2022's first NFL game is on Thursday between the Buffalo Bills and the defending Super Bowl Champions the Los Angeles Rams. Thursday Night Football is getting off to a good start.
Just before the season kicks off, I thought I would make some bold (I believe) predictions about a few teams coming into this season. Let's get it started with my boldest prediction.
The Broncos Go To The Super Bowl
I don't think the Broncos are going to win the AFC West. Most pundits agree that the Chargers are going to win that division. I think the Broncos have a decent record (more on that later) and find their groove and rhythm near the end of the season and go on a run all the way to the Super Bowl. There is a precedent of teams acquiring new quarterbacks and going all the way to the Super Bowl (Buccaneers and Rams in the last two seasons) so why not the Broncos?
The Broncos were the 8th ranked defense last season and 19th on offense. It's a feat that they were not the worst offensive team. Their defense for this season is looking to be equally effective, and having Russell Wilson as their quarterback will greatly improve their offense. I can see them having just a well-rounded enough team to win in the first round of the playoffs. Beating a team like the Bills or Chiefs in the playoffs is admittedly a tough order, but we have seen stranger things happen. Speaking of the AFC West...
The Entire AFC West Will Have A Winning Record
The entire AFC West is loaded this season. The Chargers, led by Justin Herbert, will probably win 12-13 games. This goes as well for the Chiefs. The Chiefs may have lost some firepower but any team led by Patrick Mahomes will win more games than they lose on his back alone. I have already made my opinion known about the Broncos. I think their balance of attack will be impressive. Is there a more disrespected quarterback in the NFL than Derek Carr? Last season, Carr ranked fifth in pass completion percentage, and he had the second-most game-winning drives in the league with six. Every team in this division can end the season with a winning record or at least a .500 record.
Ravens Win Their Division
The cinderella team is so much fun to predict. In this case, it is not that unrealistic. The Ravens went 8-9 last season despite the clown car of injuries. That 8-9 record is impressive, considering. They were without their franchise player Lamar Jackson, and they also were without two of their best cornerbacks in Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey. They were also without two of their running backs. This left them ranked as the 25th defensive team in the NFL. They were still ranked the 6th best offensive team, mostly when Jackson was back. With a healthy team and an improved defense, the Ravens are winning the AFC North.
Agree or disagree? Let us know on Twitter at @EnFuegoNow or @AJontheguitar. I can take it. If you want to bookmark this piece and mock my predictions in January, that's a good idea and I hope you don't.