The Jags have traditionally been a bad team. But the Jags of late, have won in the playoffs and made it as far as the AFC Championship game. Last year, inconsistencies at QB and running back as well as injuries caused the Jags to struggle. Luckily this year, they have signed Nick Foles, the 2017 Super Bowl MVP. If there was ever a time for the Jags to put it together it would be right now. They have a decent offensive line, Leonard Fournette who has shown flashes of brilliance and the parts for a really good defense. The huge question to me is coaching, wide receiver ability and scheme. Obviously Nick Foles has proven to be more than adequate under the right coach. Under Chip Kelly he had 27 TD’s with only 2 interceptions, and under Doug Pederson he won a Super Bowl MVP. Nick Foles limited, yet adequate abilities will not be the problem in Jacksonville, he knows what he is, and so does the NFL. The pieces around him, like Fournette and the offensive line could be good if they can stay healthy. I don’t love the receivers, and I will be watching preseason specifically to see who stands out in this group.
I can’t give a record prediction because It’s very possible they will only win 5-6 wins but I could also see them winning 10+ games. Totally depends on the coaching staff.
I really like the Panthers roster. McCaffrey, who is becoming one of the best and most versatile running backs in the NFL, will hit his prime this year I believe and give Cam Newton plenty of space to work with. I imagine with a healthy Cam Newton they will be one of the most dangerous running games we’ve seen in a while. The Panthers have a decent offensive line and a solid overall defense. This will be the last try for head coach Rivera and one of the best tight ends of my lifetime, Greg Olsen. Luke Kuechly will need to stay healthy, and Cam will need to stay healthy, and everything needs to go their way for them make a run, but they are totally capable of it. I have them so low because I simply don’t trust Newton’s arm or health. He has streaks of offensive brilliance between throwing accurate deep passes and exposing defenses with his legs, but he also has streaks of failure. Between taking too many hits and being too banged up to deliver on occasion, and throwing under 50% completion. Cam is like a great basketball shooter, he gets hot and when he’s hot, he’s the best player in the NFL. But when he’s cold he’s a middle of the road guy and it can drag his team down too. Record Prediction 7-9
The Packers actually do have a decent roster, they have an elite left tackle in Bakhtiari, they still have a solid right tackle in Bulaga to protect brittle but elite Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is 35, he’s been hurt often the last 5 years, but every time he’s on the field he has been dangerous. Devonte Adams is becoming an elite wide receiver, and the Packers young running back Aaron Jones could be good. On the other side of the ball, the Packers are relatively secure, with Kenny Clark, Adrian Amos Jr, Mike Daniels, and Jaire Alexander they have some young capable talent all over the place on defense. There is no excuse for Aaron Rodgers the last few years besides his health. Everything else besides his health has been dysfunction caused by himself and Mike McCarthy. Can Rodgers mesh with new head coach Matt Leflaur? Rodgers has already bashed his coach and said that he was being asked to “turn off things” that “few quarterbacks in the league” can do.
The Packers might’ve scored higher on this list for having a good defense and Aaron Rodgers, but I don’t trust Rodgers health or his ability to mesh with his coach. I hope I am right, as I am a Bears fan and this could be portrayed as some sort of bias. Maybe. But I look at the fact that they lost to the Lions last year, and the fact that the Vikings and my Bears are significantly better than they are roster and coaching wise and I think that the Packers, and Rodgers specifically will have a rough year. 7-9