As fans, we all like to give our predictions and opinions on the NFL season. However, no one is ever 100% right, therefore we also like to be able to go back and adjust those predictions based on current information. That is exactly what I intend to do here with a mid-season edition of my 2019 NFL Predictions.
Before I get into them though, I’d like to highlight some of my major predictions from the preseason that I was completely off on:
The Atlanta Falcons winning the NFC South
The Seattle Seahawks not having enough offensive weapons
The Cleveland Browns winning the AFC North
The Oakland Raiders being bad
The following are some of the major predictions that I had right:
Dalvin Cook having a monster season
Chicago Bears defense not being as good without Fangio
The San Francisco 49ers surprising everyone!
The Los Angeles Rams experiencing the Super Bowl hangover
Jacoby Brissett and the Indianapolis Colts still being good without Andrew Luck
So, without further ado, here are my updated 2019 NFL Regular Season Predictions!
=== NFC East ===
New York Giants
The Cowboys are a half-game ahead of the Eagles for the division lead. But when you compare each team’s respective schedules, you’ll notice that the Cowboys have a much more difficult road ahead of them than the Eagles do. Also, add the fact that Eagles and Cowboys still face each other one more time this season, but this time in Philadelphia. The chances of the Eagles still coming away with the division despite the ugly loss in Dallas weeks ago are still high. Both teams are very flawed though and I can’t see either one of them being capable of a deep playoff run.
=== NFC North ===
Green Bay Packers
The battle for the NFC North will be a tight one all season between the Packers and the Vikings, but it’s hard for me not to lean towards the Packers with the way the “Aarons” have been playing all season. Davante Adams is now back from his injury, which will help the Packers’ passing game from here on out. On the flip side, Adam Thielen’s hamstring injury could continue to be a cause for concern for the Vikings offense. Luckily, Dalvin Cook is having a career year and will help keep that team in contention. And might I add that rookie RB Alexander Mattison is a very impressive runner in his own right? He’s a great compliment to Cook.
=== NFC South ===
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Teddy Bridgewater did a great job of filling in for Drew Brees and helping the Saints win games while the future HOFer recovered. As a result, the team is in a prime position to contend for not only the top spot in the division but also the conference. If they somehow grab home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, it’s going to be very difficult for any team to beat them in New Orleans. The Saints could have the most complete roster in the league. Meanwhile, the Panthers have had their backup QB play well in the absence of their starter as Kyle Allen has been solid. As long as Christian McCaffrey remains healthy the Panthers should have a shot at a wild card spot.
=== NFC West ===
San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Rams
The 49ers continue to surprise the football world as the only undefeated team remaining. And while no one, not even I, predicted their undefeated record through 9 weeks, their emergence isn’t a shocker to me at all. I’ve paid close attention to what they’ve been building in San Francisco since the hiring of Kyle Shanahan and knew this would finally be the year they start winning. I don’t see them going 16-0, but I still see them winning the division, just as I’ve been predicting they would since the Spring. And with the addition of Emmanuel Sanders, they look like legitimate Super Bowl contenders as well. The Seahawks will continue to be right on their tail though, led by MVP frontrunner Russell Wilson. You have to love what Wilson has done all year long. He and Tyler Lockett have such a great connection, and DK Metcalf has been one of the better rookies this year. The upcoming matchups between the two will be must-see TV.
This throw from Jimmy Garoppolo to Emmanuel Sanders is one of the best I’ve ever seen. And to accomplish this on third down after only a week’s worth of work together? Unreal. They’re going to light it up. #49ers
— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) November 1, 2019
=== NFC Playoff Seeding ===
San Francisco 49ers
Green Bay Packers
New Orleans Saints
Seattle Seahawks (Wild Card)
Minnesota Vikings (Wild Card)
=== AFC East ===
New England Patriots
New York Jets
Let me be clear on this: The Patriots will always be a Super Bowl contender as long as they have Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. That’s the truth. That being said, I’m very interested to see how the rest of the season goes for this team. They’ve had one of the easiest schedules so far, and as all great teams do, they’ve won convincingly against them. However, they just suffered their first loss of the season against the Ravens, showing some possible chinks in their armor. Also, the offense hasn’t fully clicked just yet and Brady has struggled. I’m confident that they’ll get better as the playoffs draw closer, but I’m eager to see just how good this team really is.
=== AFC North ===
Lamar Jackson has had his fair share of doubters who have said he doesn’t have the capability of being a good enough passer in this league. But now he’s proving all of them wrong. Is he a great passer? No, he isn’t. But he’s good enough to where he’s become a legitimate dual-threat QB. Defenses must account for not only his deadly running ability but also his ability to make a good throw downfield. His progression, along with the addition of Mark Ingram, has made this Ravens offense a defensive coordinator’s nightmare. The Browns have been nothing but a disappoint considering all the hype they were getting during the offseason. I do think they’ll start winning more games in the 2nd half of the season, not enough to make the playoffs as a wild card.
=== AFC South ===
This remains one of the most interesting divisions in the league this year. It’s a toss-up between the Colts and Texans to win it, and you can make a legitimate argument for either one. The Colts aren’t the most talented team amongst all the contenders, but they’re such a well-coached team and they have the best offensive line in football. The Texans are sort of like the opposite; Bill O’Brien remains a questionable Head Coach and their offensive line still has its issues, but there’s so much talent on the roster that it’s overcome the bad coaching and other deficiencies. Also, it’ll be fun to see what Nick Foles will be able to do with the Jaguars now that he’s returned from injury and has been named the starter over rookie Gardner Minshew.
=== AFC West ===
Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Chargers
It was scary to see Patrick Mahomes get injured in Week 7 against the Broncos. I had flashbacks to 2017 when Carson Wentz tore his ACL versus the Rams. If you’re a fan of football you just hate to see one of the best young talents in the league being lost for the season. Luckily, the injury wasn’t too serious and Mahomes is slated to make his return very soon, possibly as soon as this Sunday against the Titans. The Raiders have been a pleasant surprise in this division. Darren Waller has emerged as one of the better TEs in the league and Josh Jacobs is the current frontrunner for Offensive Rookie of the Year. The Chargers have struggled this season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them string together some wins in the 2nd half as Melvin Gordon regains his old form.
=== AFC Playoff Seeding ===
New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs
Houston Texans (Wild Card)
Oakland Raiders (Wild Card)
=== Super Bowl ===
San Francisco 49ers defeat Baltimore Ravens
=== MVP: Russell Wilson ===
Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, and Lamar Jackson are the other contenders, but Wilson is the frontrunner right now and I believe he will finish as the winner. He’s been nothing short of incredible.
=== Offensive Player of the Year: Christian McCaffrey ===
McCaffery has stepped his game up to another level this season and there is no RB playing better than him. If the MVP wasn’t strictly a QB award McCaffery would be right there with Wilson as a leading candidate.
=== Defensive Player of the Year: Myles Garrett===
Garrett was my pre-season pick for this award and I’m sticking with him. Don’t let the struggles of his team mislead you; Garrett has been great all season.
=== Offensive Rookie of the Year: Josh Jacobs ===
I remember numerous fans say before the NFL Draft that they don’t believe in Jacobs’ talent because he went to Alabama. Well, how’s that thought process working out so far? Jacobs has been everything I expected him to be. Now we understand why John Gruden wanted him so badly.
=== Defensive Rookie of the Year: Nick Bosa ===
Just like with Myles Garrett as DPOY, I picked Bosa in the preseason for this award and I’m sticking with him. What’s crazy is that Bosa is one of the candidates for DPOY too; he’s been that good. He may only be a rookie, but he already belongs in the conversation as one of the best pass rushers in the league.
=== Comeback Player of the Year: Brandon Brooks ===
This award will probably go to Jimmy Garoppolo or Cooper Kupp, but it should go to Brooks. He tore his Achilles in the divisional playoff round but still ended up playing in Week 1. And not only has he not missed a game, but he’s played at an elite level all year; arguably the best OG this season in the entire league. Offensive linemen deserve some silverware too, and Brooks should get this one.
Brandon Brooks is ELITE. Strength, athleticism, technique, intelligence.. Brooks has it all. The best dancing bear in the league.. Part 1 – pic.twitter.com/hga0oh7wdl
— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) October 30, 2019
=== Coach of the Year: Kyle Shanahan ===
Other candidates are deserving of this award as well, but none more than Shanahan. It’s nice that more people are finally seeing how great of an offensive mind he truly is, and he continues to improve as a Head Coach every week.
— The Lefkoe Show (@LefkoeShow) October 29, 2019