WASHINGTON — This is my Christmas.
If you love football like I do, you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the 2017 NFL season, a season that promises to be quite fascinating for reasons beyond the field.
As is customary for my NFL preview, I’ll go division-by-division and predict win/loss records for every team. I’ll do an overview of each team and explain my logic behind each prediction, and I’ll probably say some stuff you don’t like about your favorite team. So just hope I’m loud wrong about your team so you can come at me on Twitter with some solid ammo.
Here are a few burning questions surrounding the upcoming season:
How bad will the Falcons’ Super Bowl hangover be?
If you thought Carolina faded badly after their Super Bowl loss, it’s going to be interesting to see what Atlanta does after blowing a 25-point lead in the most important game in franchise history. Matt Ryan is playing down the changes since that huge letdown but what happens when the Falcons inevitably lose a late lead or blow a close game?
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
How much does Tom Brady have left in the tank?
Tom Brady is double screwed this season. Not only is he on the front of the popular-yet-cursed video game Madden 18, but he’s entering his age-40 season — a season that very few quarterbacks have excelled in. If Brady doesn’t do a damn thing for the rest of his career, he’s the NFL’s G.O.A.T. at QB…but is he great enough to beat the Madden curse and Father Time in the same year?
(AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)
AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File
Will we get a 16-0 team and an 0-16 team in the same season?
It’s not only possible…it could actually happen in the same division. The Patriots look unbelievably good and the Jets look laughingstock bad (and that’s saying something considering we’re still giggling about the butt fumble). Both feats are so difficult to achieve that each has happened only once in NFL history. Could this be the perfect confluence of all-time great and historically awful?
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File
Will the shorter overtime lead to more tie games?
This season the NFL is trying something new (and very stupid): 10 minute overtimes instead of a full 15 minute period to decide the difference between a win, loss, or draw. If the aim is to decrease the injury risk to players being subjected to more time on the field, the league never should have changed overtime from the sudden death format. But if the aim is to reduce the likelihood of a tie, granting less time only increases the odds neither team scores.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
How widespread will player protests be in 2017?
Colin Kaepernick really started something in the NFL. Even though he’s not on a roster, many players that are have continued his silent resistance during the pregame national anthem—and it’s not just black players anymore. Was this just a preseason demonstration or will it continue into the regular season? And as a follow up bonus question…
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Is Colin Kaepernick going to land on an NFL roster in 2017?
As I’ve already said on WTOP.com, there’s no longer any doubt Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed. Not only is this former Super Bowl starter still good enough to play in the NFL; objective talent evaluators say he should be a starter. Will injuries and/or desperation prompt a team to finally prioritize football over so-called-politics, or will he remain out of the league?
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File
OK, enough questions — let’s get some answers. See the links below for my division-by-division preview, with predictions for all 32 NFL teams.
AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West
Playoffs | Awards