By: Andrew Oak
Lets first start with Johnny Manziel. This kid is living the dream and he is eventually going to get the opportunity to be a franchise NFL quarterback. The Cleveland Browns are the perfect team for Johnny Football and heres why. There is literally no pressure on him this year. Lets face it, if the Browns are expecting a capable playoff team this year, than we have some issues. The AFC North is a hell of a division and with the other three teams being legitimate playoff contenders, the Browns are in a easy position. Lets start playing Brian Hoyer and lay the ground work for Manziel and then, he can be given the keys to the car. With Gordon suspended for the entire year, the Browns are stocking on defense for this year and are hoping that their offense can carry them just enough. They have a scrapped up WR core and there running game is depending on first year full starter Ben Tate. Having said that. Johnny is in the spotlight "on the field" more than "off the field" because he is a special type of player. PREDICTION: He'll be at the helm by Week 8 this year.
Next, we have the case for Aaron Rodgers. Last year, he was unhealthy for much of the season and played only 9 games. This year, his teams is coming back lock and loaded for another deep title run. The great QB's in the NFL lead their teams to title. Before last season started, the Green Bay Packers were in the same breath as Seattle and San Francisco. After a few changes on defense and a tuned up (and healthy) passing game, the Packers are back to title contenders. Rodgers, in my eyes, is the best QB in the league now. He is in his prime and has already won a championship and an MVP award. Yea, you could obviously argue that this season, you can choose another QB, but leading the charge and in his prime. Aaron Rodgers is going to make some noise this season. PREDICITON: Packers not only win their conference, they win the Super Bowl this year.
Third is the epic rivalry of Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. Another year, another legacy defining season to add to two Hall of Famers. They meet again this season in Week 9 at New England. Last year, most people think 'Home Field Advantage' really took its toll on New England and propelled Denver to go the Super Bowl. This year, I see nothing but the same thing. This year, Brady and Manning are primed for more record breaking seasons, once again, and a rematch only sees inevitable.
My sleeper team of the season is someone of a reset and reload phase. Their teams has been going through some hard knocks this season. Okay, well if that didn't give it away, I think the Atlanta Falcons are primed for a comeback season. Matty Ryan has his weapons back besides Tony Gonzalez and they have some serious depth at running back. PREDICTION: Matty Ryan and the Falcons will be a top 5 NFL offense this season and reach the playoffs.
Last but not least, the mystery of the NFC EAST continues. Okay, we know about the NFC West. Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals, Rams. Thats clearly the best division in football but something about the Cowboys always keeps me tuned in. This has always been my favorite division to watch every year. Every single coaches job is on the hot seat for the entire year. You will see the most horrendous single game defensive performances of the year. Someone always seems to get in trouble or want a trade out of town. Ranging from RG3 to Romo to Nick Foles to Eli Manning, the team that wins this division always has had to grind it out. This division has always been very physical and they all have significant rivalries towards every team. PREDICTION: Eagles, Cowboys, Giants, Redskins. Eagles only team that makes playoffs.
We will see if Michael Sam will get another chance, well see how good Jadeveon Clowney is and we'll check upon how lethal the Seahawks Defense can be again this season. Lets go to some predictions
AFC EAST - PATRIOTS
AFC NORTH - BENGALS
AFC WEST - BRONCOS
AFC SOUTH - COLTS
AFC WILDCARDS - CHARGERS, RAVENS
NFC EAST - EAGLES
NFC NORTH - PACKERS
NFC WEST - 49ERS
NFC SOUTH - SAINTS
NFC WILDCARDS - FALCONS, SEAHAWKS
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - PATS OVER BRONCOS
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - PACKERS OVER 49ERS
SUPERBOWL WINNER - PACKERS OVER PATRIOTS
MVP - AARON RODGERS (GB)
OFF ROY - BRANDIN COOKS (NO)
DEF ROY - KHALIL MACK (OAK)
COACH - CHIP KELLY (PHI)