Our “Pre-preseason” Super Bowl LIII predictions and 2018 NFL season outlook.
By Payton Woolsey
Obviously, it’s early. Way too early to crown our NFL Super Bowl LIII champions. But we can only talk about “Bronny” James and his arms race to get swept by the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals in 2019, so much.
We can only talk about Mike Trout and how his team is trash, so much.
We can only talk about the World Cup and how Croatia is flopping their way to the finals, so much.
Instead, let’s break down three AFC and NFC dark horses that are contenders for the Lombardi trophy this upcoming NFL season.
NFL is King, right?
The Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles need to replace a key member of their Super Bowl winning defense in Patrick Robinson. Which players can help with that?https://t.co/kAU641CC3h pic.twitter.com/bt5dCjf7gt
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 12, 2018
Defense wins championships. We know this. But, when a team wins the show without their top dog Quarterback as the Eagles did, that takes the defense to an entirely higher level.
But, sometimes the return of a QB1 is met with mixed reviews after such a great season.
Carson Wentz is dat boi. He’s a swiss army knife kinda QB, who is also capable of grinding out a tough, hard-fought “W.” He’s going to be an MVP candidate for the next decade.
The Eagles have a tough road ahead on their 2019 slate; but they have the talent, grit, defense, and momentum to beat any team on any given Sunday.
You know it. They know it. The Eagles are the truth, and they’re coming at ya, NFC.
Los Angeles Rams
ICYMI: Los Angeles #RAMS RB #Todd Gurley is just showing off his full arsenal of moves resulting in a TD! 💙💛🏈 pic.twitter.com/VGJN8fKaWp
— L.A. RAMS News (@LARamsNews) September 25, 2016
Hot damn. This team is full of ruthless assassins and bloodthirsty young players — all hitting their prime at the same time. Todd Gurley plays like a man possessed. He’s a freak of nature, and I love it.
Jared Goff is coming into his own and has many weapons to work with — including the cold-blooded killa in Brandin Cooks.
Their head coach, Sean McVay is the truth — one of the brilliant young minds of the NFL.
However, they must improve on defense from last year.
Enter: Marcus Peters. The hawkeye-ingest man that you ever did see. However, the fans say, “he won’t be great, he cannot tackle.”
Do you remember a fella by the name of Deion Sanders, who had the same tacking deficiency?
He could not wrap-up on anyone, yet was the most dominant defensive player during his prime — and an NFL Hall of Fame player.
“Well, their defensive line is still suspect.” Whatcha talking about, Willis?
Ndamukong Suh is going to eat all of the quarterback’s lunch and step on their ankles in the process. Suh is a BAD man. Pair him up with Aaron Donald — lights out.
If these bad boys can be kept in check and control their emotions… Game over.
NFC Dark horse: Green Bay Packers
How to be @AaronRodgers12:
Just step up in the pocket, dodge two rushers, find your receiver and make split-second decision to throw, launch it 40 yards across your body into double coverage (while getting blindsided) for the TD!
Could any other QB make this play? 🤔🔥 @packers pic.twitter.com/xSaG2piiF4
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) July 11, 2018
Dude.. Can we please give my boy Aaron Rodgers anything to work with? Can we hook a brotha up with a running back? Last year it was all I heard until the man got hurt.
Then he came back.
Run the tables they said he would. Run the table he did not. But, 2019 may provide A-Rog a chance at redemption.
Davante Adams and Randall Cobb are a great duo of wide receivers. Jordy Nelson took his talents to Oaktown, while Jimmy Graham has entered the building.
This is going to be a high octane offense, perhaps the best core in the A-Rog era.
If their secondary and defense as a whole can show up, even a little bit, there just might be some magic left in Lambeau.
New England Patriots
Tom Brady's first ever TD pass
The rest is History pic.twitter.com/nXWv3G2fA8
— Patriots Militia (@PatsMilitia) June 30, 2018
All is not well in paradise. Billy the kid and shady Brady have quite openly (relative to their normal leaking of info) butted heads. People who have played for them all say the same thing “Billy is good… But man its no fun.”
I foresee this train derailing at some point. Who knows when. But, not here. Not now.
Tom Brady with all of the hate and shade seems to thrive. He also wears uggs and is a pretty boy — do with that bit what you will.
Gronk is an animal and has only been shut down once in recent memory. Now, he’s thinking of shutting things down with early retirement, but that seems to be in the past, now. He’s also about a back injury away from his career being ended. But for now, he’s a machine.
Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, this guy here and some other dude nobody knows, and it doesn’t matter. Brady needs no running back, and he only needs mid-tier receivers to be great. Their defense is hot and cold — like Katy Perry, but good enough to get the job done on most occasions.
Even with all of these issues, Billy the kid keeps breaking necks, cashing checks, and winning Super Bowls.
Antonio Brown has just been unreal these last 5 years. Can’t wait to see what he does 2018. #Productivity #Consistency.
2017- 101• 1,533•9
2016- 106• 1,284•12
2015- 136• 1,834•10
2014- 129• 1,698•13
2013- 110• 1,499 •8 pic.twitter.com/1J6C6662nF
— SteelersKillerB (@SteelersKillerB) May 12, 2018
Man. The Jacksonville Jaguars have a hard-on for these guys. But if the Steelers can get past Blake Bortles — I can’t believe I’m typing these words of praise for Blake the flake — they have enough firepower to take down Billy the kid and Brady the GOAT.
The boys in the Steele City boast the best offensive lineup in the NFL — the top running back in Le’Veon Bell, Big Ben, Juju, Bryant, and the best receiver in the game, Antonio Brown.
Boy, your defense better backs its lunch and not blink. (Yes not even you Vontaze). They will take your head off and go over the top or Bell will wait till you literally pass out from boredom — hitting a hole straight to the end zone. I’ve to see cobwebs on the man more than once. They have talent everywhere and a decent defense — they just need to get past Blake the fake, first.
Dark horse: Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes can….#PatrickMahomes #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/ulECqg2UiI
— Alan Handley (@Allon2324) July 8, 2018
3000+ yards Alex (Smith).. Trade him. You can count on one finger how many times that’s happened to a QB in the NFL.
So now the Chiefs bring in this curly headed cubby cheeked rook, Patrick Mahomes. We are going to learn soon enough if he’s ready for the bright lights.
But if he’s NFL ready, he has some weapons to work with —Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, Sammy Watkins, and Spencer Ware. It could be good. Real good.
The defense has made some changes but Eric Berry and Justin Houston are still there. Still good. Berry ages like fine wine, getting better as father time ticks away.
The issue? Andy Reid. I think this guy must have a heart-attack follows when the ball is in the air for more than a second or something. Screen pass after screen after screen. It makes me wanna puke.
His calm almost serial killer demeanor makes it worse. What should be done? He needs to go into the bathroom, scream in the mirror and unleash the psycho-maniac killer that lies just beneath the surface with him, slap some cold water on them chops and get a grip!
My Super Bowl VIII picks: Rams vs. Chiefs — with the Rams winning it all.
The “I-70” series. Finally in state rivals going at it. Oh, wait. Too soon, (St. Louis) Rams fans?
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