Monday 11 December 2017 / 08:33 PM

NFL 2016-17 FEARLESS PREDICTIONS

It’s time for the full NFL win-loss predictions and playoff predictions for the upcoming season, which commences on September 9.

We’ll start with the NFC:

NFC East

  1. Giants (10-6)
  2. Redskins (9-7)
  3. Cowboys (9-7)
  4. Eagles (4-12)

NFC North

  1. Packers (12-4)
  2. Vikings (11-5)
  3. Bears (6-10)
  4. Lions (4-12)

NFC South

  1. Panthers (13-3)
  2. Falcons (9-7)
  3. Saints (7-9)
  4. Buccaneers (6-10)

NFC West

  1. Cardinals (12-4)
  2. Seahawks (10-6)
  3. Rams (6-10)
  4. 49ers (3-13)

NFC Playoff Seeding:

  1. Panthers
  2. Cardinals
  3. Packers
  4. Giants
  5. Vikings
  6. Seahawks

 

The NFC is a deep conference, with three teams in the NFC East having a legitimate chance of winning the division. I went with the Giants due to knowing what they have, and the hard schedule in front of the Redskins. Obviously I don’t have much faith in Dallas being able to stay healthy, or hold up a depleted defense, but they will be right there.

The NFC North will be a race between the Packers and Vikings, and I think the Packers reclaim the throne. Not all is lost for the Vikings, however, as I think they’re a playoff team. On the flipside, I think the Panthers will again get the top seed, and they will be the only playoff team in their division

The West will be another year of the Cardinals, as the window looks to be closing. The Seahawks will be good again, and will be playoff bound.

 

NFC Wild Card

Vikings d. Giants

Packers d. Seahawks

 

Divisional Round

Panthers d. Vikings

Cardinals d. Packers

 

NFC Championship

Panthers d. Cardinals

 

The Vikings will have to go to New York, but I still think they are better than the NFC East champs. The Giants made some good strides, but I don’t think they’ve got enough firepower to match the Vikings. Of course, this is pending an improved Teddy Bridgewater. The Packers should get their revenge on Seattle as well. The Seahawks are good, but Aaron Rodgers is better. And if the Packs’ defense can hold up against the passing game of Wilson, they should move on.

The Panthers should get by the Vikings, as they are more talented. Their offense is better than the Vikings’ defense, and the Panthers’ D is better than the Vikings’ offense. The Cardinals will handle the Pack, as Rodgers can’t navigate two great defenses back to back. Furthermore, the Cards have the two-headed offense to make the Pack defense suffer.

The Cards will be looking for revenge in the championship after a drubbing by the Panthers a year ago. But I don’t think they get it. This is the Panthers’ conference again, as I just don’t believe in Carson Palmer against this defense.

Now for how the AFC unfolds:

AFC East

  1. Patriots (12-4)
  2. Bills (9-7)
  3. Jets (7-9)
  4. Dolphins (4-12)

AFC North

  1. Steelers (11-5)
  2. Bengals (10-6)
  3. Ravens (8-8)
  4. Browns (2-14)

AFC South

  1. Texans (10-6)
  2. Colts (9-7)
  3. Jaguars (7-9)
  4. Titans (4-12)

AFC West

  1. Chiefs (12-4)
  2. Raiders (9-7)
  3. Broncos (9-7)
  4. Chargers (2-14)

AFC Playoff Seeding

  1. Chiefs
  2. Patriots
  3. Steelers
  4. Texans
  5. Bengals
  6. Raiders

 

The Chiefs are getting the benefit of the doubt on beating out the Patriots, who will miss Brady for four games. Aside from that, the Steelers reclaim the AFC North, and both they and the Bengals go to the playoffs.

The AFC South is anyone’s guess. The Texans get in by a hair over the Colts, but it’s certainly a title that’s up for grabs. Whoever doesn’t win it isn’t making the playoffs, however. The AFC West after the Chiefs is similar.

The Broncos are still without a quarterback, and while the offense is good, this still makes me nervous. The defense also lost some pieces, so my shocker of these picks (that’ll probably come back to bite me), is the Raiders making the playoffs over the Broncos via tiebreaker.

 

AFC Wild Card

Bengals d. Texans

Steelers d. Raiders

 

AFC Divisional Round

Chiefs d. Bengals

Patriots d. Steelers

 

AFC Championship Game

Patriots d. Chiefs

 

Bengals over the winner of the AFC South feels like a safe bet, even with Andy Dalton’s struggles in the postseason. I don’t think the Texans have the firepower to beat the Bengals, even when they struggle. Steelers over the young Raiders is also pretty safe, as I think the Steelers probably have one of the best offenses in the league all over again.

In the divisional, I don’t think the Bengals are good enough to win in Arrowhead. This is a really talented Chiefs team, and beating them at home with a squad that hasn’t proved anything in the postseason is a lot to ask. The Patriots-Steelers matchup would easily be one of the best in the league, and it would be a show. The Patriots get the edge because of No.12, who will be back and with something to prove to the NFL.

The AFC title game will be a fun one, with the two best in the AFC squaring off. It would be huge for KC to win, but Brady and Bill are hard to beat in a game like this. Brady and company go back to the Super Bowl.

 

Super Bowl LI

Panthers d. Patriots

Yes, the Patriots losing the Super Bowl to a team not named New York. I must be crazy. But the Panthers have a massive chip on their shoulders and the best quarterback in the league. Cam Newton and the Panthers are uber-talented on defense, and if anyone can shut down Brady, it’s them.

2017 will be the Year of the Panther, and it’s Cam’s time to hoist the trophy.

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About the author

Austin Albertson

Austin is CBS' senior NFL and NBA analyst, bringing you commentary on everything between the lines and inside the hashes, from the film room to the scoreboard.

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