JWMS Newspaper Club
Mid-Season NFL Predictions by Ari F.
Already nine weeks into the season, there have been some wild surprises and unexpected turns for the worst for some teams. Big names have already gone down early in the season, and many fantasy football owners are regretting their picks in the first round. Just about halfway into the season, here are some of my predictions for the remainder of the season and playoffs.
There are already some teams looking to make a deep playoff run after a good start to the season. Here are my predictions for each conference champion.
NFC: I like the Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC this year. They have one of the highest-scoring offenses and are leading their division ahead of the Cardinals and Rams. They have an inconsistent run defense and are short-handed in the secondary because they lost Jamal Admas for a few weeks and Quinton Dunbar to injuries. Both are looking to return this week.
AFC: My prediction for the AFC is the Steelers. Both teams are leading their division, with the Steelers at 9-0, after barely beating the Cowboys and easily beating division rival Bengals. If the Steelers can maintain their balanced offensive attack and strong pass rush, I see them in the Super Bowl.
Even though we are only halfway through the season, there are some clear contenders for some of the big awards at the end of the season.
My prediction for MVP is Russell Wilson. He is leading the league in touchdowns, top five in passing yards, and in QBR. He has led his team to a terrific 6-2 start, in a tough division with every team having at least 4 wins. However, last week he lost to a division rival, the Arizona Cardinals. Wilson has been a leader in the locker room and has established good relationships with his wide receivers. D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, his number one and two receivers, are both top 15 in wide receivers this year according to ESPN. Let Russ Cook!
OPOY (Offensive Player of the Year)
My prediction for OPOY is Dalvin Cook. Dalvin Cook has been one of the best running backs so far this year. After coming back from a groin injury, Cook has put up five games with over 100 rushing and is leading the league in yards, and touchdowns, and he is top five in average yards per carry.
DPOY (Defensive Player of the Year)
My prediction for defensive player of the year is TJ Watt. TJ Watt is tied for second with Aaron Donald. TJ Watt is having his best season yet. He is leading the Steelers defense to the least amount of points scored against them, top 5 in yards per game, and an undefeated record.
Dumpster Fires, Injuries, and Unexpected Greatness
The NFC Least was supposed to be a very competitive division but has turned into one of the worst divisions in NFL history. The division leader right now is the Eagles at 3-5-1, followed by the Giants (3-7), then The Football Team (2-7) and Cowboys (2-7) tied for last. Even though they all stink, the team that wins this terrible division still gets to host a playoff game. We’ll just wait and have to see which team can stink the most.
This season already has had some of the biggest players go down very early with season-ending injuries. In the first couple weeks of the season, two of the best running backs Christian McCaffery and Saquan Barkley were injured. Barkley had a season-ending ACL tear, and McCaffery had a high ankle sprain. Other popular players also went down with ACL injuries such as Nick Bosa and Tarik Cohen. Also, there have been some other terrible injuries, such as a horrifying ankle injury that ended Dak Prescott’s record-breaking season and the Cowboys' hope to make the playoffs in a non-competitive division.
This season has had some big surprise teams that are sitting on top of the league right now. The Steelers have had a stellar start to the season, boasting their best franchise start ever. They are 9-0, and the last time they started out 8-0, they won the Super Bowl. The Arizona Cardinals are another surprise team. They are currently 6-4 and have a strong offensive attack, led by Kyler Murry and an interesting defensive scheme, featuring Chandler Jones, Buddha Baker, and rookie Isiah Simmons. They're in a tough division, with three teams with over 6 wins. After a last-second loss against the Seahawks in Week 11, they are looking to rebound against the Patriots, who surprised the Ravens in Week 10.
Even though we are only halfway through a wild season, who knows what could happen--it's 2020 after all.