Early Predictions for NFL Division Winners

Early Predictions for NFL Division Winners

With quite a lot of off-season still left to go, including the remainder of free agency, the draft, training camp, and more, there will be much movement in the rosters of all 32 National Football League (NFL) teams. However, after taking an initial look at the landscape of every division, here are my predictions on who will come out on top in each one.

American Football Conference (AFC) West: Kansas City Chiefs

The reigning champions do not seem like they will be taking a step back this season. Despite the division always being one of the toughest in the NFL, the Chiefs, led by Patrick Mahomes, always just manage to win. The Mahomes to Travis Kelce connection is as great as ever, and the team’s defense improved last year compared to previous years. While the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos may challenge the Chiefs’ divisional dominance, no one expects anything less than success from Kansas City once again.

AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals

There is a lot up in the air in this division, specifically related to Lamar Jackson. However, while this may make the AFC North one of the most chaotic divisions in professional football, the Bengals, with Joe Burrow at the helm, should continue playing at their elite level of the past two years, when they have made it to the Super Bowl and AFC Championship. If they keep on this trend, Cincinnati should get their third division title in a row, an achievement their divisional rivals will certainly not be happy about.

AFC South: Jacksonville Jaguars

The AFC South will likely be the worst division in football again this season. The Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans are in full rebuild mode, and the Tennessee Titans may also be heading in that direction. However, the Jaguars are in a great position to win the division this year, coming off an impressive end to last year when they beat out the Titans for the division title and made a miraculous comeback against the Chargers in the Wild Card Round. In addition, Trevor Lawrence has proved he is an emerging star, and the Jaguars have surrounded him with other young pieces that will help the team stay atop this division.

AFC East: Buffalo Bills

To say the least, this division will be a whirlwind this upcoming season. The New England Patriots are always in the mix; the New York Jets, if they can close the deal for Aaron Rodgers, are a team to look out for; the Miami Dolphins, when healthy, were very entertaining last season and should be again this year; and, the mighty Bills have been the team to control the division over the past few years. Although Buffalo has not been nearly as successful in the playoffs as they may have liked, they are still a force to be reckoned with in the NFL. Josh Allen should be in the MVP race once again and lead his team to another division crown.

National Football Conference (NFC) West: San Fransisco 49ers

Although no one knows who their starting quarterback will be to start this season, San Fransisco’s roster is stacked. They added more firepower to a defense already considered the best in the NFL by signing former Eagles lineman Javon Hargrave and have a variety of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, including dynamic running back Christian McCaffrey. While fans can expect the Los Angeles Rams to bounce back from last year’s disappointing campaign and the Seattle Seahawks to be competitive, the NFC West is the 49ers division to lose. 

NFC North: Detroit Lions

The NFC North will be a division to watch this year. With the Aaron Rodgers era seeming to be over in Green Bay, the other three teams, the Lions, Chicago Bears, and Minnesota Vikings, will likely be the ones tussling for the division title. The Bears may be a sneaky competitor with a developing Justin Fields and all the off-season additions they’ve acquired. We know the offensive powerhouse that Justin Jefferson leads in Minnesota. But the Lions will be the team to top the division at the end of the regular season. They ended this past season strongly despite coming up just short in their playoff push. This positive momentum will continue into this season with the help of an enhanced defense. The team signed cornerbacks C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Cameron Sutton, among others, to upgrade a secondary that was the team’s biggest weakness last season.

NFC South: New Orleans Saints

The Saints upgraded at QB this offseason, signing Derek Carr as their new starter. Consistency at the position could be all-important for the Saints, who will have skill-position players such as Alvin Kamara, Jamaal Williams, Chris Olave, and Michael Thomas lining up alongside Carr in the offense. With Tom Brady retiring, the power in the division is no longer solely in the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the Carolina Panthers, who own the 1st overall pick in the NFL Draft, and the Atlanta Falcons are heading in the right direction, the Saints are the most dangerous and enticing team in this division. They will win it this season.

NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles

Football’s most successful division from last season should be just as entertaining this year. The New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and Eagles all have their eyes set on that automatic playoff qualification that the division crown provides. The margin of talent between the teams is debatable, but, for me, the Eagles will come out on top again. Despite losing both of their coordinators and key players on both sides of the ball, Philadelphia, who came so close to outlasting the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, still is in a spot to win this division. With two first-round picks and emerging players from last year’s draft, the team will be able to make up for some of the talent they lost. And do not forget about Jalen Hurts; he will be in the MVP conversation once again after an exceptional season last year.

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