The NBA is poisoning major sports

This week, the Golden State Warriors signed DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year deal worth $5.3 million. This comes after the Warriors won 73 games in a season, signed the second best player on the planet the following offseason and cruised to back-to-back NBA titles. There was a phrase going around this postseason that “KD ruined the NBA,” and now it’s safe to say that the Warriors collectively have ruined the NBA.

But that’s just the beginning.

Over in the NHL this week, the Toronto Maple Leafs landed John Tavares, one of the league’s best players for the next seven years. A heartwarming story, as the Mississauga, Ontario product returned home to play with his childhood team he grew up idolizing. The Leafs instantly bounce into Stanley Cup contention, with Vegas already putting them as the favourites to win the cup next year. On the outside looking in, there doesn’t seem to be much wrong with this deal. Then you dive into the contract itself. Tavares’ base salary over every season he’s signed with Toronto doesn’t go over $1 million per season. Some players who spend half their season in the minors make more than Tavares will make just off of base salary. The $77 million that Tavares will make comes mostly from signing bonuses every year, handed out straight in cash by the Maple Leafs. For this year of his contract, Tavares will receive $15.25 million, which he actually already received the day he signed with Toronto. Because of his low base salary, Tavares’ cap hit is only $11 million per season, despite getting paid over $16 million a season. While it’s only the first time this has happened in the NHL, it’s a slippery slope that the league will continue to slide down unless the league steps in. With more free agents next off-season, teams will use the method used by the Leafs to take in top-tier players while lowering cap hits.

cut

And in the NHL (and the other major sports), not all markets are like the Maple Leafs. Most teams across the NHL don’t have this kind of money to throw around in salary bonuses in order to attract these players. The Ottawa Senators would have to sell the barn in order to make an offer like the one the Leafs made to Tavares. Meaning that only the richest teams in the league can afford the top players in the game, even with a salary cap in place. And it all started with the Golden State Warriors.

Granted, the MLB doesn’t have a salary cap, so teams like the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox have been poaching the top talent in baseball for years. But that’s not what we want in major sports, the unfair balance in payrolls and talent on certain teams. To an extent it’s okay, but when some major league players are making more money than the Oakland Athletics are paying out to a whole team, it’s a little ridiculous.

While the NFL hasn’t quite experienced anything like the NBA’s current landscape has, there’s no saying certain players come together to create super-teams in the future and chase championships. The NHL now seems to be heading in that direction, and the MLB has been unbalanced for decades. The NBA is pretty much decided for the next two years, as we await something to change in Golden State.

And that’s not a good thing for sports.

Advertisements

Tyler’s 2017-18 NFL regular season preview

It’s almost that time of the year, the NFL regular season is almost upon us. While I’m not a huge NFL fan, I still follow my Carolina Panthers very closely, and through fantasy football, I try and keep tabs on as much of the league as possible. That being said, I’m going to try and follow the NFL a lot more closely this year, which means waking up early on Sundays for a change. So, I’ve put together my regular season predictions, which I’m sure will be smashed into a million pieces by Week 4. If you wanna call me an idiot for this prediction, go right ahead. I’m probably on the same playing field as you are, if not lower. My knowledge of the defensive side of the ball is pretty limited, so keep that in mind as you go through this. Without further ado, here’s my predictions for the upcoming NFL season.

AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills (4-12)

tyrod-taylor-051817-getty-ftrjpg_1l4a469wsonyo1jxui1hj22iju

With the loss of Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams, the Buffalo Bills have officially lost their swagger. While they finished last season with a respectable record of 7-9, Tyrod Taylor has lost his favourite target (even though that target is hurt all the time.) Giving up 378 points last season, I don’t think much will change on that front, and I’m predicting a down year for Taylor and LeSean McCoy. Despite a hot start, I have the Bills falling off the wagon midway through the season.

Miami Dolphins (6-10)

jay-cutler-dolphins

Nothing against Jay Cutler, I just don’t have much faith in the Dolphins. While they have some interesting options in Jay Ajayi and Jarvis Landry,  picking up a retired quarterback just days prior to the preseason simply isn’t a winning recipe. With Suh and Cameron Wake helping out on defence, the lack of offensive production from Cutler and company is the reason why I have them finishing well under .500. When Ryan Tannehill comes back next season, maybe the Dolphins resurge.

New England Patriots (14-2)

lead_960

Easily the most stacked team in the NFL, the New England Patriots will cruise through the regular season. With just two losses all season (Week 7 @ ATL & Week 15 @ PIT,) The Patriots are unanimously considered the Super Bowl favourites for the 2017 season, let alone the AFC East title. With the addition of Brandin Cooks and a star-studded cast on both sides of the ball, don’t be surprised if the Patriots flirt with 16-0 again this year.

New York Jets (0-16)

crop_exact_usatsi_10106782

From the best team in the NFL to the worst. And worst by a mile. The New York Jets are a disaster of a team headed into 2017. With Matt Forte being the only recognizable name on the Jets’ starting offensive group, it seems like it will be a committee of quarterbacks taking the helm over the course of the season. With many people speculating the Jets could go 0-16 on the season, I personally have them winless on the 2017 campaign.

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos (7-9)

von-miller-101415-getty-ftrjpg_1clx41cl84kbg1ti7c2ysjt8zo

The Denver Broncos are an aging team that lives and dies off it’s defence. With Von Miller, T.J. Miller and Aqib Talib, the Broncos are relying on its air tight defence to win them ball games with the inexperienced Trevor Siemian at QB. I don’t know what it is about this team, but I just don’t see them doing well this season. C.J. Anderson is streaky, and I don’t see him having a big year with opposing defences eyeing on him, knowing Siemian can’t hit his receivers on a consistent basis. I’m not sure other people have the Broncos finishing this low, I just don’t see it happening this year.

Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)

Chiefs Texans Football

With Andy Reid behind the Chiefs, anything is possible. A man that has revamped Alex Smith into a reliable quarterback, Reid will have to deal with the loss of Jamaal Charles, but still has plenty of options on offence. With the tight end position (in my opinion) being the most valuable aside from the man in the pocket, Travis Kelce has proved to be one of the league’s elite, and will take the target off of receivers like Tyreek Hill and Demarcus Robinson. Defensively, the Chiefs are arguably even more stacked than they are on offence. With Eric Berry healthy, and a very formidable D-Line, the Chiefs offence should have quite the safety net, en route to another playoff appearance.

Los Angeles Chargers (5-11)

NFL: Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers

It will be more of the same for the Chargers, despite a new place to call home. With Phillip Rivers at the helm, it seems the Chargers will never compete for a division title, let alone the Super Bowl. With Joey Bosa on defence and some intriguing options on offence in Antonio Gates and Melvin Gordon, the Chargers have all the pieces to contend, but just won’t be able to put it all together.

Oakland Raiders (14-2)

marshawn-lynch-raiders

My pick to win the Super Bowl this year, the Oakland Raiders were on a similar path last season until Derek Carr went down. With Carr healthy, Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree at WR, with Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin at the line of scrimmage, the Raiders are set to challenge the Packers and Patriots for the top team in the league. If everyone stays healthy, there’s few teams who can overpower the Raiders.

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens (5-11)

Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens

Oh, Joe Flacco. Much like Phillip Rivers, Flacco is one of those quarterbacks I simply don’t have much faith in. And again, I believe in today’s NFL, you live and die by your starting QB. While Flacco may have lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl Championship all those years ago, it’s time for the Ravens to move on, and after posting a 5-11 record this season, it’ll become clear that the Flacco era in Baltimore is over.

Cincinatti Bengals (8-8)

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals

While the Bengals have some interesting pieces scattered throughout their roster, the Bengals never seem to pull it all together and develop into a real threat to contend. 2017-18 will be much more of the same for Cincinatti, as Andy Dalton and A.J. Green will continue to give opposing defensive coordinators headaches, but aside from that, the Bengals aren’t too intimidating. I have my skepticism about the Bengals defence, and that’s why I believe the Bengals will be a fringe team once again this year.

Cleveland Browns (2-14)

day-2-of-cleveland-browns-rookie-minicamp-may-13-2017-04b8ddf50111af04

Oh, the Cleveland Browns. At least they’re not going to be the worst team in the NFL this year, right? At least I think so. It’s still very early in the rebuilding process for the Cleveland Browns. The selection of Myles Garrett at #1 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft is a great start for the Browns, and the fact they also snagged Jabrill Peppers at #25 is a steal. With Brock Osweiler at quarterback with Josh Gordon as his main receiver, the Browns should muster a couple wins this year, but it will still be a couple more years before the Browns start making some real noise.

Pittsburgh Steelers (14-2)

leveon-bell

One of the NFL’s perennial powerhouses, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be a force to be reckoned with this season. With Le’veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger acting as the three-headed dragon on offence, and a bruising defence to follow suit, the Steelers will cruise through the regular season en route to an easy AFC North Championship and a lengthy postseason run.

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans (10-6)

hi-res-7c99ef1359094f9de4bbee0e4e7b378b_crop_north

One of the teams I’m most excited to watch this season, the Houston Texans have turned around the ship pretty quickly. After a 7-1 record at home last season, the Texans have made a huge upgrade at the quarterback position, with the selection of Deshaun Watson in the 2017 NFL Draft. I have a strong feeling Watson’s game will translate to the pro level very well, and will lead the Texans to a playoff berth this season. With DeAndre Hopkins as his main receiver, and J.J Watt and Jadeveon Clowney on defence, the Texans will continue to turn heads this season.

Indianapolis Colts (10-6)

1120_andrew-luck-titans-thumbs-up_622

The Indianapolis Colts are one team that I might see doing a lot worse than others might predict. While Andrew Luck is one of the best throwing quarterbacks in the game, his team around him, for the most part, is getting up in age, and past their prime. While they’ll still be atop the AFC South by the end of the year, I don’t see the Colts making much noise in the postseason, and might look to make some changes around Luck for next year.

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9)

Jacksonville Jaguars v New England Patriots

After a very disappointing season last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars will turn things around in 2017-18. With the addition of Leonard Fournette in the backfield, and Blake Bortles (who has been struggling as of late, but I’m hoping will turn things around), The Jaguars will benefit from a relatively weak division, and flirt with the .500 mark throughout the season. While they still won’t make the playoffs this year, 2017-18 should be a sign of good things to come.

Tennessee Titans (6-10)

Vikings Titans Football

I want to believe in the Tennessee Titans so bad, but I just can’t. Marcus Mariota is still developing, and while the 1-2 punch of Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray in the backfield is intriguing, I just don’t think the winning culture in Tennessee is there yet. I have my doubts with the Titans’ defence, and I think the Titans will win some games, but the wheels will fall off the wagon in the second half of the season. But, I do think next year, with a strong draft and an acquisition or two, the Titans could be something.

NFC EAST

Dallas Cowboys (11-5)

hi-res-966b8455e8aeeead66b1d267e4a61c82_crop_north

Until Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension came out, I actually had the Cowboys much higher than I have them now. But in a tough conference, and a tough division, without the services of their star running back, the Cowboys will hit a few bumps in the road in 2017-18. I’m a firm believer in the sophomore slump, and I think the Cowboys might suffer from extreme expectations after their coming out party last season. That being said, I still have them in the playoffs.

New York Giants (9-7)

the-new-york-giants-host-the-philadelphia-eagles-in-week-17-nfl-action-95b5e8b7e1d444ac

A lot of people have the New York Giants as NFC East champs next year, but I don’t see it. While Odell Beckham Jr. is the best receiver on the planet, and having Brandon Marshall as a partner is deadly, I have my doubts with Eli Manning. The Giants defence isn’t bad either, I just don’t have much faith in the Giants being the Super Bowl contender many people are playing them out to be.

Philadelphia Eagles (6-10)

111416_nelson-agholor_1200

Alshon Jeffrey is a big pickup for the Philadelphia Eagles, but I think it’ll pay more dividends next year. Why? Remember what I said about the sophomore slumps? I have a gut feeling that Carson Wentz will have a bit of a down year, and the Eagles as a team still have some identity issues. The future is bright in Philly, I just don’t think this is their year to break out.

Washington Redskins (8-8)

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins

Another team that has all the pieces and just can’t seem to put it all together, the Washington Redskins will have a very similar year to the one they had in 2016-17. Kirk Cousins is a serviceable, but not elite quarterback, and Josh Norman will frustrate opposing teams’ top receivers, but Cousins doesn’t have much to throw to other than star TE Jordan Reed, who had many injury issues last year, and there’s a good chance he’ll be forced to miss more games this season. Washington needs one big acquisition to put them over the hump and into serious contention.

NFC WEST

Arizona Cardinals (4-12)

carson-palmer-cardinals

Ouch. I have zero faith in Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals making any noise this season, and taking a major step in the wrong direction as well. I simply believe that the Cardinals’ window of opportunity is closed, and while David Johnson will have another good year, the Cardinals just don’t have the talent to back that up and win football games. I have a feeling this could be Palmer’s final season as the Cardinals starting quarterback, in what will be an eye opening year for the Cardinals’ front office.

Los Angeles Rams (7-9)

toddgurleygetty1006ftr_3vrgy5vt3amo19y4ctl3dw12k

After a down year last season, Todd Gurley finally has someone to take some of the pressure off him, and his name is Sammy Watkins. The Los Angeles Rams hit the jackpot when they acquired Watkins from the Buffalo Bills in the offseason, and now they have to do what the Bills couldn’t, keep Watkins healthy. With a healthy Watkins, Gurley and Jared Goff finally having someone to throw to, the Rams will see a lot of improvement from last year, but no playoff berth.

San Francisco 49ers (2-14)

carlos-hyde-49ers-ecu

It’ll be much more of the same from the San Francisco 49ers this year, as they failed to find a starting quarterback for the upcoming season. The thought of Brian Hoyer as a starting QB makes me cringe a little bit, and Pierre Garcon isn’t a good enough receiver to make up for that. Carlos Hyde needs someone to take the target off his back, and with Hoyer under the gun, teams will take their chances and continue to stuff the 49ers running game instead. Plus, the 49ers gave up a league-worst 480 points last year, so it’s not like the defence is going to save them either. It’s going to be a long process before the 49ers become playoff contenders once again.

Seattle Seahawks (13-3)

lm_rry1500_0

While an injury to Russell Wilson limited the Seattle Seahawks last year, the Hawks still easily grabbed the NFC West division title last year, and they’ll do the same this year with a healthy Wilson. It seems Pete Carroll has finally figured out how to use Jimmy Graham in his offence, and with Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin rounding out Wilson’s options, the Seahawks will be a forced to reckoned with once again. On defence, the Seahawks are intimidating as they ever have been, and with their home field advantage in the 12th man, the Hawks will cruise into the playoffs and challenge for another Super Bowl championship.

NFC NORTH

Chicago Bears (8-8)

ap_17132814123489-e1494642758262

One of my surprise picks for the upcoming season, I actually have the Chicago Bears flirting with .500 this year. The main factor is their rookie quarterback, Mitch Trubisky, who, like Deshaun Watson, I have a feeling will translate into the NFL very well. With their first legitimate starting QB in a long time, the Bears will benefit from one of the weaker divisions around the league, and finish the year with much optimism, and a possible playoff berth as well.

Detroit Lions (3-13)

matthew-stafford-leon-halip

While the Detroit Lions finished 9-7 last season, I have the Lions taking a major step backwards in 2017-18. Matthew Stafford isn’t an elite quarterback in my opinion, and I believe Marvin Jones will have a very quiet year. I’m not sure why, I just don’t have much faith in this group, and see the Lions picking up just three wins all season.

Green Bay Packers (14-2)

aaron-rodgers-080615-usnews-getty-ftr_1qjue4bqg9li1rm21pje0c2o3

With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, the Green Bay Packers are always a threat to win it all. This year will be no different. With the addition of Martellus Bennett at the tight end position, Rodgers is that much more scarier with another throwing option to go to. Plus, the Packers’ defence is as strong as ever, and I believe the Packers will cruise to another NFC North division championship en route to a lengthy postseason run.

Minnesota Vikings (8-8)

Sam Bradford

With tonnes of depth, but no real star power, the Minnesota Vikings will miss the services of Adrian Peterson. With Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater battling for the starting quarterback role, they’ll have numerous options on offence, including the recently acquired Latavius Murray from the Oakland Raiders. Again, I don’t have much trust in the Vikings’ defence, and without a strong defence to compliment the offence, I believe the Vikings will start well, but after teams solve their offence, the Vikings will have a bad second half of the year, and wind up missing the playoffs.

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta Falcons (12-4)

julio-jones-012217-getty-ftr_1gni06bmxwoca1p77vfrnkurg6

The reigning NFC Champions will have a tough act to follow, considering they should have a Super Bowl championship beside their names after being up 28-3 on the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl last year. With Matt Ryan and Julio Jones continuing to be one of the best QB-WR duos in the game, and Devonta Freeman on the ground, the Falcons’ offence will continue to be their bread and butter en route to their second straight NFC South division title. However, I don’t have them going back to the Super Bowl this year, because of their defence. Anyone who watched the Super Bowl knows why I say that. However, still a banner year for the Falcons.

Carolina Panthers (12-4)

170506_cmc_samuel_600x360

After a very disappointing season for my Carolina Panthers, the steal of the 2017 NFL Draft, and future NFL Rookie of the Year Christian McCaffrey will provide a huge boost for Cam Newton and the Panthers offence. With Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen rounding out the main core of receivers for Newton, and a healthy Luke Keuchly anchoring the defence, the Panthers should be right back in the Super Bowl contention conversation in 2017-18, and while they’ll have to do it from the wild card spot, the Panthers have all the pieces to win their first Super Bowl championship, after the disappointing failure in 2015. And hey, Julius Peppers is back, so that’s pretty awesome too.

New Orleans Saints (5-11)

Drew Brees

Maybe it’s my hatred for the Panthers’ division rivals, but I don’t see the New Orleans Saints turning the ship around this year. After a 7-9 record last season, I believe Father Time has finally come for Drew Brees. With the acquisition of Adrian Peterson, and a new deep threat in Ted Ginn Jr., Brees will have the help on offence, but on defence, I don’t see the Saints being able to keep up with their tough division.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7)

jameis-winston-120916-getty-ftrjpg_1sx84scnzzfu61pjz2ag3hyt58

While I’m definitely not a fan of the Buccaneers, I must admit, they’re fun to watch. After a couple years under his belt Jameis Winston is ready to lead the Buccaneers into the postseason. But is the rest of the team? I don’t think so, not yet anyways. That being said, I still have them over .500 in one of the toughest divisions in football, so there’s definitely some positives for Tampa Bay fans for this season. DeSean Jackson will be a wildcard for the Bucs offence, and if they catch fire, look out.

FULL SCHEDULE

Week 1

New England 1-0 (W) vs. Kansas City 0-1 (L)

NY Jets 0-1 (L) vs. Buffalo 1-0 (W)

Atlanta 1-0 (W) vs. Chicago 0-1 (L)

Baltimore 1-0 (W) vs. Cincinatti 0-1 (L)

Pittsburgh 1-0 (W) vs. Cleveland 0-1 (L)

Arizona 1-0 (W) vs. Detroit 0-1 (L)

Jacksonville 0-1 (L) vs. Houston 1-0 (W)

Tampa Bay 1-0 (W) vs. Miami 0-1 (L)

Oakland 1-0 (W) vs. Tennessee 0-1 (L)

Philadelphia 1-0 (W) vs. Washington 0-1 (L)

Indianapolis 1-0 (W) vs. LA Rams 0-1 (L)

Seattle 0-1 (L) vs. Green Bay 1-0 (W)

Carolina 1-0 (W) vs. San Francisco 0-1 (L)

New Orleans 0-1 (L) vs. Minnesota 1-0 (W)

NY Giants 0-1 (L) vs. Dallas 1-0 (W)

LA Chargers 0-1 (L) vs. Denver 1-0 (W)

Week 2

Houston 1-1 (L) vs. Cincinatti 1-1 (W)

Cleveland 0-2 (L) vs. Baltimore 2-0 (W)

Buffalo 0-2 (L) vs. Carolina 2-0 (W)

Arizona 1-1 (L) vs. Indianapolis 2-0 (W)

Tennessee 0-2 (L) vs. Jacksonville 1-1 (W)

Philadelphia 1-1 (L) vs. Kansas City 1-1 (W)

New England 2-0 (W) vs. New Orleans 0-2 (L)

Minnesota 1-1 (L) vs. Pittsburgh 2-0 (W)

Chicago 0-2 (L) vs. Tampa Bay 2-0 (W)

Miami 0-2 (L) vs. LA Chargers 1-1 (W)

NY Jets 0-2 (L) vs. Oakland 2-0 (W)

Dallas 2-0 (W) vs. Denver 1-1 (L)

Washington 0-2 (L) vs. LA Rams 1-1 (W)

San Francisco 0-2 (L) vs. Seattle 1-1 (W)

Green Bay 2-0 (W) vs. Atlanta 1-1 (L)

Detroit 0-2 (L) vs. NY Giants 1-1 (W)

Week 3

LA Rams 2-1 (W) vs. San Francisco 0-3 (L)

Baltimore 2-1 (L) vs. Jacksonville 2-1 (W)

Denver 2-1 (W) vs. Buffalo 1-2 (L)

New Orleans 0-3 (L) vs. Carolina 3-0 (W)

Pittsburgh 3-0 (W) vs. Chicago 0-3 (L)

Atlanta 2-1 (W) vs. Detroit 0-3 (L)

Cleveland 0-3 (L) vs. Indianapolis 3-0 (W)

Tampa Bay 2-1 (L) vs. Minnesota 2-1 (W)

Houston 1-2 (L) vs. New England 3-0 (W)

Miami 1-2 (W) vs. NY Jets 0-3 (L)

NY Giants 1-2 (L) vs. Philadelphia 2-1 (W)

Seattle 2-1 (W) vs. Tennessee 0-3 (L)

Cincinatti 1-2 (L) vs. Green Bay 3-0 (W)

Kansas City 2-1 (W) vs. LA Chargers 1-2 (L)

Oakland 3-0 (W) vs. Washington 0-3 (L)

Dallas 3-0 (W) vs. Arizona 1-2 (L)

Week 4

Chicago 0-4 (L) vs. Green Bay 4-0 (W)

New Orleans 1-3 (W) vs. Miami 1-3 (L)

Buffalo 1-3 (L) vs. Atlanta 3-1 (W)

Pittsburgh 4-0 (W) vs. Baltimore 2-2 (L)

Cincinatti 2-2 (W) vs. Cleveland 0-4 (L)

LA Rams 2-2 (L) vs. Dallas 4-0 (W)

Tennessee 0-4 (L) vs. Houston 2-2 (W)

Detroit 0-4 (L) vs. Minnesota 3-1 (W)

Carolina 3-1 (L) vs. New England 4-0 (W)

Jacksonville 3-1 (W) vs. NY Jets 0-4 (L)

San Francisco 0-4 (L) vs. Arizona 2-2 (W)

Philadelphia 3-1 (W) vs. LA Chargers 1-3 (L)

NY Giants 1-3 (L) vs. Tampa Bay 3-1 (W)

Oakland 4-0 (W) vs. Denver 2-2 (L)

Indianapolis 3-1 (L) vs. Seattle 3-1 (W)

Washington 0-4 (L) vs. Kansas City 3-1 (W)

Week 5

New England 5-0 (W) vs. Tampa Bay 3-2 (L)

Buffalo 3-2 (W) vs. Cincinatti 2-3 (L)

NY Jets 0-5 (L) vs. Cleveland 1-4 (W)

Carolina 4-1 (W) vs. Detroit 0-5 (L)

San Francisco 0-5 (L) vs. Indianapolis 4-1 (W)

Tennessee 0-5 (L) vs. Miami 2-3 (W)

LA Chargers 1-4 (L) vs. NY Giants 2-3 (W)

Arizona 3-2 (W) vs. Philadelphia 3-2 (L)

Jacksonville 3-2 (L) vs. Pittsburgh 5-0 (W)

Seattle 4-1 (W) vs. LA Rams 2-3 (L)

Baltimore 2-3 (L) vs. Oakland 5-0 (W)

Green Bay 5-0 (W) vs. Dallas 4-1 (L)

Kansas City 4-1 (W) vs. Houston 2-3 (L)

Minnesota 4-1 (W) vs. Chicago 0-5 (L)

Week 6

Philadelphia 3-3 (L) vs. Carolina 5-1 (W)

Miami 2-4 (L) vs. Atlanta 4-1 (W)

Chicago 1-5 (W) vs. Baltimore 2-4 (L)

Cleveland 1-5 (L) vs. Houston 3-3 (W)

Green Bay 5-1 (L) vs. Minnesota 5-1 (W)

Detroit 1-5 (W) vs. New Orleans 1-4 (L)

New England 6-0 (W) vs. NY Jets 0-6 (L)

San Francisco 0-6 (L) vs. Washington 1-4 (W)

Tampa Bay 4-2 (W) vs. Arizona 3-3 (L)

LA Rams 2-4 (L) vs. Jacksonville 4-2 (W)

Pittsburgh 5-1 (L) vs. Kansas City 5-1 (W)

LA Chargers 1-5 (L) vs. Oakland 6-0 (W)

NY Giants 2-4 (L) vs. Denver 3-2 (W)

Indianapolis 5-1 (W) vs. Tennessee 0-6 (L)

Week 7

Kansas City 5-2 (L) vs. Oakland 7-0 (W)

Tampa Bay 5-2 (W) vs. Buffalo 3-3 (L)

Carolina 6-1 (W) vs. Chicago 0-7 (L)

Tennesse 1-6 (W) vs. Cleveland 1-6 (L)

New Orleans 1-5 (L) vs. Green Bay 6-1 (W)

Jacksonville 4-3 (L) vs. Indianapolis 6-1 (W)

Arizona 3-4 (L) vs. LA Rams 3-4 (W)

NY Jets 0-7 (L) vs. Miami 3-4 (W)

Baltimore 2-5 (L) vs. Minnesota 6-1 (W)

Cincinatti 2-4 (L) vs. Pittsburgh 6-1 (W)

Dallas 5-1 (W) vs. San Francisco 0-7 (L)

Denver 3-3 (W) vs. LA Chargers 1-6 (L)

Seattle 5-1 (W) vs. NY Giants 2-5 (L)

Atlanta 5-1 (W) vs. New England 6-1 (L)

Washington 2-4 (W) vs. Philadelphia (L) 3-4

Week 8

Miami 3-5 (L) vs. Baltimore 3-5 (W)

Minnesota 7-1 (W) vs. Cleveland 1-7 (L)

Oakland 8-0 (W) vs. Buffalo 3-4 (L)

Indianapolis 6-2 (L) vs. Cincinatti 3-4 (W)

LA Chargers 1-7 (L) vs. New England 7-1 (W)

Chicago 1-7 (W) vs. New Orleans 1-6 (L)

Atlanta 6-1 (W) vs. NY Jets 0-8 (L)

San Francisco 1-7 (W) vs. Philadelphia 3-5 (L)

Carolina 6-2 (L) vs. Tampa Bay 6-2 (W)

Houston 3-4 (L) vs. Seattle 6-1 (W)

Dallas 6-1 (W) vs. Washington 2-5 (L)

Pittsburgh 7-1 (W) vs. Detroit 1-6 (L)

Denver 3-4 (L) vs. Kansas City 6-2 (W)

Week 9

Buffalo 4-4 (W) vs. NY Jets 0-9 (L)

Atlanta 6-2 (L) vs. Carolina 7-2 (W)

Indianapolis 6-3 (L) vs. Houston 4-4 (W)

Cincinatti 4-4 (W) vs. Jacksonville 4-4 (L)

Tampa Bay 6-3 (L) vs. New Orleans 2-6 (W)

LA Rams 3-5 (L) vs. NY Giants 3-5 (W)

Denver 4-4 (W) vs. Philadelphia 3-6 (L)

Baltimore 4-5 (W) vs. Tennessee 1-7 (L)

Arizona 3-5 (L) vs. San Francisco 2-7 (W)

Washington 2-6 (L) vs. Seattle 7-1 (W)

Kansas City 6-3 (L) vs. Dallas 7-1 (W)

Oakland 9-0 (W) vs. Miami 3-6 (L)

Detroit 1-7 (L) vs. Green Bay 7-1 (W)

Week 10

Seattle 8-1 (W) vs. Arizona 3-6 (L)

New Orleans 3-6 (W) vs. Buffalo 4-5 (L)

Green Bay 7-2 (L) vs. Chicago 2-7 (W)

Cleveland 1-8 (L) vs. Detroit 2-7 (W)

Pittsburgh 8-1 (W) vs. Indianapolis 6-4 (L)

LA Chargers 2-7 (W) vs. Jacksonville 4-5 (L)

NY Jets 0-10 (L) vs. Tampa Bay 7-3 (W)

Cincinatti 4-5 (L) vs. Tennessee 2-7 (W)

Minnesota 7-2 (L) vs. Washington 3-6 (W)

Houston 5-4 (W) vs. LA Rams 3-6 (L)

Dallas 8-1 (W) vs. Atlanta 6-3 (L)

NY Giants 4-5 (W) vs. San Francisco 2-8 (L)

New England 8-1 (W) vs. Denver 4-5 (L)

Miami 3-7 (L) vs. Carolina 8-2 (W)

Week 11

Tennessee 2-8 (L) vs. Pittsburgh 9-1 (W)

Detroit 2-8 (L) vs. Chicago 3-7 (W)

Baltimore 4-6 (L) vs. Green Bay 8-2 (W)

Jacksonville 4-6 (L) vs. Cleveland 2-8 (W)

Arizona 3-7 (L) vs. Houston 6-4 (W)

LA Rams 4-6 (W) vs. Minnesota 7-3 (L)

Washington 4-6 (W) vs. New Orleans 3-7 (L)

Kansas City 7-3 (W) vs. NY Giants 4-6 (L)

Buffalo 4-6 (L) vs. LA Chargers 3-7 (W)

Cincinatti 4-6 (L) vs. Denver 5-5 (W)

New England 9-1 (W) vs. Oakland 9-1 (L)

Philadelphia 4-6 (W) vs. Dallas 8-2 (L)

Atlanta 7-3 (W)  vs. Seattle 8-2 (L)

Week 12

Minnesota 8-3 (W) vs. Detroit 2-9 (L)

LA Chargers 3-8 (L) vs. Dallas 9-2 (W)

NY Giants 5-6 (W) vs. Washington 4-7 (L)

Tampa Bay 7-4 (L) vs. Atlanta 8-3 (W)

Cleveland 2-9 (L) vs. Cincinatti 5-6 (W)

Tennessee 2-9 (L) vs. Indianapolis 7-4 (W)

Buffalo 4-7 (L) vs. Kansas City 8-3 (W)

Miami 3-8 (L) vs. New England 10-1 (W)

Carolina 9-2 (W) vs. NY Jets 0-11 (L)

Chicago 3-8 (L) vs. Philadelphia 5-6 (W)

New Orleans 3-8 (L) vs. LA Rams 5-6 (W)

Seattle 9-2 (W) vs. San Francisco 2-9 (L)

Jacksonville 4-7 (L) vs. Arizona 4-7 (W)

Denver 5-6 (L) vs. Oakland 10-1 (W)

Green Bay 9-2 (W) vs. Pittsburgh 9-2 (L)

Houston 7-4 (W) vs. Baltimore 4-7 (L)

Week 13

Washington 5-7 (W) vs. Dallas 9-3 (L)

Minnesota 8-4 (L) vs. Atlanta 9-3 (W)

Detroit 3-9 (W) vs. Baltimore 4-8 (L)

New England 11-1 (W) vs. Buffalo 4-8 (L)

San Francisco 2-10 (L) vs. Chicago 4-8 (W)

Tampa Bay 7-5 (L) vs. Green Bay 10-2 (W)

Indianapolis 7-5 (L) vs. Jacksonville 5-7 (W)

Denver 5-7 (L) vs. Miami 4-8 (W)

Carolina 10-2 (W) vs. New Orleans 3-9 (L)

Kansas City 9-3 (W) vs. NY Jets 0-12 (L)

Houston 7-5 (L) vs. Tennessee 3-9 (W)

Cleveland 2-10 (L) vs. LA Chargers 4-8 (W)

LA Rams 6-6 (W) vs. Arizona 4-8 (L)

NY Giants 5-7 (L) vs. Oakland 11-1 (W)

Philadelphia 5-7 (L) vs. Seattle 10-2 (W)

Pittsburgh 10-2 (W) vs. Cincinatti 5-7 (L)

Week 14

New Orleans 4-9 (W) vs. Atlanta 9-4 (L)

Indianapolis 8-5 (W) vs. Buffalo 4-9 (L)

Minnesota 8-5 (L) vs. Carolina 11-2 (W)

Chicago 5-8 (W) vs. Cincinatti 5-8 (L)

Green Bay 11-2 (W) vs. Cleveland 2-11 (L)

San Francisco 2-11 (L) vs. Houston 8-5 (W)

Seattle 11-2 (W) vs. Jacksonville 5-8 (L)

Oakland 11-2 (L) vs. Kansas City 10-3 (W)

Detroit 3-10 (L) vs. Tampa Bay 8-5 (W)

Tennessee 4-9 (W) vs. Arizona 4-9 (L)

NY Jets 0-13 (L) vs. Denver 6-7 (W)

Washington 6-7 (W) vs. LA Chargers 4-9 (L)

Philadelphia 6-7 (W) vs. LA Rams 6-7 (L)

Dallas 9-4 (L) vs. NY Giants 6-7 (W)

Baltimore 4-9 (L) vs. Pittsburgh 11-2 (W)

New England 12-1 (W) vs. Miami 4-9 (L)

Week 15

Denver 6-8 (L) vs. Indianapolis 9-5 (W)

Chicago 6-8 (W) vs. Detroit 3-11 (L)

LA Chargers 4-10 (L) vs. Kansas City 11-3 (W)

Miami 5-9 (W) vs. Buffalo 4-10 (L)

Green Bay 12-2 (W) vs. Carolina 11-3 (L)

Baltimore 5-9 (W) vs. Cleveland 2-12 (L)

Houston 9-5 (W) vs. Jacksonville 5-9 (L)

Cincinatti 6-8 (W) vs. Minnesota 8-6 (L)

NY Jets 0-14 (L) vs. New Orleans 5-9 (W)

Philadelphia 6-8 (L) vs. NY Giants 7-7 (W)

Arizona 4-10 (L) vs. Washington 7-7 (W)

LA Rams 6-8 (L) vs. Seattle 12-2 (W)

New England 12-2 (L) vs. Pittsburgh 12-2 (W)

Tennessee 5-9 (W) vs. San Francisco 2-12 (L)

Dallas 9-5 (L) vs. Oakland 12-2 (W)

Atlanta 10-4 (W) vs. Tampa Bay 8-6 (L)

Week 16

Indianapolis 10-5 (W) vs. Baltimore 5-10 (L)

Minnesota 8-7 (L) vs. Green Bay 13-2 (W)

Tampa Bay 8-7 (L) vs. Carolina 12-3 (W)

Cleveland 2-13 (L) vs. Chicago 7-8 (W)

Detroit 3-12 (L) vs. Cincinatti 7-8 (W)

Miami 5-10 (L) vs. Kansas City 12-3 (W)

Buffalo 4-11 (L) vs. New England 13-2 (W)

Atlanta 11-4 (W) vs. New Orleans 5-10 (L)

LA Chargers 5-10 (W) vs. NY Jets 0-15

LA Rams 6-9 (L) vs. Tennessee 6-9 (W)

Denver 6-9 (L) vs. Washington 8-7 (W)

Jacksonville 6-9 (W) vs. San Francisco 2-13 (L)

NY Giants 8-7 (W) vs. Arizona 4-11 (L)

Seattle 12-3 (L) vs. Dallas 10-5 (W)

Pittsburgh 13-2 (W) vs. Houston 9-6 (L)

Oakland 13-2 (W) vs. Philadelphia 6-9 (L)

Week 17

Carolina 12-4 (L) vs. Atlanta 12-4 (W)

Cincinatti 8-8 (W) vs. Baltimore 5-11 (L)

Green Bay 14-2 (W) vs. Detroit 3-13 (L)

Houston 10-6 (W) vs. Indianapolis 10-6 (L)

Buffalo 4-12 (L) vs. Miami 6-10 (W)

Chicago 8-8 (W) vs. Minnesota 8-8 (L)

NY Jets 0-16 (L) vs. New England 14-2 (W)

Washington 8-8 (L) vs. NY Giants 9-7 (W)

Dallas 11-5 (W) vs. Philadelphia 6-10 (L)

Cleveland 2-14 (L) vs. Pittsburgh 14-2 (W)

New Orleans 5-11 (L) vs. Tampa Bay 9-7 (W)

Jacksonville 7-9 (W) vs. Tennessee 6-10 (L)

Kansas City 12-4 (L) vs. Denver 7-9 (W)

Oakland 14-2 (W) vs. LA Chargers 5-11 (L)

San Francisco 2-14 (L) vs. LA Rams 7-9 (W)

Arizona 4-12 (L) vs. Seattle 13-3 (W)

There you have it. My predictions for the upcoming NFL season. Tell me I’m an idiot at @tbennz on twitter, or leave a comment below. Cheers!

 

Hayden’s 2017 NFC regular season predictions

Will the Cowboys make the Super Bowl?  Will Cam return to his 2015 level? Can Rodgers win his second? Is Wentz here to stay? Is Jared Goff a bust?

Here are my 2017 NFC team predictions:

AP GIANTS COLLAPSE FOOTBALL S FBN USA TX

In this photo taken Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) calls out at the line of scrimmage during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. New York was about to put a damper on another festive prime-time opener Sunday night. Instead, the Giants were stunned 27-26 on a winning drive by Tony Romo after Manning admittedly made a crucial mistake. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) ORG XMIT: NY165

NFC East:

New York Giants: 12-4

The Giants will improve on an impressive 11-5 season last year with a very strong 12-4 campaign. The addition of Brandon Marshall to replace the departing Victor Cruz provides the giants with a tremendous deep threat to pair with Odell’s speed. With little other activity this offseason, their running game remains a concern, the addition of D.J. Flucker with provide some aide. No changes were needed with their quickly improving young defence that will provide a tremendous challenge to all other teams in their stacked division. If Manning can deliver a quality season this team can go very far.

Dallas Cowboys: 12-4

With the recent 6 game suspension of Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys will drop 1 more game than their surprise season 1 year ago, and will drop to Wild Card 1. The Cowboys also lost a lot of free agents, with key players Doug Free,  Ronald Leary, and Brandon Carr all leaving. This is now Dak’s team, Tony Romo isn’t looming over his shoulder anymore, he has been given the keys to a very strong offense with many stars like Dez Bryant, Darren McFadden, Ezekiel Elliott, and Jason Witten, who will soon be replaced will the impressive first rounder Taco Charlton.

Philadelphia Eagles: 10-6

In Carson Wentz’s second season at quarterback, he will lead his Eagles to an impressive 10-6 record, an improvement on there 7-9 effort last year. The Eagles had a good offseason will the additions of Legarrette Blount, Ronald Darby, and Alshon Jeffries.  The Eagles defence will have some improving to do to compete at the next level but within the next few years we could be seeing Philadelphia return to the top of the NFL. If the Eagles weren’t in this dense division with the Cowboys and Giants they would have made the playoffs.

Washington Redskins: 6-10

The Washington Redskins will regress from their 8-7-1 record a year ago will a 6-10 record. Kirk Cousins will put up lowered numbers will the major offseason losses of Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, Terrelle Pryor will help but he isn’t capable of being the number one option on a winning team. What they lost on offence they gained on defence will some decent additions unfortunately with 6 of there games coming against the Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants they will struggle to win. And with tough out of division games as well it just isn’t their year.  
gurleyseahawks-e1474139829855

NFC West:

Seattle Seahawks: 10-6

The Seattle Seahawks will follow up there 10-5-1 season a year ago will a 10-6 record this year. This is understandable due to the minimal changes there are to the roster from last year. This is a good and bad thing, on the one hand they will still have a tremendous defence especially with the return of Earl Thomas, on offence the will still struggle with a subpar offensive line and a revolving door at running back. Fortunately for them they still have the loudest fans in football giving them the advantage they need to make the playoffs once again.

Los Angeles Rams: 8-8

Former number one pick Jared Goff will lead his Rams to a 8-8 record, a major improvement on their 4-12 record a year ago. With many new additions to the team including a new Head Coach in Sean McVay the Rams will begin to improve. The addition of Sammy Watkins to replace the departing Kenny Britt will provide the young Goff with a bona fide number one receiver to pair with Todd Gurley who will have a bounceback year from his disappointing 2016. In a division with struggling offences their improved defense will lead them to their 8 wins.

Arizona Cardinals: 7-9

Veteran Quarterback Carson Palmer will continue to regress this season again leading his team to a 7-9 record, even with stars on offence like David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. An uneventful offseason on offence won’t help, the additions made on defence will provide a small boost to an already impressive defence. The Cardinals will be looking for a quarterback to take over the team at the end of this season, and they make a good choice this team could be competing at a high level again very soon with all their young talent and their tremendous coach.

San Francisco 49ers: 4-12

The San Francisco 49ers are coming off of a horrible 2-14 season, new coach Kyle Shanahan and new gm John Lynch will see an improved 4-12 record this year. The 49ers had a very busy offseason adding some decent players on both offence and defence. Unfortunately they were unable to complete a rumoured trade with the Redskins to bring QB Kirk Cousins to San Francisco, if they are unable to add a better QB soon, either through trade or draft, they will be at the bottom of this division for a while.  

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions

Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) scrambles as Detroit Lions defensive end Devin Taylor (98) pressures during the first quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

NFC North:Green Bay Packers: 12-4

The Green Bay Packers will improve of their somewhat average season of 10-6 with 12-4 record this year. Aaron Rodgers will once again prove why he is the second best QB in football, and with offseason offensive addition Martellus Bennett he will have an improved passing game, his offensive line will be downgraded but his mobility will help minimize the impact. Free agent additions on defence will also help a veteran defence. The Packers also lucked out by having their game against the Cowboys come at a time when Ezekiel Elliot will be suspended, putting them atop the conference.

Detroit Lions: 8-8

The Detroit Lions will take a step back from their record of 9-7 last season with a 8-8 campaign this season. While the lions had a very productive offseason for their defence and their offensive line, Matt Stafford still has very few weapons at his disposal. The lions will enter the season with one of the league’s worst depth at wide receiver. This below average offence will have major difficulty with one of the ;league’s worst schedules, featuring out of division games against the Giants, Falcons, and Carolina. If the lions can draft a quality running back and sign a good receiver this team could be good real soon.

Minnesota Vikings: 5-11

The Minnesota Vikings will follow up their 8-8 season a year ago with a disappointing 5-11 record this season. Sam Bradford will have a very poor season and might get replaced by returning QB Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings lost Adrian Peterson the best player on their team in the offseason and replaced him with the inferior Latavius Murray, this is a common theme, almost every player they lost they replaced with a worse version, another example is switching Cordarrelle Patterson for Michael Floyd.  Couple this with a difficult schedule and the result isn’t good.  

Chicago Bears: 4-12

The Chicago Bears will take a small step forward in 2017 with a record of 4-12, which is an improvement on their previous season’s total of 3-13. The Bears had a very poor offseason which included one of the dumbest trades in a while, the Bears traded 2 thirds and a fourth round pick to move up one spot to draft Trubisky even tho San Francisco wasn’t going to take him. The Bears also lost key offensive piece Alshon Jeffries, the did finally part ways with Jay Cutler and instead signed Mike Glennon, thi move won’t have much affect on what should be a miserable season.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

Oct 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) scores a rushing touchdown against Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Shaq Green-Thompson (54) in the first quarter of their game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

NFC South:

Atlanta Falcons: 12-4

The Atlanta Falcons will avoid the super bowl hangover by putting up 12 wins and 4 loses an even better record than they had a year ago. The Falcons replaced departing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan with long time college coach Steve Sarkisian, and signed two time pro bowler Dontari Poe to replace Dwight Freeney. They also locked up running back Devonta Freeman in order to solidify their young core group of talented offensive players. Even with a difficult schedule the Falcons will prove they were no one year wonder a make a strong return to the playoffs feeding from the heartbreak of last year.     

Carolina Panthers: 11-5

Coming off of an extremely disappointing 6-10 season filled with injures the Carolina Panthers will fight their way back to the playoffs with an impressive 11-5 record. Cam Newton won’t be quite M.V.P. form be he will be much better than last year, and with the progression of sophomore Kelvin Benjamin the Panthers will have strong passing game. While Carolina’s defence will be weakened by the lost of Tre Boston, the addition of veteran Julius Peppers will bring leadership to a young defence. And all the speed and explosiveness they lost in Ted Ginn Jr. will be replaced by Christian Mccaffrey.  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 9-7

Jameis Winston will continue his climb up the QB ranks by turning in a quality season with a 9-7 record, while this only matches last year’s total the division overall has improved. It was an eventful offseason for the Bucs, however they did make a key pickup of Desean Jackson who when paired with Mike Evans will make a nasty wide receiver duo.  Defensively there is still much to be done to begin competing on the next level, This team could very easily have a much better record if it wasn’t for the strong division they find themselves in.     

New Orleans Saints: 6-10

The New Orleans Saints will take another step back from their former glory with a middling 6-10 season compared to their 7-9 effort a year ago. Even with offseason additions like Adrian Peterson and Ted Ginn Jr. the loss of Brandin Cooks hampers their offence who still find themselves without a decent offensive line. Failing to complete a trade with the New England Patriots for corner Malcolm Butler has left a major hole in their defence in a division with several very strong offenses. It truly is a shame that such a great quarterback like Drew Brees will finish his career with such a poor roster.

 

Game by game predictions:

Schedule Prdic