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Wow four ways at the start of this article. Because yes we are way to far away to make bold predictions but the further away from the season the more bold they get. So here are some probably wrong bold takes for the 2018 NFL season. Way way way to early version.
1. Derek Carr will return to his 2016 form and be considered one of the leagues best QB’s again. I don’t really think this is too crazy. I think most people forget Carr suffered a pretty horrendous back injury in week 4 against the Broncos. Up to that point Carr had thrown for over 500 yards and six touchdowns in just three games. His interception numbers went up during his back injury, eight between weeks five and nine but after that Carr only threw 5 interceptions in weeks 10-16, the NFL average for QB’s last year. Carr didn’t have an awful year, he had a horrific injury that contributed to a down stretch. I think he will rebound to his MVP candidate form this year especially with the addition of Martavis Bryant to the receiving core.
2. The New York Giants will win the NFC East. No team has won the NFC East Back to back in 9 years. Yes the Eagles are a loaded team but this Giants roster is actually really good. It is easy to look at the record last year and dismiss this team as a veteran laden pile of slop. That couldn’t be further from the truth. This team just added the best running back in the draft. Odell isn’t the only receiving threat they have, Sterling Sheppard and Evan Engram are quality offensive pieces in the passing game as well. The Giants O line is still suspect but they made moves adding Nate Solder to try to improve it, and the defense is still one of the best in the league and added linebacker Alec Ogletree. The biggest question mark on this team is Eli. You are fooling yourself if you don’t see that he is in steep decline but if Pat Shurmur can turn Case Keenum into a top ten QB why not Eli Manning?
3. The Patriots will not get a first round BYE. This might be the least bold of my bold predictions. The Patriots will obviously make the playoffs and easily, again, win the AFC East but this year they might have a few more speedbumps than others. The defense especially the secondary is still fairly non existent, Stephon Gilmore is currently their number one corner and then it falls off significantly. The Patriots have a rough schedule and I could very easily see five to six losses for this team. It may not be as easy as in previous years for Belichick and his crew.
4. The Los Angeles Chargers will win the AFC Championship. Look at the roster. It is absolutely loaded at every single position. The argument against this is that the Chargers are haunted, doomed to fail simply because they are the Chargers. That’s how good this team is no one can come up with a legitimate football reason that they shouldn’t be considered Super Bowl contenders. They improved the offensive line, they get their first round pick from last year, Mike Williams, back have a top ten running back a young transcendent tight end, the deepest corner back roster in the league and a fierce pass rush. Other than “they are the chargers” tell me why this team can’t win a Super Bowl.