oakland Raiders 9-7
  6. Tennessee Titans 9-7

NFC

  1. Seattle Seahawks 12-4
  2. Green Bay Packers 12-4
  3. Carolina Panthers 11-5
  4. Washington Redskins 10-6
  5. New York Giants 10-6
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6

 

About Phil DeMeo

Check Also

The Giants, NFC East, & NFL plus Yankees Playoff Push (Podcast)

This episode of the SBNY Podcast covers the Giants, NFC East, & NFL plus Yankees …