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2016 NFL Predictions

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Sean Browne, Sports Editor

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With the NFL season on the horizon, as a fan of the sport it’s only natural for me to do a division by division analysis of who will make the playoffs.

NFC West – The Seahawks, to me, stand out as obvious favorites, the core defense is still in tack with Sherman, Thomas, Avril and plenty of others.  Thomas Rawls coming off an ankle injury will not quite be Beast Mode, but good enough to keep the offense moving. Look for Russell Wilson to be a low key MVP pick, he seems to get better every game and he will definitely build off his 34 touchdown season.

NFC North – This honor would have gone to the Vikings but that was before Teddy Bridgewater went on Injured Reserve. I thought Teddy’s numbers would improve and that would help take the load off an aging Adrian Peterson. But I will never trust Sam Bradford, and for that I have to go with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Jordy Nelson is coming back, so definitely look for Rodgers to throw 35-40 touchdowns. Also, expect a much slimmer Eddy Lacey to have a bounce back season.

NFC East – While I say this with no conviction, the Redskins will win this division. The addition of Josh Norman will make this defense respectable, and with Kirk Cousins having plenty of targets such as Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, the Redskins should get by with 10-6.

NFC South – The Panthers are just too staked. I know they lost this past Thursday, but I still love this team. They have everything you want in a Super Bowl contender, a dominate front seven lead by Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly and a stellar passing attack lead by the one and only, Cam Newton. Plus, nobody in this division is even close to stopping Carolina.

NFC Wild Card – The Cardinals are an obvious pick, but I have to say I do expect them to struggle a bit this season. Carson Palmer showed you in last season’s playoffs that he isn’t a top tier quarterback, and this is an older team that will not compete with the Seahawks, so I see a 10-6 season.

NFC Wild Card – I’d like the Giants to sneak in to the second spot. This team is by no means great, their offensive line is a major concern, but the defense will be good enough to close out games late, and that is all Eli Manning needs.

AFC North –  The Steelers are an obvious pick. Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the game catching balls from top five quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. But the key for them is the same every year, keeping Ben healthy, if he is heading into January look for the Steelers as a Super Bowl Pick.

AFC West –  It’s the year of the silver and black. The Raiders have a good young quarterback throwing the very talented, Amari Cooper. Also, with a defense lead by Khalil Mack, look for the Raiders to finally be playoff bound

AFC South – In a division up for grabs, I’m going to roll with the Jaguars. Blake Bortles might just be the most underrated quarterback in the NFL with a very talented receiving core. Chris Ivory is a physical back and when healthy could get you 1000 yards. Also, with a revamped defense, 9-7 should win this division like last year.

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