In terms of the things I enjoy most about the NFL, the schedule release is right behind the NFL Draft. No league does hope nearly as well as the National Football League. The fewest wins I’ve ever given the Cardinals going into a season was seven. That’s the beauty of the schedule release. Even going into a down season, you can squint to see a .500 record. This year there’s hope on two fronts. It feels like if we see football as scheduled week 1, it’s already a win before the first points are even scored. With all that said, I’ve gone through the trouble of predicting the outcome for every single game this season, so you don’t even have to worry about this year’s games being played. *Please note that while I never root for injuries, they’re a part of the game, and while I would never predict a specific injury, I incorporated roster depth in these predictions.
Best Game Each Week:
Week 1 – Buccaneers at Saints (4:25 PM)
Week 2 – Ravens at Texans (4:25 PM)
Week 3 – Chiefs at Ravens (MNF)
Week 4 – Browns at Cowboys (1:00 PM)
Week 5 – Bills at Titans (1:00 PM)
Week 6 – Chiefs at Bills (TNF)
Week 7 – 49ers at Patriots (4:25 PM)
Week 8 – Vikings at Packers (1:00 PM)
Week 9 – Saints at Buccaneers (SNF)
Week 10 – 49ers at Saints (4:25 PM)
Week 11 – Cowboys at Vikings (4:25 PM)
Week 12 – Chiefs at Buccaneers (4:25 PM)
Week 13 – Browns at Titans (1:00 PM)
Week 14 – Ravens at Browns (MNF)
Week 15 – Chiefs at Saints (4:25 PM)
Week 16 – Vikings at Saints (Friday, Dec. 25 at 4:30 PM)
Week 17 – Steelers at Browns (1:00 PM)
Chicago Bears – (6-10)
The Bears need don’t have a chance if Foles can’t stay healthy. They have favorable non-division road games, but they just don’t have the offense to compete this year.
Detroit Lions – (4-12)
With four of the first six games on the road, the Lions could start this season 1-5 before Matt Patricia is done and Matt Stafford is benched. This has the makings of a disastrous season.
Green Bay Packers – (9-7)
Aaron Rodgers is always pissed off about something so I hardly expect this to be some rebound year where he proves the naysayers wrong and looks like an MVP caliber player again because they drafted his replacement. Five scheduled prime time games is excessive for their roster.
Minnesota Vikings – (13-3)
I was already high on the Vikings coming into this season, but this schedule is perfect. They won’t play a single cold-weather game and their lone outdoor game after week 10 is in Tampa. Christmas day in New Orleans could decide home-field advantage in the NFC.
Atlanta Falcons – (7-9)
Looking at their schedule I had to talk myself out of a ten-win season. Atlanta is that team for everyone. They have eleven first-round picks on offense. When it comes to name recognition Atlanta has the best roster in the NFL.
Carolina Panthers – (5-11)
One west coast trip is a plus especially with three teams from the west coming to Charlotte. I don’t know who the Panthers have on offense. Just one division game in the last six weeks leaves a lot to be desired for a shot at playing spoiler this year.
New Orleans Saints – (13-3)
New Orleans has a great road schedule even with three straight road games. I think they have the best roster in the NFC and their biggest games are all at home. Both games with the Bucs are before week 10 so they could have the division locked up by mid-November.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – (10-6)
The Bucs have a solid schedule with their two long road trips done before November. They play Atlanta twice in the final two weeks which could decide a wild card berth. The Rams, Chiefs, and Vikings all at home separated by one bye week will determine whether or not this is a playoff team.
Dallas Cowboys – (12-4)
The Cowboys have a favorable schedule in a down division. They have an outside shot at a first round playoff bye and with trips to Baltimore and Minnesota after the bye week in week 10, they’ll have to earn it.
New York Giants – (2-14)
The Giants have a brutal schedule. They play their best opponents on the road and outside of Washington they probably won’t be favored in any home games this season.
Philadelphia Eagles – (7-9)
The Eagles have a tough schedule with two west coast trips match-ups with five potential playoff teams in the final seven weeks. They’ll very much control their playoff destiny in the second half of the season.
Washington – (4-12)
Another team stuck with three straight road games. Washington’s most winnable match-ups are mostly on the road. This is a tough slate for Dwayne Haskins to run the show for his first full season.
Arizona Cardinals – (9-7)
Three straight road games is brutal. I think the Rams are going to take a big step back so playing them twice in the final five weeks should help out a Cardinals team that’s making four east coast trips including two after Thanksgiving.
Los Angeles Rams – (7-9)
There’s a very good chance the Rams start the season 0-3. They have three east coast trip before week 6 and two MNF games, one followed by a road game at Miami and another being played at Tampa they will be dealing with a couple of short weeks that aren’t scheduled for like a Thursday Night game typically is.
San Francisco 49ers – (12-4)
San Francisco has a very good team, but a tough schedule. Their two games at MetLife Stadium are back-to-back weeks in September which is a gift, but three road games at New England, Seattle, and New Orleans in four weeks is not. They’re still the class of the division on paper, but they won’t surprise anyone this season.
Seattle Seahawks – (6-10)
Seattle’s defense isn’t what it used to be and their offense still doesn’t have enough protection for Russell Wilson. This feels like the year where Pete Carroll’s seat starts to war,. Five trips to the east coast are spread throughout the season so the Seahawks won’t catch any breaks with their travel.
Baltimore Ravens – (13-3)
Baltimore has a loaded team and a favorable schedule. It’s balanced and the furthest they have to travel is to Houston in week two. Week three hosting KC on MNF likely decides home-field advantage in the AFC.
Cincinnati Bengals – (3-13)
The Bengals don’t have a very good team and they have a tough schedule. Their division does them no favors.
Cleveland Browns – (8-8)
Cleveland has an easy schedule, but I don’t think they have the team to take advantage of it and get back into the playoffs. This has to be the year Baker puts it all together. Week 14 hosting Baltimore on MNF will be the make or break game for this team.
Pittsburgh Steelers – (10-6)
3 out of their final four games are on the road, outdoors, in cold-weather cities. With a fragile quarterback, they better rack up their wins early.
Houston Texans – (10-6)
Houston could very easily start their season 0-4, but the Texans have a favorable schedule after their bye in week 8. Don’t be surprised to see Houston surge into the playoffs with a strong second half of the season.
Indianapolis Colts – (6-10)
I really want Phillip Rivers to get one last run in the playoffs, but this schedule does him no favors. Houston twice in the final five games is cruel, So its two match-ups with the Titans in three weeks. The Colts play just one division game in the first nine weeks.
Jacksonville Jaguars – (0-16)
The Jaguars are going to stink this year. They get home games with Miami and Jacksonville that could be wins, but after week 6 I don’t see any possible wins on their schedule. Trevor Lawrence appears destined for Duval.
Tennessee Titans – (12-4)
I’m buying Mike Vrabel and Derrick Henry. Their defense is good and Ryan Tannehill can hold his own enough to cost his team games. Back-to-back games at Green Bay and Houston to end the year is tough.
Buffalo Bills – (11-5)
This is the Bills’ year. They have a brutal December, but I think they’ll run away with the division this year. This defense is really good and the offense should take-off this season as Josh Allen continues to develop.
Miami Dolphins – (6-10)
It’s tough to predict how Miami’s season will go since they don’t need to start Tua right away. They have three straight December home games but with four west coast road trips, this is going to be a roller coaster season with some improvement.
New England Patriots – (8-8)
New England is going to struggle mightily on offense. They already lacked a lot of weapons and now without a quarterback they’re defense is going to have to win them every game. Only New England would get three straight road games with two in the exact same city.
New York Jets – (9-7)
The Jets have a really brutal close to the season but I think Adam Gase is a better coach than he gets credit for. This is a team I could easily see going to New England on January 3 one win away from the AFC East title. And losing.
Denver Broncos – (6-10)
I’m not a believer in Drew Lock, but he’s got a lot of weapons joining him in the Mile High. With four east coast trips scattered throughout the season the Broncos will be well-traveled. You can never discount the home field advantage they have in the altitude that could lead to an upset of Tennessee, Tampa Bay, or New Orleans.
Kansas City Chiefs – (12-4)
The Chiefs don’t miss any good AFC teams on their schedule and with road games in Baltimore, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans they may have to hit the road for the playoffs. They’ll win the division, but the reigning Super Bowl champions could play three playoff games before getting a chance to defend that title again.
Las Vegas Chargers – (4-12)
Las Vegas doesn’t have a quarterback I believe in. They’ll get plenty of exposure on prime time because they moved to a new city, but their schedule is tough to start and who knows what quarterback finishes the season under center.
Los Angeles Chargers – (6-10)
The Chargers are a confusing team. Their defense could be good this year, but I don’t know what to make of their offense. Road trips to Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Miami, and Buffalo do them no favors.