Extremely Early NFL Predictions

Peyton Manning to LA?

Peyton Manning is and has been one of the most recognizable faces in the NFL over the past 16 years. While many anticipated the Sherriff riding off into the sunset after his victory in Super Bowl 50, Manning has given no indication for that to be the case. The Rams are one of the few quarterback needy teams in the NFL and recently moved to Los Angeles, showing a fit for Manning certainly exists. Manning has never been one to shy away from the spotlight, and is always endorsing various brands both in and outside of commercials. While Manning and L.A. seem to be a perfect match in terms of needs and personality, whether or not Peyton would be successful is a whole other issue.

The Panthers Will NOT Make Another Super Bowl Run

The 2015 season for the Carolina Panthers was nothing short of magical. Cam Newton won the NFL’s MVP and brought a sense of energy to a franchise that has one of the smallest market shares in the league. After dominating the regular season with a 15-1 record, the Panthers smashed their way through the playoffs and into the Super Bowl. However, losing the NFL’s biggest game in poor fashion certainly will leave players and fans with a bad taste in their mouths entering the 2016 season. The Panthers showed little to no toughness or emotional fortitude during the Super Bowl, which had been the first time the team really faced adversity. Newton’s ability as a leader has been under fire for the past two weeks, and the team has given no indication they will use the pain from losing as motivation. Due to these factors, it will be unlikely the Panthers will play in Super Bowl 51.

No Team Will Have Fewer Than Four Wins in The Regular Season

Many fans may be unaware, but the level of competition between teams was especially high in 2015. Most teams were not eliminated from playoff contention until very late in the season and the fight for home field advantage in the playoffs came down to the wire in the AFC. In addition, the NFL has quietly been rid of a problem that has haunted many bad teams in the past: bad quarterback play. With teams like the Jaguars, Buccaneers and Titans finally finding their respective franchise quarterbacks, their ability to win close games increases tremendously. Teams like the 2004 Lions, who went 0-16, may be a thing of the past. In 2016, the level of competition could be as high as ever, potentially making it so no team loses more than 12 games. The only team that could potentially threaten this prediction is likely the Cleveland Browns, who are deprived of talent and a serviceable QB. However, I have confidence in the team’s new head coach, Hue Jackson.

The Oakland Raiders Will Be a Playoff Team Next Year

In 2015, the Raiders showed great promise. They have an up and coming star under center with Derek Carr, a potentially elite wide receiver in Amari Cooper and an often overlooked defensive stud that is Khalil Mack. While the team ended with a 7-9 record, they showed they can play with any team in the NFL and were once in the hunt last season. Look for the Raiders to rack up 9 or 10 wins in 2016 and snag a wild card spot, or maybe even win the AFC West. Only time will tell as the new season approaches.