New England Patriots (11-5): Their normal September damage-in duration — it includes a visit from the salty Steelers for the Sunday night opener — have to be excellent because the Pats regulate to existence put up-Gronk and amid several defensive adjustments, such as bill Belichick reputedly taking a greater fingers-on position with the play calls. The December agenda seems inviting with Buffalo and Miami coming to Gillette Stadium in Weeks sixteen and 17, respectively. However an identify protection could be difficult as ever because the reigning champs try to attain the extremely good Bowl for a fourth directly year, a feat most effective accomplished by using the Nineties payments.
Buffalo bills (8-8): Underrated squad that become hard down the stretch in 2018 at the same time as carrying the league’s 2d-ranked defense. Buffalo has a shot to start hot prior to its Week 6 bye, then build further momentum with 3 consecutive homes dates. If sophomore QB Josh Allen continues to progress, teach Sean McDermott’s charges ought to return to postseason for the second time in three years.
New York Jets (7-9): much less than best drawing every week four bye — specially for a membership seeking to mesh so many players and a brand new coaching body of workers. top risk to make hay at midseason, though, as Jets face seven consecutive teams that overlooked playoffs in Weeks 8-14. QB Sam Darnold have to make a jump in year 2, though his excellent pal is probably a defense run by means of ever-competitive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Miami Dolphins (3-13): A expertise-strapped team with a rookie head educate (Brian Flores) and a brand new QB1 (whether or not it’s Ryan Fitzpatrick or Josh Rosen … and each will likely get possibilities to begin) opens against four immediately 2018 playoff squads earlier than hitting the bye. proper risk this campaign is successfully over before it has hazard to get off the floor.
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5): Mike Tomlin has overlooked the playoffs in consecutive years simply as soon as as he heads into this thirteenth season at the helm. hard to spin losses of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell as a high-quality … but the distraction aspect must cross way down, the offense’s unpredictably factor have to upward push, and a proud crew that looks like a bit of an afterthought given how the countrywide spotlight is targeted on Cleveland should really marvel.
Cleveland Browns (10-6): top success finding a extra loaded roster, not to mention one with so many succesful gamers age 25 or younger. however rookie teach Freddie Kitchens will need to do extra than call plays, particularly meld a brand new-look staff and manage outsized expectancies. And the overarching inexperience could rear its head given the thrill affixed to a crew trying to break the league’s longest postseason drought by using punching its first playoff tickets because 2002. Baker Mayfield and Co. need to sense “risky,” however do not be surprised if they’re still three hundred and sixty five days away.
Baltimore Ravens (8-8): whether or now not they have been decoded by using the Chargers in ultimate season’s playoffs, 2nd-year QB Lamar Jackson and this offense likely won’t capture many teams by using wonder and will clearly ought to prove this assault can win via the air. despite the arrival of big name FS Earl Thomas, remaining 12 months’s top-ranked defense changed into stripped of many key vets.
Cincinnati Bengals (3-13): Zac Taylor has by no means been a head educate. Lou Anarumo is a full-time NFL defensive coordinator for the primary time. An O-line that turned into vulnerable, to position it kindly, in 2018 has already lost first-rounder Jonah Williams. This crew just does not feel equipped to compete in what otherwise stacks up as a loaded department.