2017 NFL Predictions – Super Bowl LII Winner Pick

2017 Team by Team Analysis and Predictions to Win the Super Bowl
by Jay, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com

With a new season on the horizon, there are a lot of changes that are in store for 2017. We have had coaching changes, off-season acquisitions and new incoming talent via the NFL Draft that will have effects on the teams that we see on the field in 2017. While it may be a little too early to tell which teams had the best offseason moves in terms of acquiring talent, it is never too early to make predictions based on those offseason moves and the existing talent that we witnessed on the field last season. Let’s take a look as I break down my predictions for each NFL team for the upcoming 2017 season!

AFC East

Buffalo Bills – The long term concerns of quarterback Tyrod Taylor have not been shaken since 2016 and this season will likely be a deciding factor for the dual threat QB’s future in Buffalo. Still, this is running back LeSean McCoy’s offense and perhaps more so now than ever with former backup Mike Gillislee moving on to New England. Offensively, I do not see any big changes. Instead, Buffalo’s success rides on the changes to their defense, which will be without star CB Stephon Gilmore, who also went to their AFC East rival Patriots. First year Head Coach Sean McDermott will focus on converting the defense back to a traditional 4-3 scheme following Rex Ryan’s failed 3-4 approach. Perhaps the scheme is not as big of a concern as the lack of pass rushers which will likely cause problems throughout the year. There is no way around the concerns upfront on both sides of the ball which will contribute to an uphill climb for McDermott in 2017.

Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins defined inconsistency in 2016. They started off by losing 4 of their first 5 games, then won 9 of their next 10 games, and ultimately suffered back to back losses to the Patriots to end the regular season, followed by a first round exit to the Steelers in the playoffs. The offense was equipped with talent with the emergence of running back Jay Ajayi and developed threats stemming from receivers Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker. The problem most frequent throughout the season stemmed from injuries. The offensive line was consistently without starters and even QB Ryan Tannehill went down at the end of the year. Note: At time of print, Tannehill is banged up and his status for 2017 is unknown) Though, an argument could be made that backup Matt More was equally effective. For 2017, most of the same talent returns on offense which is reason for optimism, especially if they can stay healthy. If Tannehill can play better, the Dolphins could have even bigger opportunities. A lot of the offseason was focused on improving the defense which could bump this team up to the next level. Either way, the Dolphins should be the clear number 2 in the AFC East.

New England Patriots – The defending Super Bowl Champions are likely going to be even better in 2017. They made some great offseason moves acquiring (stealing) CB Stephon Gilmore, WR Brandin Cooks, TE Dwayne Allen, and running back Mike Gillislee. Gilmore gives the defense another big time corner and Cooks is one of the best deep threats in the league. I also believe Gillislee will find a way to thrive in this offense. How will Belichick use all of this newfound talent? Well, that will likely be a mystery from week to week. However, the Patriots have perhaps more talent now than we have seen in the last several years. QB Tom Brady has shown no signs of age and on paper, this will clearly be the best team in football voiding any catastrophic injuries.

New York Jets – Unfortunately for Jets’ fans, last year’s 5-11 record may be a goal for 2017. I know that is a harsh statement out of the gates, however, this team lost most of its playmakers and they did not have many to start with. WR Brandon Marshall is gone, WR Eric Decker is gone, Quincy Enunwa is OUT for the season and both quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith are now out the door. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg will battle Josh McCown into the preseason for the starting job. If that is not reason enough to be worried, there is not much talent to be found anywhere on the offensive side of the ball. It’s anybody’s guess who will line up at WR until opening day. For the defense, I really like some of the guys the Jets added to their roster in the NFL Draft which should give them the option to focus solely on the offense for the next few years. Still, tough times are inevitable for the immediate future. The good thing about the Jets projecting to be bad is that they should offer some tremendous point spread value. Remember, good teams win and bad teams cover. Nobody will want to be on this team and the bookies know that. Sportsbooks don’t generally give out free money, so don’t be surprised if they are a loser on the field and a winner at the windows.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens are another team that are lacking some firepower going into 2017. The roster has been depleted and QB Joe Flacco has very few weapons to target in the passing game following a 20 touchdown/15 interception 2016 campaign. There is still hope that WR Jeremy Maclin turns into the playmaker that the Ravens signed up for. However, there is a lot more hope than promise right now. Defensively, the Ravens should be solid, especially in the secondary. Therefore, I feel they will find ways to be competitive. Will they find ways to win?

Cincinnati Bengals – Do we truly ever know what to expect from the Bungles? It seems Cinci always fails to meet expectations whether they are good or bad. The Bengals were competitive in 2016 but they let most games slip away. Injuries were differently a factor. In fact, star TE Tyler Eifert and WR A.J Green only shared the field in a handful of games together. As a result, the offense never had much firepower producing just 20.3 points per game (24th in NFL). If the offense can stay healthy, improvement should be certain. Rookie John Ross is a speedster that could bring a deep threat to the group as well. Defensively, the Bengals are fairly mediocre especially along the defensive front and defensive backfield. The linebacker corps are solid but the rest of the group will be a work in progress.

Cleveland Browns – Fresh off the worst season in franchise history, the Browns will try to make some type of improvement in year number 2 under Hue Jackson. Last year’s 1-15 record was comical at times and downright sad in others. However, the team is still a mess that lacks talent. QB Brock Osweiler is the expected starter this year following a quarterback carousel that featured Robert Griffin, Josh McCown, and Cody Kessler from 2016. The quarterback carousel could continue with McCown and rookie DeShone Kizer attempting to get into the mix. Either way, there are not any weapons to target. The Browns lost receivers Terrelle Pryor, Andrew Hawkins, and finally pulled the plug on Josh Gordon. The only incoming option is WR Kenny Britt who is nothing special. The good news is that draft picks Myles Garret and Jabrill Peppers are going to be future superstars for the defense if Cleveland can keep them in town. After another expected dismal season upcoming in 2017, perhaps the Browns can finally get a franchise quarterback with another high draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers dominated the AFC North last year with a 9-3 conference record and 11-5 mark overall. Early indicators would point towards another repeat performance again this year, at least within the division. QB Ben Roethlisberger turned down retirement thoughts to return, which means the big 3 will be back together with WR Antonio Brown and RB LaVeon Bell. That trio alone could win the AFC North. The defense also improved in 2016 and there is a strong likelihood that they could be better again in 2017. From 11-5 last year, I would expect similar expectations again in 2017.

AFC South

Houston Texans – The Texans have an intriguing outlook in 2017. There are numerous question marks on the offensive side of the ball and all kinds of promising signs on the defensive side of the football. On defense, the line will be anchored with JaDeveon Clowney and the return of JJ Watt which will make up one of the best front 7 in football. Offensively, playmakers are in place with receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller (Out 2-3 months with busted collarbone) to go along with running back Lamar Miller. However, the main question is the quarterback situation that will likely fall into the hands of rookie Deshaun Watson at some point this season. Even if Watson is not ready to start, he should, considering he is the only viable threat they have to win with at the position. Watson is a very gifted athlete but the key will be his decision making at the next level. The success of Houston from a playoff standpoint likely rides on the arm of a rookie quarterback. Then again that worked out well for another Texas team last year!

Indianapolis Colts – I use to consider the Colts the yearly favorite in the AFC South without much hesitation. However, recent years have proven that Andrew Luck cannot do it on his own. There were some offseason moves to try to get more skill position talent with RB Christine Michael and WR Kamar Aiken coming onboard along with a host of defensive guys. The defense has been a nightmare in recent seasons and still demands a turnaround for this Colts’ team to return to playoff contention. Unfortunately even with a talented offense, I don’t see this team getting past their defense and coaching issues. Expect another mediocre season under Chuck Pagano.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Despite some elevated expectations last year, the Jaguars still remained among the bottom dwellers of the AFC with a 3-13 record. It has now been 7 years since the Jags won more than 5 games in a season. However, Jacksonville is not going to continue down that path without serious effort to turn things around. The offseason was spent making a lot of moves primarily to add talent to the defense. The offense is developing and I am excited to see what rookie RB Leonard Fournette can do for this franchise. However, immediate success still revolves around the play of QB Blake Bortles. Bortles has been great in some games and absolutely awful in others. Sometimes he has been both in the same game. Therefore, this team can only go as far as he takes them!

Tennessee Titans – Call me crazy but I think the Titans are a potential contender this year, especially in the AFC South where there should be a significant level of volatility throughout the season. The offense has weapons in place with QB Marcus Mariota entering year 2 along with talents like RB DeMarco Murray, TE Delanie Walker, and the offseason addition of WR Eric Decker. Additionally, the defense has been making steps forward as well, anchored by a solid front 7. If they can stay healthy on defense, this team has the potential to improve on last year’s 9-7 mark. If that happens, an AFC South crown is within reach. I’d recommend an OVER 9 wins bet prior to the season starting.

AFC West

Denver Broncos – From a Super Bowl win in Peyton Manning’s farewell tour to a 7-9 missed playoff record, that is what the Broncos accomplished in 2016. A lot of people will point to quarterback Trevor Sieman as the cause behind the drop in performance. However, Sieman did not get any help from his offensive line and that same line could not open up holes in the run game either. Running back C.J Anderson had a tough time staying healthy but rarely had room to run anyway. All of that caused frustration across the offense, especially with veteran wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, who both suffered drops in production. I am not sure if Sieman is the long term answer, but the Broncos need to get better among the offensive front before they can make that decision. Unfortunately for Denver fans, I do not see any major changes from the offseason that would hint towards improvement for 2017.

Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs should once again be in the thick of the AFC West Championship race which has become the most competitive conference in the AFC. The offense is still mediocre with the potential to be better. Tight end Travis Kelce is one of the best TE’s in the NFL and we saw the emergence of Tyreek Hill last year which garnishes hope for 2017. There’s been talk of getting Hill more involved in the offense which would surely make KC a more dynamic offense. However, quarterback Alex Smith still has limitations and that is why the Chiefs traded up to go after rookie QB Patrick Mahomes. I personally liked that move but it will be some time before Mahomes is ready to take over the reigns. Fortunately, the Chiefs still have enough weapons to remain effective on offense and they have a defense that will keep them competitive on any given week. Coach Andy Reid is one of the best in the business of getting the best out of his talent and I would not expect anything less in 2017.

Los Angeles Chargers – The biggest offseason story may not have been a trade or draft pick. Instead, it was the fact that the Chargers would be moving from San Diego to Los Angeles at the start of 2017. So how will the Chargers fare at their new home? Well, I believe they could take a step forward if they can stay healthy. Injuries plagued this team in 2016 in big ways. It’s darn near impossible to do anything on offensive when 2-3 of your offensive linemen are out each week. Furthermore, WR Keenan Allen was lost for the year, so was RB Danny Woodhead, and even overused workhorse RB Melvin Gordon went down at the end of the season. However, I think there is enough talent in place for veteran Philip Rivers to perform well, especially if Gordon continues to progress in the backfield. Add to the fact, the defense has one of the best defensive fronts in the entire NFL anchored by young DE Joey Bosa. There are plenty of reasons to be hopeful for the Chargers this season!

Oakland Raiders – One of the surprise stories last year, was the emergence of the Oakland Raiders. The team jumped out to an 8-2 start and even won the AFC West with an impressive 12-4 record. However, tragedy struck about the time the season ended when starting QB Derek Carr suffered a broken leg. Needless to say, the Raiders playoff stint was short lived and the successful season was washed away rather quickly. However, Carr will be healthy again once the season starts and the Raiders have most of their talent back with the exception of RB Latavius Murray. The team should be ok though as Oakland lured Marshawn Lynch out of retirement, Jalen Richard has a nice game and DeAndre Washington returns so there is plenty of reason to expect the running game to take a step forward. The only question marks I have for this team surrounds the defense which will likely decide how deep into the playoffs they can run. Anything less than an AFC West Championship would be a disappointment!

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys – America’s team finally made it back in the spotlight last year thanks to rookie sensations QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. It helps that the Cowboys have the best offensive line in football. Still, Prescott and Elliott are the real deal. Both have tremendous poise and show a knack for stepping up when needed. The Cowboys could still use another big WR threat to compliment Dez Bryant but they have enough weapons in place to maintain success. Dallas has been sitting on Brice Butler who I find to be very dynamic. This might be the year he gets some run. For fantasy football players, I recommend marking this guy down as a super deep sleeper in the last few rounds of your reserve draft. The Pokes defense is still an area of concern(s) but kudos to Jerry Jones for spending nearly all of their draft picks to focus on the defensive side of the ball. The NFC East will be tough this year and the Cowboys schedule will be very tough as well. (See: 2017 NFL Strength of Schedule) I expect a few bumps in the road but the Cowboys should still take home the NFC East yet again!

New York Giants – Typically when you think of the G-Men, you think of “offense” because of QB Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham Jr. However, it is the defense that carried this team in 2016. In reality, the offense was not impressive at all. Manning threw 26 touchdowns with 16 picks, the Giants averaged just 19.4 points per game (24th in the NFL), and also had one of the least productive running threats in the NFL averaging just 88 yards per game (29th in the league). Beckham did produce quality numbers but he was also the only offensive threat. That will change this season though, as the team picked up Brandon Marshall who will take some heat off Beckham. Over the offseason, the team lost Rashad Jennings. He was replaced with Shaun Draughn and rookie Wayne Gallman. The big question is how will the run game do and will they have an offensive line that can protect? Until then, not much will change.

Philadelphia Eagles – The Philadelphia Eagles added more talent than any team in the NFL over the offseason. Now it is just a question of will it all work? The offense added the likes of RB LeGarrette Blount, WR Alshon Jeffery, WR Torrey Smith, and QB Nick Foles. It’s still Carson Wentz’s offense, but now they have some talent to compliment WR Jordan Matthews. Blount will likely be used in a big way with Darren Sproles still fulfilling 3rd down duties. However, the weapons are in place for this offense to be dangerous. Defensively, the Eagles should be solid as well anchored by an extremely tough front 7. If the secondary can hold up, the Eagles have breakout potential!

Washington Redskins – I am not quite sure what the Redskins general management is trying to accomplish. They let both Desean Jackson (TB) and Pierre Garcon (SF) go in the offseason. They also franchised Kirk Cousins for the 2nd straight year. They brought in a few guys that could help with WR Terrelle Pryor and safety D.J Swearinger among others. However, I am not sure if progress has been made. The defense still needs help and will likely turn to young talent in hopes that development is an overnight success. I am not sure what to expect in 2017 from this team but I would imagine another modest effort that mirrors last year’s 8-7-1 campaign.

NFC North

Chicago Bears – From one enigma to the next, the Bears finally got rid of QB Jay Cutler but threw away the number 2 pick in the NFL Draft on another average quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky. If that move was not bad enough, consider the fact the Bears had just paid Mike Glennon 16 million at the quarterback position with the exit of Cutler. Early signs from training camp indicate Trubisky will not be the immediate answer meaning Jordan Howard should be expecting a heavy workload. The problem is defenses will know that which makes Da Bears offense somewhat one dimensional. Defensively, the team is solid but defense has not been the problem in previous seasons. Given the potential the Bears had this offseason, it has been a royal failure. It is apparent that the Bears have no answers to their current problems and it would not surprise me to see another 3-13 campaign similar to 2016.

Detroit Lions – The Lions had one of the least appealing offseasons. The moves they made did not involve many skill positions but they put serious effort into bolstering the offensive line. The offense does not have any superstars but they have plenty of talent. Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, and Eric Ebron will give Stafford throwing options. Also, having Ameer Abdullah back will help. Still, the offense needs another big time playmaker to hit that next level. Defensively, the Lions have been mediocre at best. They have concerns along the defensive line which will likely linger into the regular season. Detroit exceeded expectations last year but I expect a step back in 2017.

Green Bay Packers – When everyone was ready to write off the Packers last year, the team won 6 straight games and made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers compiled a season that consisted of 40 touchdowns and just 7 picks as he proved once again he is among the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Offensively, the team lost Eddie Lacy and Jared Cook. However, they picked up Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks at the tight end position. The running back position remains a mystery but the Packers proved last year they could prevail with Ty Montgomery. For 2017, the offense will remain dangerous as long as Rodgers is under center. The true question still surrounds a defense that was awful last year. The Packers did spend their first two draft picks addressing the secondary concerns but there is still work to be done. Either way, they should have no trouble winning the NFC North this year!

Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings finally parted ways with “All Day” Adrian Peterson over the offseason. They brought in Latavius Murray and took Dalvin Cook early in the draft to fill that void. Both additions will be useful and surely both guys will get playing time. I think Cook has a lot of superstar potential but it is too early for those predictions. Unfortunately, the Vikings offense will still be at the mercy of quarterback Sam Bradford while Teddy Bridgewater focuses on his knee recovery. Bridgewater is likely to miss at least the first 6 games of the season. WR Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen proved they had big game potential in 2016. They just could not sustain weekly expectations with Bradford behind center. Luckily, the Vikings defense is very good and should be amongst the best defensive units in the NFC which will be needed to take this team to the playoffs.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons – It was nearly a perfect year for Falcons fans in 2016. Matt Ryan won the league MVP Award and the Falcons nearly took home the Lombardi Trophy. Unfortunately for them, Tom Brady and the Patriots spoiled the Super Bowl efforts (or was it Atlanta playcalling? lol). Still, Atlanta exceeded expectations in nearly every way in 2016. Ryan was the best he has ever been and it will be interesting to see if he can maintain that success considering he had very mediocre stats in 2015. The offense is still loaded with talent with WR Julio Jones and one of the best running tandems in the NFL by way of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Defensively the group will be solid again. However, they need to find someone outside of Vic Beasley to rush the quarterback. If that happens, the Falcons could be just as good in 2017 and that means they will continue to feast in a rather weak NFC South.

Carolina Panthers – The Panthers went from a Super Bowl appearance to an embarrassing 6-10 record last year. The defense struggled, the offense struggled. Everyone struggled. I think the team realized last year that QB Cam Newton cannot do everything and that is why the Panthers spent their first 3 draft picks addressing talent on the offensive side of the ball. I am not personally a fan of the pick involving RB Christian McCaffrey at the 8th pick but time will tell. I am sure the Panthers will give him every opportunity considering the disappointment of Kelvin Benjamin last year (nice darkhorse pick for comeback player of the year) and the entire running game. McCaffrey is a player that will likely play a little of everything and hopefully that creates more space for Benjamin and TE Greg Olsen. Unfortunately, I just do not think enough issues have been addressed on either side of the ball to see significant changes this year to keep pace with the Falcons.

New Orleans Saints – The Saints continued to do what they have done every offseason under Sean Payton. They tried to bring in more big names like RB Adrian Peterson when they still have major issues on the defensive side of the ball that need the most attention. This has been a repetitive story for New Orleans over the last few years. QB Drew Brees is nearing the end of his career but is still very effective. Second year WR Michael Thomas has shown promising signs to take over the primary receiver spot with the exit of Brandin Cooks. However, the story remains that their defensive issues remain. In the last 8 years, the Saints have had a top 20 defense 4 times and made the playoffs in each instance. The Saints defensive ranks the last 3 years have been 31st, 31st, and 27th. Therefore, this promises to be another mediocre season because the defense has not been fixed.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Buccaneers had their moments in 2016 including wins over Atlanta, at Kansas City, and Seattle. However, they still barely missed the playoffs thanks in part to losing 2 of their last 3 games. QB Jameis Winston made improvements but he also got himself in trouble when he would lock-in on and stare down Mike Evans. In defense of Winston, Evans was the only reliable receiving option and his only go to option in needed scenarios. Hopefully, the addition of WR Desean Jackson will help matters as another big play threat that can stretch the field. The backfield will likely be another committee approach with Doug Martin leading the way. The defense is not great but they are not bad either. I can see the Buccaneers taking a step forward and getting back to the playoffs this season for the first time since 2007.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals got a big season from QB Caron Palmer last year but could still only manage to put together a 7-8-1 record. I don’t want to make any unnecessary claims but Father Time is starting to creep up on the likes of Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is still a top wide receiver despite his limited targets but I think everyone understands this offense will only go as far as running back David Johnson takes it. Johnson is one of the best in the business and will likely be a workhorse all season. If the Cardinals muster up some more magic on offense to compliment Johnson, they could make another run because defensively they will still be solid.

Los Angeles Rams – I was thoroughly disappointed with the Rams last season. I thought they had potential with running back Todd Gurley but their weak OL failed to create any running lanes. As a result, Gurley managed to pick up just 3.2 yards per carry, oftentimes getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage. I am not even going to pretend that I see any positives for this offense heading into 2017 with inexperienced QB Jared Goff behind center. Additionally despite the defensive line being one of the Rams’ strengths in 2016, Wade Phillips will be moving to a 3-4 scheme which has “failure” written all over it. Do not expect much from the Rams this season besides continued frustration.

San Francisco 49ers – The Niners will not have to deal with the Colin Kaepernick drama this season but they also do not have a quarterback that seems reliable either. Brian Hoyer is currently listed as the starter with Matt Barkley as the backup. The 49ers also do not have an established rushing threat as the season approaches either. The good news is that the team did pick up WR Pierre Garcon from the Redskins along with a number of other offseason additions. There are still some big question marks surrounding this team but they are obviously trying to make things happen. Unfortunately, they still have a way to go.

Seattle Seahawks – Despite some struggles, the Seahawks still managed to put together a 10-5-1 record in 2016 to earn another trip to the playoffs. Most of the skill position players will return, meaning QB Russell Wilson should be comfortable if he can get some protection. The offensive line was a big focal point in the offseason. The Seahawks brought in Luke Joeckel and drafted Ethan Pocic with their 2nd round pick. If they can get improvement upfront, surely TE Jimmy Graham and WR Doug Baldwin will continue to do work. Word out of Seattle is that Graham will see a larger role in the passing game this season. Wilson is one of the top quarterbacks in the league and becomes even more dangerous the longer the play stays alive. So if the protection is good, so will be the Seahawks. Additionally, the defense is still extremely talented as long as they can stay healthy. Therefore, I think Seattle is the clear favorite in the NFC West with the least amount of concerns going into 2017.

AFC Champion Prediction

New England Patriots +185 – It’s hard to bet against the Patriots considering the way 2016 ended, the additions the team made over the offseason, and the fact they still have the best quarterback and coach combination in the NFL. Sure there are plenty of things that could happen to ruin the Patriots season. What happens if Brady goes down with an injury? However, you cannot base expectations on anomalies. This is the best team in the NFL with the best staff and personnel. How can you bet against them?

NFC Champion Prediction

Dallas Cowboys +525 – I think the top 4 teams in the NFC are on a level on their own. Those 4 teams include the Cowboys, Packers, Falcons, and Seahawks. I believe the Cowboys are best designed for the long road when the playoffs come around. Last year, they got caught up in a hailstorm of offensive firepower that was highlighted by Atlanta with Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers’ 2nd half hot streak with the Packers during the latter part of the season. The Cowboys were caught off guard by the Packers firepower early in the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs. Dallas still nearly came back to beat Rodgers in dramatic fashion on the arm of then rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. In fact if a few questionable calls had not fallen the Packers way, Dallas would have faced Atlanta in the NFC Championship Game. This year, I expect Prescott to be even better as he continues to develop as a passer and Elliott to keep pace behind the best offensive line in football. Dallas needs the defense to step forward, but more than anything they just need to avoid getting worse. When the playoffs emerge again this year, the Cowboys will not look for a high scoring battle but instead will deliver a power football recipe that has been the foundation of their success. This will set the stage for one of the highest profile games in recent years against the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

Super Bowl LII Prediction

My prediction is going to shock people in similar 2007 fashion when the Patriots went undefeated in the regular season but still lost in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants. I don’t expect the Patriots to go undefeated this season but I do expect them to be the clear favorites throughout the season. Dallas on the other hand will not have a perfect season. They have a tough schedule and will likely suffer some losses throughout the season. However, I think it will make them better for the end of the year and that is when their offensive line will really take over towards the 2nd half of the season. This will be an epic matchup but Dallas’s ability to continually push New England off the ball will keep Tom Brady off the field. In the end, the Cowboys will hold off the Patriots 27-24. Of course, check back with me in about 5 months as this prediction could surely change! But for now, my pick is the Dallas Cowboys +1225. Find the absolute best paying odds on all futures bets AND lay only -105 (opposed to -110 elsewhere) at the web’s best football betting site: 5Dimes!

Be sure to check in weekly as I’ll be doing game preview writeups for all of Predictem’s SEC college football game previews as well as a handful of NFL games from the southeastern region.