That’s it – the rosters are down to 53 and the NFL is back this week. Well, if you’re in the appropriate timezone, or you have a Sunday to Thursday working week like in the Middle East, that is.
With everything set and *looks around for dangers and touches wood* no money season-altering injuries before the opening round of games, it’s time we get into the nitty-gritty. Win totals are set and some are way out of whack.
Here’s five I think you can safely back, to give yourself a season-long interest in the season.
This is one of the most complete rosters in the NFL and even without Cam Newton, there’s every chance they’d still win eight games. The problem lies with the division. Do they beat Atlanta or New Orleans on the road? Probability suggests not.
However, Gerald McCoy, Kawann Short and Dontari Poe make a formidable front, which is supported by quality linebacking through Luke Kuechly and one of the most underrated secondaries in the league held up by Tre Boston, Eric Reid, James Bradberry and Donte Jackson.
Christian McCaffrey is the future of the running back position and I wouldn’t be surprised if he hits 2,000 all-purpose yards this season. For the first time in his career, Newton also had a supporting cast of receivers.
Seven-and-a-half wins? Nonsense.
Not a chance. Fasten your seatbelts, the bandwagon is going to hit some bumps on the road, my friends.
Baker Mayfield is not a proven commodity. Odell Beckham has character concerns, Nick Chubb hasn’t had a full year’s workload and Njoku might not be the mismatch we thought he’d be coming out of college.
They’re also in a super competitive division and have to deal with the weight of legacy failure that’s plagued the franchise now for as long as they’ve been in existence. In typical Cleveland fashion, they didn’t get to .500 last year and now people expect them to win 10 games?
I’m trying to remain calm. I had the Dolphins winning four games before they traded away Kenny Still and Laremy Tunsil. Now, I don’t even think they’re going to win a single game. Honestly, I’d not be surprised if they lost every single game they played in this upcoming season.
The key point to make is that the organisation wants to be in the best position possible come draft time as they’ll likely have to spend less capital to get Alabama’s star quarterback should they tank the season.
Josh Rosen will be the starter come mid-season and he’s going to be sacked three times a week, every week. There won’t be a window to complete a pass, and the fans in Miami will stop going. I look forward to watching this beautiful disaster.
Folks, stop saying JuJu Smith-Schuster is replacing Antonio Brown. He isn’t. Stop saying he’ll beat double coverage. He won’t. Stop saying Ben Roethlisberger isn’t in decline, He is.
Finally, Devin Bush is the beacon of light they need on defence, but that doesn’t mean they’re a complete package. In fact, there’s a very real chance they finish under .500 for the first time in some time and replace Big Ben at the end of 2019.
This is a transition year for the Steelers and only the boring media narratives around them would push this line as high as it is.
I don’t even have to write anything here – you’re already triggered enough.