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Your Way Too Early 2017 NFL Division Standings

Posted by Radatz on February 16, 2017 at 12:25 AM

 

Welcome to the NFL Way Too Early Divisional Predictions for 2017. No draft yet? No coaches in a few spots? No free agency yet? So what? We'll redo all this if it's worth doing around June perhaps. I bet not more than a couple of teams change spots.

 

 

AFCE: Not a big challenge, really.

 

NE: How much of the champs' roster will be intact? Will they draft well? Will the Jets' impending housecleaning bring some affordable vets? Who knows? The more unknowns you have leaguewide, the more reason you have to pick NE. They'll win the division, one way or another.

 

MIA: Even without Tannehill for a while, the Fins managed to get into the playoffs. That's worth second place sight unseen.

 

BUF: The bumbling Bills have no real QB and no arguable coach. What's left will decline slowly as the effect on the defense of the Ryans and their predecessor Schwartz wears off. The only reason they're this high is...

 

NYJ: Will Woody go to London or stay? Does it matter? Who's the QB? How many vets will be cut in a housecleaning? Clady's already gone. More to follow. Stay tuned. It's getting blown up. Necessary? Probably. Good omen for the 2017 season? Probably not.

 


AFCN: Again, not a big challenge.

 

PIT: They may be NE's "little brother" as Ben says, but they're nobody's in this division.

 

BAL: Why pick these sad sacks for #2? Well, probably because of the alternatives. Also because you assume the Ravens organization will fix a few things at least.

 

CIN: They remain physically strong but held down by a boat anchor coach. What else do you have for an explanation? And they don't seem to be headed upward.

 

CLE: The more you read, the more it seems Joe Thomas is the GM. He approves of Hue. At 32, he approves of the new gradual rebuild strategy. Probably because nothing else has worked. Or because he figures he'll get dealt for assets.

 


AFCS: Now THIS is a challenge.

 

HOU: They're not exactly 'good', but the Texans do have some pieces. One assumes the QB situation will resolve one way or another. And they don't have to be 'good'. Note: if they sign Vince Young, pretend you didn't read this.

 

TEN: Here's the team that ended the season by beating Denver and KC, then, with a playoff berth on the line, losing to the Jags 38-17. Now their OT took a hooker home and got Mickey Finned to the tune of over $100k. Still, they showed some upside.

 

IND: They still have the best young QB in the division, maybe in the league. What else? Coming off a horrible 8-8 season that looked more like 4-12, they reupped Pagano. Kinda shakes your faith.

 

JAX: If they play every game like they played the last game of last year they could take the division. We say this every time they beat somebody. But if losing Gus really did make that difference, who knows? The division's so bad it could happen. But too many ifs at this stage.

 


AFCW: Less of a challenge than you think.

 

KC: Really? A team that can't crack the top tier? In the AFCW? Choice by elimination; reasons below.

 

DEN: Yeah, they got issues, but they also have a strong organization that isn't shy about fixing problems. Their problems are limited. They won a SB with the ghost of Manning at QB. They fell apart at the end last year, but they'll figure it out... enough to finish second. Maybe first with a big Elway move.

 

OAK: Woulda picked 'em first, but what we saw after Carr went down was jarring. Without Brady, NE went 3-1 (coulda been 4-0 except for a thumb). Oakland went from apparent powerhouse to absolute, complete patsy. That's good for third even with Carr until further notice.

 

SD: Depending on the effects of location shock on both teams, they could finish over Oakland. Likelier they repeat last season and continue to rot away.

 


NFCE: Challenging? As usual.

 

DAL: Despite Prescott's declining play toward the end, he looked good against Green Bay. But they still lost. This year the book's out. He won't surprise anybody. Question is whether the Boys are strong enough all around that it doesn't matter. The odds look fair to good from here.

 

PHI: Up and down last season, Philly ought to show the results of a rebuild year that worked better than originally imagined. Wentz' offense ought to complement Schwartz' D well enough to drag them to second.

 

NYG: The Giants have a habit of coming up big every 4 years or so. Last year was the year. Didn't happen.

 

WAS: The promising Skins disappointed last season. That's not a good sign for a team that's supposed to be going the other way.

 


NFCN: Challenging? Maybe. Or not.

 

GB: With a team racked by attrition they got to the conference game and ran totally out of magic tricks. Assuming some health and more depth this time around, first place ought to be easy. Relax.

 

MIN: One assumes the return of Teddy (or anybody) will have positive results for a team that was headed uphill not long ago.

 

DET: They've got the pieces to challenge, but they've got Caldwell too.

 

CHI: No matter how much you love the Bears, it's hard to see them coming up with enough dogs to pull the sled.

 


NFCS: A little challenging, no? Ehhh... maybe a little. Maybe.

 

ATL: Unless they have SB depression, they should repeat. Then again, look what happened to Carolina.

 

NO: As long as Brees is around they'll have a shot, and they scared a lot of people last year. Maybe one last playoff run for the old pro.

 

TB: Why are these up and comers ranked this low? Because we saw last year that their field general has a loose cannon attached to his shoulder. A repeat of 9-7 looks like the ceiling.

 

CAR: They had their fun two years ago. Until the SB. Turmoil. A QB who's in a tailspin. And the cornerstone of their defense suddenly concussion-prone. It's over.

 


NFCW: Again, could be challenging. Could.

 

SEA: They haven't exactly reached dynastic status. Headed the other way it seems. But still strong enough to take the division probably because...

 

ARI: Talented, yes. Well coached, or so we think. So what's the matter? You tell me. It ain't a quick fix.

 

LA/SF: Take your pick. Who's the coach? Who's the QB? Who's the ringmaster? Maybe LA will hire Kelly and SF will hire Fisher. Wouldn't surprise me.

 


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8 Comments

Reply vapor5
10:06 AM on February 16, 2017 
Not high on my Saints unless Brees/Payton make some radical changes and we got just a little D
Reply Galfur
2:08 PM on February 16, 2017 
AFCE and NFCN are easy stacks to agree with.

Doesn't Oakland get Carr back? Third seems harsh (barring the Elway miracle you referenced).
Reply Radatz
2:31 PM on February 16, 2017 
They get Carr back, but they were sooo bad without him that it altered my perception of how far back the team has actually come. Really good teams (Patriots, Boys e.g.) don't collapse completely when their QB goes down. Even the D went plop. And they didn't seem to care much.
Reply the immortal scurds
6:50 PM on February 16, 2017 
so u make a compelling arguement for carr as the league mvp. i agree..
Reply Radatz
7:19 PM on February 16, 2017 
Maybe, but he can't be that good that the defense gives up when he leaves :) Good guy for sure, but team character (outside him) didn't look so hot.
Reply the immortal scurds
7:21 PM on February 16, 2017 
ne will go 8-0 in their "division" and coast into the 2nd rd again.
pitts is going to take a big step back. ben is talking retirement, bell is made of glass, and after brown they have no reliable depth. timlin is tremblin.
so that leaves cincy to win the division. they were competitive without aj green, both rbs and eifert all season last year. they r the best team on paper. and i think cleve will be in 3rd. i dont know who baltimore is.

the afcs is completely up for grabs.. totally. so i will go with.....jax. they r on the edge of glory. tenn took a step forward and then a big one back, indy is full of holes. hous has to make changes that wont work, so the only team with upside is jax.
gotta go with kc in the afw. the other teams have yawningly big question marks.
agree that prescott is going to struggle. cowboys defense needs to improve, so its the skins who transitioned from a team with a glimmer to a good team last season. wash, philly,dal, nyg. i feel like dal will get rid of romo and prescott will tank immediately..

hard to argue with the nfcn. but i think gb better be studying this draft very carefully or they will sink fast.
agree completely on nfcs. but i think tb could challenge. the saints just cant stop anyone ever.
agree on nfcw as well, but the rams will be in last for sure as they continue to focus on defense because, well, i dont know.
believe it or not, it looks like its right there for the pats to repeat. but lets see what rivers, romo,, ashlon jeffrey abnd the gang do in the off season
Reply the immortal scurds
7:22 PM on February 16, 2017 
yup i agree rad. but they r young, and the broken leg at that point must have been massively deflating for them. they might just learn something from it.
Reply Galfur
8:00 PM on February 16, 2017 
OK. Works for me. Especially since I didn't watch, More or less making a statement based on the record before he went down. Look forward to the reassessments after the draft and into preseason. Probably not too much variance