The 2020 NFL season is almost upon us, and that means rookies becoming stars, stars becoming superstars and, sometimes, superstars faltering. This season will be even more of a wild train ride than most, not only because of the obvious pandemic implications, but also the overwhelming change in multiple teams.
For those reasons, 2020 will be a difficult season to predict, but I am going to try with bold predictions, one for each team across the league.
Buffalo Bills-The Bills will win the AFC East
The only team that could challenge the Bills is the New England Patriots, and they look to have possibly regressed, leaving the division open for a new contender.
Miami Dolphins-Tua Tagovailoa will be the starter by Week 7, against the Los Angeles Chargers
Tua Tagovailoa is, of course, the future for the Miami Dolphins, and while the team has Ryan Fitzpatrick starting to begin the season, the team will see that their best opportunity to succeed will be the former Crimson Tide star in the game against the Chargers.
New York Jets-The Jets will finish last in the division
The Jets might have added some talent, such as Mekhi Becton and Breshad Perriman, but more importantly, they lost star safety Jamal Adams, which will significantly hinder them.
New England Patriots-The Patriots will miss the playoffs
The New England Patriots are a team not only still looking to bounce back from losing some players in free agency, but some stars for the team have opted out for them such as Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung.
Baltimore Ravens-The Ravens will lose in the AFC Championship game
Lamar Jackson will continue to be one of the most exciting players in the league, and the defense will improve in some areas like pass rush, with the addition of Calais Campbell. However, the loss of Earl Thomas is something that can’t be overlooked.
Cincinnati Bengals-Joe Burrow will break the rookie records for touchdown passes and passing yards
Unlike the other rookie quarterbacks, Joe Burrow is the immediate starter, giving him time to get things going, and understand the offense, which will allow him to break the record for touchdown passes and passing yards, set by Baker Mayfield and Andrew Luck respectively, at 28 TDs and 4,374 yards.
Cleveland Browns-The Browns will make the playoffs
The Browns have consistently added to their roster, and it will finally come together for them this season when their offensive meshes well and the defense competes well enough.
Pittsburgh Steelers-TJ Watt will win Defensive Player of the Year
The Steelers have some of the most intriguing defensive players in the league, and while there is an argument that Minkah Fitzpatrick is the better player on this defense, it is easier for a player like Watt to get the award over a player at Fitzpatrick’s position.
Houston Texans-The Texans will have a top 10 draft pick
Bill O’Brien, for some reason, traded away one of the best receivers in the game for David Johnson, and this might have significantly hindered Houston’s postseason prospects.
Indianapolis Colts-Philip Rivers will finish the season on the bench
Father Time comes to all, and Rivers’ time will finally come this season in Indianapolis.
Jacksonville Jaguars-The Jaguars will finish the season with the first overall pick
The Jaguars look to be this year’s version of the Dolphins, but this time, the Jaguars will actually succeed in getting the first overall pick and Trevor Lawrence.
Tennessee Titans-Derrick Henry will lead the AFC in rushing yards
Derrick Henry seemed like the most unstoppable player in the league in the late stages of last season, and that will continue moving forward into this season
Denver Broncos-The Broncos will make the playoffs
The Broncos not only added Melvin Gordon, but also my favorite receiver in the draft, Jerry Jeudy, to help quarterback Drew Lock. That includes the team’s defensive players like Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.
Kansas City Chiefs-The Chiefs will make the Super Bowl for the second straight year
The Chiefs just won the Super Bowl, and they will make it again, thanks to the drafting of Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the fact that they have the best player in the league, Patrick Mahomes.
Los Angeles Chargers-Justin Herbert will become the starter in Week 8, against the Jacksonville Jaguars
Just like the Dolphins, the Chargers will begin the season with a veteran in front of their rookie quarterback, with Tyrod Taylor ahead of Justin Herbert. However, just like Tagovailoa, Herbert will become the starter midway through the season after the veteran doesn’t do much to help the team win.
Las Vegas Raiders-Marcus Mariota will end the season as the starter
Derek Carr is currently the starting quarterback for the Raiders, but Mariota will see a chance to succeed with his ability to scramble and Jon Gruden’s apparent love for the former Tennessee Titan.
Dallas Cowboys-The Cowboys will lose in the NFC Championship game
The Cowboys have had high expectations since Dak Prescott’s first season, and while the defense has gotten worse, they added CeeDee Lamb, which will mean another weapon for the offense.
New York Giants-The Giants will make the postseason
The Giants have a quarterback they trust and one of the best running backs in the league, and adding Andrew Thomas will only make them better.
Philadelphia Eagles-Jalen Hurts will be the starter for more than one game
This may not seem like a bold prediction, if only for Carson Wentz’s injury problems, but Jalen Hurts will see some time in the starting role in Philadelphia.
Washington Football Team-Chase Young will break the record for most sacks as a rookie
Chase Young is one of the most refined pass rushing prospects in recent memory, and Washington already has a decent defensive line, leading Young to have the chance to break the rookie record for sacks held by Jevon Kearse with 14.5 sacks, who broke it in 1999.
Chicago Bears-Nick Foles will end the season as the starter for the Bears
The Bears recently announced Mitch Trubisky would start the season as their starter, but I think his time is up in the Windy City.
Detroit Lions-The Lions will finish the season with another top five draft pick
Detroit had one of the worst teams last season, especially due to Matthew Stafford’s injury. The addition of Jeff Okudah will help but the Lions will have another disappointing season.
Green Bay Packers-Jordan Love will start at least one game for the Packers
When the Packers drafted Jordan Love, we all knew Aaron Rodgers’ time was coming up, However, that time might be coming sooner than we all expected, as I think Jordan Love will start at least one game for the Packers this season.
Minnesota Vikings-The Vikings will be the first wild card seed
The Vikings have consistently made the playoffs, and that will continue this upcoming season, not just thanks to the addition of Yannick Ngakoue.
Atlanta Falcons-The Falcons will miss the playoffs again
Since the loss to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, nothing has gone right for Atlanta. It will get even worse this season when they miss the playoffs again.
Carolina Panthers-The Panthers will finish the season with the second overall pick
The Panthers have lost so much talent compared to last season, whether it is Eric Reid, Gerald McCoy or Cam Newton. Even though the team still has Christian McCaffrey, it will be a team waiting to select Justin Fields second overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.
New Orleans Saints-The Saints will win the Super Bowl
I think I have picked the New Orleans Saints to win the Super Bowl the last three seasons, and that isn’t changing this season, even adding wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers-The Buccaneers will lose in the first round of the playoffs
Unless Tom Brady has a catastrophic year, I don’t think there’s any way the Buccaneers don’t make the playoffs, but that playoff appearance won’t go past the first round.
Arizona Cardinals-The Cardinals will win the division
The Cardinals got significantly better this offseason. They added DeAndre Hopkins, one of the best receivers in the game, and only gave up David Johnson, a 2020 second-round draft pick and a 2021 fourth-round draft pick. They also added probably the best defensive player in the draft, Isaiah Simmons. Arizona will be much better in 2020.
Los Angeles Rams-The Rams will have a top 10 pick in the draft
The Rams weren’t very good last season and they will continue to regress, thanks to losses like Cory Littleton and older players like Andrew Whitworth.
San Francisco 49ers-The 49ers will miss the playoffs
The 49ers took the league by storm last season, thanks to their dominant rushing attack and George Kittle, as well as their great pass rush. However with Arizona getting better and other teams like Seattle and Minnesota doing well, they will miss the postseason.
Seattle Seahawks-The Seahawks will be the second wild card in the postseason
The Seahawks got much better in the offseason. They added, most importantly, Jamal Adams, but also Greg Olsen, Bruce Irvin and Philip Dorsett. The Seahawks will do very well in 2020.