By: Ryan Cooley
This time of the year is always fun to make predictions that many people think are crazy. I believe every prediction below has a chance to come true.
New York Jets Make the Playoffs
The Jets are my sleeper team for 2019. While I don’t think they’ll win the division, I believe they can manage to sneak into a wildcard spot. Darnold is going to be a great QB for the Jets. Now that he has a legitimate weapon to rely on in Bell, he is going to take a big step forward.
They added CJ Mosely and Quninnen Willams this offseason to bolster up their defense. Pair them with Jamal Adams and Leonard Williams, and they could be a force to be reckoned with.
Andrew Luck Throws for 50 TDs and Wins MVP
Luck threw for almost 4,600 yds and 39 TDs in 2018. He did that when coming off a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder that forced him to miss the entire 2017 season. Not many QBs can put up those numbers when missing a whole year of football.
The Colts also did a great job this offseason signing free agents and drafting players. With Jack Doyle coming back from injury, Luck has a deadly duo at the TE position with Ebron who came off a season in which he caught 13 TDs. The Colts also signed Devin Funchess who will be a great WR opposite Hilton. In the draft, the Colts selected Paris Campbell in the second round, and his speed makes the Colts receiving core well rounded.
Steelers Miss the Playoffs Again
The Steelers finished second in their division last year with an 8-7-1 record. Many put the blame on the off-field distractions of Bell and Brown.
Both players are on new teams, and as Tomlin said, there was a “cleansing.” I, for one, do not believe that. All I know is the Steelers lost their best player in Brown. Now they have to rely on Juju to provide the same impact going against the teams best CB and being doubled teamed often. I still believe Juju will be a very good WR for them. I just find it hard to believe he can fill the shoes of the best receiver in the league.
Ben Roethlisberger is another player I am worried about. Ben has never been shy of expressing his feelings towards teammates to the media. If the Steelers get off to a slow start, I believe Ben will go right back to the finger-pointing game.
Due to all these question marks, do not be surprised if the Steelers are sitting at home in January once again.
Fitzmagic Makes Yet Another Appearance
Ryan Fitzpatrick has been around the league quite a bit. He is on his 7th team at the age of 36. Many wonder how he keeps finding a team to pay him for another year. Well simply put, play at an MVP level for a few games to give teams just enough hope that he can be a capable bridge QB. Reports have come out that Fitzpatrick is the clear front runner to start the season for the Dolphins.
The Saints Disappoint
The postseason has not been kind to the Saints since winning the Super Bowl. Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Quake, the Minneapolis Miracle, and the no-call on the pass interference. Somehow the Saints find a way to pick themselves up just to get knocked back down again.
This may be the season that the Saints stay down. After the Cowboys game in week 13, they didn’t look like the same team. Brees began to fall off with a QB rating of 83.7 and Kamara fell to under four YPC in the last four games they played in. Their offense as a whole could only muster 19 PPG the final five games.
With Brees another year older, do not be surprised if the Saints look like a different team than they have been the past few years.
Maurice Harris Will Lead the Patriots in Receiving Yards
This is without a doubt my boldest prediction. 99% of people have no clue who Harris is. Harris has spent the past three seasons with the Redskins. He was on their practice squad in 2017 before being called up where he then made a catch against the Vikings that was up for catch of the year.
Watching almost every Redskins game, I can say Harris was probably one of the Skins best WRs. However, for some reason, Washington never gave him the chance he deserved.
Harris signed a deal with the Patriots and has now one of the best coaching staffs and the greatest QB of all-time throwing to him. I believe this was the perfect fit for him. Reports have come out by nearly every Patriots writer that Harris has definitely been New England’s best receiver in camp.
I believe after this season, a lot more people will know the name of Maurice Harris.