It’s Labor Day. I just got back from the pool with the family. Headed to a cookout tonight. This is it. Summer is over. Luckily that means one thing…….pumpkin spice lattes are back.
Well and football. That’s back as well.
Every year this is one of my favorite articles to write. As the self proclaimed “Hot Take Kid” on Twitter I’ve made a name for myself making predictions that may or not come true. One thing is always the same……..I believe each and everyone of these predictions are possible. Far fetched? Yes some of them might be but if this time last year I would have told you Chiefs rookie Kareem Hunt would lead the NFL in rushing, Andy Dalton would throw more touchdown passes than Drew Brees, or the Jaguars would make it to the AFC Championship game you would have called me crazy. All those things happened in 2017 and if we can be honest……crazy stuff is why we watch sports. It’s also why people watch “Game of Thrones” and it’s why I’ve watched professional wrestling religiously since I was a kid. We like not knowing what’s going to happen. We like being surprised. No sport gives us those moments quite like the NFL.
Even more than making crazy predictions, my absolute favorite part of writing this article is gathering hot takes from my colleagues around the Baltimore sports landscape. This year we have bigger and better names than we ever have before. Media folks from 105.7 The Fan, WNST and The Baltimore Sun. TV personalities from WMAR and WJZ. Bloggers from Baltimore Beatdown and Russell Street Report. Fellow podcast hosts like Josh Sroka from Section 336 and Chris Schisler from Ebony Bird. Even two guys who literally work for the Baltimore Ravens. I have mad respect for all 25 of these individuals and I’m truly humbled that they took time out of their holiday weekend to participate in this crazy project. I’ve included a hyperlink to their twitter account on their name. Be sure to follow all 25 of them asap.
So without further ado……
My 25 Bold Predictions for the 2018 NFL Season
The Browns will win eight games.
Pat Mahomes will lead the league in interceptions and also lead the Chiefs to the playoffs.
Saquon Barkley will have 1,500 total yards from scrimmage.
Adrian Peterson will have more rushing yards than Jay Ajayi.
Chris Hogan will have 100+ catches.
The Raiders will win ten games.
The Seahawks will lose ten games.
The Buffalo Bills will have the 1st overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Cam Newton will have career highs in passing yards and touchdown passes.
David Johnson will lead the league in rushing touchdowns.
Ricky Seals-Jones will finish as a top 12 fantasy tight end.
The Bengals will lead the league in sacks.
The Chargers will lead the league in interceptions.
With the addition of Khalil Mack the Bears will have a top five defense and win the NFC North.
Browns head coach Hue Jackson will be the first head coach fired.
Jameis Winston will be the second starting quarterback benched……after Nathan Peterman.
Alvin Kamara will approach 1,000 yards RECEIVING.
Three teams in the NFC East will finish with a winning record.
Only one team in the AFC South will finish with a winning record.
Speaking of the Colts…….Andrew Luck will throw 30+ touchdowns.
This will be J.J. Watt’s final season in Houston.
This will also be Jimmy Smith and Terrell Suggs’ final seasons in Baltimore.
Lamar Jackson will start at least two games at quarterback for the Ravens this season.
The Patriots will defeat the Chargers in the AFC title game.
The Minnesota Vikings will defeat the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII and it will be the last time we see Tom Brady or Gronk in a Pats uniform.
Wow my fingers are literally on fire from all those hot takes. Gonna need a new keyboard. Here are 25 bold predictions from our friends in the Baltimore sports media……..
Ezekiel Elliot’s is the number one back in the NFL… the Giants win the NFC east, Amari Cooper will be a top 5 receiver… Pat Mahomes will be a bust.
My prediction is that John Brown will be a 1,000-yard receiver again. He’s easily been the team’s most explosive offensive player on the practice field this summer, and he’s been a big-play threat throughout his career whenever he’s been healthy. He’s motivated after back-to-back disappointing seasons in Arizona, and I expect him to have a big season in 2018.
Mitch(ell) Trubisky’s Chicago Bears under new HC Matt Nagy will be the most improved team in the league. All 5 1st round rookie QBs will start a game & Offensive RoY Saquon Barkley will have over 1500 yards from scrimmage.
I’ll give ya two….Pat Mahomes makes the Pro Bowl and Ravens rookie linebacker Kenny Young leads the team in tackles.
For the first time since 2008, Tom Brady will fail to throw 25 touchdown passes in a season.
Keeping things local, a fully healthy Joe Flacco silences the critics and turns in a career year.
The Cleveland Browns will win four games this season.
Aaron Rodgers wins league MVP and Comeback Player of the Year award. I’m looking for him to come close to breaking Peyton Manning’s touchdown record of 55 and a return to the playoffs for a deep Super Bowl run.
I think the Flacco hatred stops this year. He is healthy and finally has pass catchers around him. He is going to throw for 4000 yards and lead the Ravens back into the playoffs with an 11-5 record.
Marquise Goodwin leads the NFL in receiving. He will be the most targeted wide receiver in San Fran and has a great connection already with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Willie Snead will lead the Ravens in receptions. John Brown is the deep threat, and Michael Crabtree will the red zone target, but Snead gets open, Flacco trusts him, and he will move the chains.
The Browns, expected to take a big step up this yr, flame out as the crazy personalities on the coaching staff can’t mesh and totally implode. Hue gets fired after Gregg Williams (a la Buddy Ryan) and Todd Haley come to blows.
I think the Chargers beat the Ravens in the AFC championship, and Phillip Rivers wins his first Super Bowl.
The 49ers make the playoffs, even without Jerrick McKinnon. They will keep riding the Jimmy G wave, with the help of strong free agent additions and a solid draft class, into the postseason.
Flacco throws for 4,000+ yards and 30 TDs.
Marlon Humphrey will tie for the team lead in interceptions and be named a Pro Bowl alternate, making it an easier decision for the Ravens to part with Jimmy Smith next offseason.
The Ravens will win the AFC North and get to the AFC Championship game.
After a breakout year in 2017, Matt Judon will lead the AFC in sacks and earn DPOY honors.
Ravens finish 7-9. Even though they miss the playoffs again. John Harbaugh and his staff return for 2019. Joe Flacco does not.
The Ravens will begin the season 12-0. They will abandon hope for a perfect season after clinching the AFC North and finish the season 15-1.
Ronnie Stanley will vault himself into the top group of offensive tackles in the league. He’s flashed big time play in his first two years in the league, but injuries have held him back. We have him with just one pressure allowed this preseason and I think he stays healthy and elevates his game in 2018.
Some NFL team this year will break the league record of 589 points scored in a regular season, set by the 2007 New England Patriots. As defenses grapple with rules restricting contact and offensive coordinators across the league get more creative, I’m guessing some team will find the perfect balance of talent and scheme to post a historic point total. I’m just not sure who it’ll be quite yet.
The Bears will won the NFC North. I know this sounds absurd, But with the additions of Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, Try Burton, Anthony Miller and Allen Robinson, the Bears have put themselves in position to well on both sides of the ball as Mitch Trubisky continues to develop. Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford have to be having nightmares, knowing that Vic Fangio is gonna let them loose on the field. There’s simply too much talent to ignore, anymore and i believe Chicago will capitalize off of it quickly.
Cam Newton will get back to an MVP level of play. The Panthers will win the NFC South and the Saints, who some see as a Super Bowl contender make the postseason as a wild card.
Justin Tucker will break Matt Prater’s record by making the longest field goal in nfl history this year.