This article is part of a series previewing the 2018-2019 NFL season where we will cover quick notes on all 32 NFL teams, favorite potential storylines, win-loss predictions, the playoff picture, and my picks to compete in Super Bowl LIII.
Welcome to my official NFL season preview series! I am excited to put all my scorching hot takes out to the world so when I only get six total playoff teams correct, there will be no way to defend myself. That being said, we are going to jump right into it!
New England Patriots
I was six years old when Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl. Brady is now 41 and coming off a Super Bowl appearance where he threw for over 500 yards against one of the top defenses in the NFL. There are no signs of him slowing down. Although I do believe that the past two years have not been the most talented teams the Patriots have had during the Brady-Belichick era, the wagon keeps rolling along. The defense was not good last year, and they did not make many offseason moves that would give someone optimism of improvement going into this season.
There was turnover throughout the entire roster. Some of the key losses from last years Super Bowl team were CB Malcolm Butler (still baffled he did not play in the Super Bowl), RB Dion Lewis, WR Brandin Cooks, and Brady’s blindside protector, LT Nate Solder. The team filled these gaps with the help of the NFL draft, replacing Lewis with Sony Michel, and Solder with Isiah Wynn. The team also went out and traded for numerous players (DT Danny Shelton, CB Jason McCourty, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, and OL Trent Brown), sacrificing future draft capital. With Brady’s window shrinking by the day, the organization knows it must be in “win now” mode after trading away the potential successor to Brady, Jimmy G.
With new pieces throughout the roster, and a tough three games to start the season, I would not be surprised if the Pats come out to a slow start, but this is the Patriots, and they will win this division once again going away.
Favorite Potential Storyline: Patriots start out 1-2. “Is Tom Brady retiring after this year?” He then goes on to reach his 15th AFC Championship game… some people never learn…
Prediction: 12-4 (1st in AFC East, 2nd seed in AFC Playoffs)
New York Jets
The Jets took a gamble this offseason, trading up to the 3rd overall pick in the NFL draft in hopes to land their franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future. They landed the guy that they most likely would have selected number one in the draft, USC’s Sam Darnold. After his preseason debut this week, there are a lot of good feelings about what the future of the New York Jets looks like with Darnold leading the way. That is about all the Jets fans should be feeling good about.
The Jets’ overall roster is just not very good. The offense is well below average at every position, with their top option, Robby Anderson, coming off a breakout season, but also having some trouble off the field this offseason when he was driving 60 over the speed limit, and threatened to sexually assault the officer’s wife while being arrested. That is always a good sign…
The defense is talented, but young. DL Leonard Williams and Safety Jamal Adams are two cornerstones to an elite defense, but until the Jets can continue to add depth to the defense and figure out if Todd Bowles is the coach of the future, I see the Jets struggling mightily this upcoming season.
To inject some positivity to a fanbase that does not have much to be positive about, I do believe the Jets are a potential candidate to follow the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl model if Sam Darnold proves to be a guy that can lead a playoff push. With a cheap quarterback, the Jets will be able to spend money in free agency to fill out the rest of the roster. Tom Brady is not going to play football forever, and in the coming years after he retires, this division could be Darnold’s to lose. The Jets would be able to build the rest of the roster through free agency from there.
Patience is key for the Jets. Tom Brady will be out the door before Darnold’s rookie deal is up, and that will be the time to strike.
Favorite Potential Storyline: Sam Darnold has a roller coaster of a rookie season (very likely with his playing style), and the narrative will change week to week trying to determine if he is a bust or the next dominant quarterback in the AFC East… I’ll give you a hint, we probably need more than this year to figure that one out…
Prediction: 2-14 (4th in AFC East)