NFL 2020-21 Predictions (as of May 10, 2020)

If you haven’t heard, the NFL dropped its schedule on Thursday, May 7th. Using the fantastic site playoff predictors, you can predict the outcome of EVERY. SINGLE. GAME. That’s exactly what I did. I won’t display the weekly results, but I will provide my predicted record for each team, based on nothing more than my gut.

AFC

# AFC North 2020-21 Record 2019-20 Record
2 Ravens 11-5 14-2
6 Steelers 9-7 8-8
7 Browns 9-7 6-10
14 Bengals 5-11 2-14

The Ravens are bound to regress from last years’ historic season. The retirement of perennial pro-bowl guard Yanda will reverberate throughout the rushing and passing game. It won’t help that the rest of the division should improve as well. Every team in the AFCN seemingly improved this offseason, so the Ravens might not get as many “free wins” in the division this year.

# AFC South 2020-21 Record 2019-20 Record
4 Titans 9-7 9-7
9 Texans 8-8 10-6
10 Colts 8-8 7-9
16 Jaguars 4-12 6-10

Losing Hopkins will cost the Texans some games. Watson is good enough to carry his team to 8 wins, but they will be lucky to compete for a wild card. I don’t trust that the Titans will replicate their success from last year, but a whole season of Tannehill should put them in 9-10 win territory. The Jags don’t have easy schedule and there’s a lot of new faces in the lineup.

# AFC East 2020-21 Record 2019-20 Record
3 Bills 10-6 10-6
11 Patriots 7-9 12-4
12 Jets 7-9 7-9
15 Dolphins 5-11 5-11

Not much changes for the AFC East, aside from the Pats falling below .500 for the first time in twenty years. Belichick is a first-ballot HOF head coach, but the loss of Brady was just the beginning of the roster turnover in New England. I know some people are talking about “Tanking for Trevor”, but Bill is too proud to just give up on this season.

# AFC West 2020-21 Record 2019-20 Record
1 Chiefs 12-4 12-4
5 Broncos 9-7 7-9
8 Raiders 8-8 7-9
13 Chargers 6-10 5-11

I like the moves that many teams in the division made, which is why I have them all improving or standing pat. The Broncos and Chargers should be a little better than they were last year, but the Broncos will improve the most. Drew Lock looked the part of a franchise QB at times last season The addition of Jerry Jeudy with Sutton Courtland along with another year of development for Noah Fant means good things for the offense.

 

NFC

# NFC North 2020-21 Record 2019-20 Record
3 Packers 10-6 13-3
8 Vikings 9-7 10-6
11 Bears 8-8 8-8
13 Lions 6-10 3-12-1

The Lions will be the most improved team in the division, since Stafford will hopefully come back and survive this season. The Packers and Vikings didn’t do anything to improve very much this offseason. The Vikings lost some key pieces and it will take time for their draft picks to develop into replacements. The Packers just didn’t address their most glaring needs, which is subject to change prior to the start of the season.

# NFC South 2020-21 Record 2019-20 Record
1 Saints 12-4 13-3
5 Buccaneers 10-6 7-9
9 Falcons 7-9 7-9
15 Panthers 4-12 5-11

The Panthers are starting a new regime and there will be some growing pains ahead. The Bucs, who are already being crowned kings of the south haven’t even played a game yet. We’ve all seen this “superteam” story before and it rarely has the expected results. Not to mention, this is the most difficult offseason to build chemistry with so many new players due to Covid-19. 10 wins is a reasonable number for a team with a bunch of new faces.

# NFC East 2020-21 Record 2019-20 Record
4 Eagles 10-6 9-7
7 Cowboys 9-7 8-8
14 Giants 5-11 4-12
16 Redskins 3-13 3-13

The Cowboys and Eagles should both improve from last year. The Giants might also salvage another win with a healthy Saquon and another year of Danny Dimes. I don’t know what to make of this ‘Skins team. They still have a lot of question marks throughout the lineup and Haskins is probably the biggest one.

# NFC West 2020-21 Record 2019-20 Record
2 49ers 11-5 13-3
6 Seahawks 10-6 11-5
10 Rams 8-8 9-7
12 Cardinals 7-9 5-10-1

The Cardinals will improve their win total considering the amazing offseason they had. The acquisition of Hopkins gives Murray another legit target, and Simmons will be a field general on defense. It’s not that the Rams, Seahawks or 9ers did anything wrong, but I have them all dropping a game because the teams they play improved more than they did.

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