The NFL preseason is finally here, with the regular season just around the corner. Although positional battles will persist through the preseason and some minor pieces may be added, most NFL rosters are set. Finally, we are at close enough proximity to the season to start evaluating the best teams from each division.
AFC East: New England Patriots
As has been the case for over a decade, the New England Patriots are favorites to win the AFC East. Quarterback Tom Brady is entering his age-41 campaign, though he is showing no signs of slowing down. Brady has thrown for multiple touchdowns and/or over 300 yards in 30 of his past 36 games.
The best tight end in football, Rob Gronkowski, plans to be healthy. Julian Edelman will rejoin the team after serving a four-game suspension. Meanwhile, Chris Hogan will serve as Brady’s go-to wide receiver, following the trade of Brandin Cooks.
First-round selection Sony Michel will play a role in the running game, alongside veteran Rux Burkhead and James White. The Patriots defense will continue to have legendary coach Bill Belichick at the helm, in addition to the return of linebacker Dont’a Hightower. In all, the upcoming season is one where Patriots fans can feel confident, again.
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers
If Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are all healthy, which they presently are, it’s very difficult to beat the Steelers. When those three players were active the past five seasons, the Steelers have a 39-17 record. In addition to these offensive weapons, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is likely to continue his ascent. Tight end Vance McDonald remains a steady pass-catching option.
Although there are concerns regarding the Steelers’ defense, as there was last year when the team allowed 28 points per game after Week 13, the offense should make up for it in a fairly weak division.
AFC South: Jacksonville Jaguars
The Houston Texans will certainly pose a threat in the AFC South, with the return of quarterback Deshaun Watson, though it’s likely that the Jacksonville Jaguars’ ferocious defense will capture the division. The Jaguars will have one of the season’s easiest schedules and a returning cast of defensive weapons. Leonard Fournette is at risk of recurring ankle issues, though he is an undeniable talent when healthy. Although the team loses wide receiver Allen Robinson, the additions of Donte Moncrief and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins should help bolster the receiving cast, alongside Dede Westbrook and Marqise Lee.
AFC West: Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers tend to underachieve, failing to achieve double-digit wins the past nine years. Still, the veteran presence of quarterback Philip Rivers should combine with a solid defense and offense to propel the team into becoming division winners. Last year’s team was unfortunate to go 3-5 in one-score games, meaning there should be a positive regression in store for a roster that’s even more experienced and talented. As long as Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon remain healthy alongside Rivers, the Chargers should have their best season in a decade.
NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles
As the Cowboys, Giants and Redskins continue to find their footing, the Eagles are coming off a Super Bowl win. They are the clear favorites to win the NFC East. Quarterback Carson Wentz may have lingering health issues, though the Eagles proved last year they could get it done with backup quarterback Nick Foles as well. Still, Wentz expects to be ready for week one, putting the Eagles and their impressive defensive and offensive strengths in a great position to again compete for the Super Bowl.
There’s no doubt that Wentz and other players with potential injury concerns are intent on effective offseason workouts. Professional athletes eat lots of protein and tend to work out in short sessions. Workout sessions do not exceed 60 minutes typically, since hormones that help build muscles tend to dwindle after one hour. Athletes also do not weight train more than two days in a row, though they are constantly trying to top their last workout with gains. Excellent form, exercise variance and conservative treatment of injury are prudent strategies for athletes.
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
The Packers and Vikings rivalry will continue to persist, especially as both these teams appear very evenly matched. The Packers have the quarterback edge with Aaron Rodgers, though the Vikings certainly are no slouch at the position after signing Kirk Cousins. The return of Dalvin Cook will also bolster the Vikings, though there’s no player in the NFL with more of a dramatic effect on a team than Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers have a suspect pass rush and questions on the offensive line, though the return of Rodgers may be enough to secure the Packers their division. The Vikings could very well end up with the division instead, though if Rodgers is healthy throughout the season, then the Packers seem like favorites.
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
The battle between the Saints and Atlanta Falcons is close, especially now that Julio Jones is at camp for the Falcons. Regardless, an improved Saints defense and the continuing emergence of Alvin Kamara is reason to believe the Saints are in great position. Drew Brees remains a very accurate quarterback, ranking second of 34 qualifiers in PFF’s Accuracy Rating on 20-plus-yard passes. He should connect with Michael Thomas, Kamara and Ted Ginn all season.
NFC West: Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are likely to win the NFC West on the continuing improvement of quarterback Jared Goff and tier-one running back Todd Gurley, who proved last year that he was among the NFL’s finest at the position. A potent-but-young 49ers team, an aging Seahawks team and in-development Cardinals squad do not have the comprehensive pieces of the Rams, whose addition of wide receiver Brandin Cooks gives further big-play potential. The team has a difficult schedule, though talented coach Sean McVay and his Rams remain the favorites in the NFC West.
The upcoming NFL season looks to be another great one, full of exciting teams and divisional battles that will satisfy any football fan.
Which NFL Teams Are Standing Out This Season?
We’re six weeks into the NFL regular season, and it is a good time to look at which teams show signs of being Super Bowl contenders this year, and which players you need to look out for. Of course, with a few months still left in the season, anything could happen. So if your team isn’t looking so hot right now, keep rooting them one, because anything can happen!
Pre-season predictions for 2018 NFL
What can be fascinating is to first look back at what everyone was saying before a football was kicked or quarterback sacked. Have the teams and players that generated the most draft-based excitement gone on to fulfill this promise?
Looking back to pre-season, many expected the LA Rams to do well with Sean McVay at the helm. Their record to date seems to back this up, as we will look at further below. Other tips that many had for teams to dominate their division in the 2018 NFL season were the Houston Texans, the Oakland Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars due to the players at their disposal, but these haven’t quite come off.
What all this shows is that while great fun, picking teams to do well before any of the action has kicked off is kind of hard!
Which teams have stood out so far?
As we head deeper into the NFL season, the following teams have shown that they are forces to be reckoned with:
- Cincinnati Bengals – with a current record of 4-1, the Bengals have started like a rocket. Playing against the Dolphins last week, they were down 17-0 in the 3rd quarter and yet still managed to pull off a 27-17 comeback win. This sums up their play to date – not especially entertaining or dominant but always managing to get that victory. They have some great young players in their ranks, such as Andy Dalton, and a very competent head coach to lead them in Marvin Lewis.
- Kansas City Chiefs – if you are a Chiefs fan, then you will be loving the 2018 season so far! With a record of 5-0, they have really shown what they are made of. Hopefully, this winning streak will continue for the remaining of the season. Last time out, they put in a dominant performance to win 30-14 against the Jaguars. Linebacker Dee Ford and defensive lineman Chris Jones look to be the players that will really keep them on the winning track.
- Tennessee Titans – something of a surprise for many is the Titans’ current form and record of 3-2. The main driver here is their new coach Mike Vrabel, who has really built a strong team and winning mentality. Recent victories over the Jaguars and Eagles were done with key players missing and some, such as QB Marcus Mariota, even playing injured. Their main strength is a vibrant offensive game that sees them high up in the NFL scoring stats.
- LA Rams – beating the Seattle Seahawks last game weekend by two points was a close call but one that has given the Rams a 5-0 record so far in 2018. Much of their success has been down to star quarterback Jared Goff, who many believe will be an MVP candidate. Coach McVay has got them playing well especially on the offense and molded the players into a robust unit.
- Chicago Bears – another team that has stood out so far this season has been the Chicago Bears. A very decent 3-1 record sees them leading the NFC North. A 48-10 win over the Buccaneers last game showed what they are good at. A very aggressive defense keeps things tight at the back, while their offense now looks as good. QB Mitchell Trubisky has come to life, and jet-heeled receiver Taylor Gabriel is also looking good.
Get in on the action
There is no doubt that watching and catching up with all the action is amazing. If you want to get even closer to the game though, why not back your favorite team with a bet? Online sports betting not only allows you to profit from the teams that are standing out right now but also enables you to get all the latest news on your team’s progress.
The 2018 NFL season is already sensational
The 2018 NFL season is shaping up to be one of the best ever so far. With hard defenses, big-throwing quarterbacks and speedy offensive players, it all adds up to a superb spectacle for fans. If you enjoy football, then the above teams are worth watching.
Courtyard Seeks Passionate NFL Fan To Embark On Dream Season Of Travel
Lately, we’ve seen a number of “dream jobs” popping up, and Courtyard by Marriott is joining the fray as well, looking for their first-ever Courtyard NFL Global Correspondent. The gig? Traveling the world and attending the world’s most exclusive NFL events!
Sounds too good to be true, but it’s 100% real. Here are the details from their press release:
There are 180.2 million NFL fans here in the United States, but only one will get the chance to pursue their NFL passions and travel the world to attend exclusive NFL events as the first-ever Courtyard NFL Global Correspondent. The lucky fan will embark on a dream season of international travel and exploration to discover the passion that unites NFL fans around the world and share their findings with fans, followers, Courtyard guests – and the world at large.
“As a brand, we have always enabled our guests to pursue their passions both personally and professionally on the road, so they can continuously move forward” said Janis Milham, Senior Vice President and Global Brand Leader, Classic Select Brands. “This year we are extending that shared mindset to our NFL programming, giving one lucky fan the chance of a lifetime to pursue their passion for the NFL in a season-long capacity.”
This season-long opportunity will include travel to NFL events around the world, including games in London, Mexico City and Minnesota, culminating in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII. Courtyard is seeking individuals who have a love for and knowledge of the NFL, are comfortable in front of a camera, are passionate and enthusiastic storytellers and are always looking to move forward in their personal and professional journeys.
From September 6th through September 24th, interested fans are encouraged to submit a 60-second video online at www.CourtyardCorrespondent.com.
Aspiring correspondents must be passionate about the NFL, football, food and travel and be a member of either Marriott Rewards or SPG. Entries will be judged based on charisma, passion and overall NFL expertise. Finalists will advance to an interview round and the Courtyard NFL Global Correspondent will be announced on October 16th.
Not a bad gig, eh? So don some face paint, turn up the energy, and submit a memorable video that is sure to get you noticed. Who knows, you might just get the job!
Bud Light Kicks Off The Football Season With Two New ‘Dilly Dilly’ Spots
I don’t know about you, but I just cannot get enough of those hilarious Bud Light Dilly Dilly commercials. And lucky for us, Bud Light is back with two new “Dilly Dilly” ads to celebrate the long-awaited return of the NFL football season.
Bud Lights For Everyone:
During the college football kickoff weekend, Bud Light previewed this spot, which depicts our regal King gifting his kingdom’s loyal habitants with his favorite light lager, Bud Light, when one of the pub patrons asks for a mead. The ad highlights the one friend in every group who tries to show off their sophisticated palette, even when it contradicts the group’s preference.
This commercial introduces two new characters from the neighboring kingdom, Count and Countess Pamplemousse. The Pamplemousse’s represent the snobby friends you always seem to invite to a party. Royal Affair celebrates Bud Light as the light lager of choice for a large group of friends (and foes).
Here’s hoping that these two are just the first in a long line of Dilly Dilly commercials that run throughout the season!