Dak the subsequent MVP? Steelers to make the Tremendous Bowl? Daring predictions for the season

An NFL season hardly ever pans out as anticipated and 2020 could be essentially the most unpredictable marketing campaign of all of them.

After a shortened offseason, which featured no preseason video games, the NFL will start on time, albeit with followers not current in sure stadiums, and in some circumstances for the whole 12 months.

But the specter of the coronavirus pandemic stays and there’s no assure that each group even completes a 16-game schedule.

Standard knowledge could due to this fact exit of the window and, with that in thoughts, we make some daring calls about what’s going to occur within the coming NFL marketing campaign.



Twelve groups at the moment have shorter Tremendous Bowl odds than the Steelers, however this can be a group that must be thought of among the many favourites… offered quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can keep wholesome.

In 2018, Massive Ben led the league in passing yardage (5,129) and completions (452) and threw essentially the most touchdowns of his profession in a single season (34), however solely performed twice final 12 months earlier than present process elbow surgical procedure.

It’s truthful to marvel how he’ll fare at 38 however Roethlisberger is sturdy – he missed solely three video games in three years previous to final season – and easily doesn’t have to put up the numbers he did in 2018 due to the protection.

In 2019, that unit led the league in sacks (54), takeaways (38) and was high 5 in each factors and yards given up. Roethlisberger’s return ought to support key offensive weapons JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner, whereas the offensive line is among the many finest within the enterprise.

Sure, AFC North rivals the Baltimore Ravens have everybody salivating, however the well-coached Steelers have not had a under .500 season since 2003.



Younger quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson have acquired loads of love over the previous 12 months because the darlings of the NFL, however Dak Prescott had higher stats in lots of classes final 12 months. 

Prescott, blessed with a fantastic offensive line himself, was second in passing yardage (4,902), fourth in landing passes (30), had two receivers go over 1,100 yards (Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup) and has now been furnished with a first-round decide in CeeDee Lamb, arguably one of the best receiver in school soccer in 2019.

His new head coach Mike McCarthy was in Inexperienced Bay when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers gained two MVPs, and he can get much more out of Prescott, who won’t wrestle for primetime publicity given he performs for ‘America’s Group’.


The normal consensus is the Jacksonville Jaguars will wind up with the NFL’s worst report in 2020 – and the possibility to possible draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence – given their aggressive rebuild.

But younger quarterback Gardner Minshew confirmed one thing in 2019. He was sixteenth in QB ranking (91.2), fifteenth in TD share (4.5 per cent) and twentieth in passing yardage. Minshew will definitely not be in on ‘Tank for Trevor SZN’ and people middle-of-the-pack numbers recommend he would possibly simply win sufficient video games to damage the Jags’ probabilities of touchdown Lawrence.

As a substitute, the Panthers might end with that ‘comfort prize’. Having misplaced perennial All-Professional Luke Kuechly to retirement, they’re set to area the NFL’s youngest beginning protection in 10 years, one which lacks depth, which suggests they might discover themselves in shootouts.

That is not excellent news contemplating their new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has handed for over 300 yards simply six occasions in his 34 profession begins. Head coach Matt Rhule presided over tough first seasons at Temple (2-10) and Baylor (1-11) earlier than turning issues round, and it could be an analogous story in Carolina.


Much less daring than the others, maybe, as Gase would look like on borrowed time with the New York Jets, who misplaced their two finest defensive gamers for this season when Jamal Adams was traded and C.J. Mosley opted out.

Gase, fired by the Miami Dolphins after the 2018 season, was dropped at the Jets to deliver one of the best out of younger quarterback Sam Darnold and repair a misfiring offense. That offense completed thirty first in factors and thirty second in offensive yards.

Darnold nonetheless has a paucity of offensive weapons, and the Le’Veon Bell signing hasn’t labored up to now, with the operating again having the Eleventh-most carries in 2019 (245), however solely averaging 3.2 yards per rush – the worst of his profession and solely the forty sixth finest within the NFL.

The Jets’ early-season stretch appears to be like difficult on paper. They face the Buffalo Payments, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers, Payments and Kansas Metropolis Chiefs of their opening eight video games. Gase, who was employed earlier than normal supervisor Joe Douglas arrived, could also be gone earlier than the leaves flip brown.

Revealed 11 Sep 2020, 00:08 IST

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