The NFL is one of the hardest leagues to make predictions that accurately foreshadow the outcome of the season. This is mostly due to the frequent injuries, sporadic play from players and other variables within the violent game of football. Here is my attempt to make accurate predictions of the top five teams going into the 2017-NFL season.
5. New York Giants
Quarterback: Eli Manning
Ranked Defense: 10th
No, I am not saying this because I am a native New Yorker or because I am a New York Giants fan. Looking at the Giants this year, they are absolutely stacked. The Giants still have their star wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr; who is looking to have another fantastic year. However, one asterisk on his name is the recent injury Beckham Jr. suffered against the Browns in the preseason. The Giants also improved by adding a piece to their team, Brandon Marshall. Originally playing for the Jets, Marshall proved to be amongst the elite in this league. If the ball was within his grasp, somehow he would be able to collect. This dynamic duo is the most athletic receiving crew in the league. Hand-in-hand with these strong offensive weapons is the Giants defense. With all of these attributes to the team, there is one question that can determine the Giants’ season this year. “How will Eli Manning play?” Manning has proved to be astounding in specific moments. On the other hand, he has proven to be cringe worthy terrible in others. With the addition of Marshall, I have reason to be hopeful that Manning does connect with his receivers; therefore granting the Giants a successful year.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger
Ranked Defense: 12th
Pittsburgh is home to one of the most dynamic offensive trios in the NFL today. Unfortunately, the head of the three, Ben Roethlisberger may be hanging up the cleats after this year. To Roethlisberger, that is simply motivation to have an amazing year. Being one of the hardest quarterbacks to tackle in the game, he still is considered one of the top at his position. With his cannon arm, he will be throwing to arguably the best target in the league, Antonio Brown. Not only do the Steelers have the best receiver, Le’Veon Bell is the best running back in the league. Bell’s unique style of galloping through gaps in his offensive line propel his ahem amongst his fellow running backs. All in all, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be one of the most dynamic teams this year.
3. Green Bay Packers
Quarterback: Aaron “The Great” Rodgers
Ranked Defense: 22nd
That is my official name of the person who throws the football for the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is the reason why I believe the Packers will be the third best team in the NFL. With wide receivers like Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, Aaron Rodgers seems to hit his targets with such ease. Even with a lackluster defense, the Green Bay Packers offense was able to carry the team make the play offs and defeat the NFC champions in the first round. Aaron Rodgers is the heart and soul of this team. However, there is no one else I would rather have lead my team than Aaron Rodgers.
2. Dallas Cowboys
Quarterback: Dak Preskott
Ranked Defense: 14th
Stephen A. Smith calls them an accident waiting to happen. While the Dallas Cowboys have been subject to some shortcomings, the talent of the team has not been undermined. They still have the best offensive line in the league. They still have Ezekiel Elliot (who could have had the greatest Rookie season of all time), Das Preskott (who could have also had the greatest Rookie season of all time), Jason Witten at tight end and Dez Bryant at wide receiver. The only issue with the Dallas Cowboys is their defensive presence in high leverage moments. The Cowboys have shown a recent history of not being able to close out big moments. If they are able to finish and win games, the Cowboys can be a lethal threat to the league.
1. New England Patriots
Quarterback: Tom Brady
Ranked Defense: 8th
Tom Brady and Bill Bellicheck. What else do I have to say? They are the reigning NFL Super Bowl champions and are the best dynamic duo in NFL History. Bellicheck’s superior coaching skills and Brady’s play as the Quarterback of the New England Patriots have helped the organization reach success very frequently. The Patriots also have a very strong defense. Because of the greatness of Brady and Bellicheck, the New England Patriots will be back to back Superbowl Champions