2016 Broncos Season — Way too early season projections


This week Football Outsiders posted their 2016 predictions for the AFC West. It went as follows: Chiefs 10-6, Chargers 8-8, Broncos 7-9, and Raiders 6-10. Obviously I'm not buying that. Neither is Broncos' cornerback Chris Harris, Jr., and running back CJ Anderson, both of whom poked fun of the prediction on Twitter.

The Broncos are the defending Super Bowl champions. They lost some pieces, yes, but gained some pieces, too. Reports of their demise are greatly exaggerated. But it got me thinking, post draft, what my predictions are. So, though it's early May and we haven't even had camps, here's my early predictions:

NFC:
West:
* Arizona Cardinals 12-4
* Seattle Seahawks 9-7
* Los Angeles Rams 8-8
* San Francisco 49ers 5-11
About: The thought here is the Cardinals are still great, the Seahawks have some holes, the Rams are always around .500, and the 49ers still have a poor roster.

North:
* Green Bay Packers 11-5
* Minnesota Vikings 9-7
* Detroit Lions 7-9
* Chicago Bears 6-10
About: The Packers will bounce back to normal. I think the Vikings are still strong but take a tiny step back (they were 11-5 in 2015). I think Detroit will be around .500 and the Bears still lack enough talent to be good.

South:
* Carolina Panthers 10-6
* Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-9
* Atlanta Falcons 7-9
* New Orleans Saints 4-12
About: The Panthers are still the class of the division, but I don't think they will have as nice a record with a tougher schedule. Super Bowl hangover is real. The Bucs will continue to build, the Falcons will continue to regress, and the Saints might finally hit rock bottom.

East:
* Dallas Cowboys 9-7
* New York Giants 8-8
* Washington Redskins 7-9
* Philadelphia Eagles 6-10
About: The NFC East might be the biggest crapshoot of the entire league. But if they stay healthy, I think the Cowboys make it into the playoffs. I see the Redskins regressing and the Giants and Eagles limping to about the same kind of finish.

Playoffs:
1. Cardinals
2. Packers
3. Panthers
4. Cowboys
5. Vikings
6. Seahawks

AFC:
West:
* Kansas City Chiefs 10-6
* Denver Broncos 10-6
* Oakland Raiders 9-7
* San Diego Chargers 4-12
About: I think the Chiefs will do enough to win the division, the Raiders will improve and the Chargers will still struggle. The Broncos' streak of division titles ends, but they'll make the playoffs.

North:
* Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4
* Baltimore Ravens 10-6
* Cincinnati Bengals 9-7
* Cleveland Browns 4-12
About: The Browns are still bad. The Ravens bounce back, the Bengals slip just a bit, and a heathy Steelers team has the league's best offense.

South:
* Indianapolis Colts 10-6
* Jacksonville Jaguars 8-8
* Houston Texans 6-10
* Tennessee Titans 5-11
About: The Titans still need time to grow and improve. I think the Jaguars take a step forward and could be a playoff team in '17. The Texans, and Brock Osweiler, are inconsistent and take a small step back. Then there's the Colts. They are a flawed team, but they have Andrew Luck. With better health, they do enough to win the division.

East:
* New England Patriots 11-5
* New York Jets 8-8
* Buffalo Bills 8-8
* Miami Dolphins 7-9
About: I think Tom Brady's suspension is upheld, and the Patriots start off 2-2. When Brady is back, the team goes 9-3 and still wins the division. The Jets, Bills and Dolphins are all competitive and all settle around .500.

Playoffs:
1. Steelers
2. Patriots
3. Chiefs
4. Colts
5. Broncos
6. Ravens

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