Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson works against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday in Atlanta. (John Bazemore / The Associated Press)
The NFL is finally back! A sense of normalcy has returned to fans across the country.
Normally, I would’ve had a whole article devoted to predictions and projection. However, I was busy with work over the weekend and needed some time to recharge my mental. I implore you all to do the same whenever you feel the need.
Now let’s talk football.
This will be an outlook on what I think will happen in this unique NFL season and I will also interweave some takes from Week 1.
Sidebar: Nothing that happened in Week 1 changes what I feel will happen during the season.
Super Bowl Favorites:
I see six teams with legitimate claims to who is the best of the best come February. Those six teams, in no particular order are the Chiefs, Ravens, Titans, Saints 49ers, and Seahawks. I think ultimately the Saints defeat the Ravens in Super Bowl LV. Let’s see how these six contenders fared in Week 1.
Kansas City kicked off the 2020 campaign by handling the Texans 34-20. Patrick Mahomes, who I feel will win the MVP for a second time, threw for 211 yards and three touchdowns. He is going to prove why he is worth half a BILLION dollars.
Baltimore handled the Browns, behind Lamar Jackson’s 275 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Rookie running back J.K Dobbins had his first and second-career rushing touchdowns. This team is going to be in contention for the Super Bowl and no, Jackson doesn’t have to do a thing differently. Cleveland looked like a complete mess and have plenty to address and tighten up before Thursday’s showdown with the Joe Burrow-led Bengals. Myles Garrett is my pick to win Defensive Player of the Year and Nick Chubb will win the rushing title.
Tennessee was able to come away with a 16-14 win over the Broncos in the second half of the ESPN Monday Night Football doubleheader. Stephen Gostkowski nearly cost the Titans the game as he missed three field goals and an extra point. He redeemed the nightmarish performance by kicking a game-winning 25-yard field goal. Tennessee will be a force to be reckon with again this season led by the 2019 rushing leader Derrick Henry and breakout performer of 2019 Ryan Tannehill.
The Saints are who I think will win Super Bowl LV this year, as stated above. Drew Brees is going to ride off into the sunset a high note. Alvin Kamara just got the extension he was seeking, tying him to New Orleans for the next six seasons. Michael Thomas broke the NFL record for receptions in a season last year with 149 and if his ankle injury isn’t too serious, expect him to be around that number yet again. The defense is nasty and somewhat underrated, which only helps a prolific offense.
Brees and company defeated Tom Brady in his Tampa Bay debut. Brees finished with just 160 yards but tossed two scores as well. Brady looked average at best, throwing for 239 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, including a pick-six. It will take some time for Brady and his new crew to gel together, so don’t lose hope just yet.
The NFC West is absolutely loaded this year. It’s probably the best division in all of football from top to bottom. The battle of top team will come down to the 49ers and Seahawks. The San Francisco defense returns 10 of 11 starters from their Super Bowl roster from a season ago. Jimmy Garoppolo could struggle as his receiving corps gets healthy on top of George Kittle sprained his knee in the 24-20 loss to the Cardinals. Speaking of the Cardinals, they are going to be fun to watch this year with the duo of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins and already showed what they are capable of. Hopkins had a career-high 14 receptions for 151 yards.
The Seahawks are very interesting and a team I can see in the NFC Championship game against the Saints or even in the Super Bowl. Russell Wilson is finally going to get an MVP vote and the fact he hasn’t already is criminal. In Week 1, Wilson went 31-35 for 322 yards and four touchdowns. Pete Carol seemingly gave Wilson the go-ahead to be a pass-first offense. Chris Carson is still going to be heavily involved and showed he has improved in the passing game by catching six balls for 45 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Seattle defeated Atlanta 38-25.
Regardless if your team is 1-0 or 0-1, what transpired in Week 1 is not going to be the end-all, be-all of the season. This is by far going to be one of the most bizarre and unique NFL seasons due to the limited fans being able to attend because of the pandemic. The addition of a third wild card in each conference is going to make the playoff race even more interesting and give more teams a chance to qualify.
If you are a fan of one of the 16 teams to win in Week 1, enjoy it, but don’t celebrate any division or conference championships just yet. If you are a fan of a losing team, don’t panic. There is plenty of season left and anything can happen. Let’s all just enjoy football being back when there is so much uncertainty in the world.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @KingEdward15 and hit me up about anything sports-related.
Be safe. Be kind. WEAR A MASK. ARREST THE COPS THAT KILLED BREONNA TAYLOR.