2021 AFC West Prediction

So what can be said about the AFC West that even the casual NFL fan doesn’t already know? The division is home to the back-to-back reigning AFC Champions in the Kansas City Chiefs. Will things change this season? According to the Elldee Sports mathematically-based predictions, the answer to that question is no. Expect the Chiefs to comfortably win the division with a 14-3 record. They will be followed by the LA Chargers at 12-5. In third place will be the silver and black of Las Vegas as the raiders will finish the season at 9-8. Lastly, the Denver Broncos will struggle to gain footing and stumble to a 5-12 record with zero divisional wins.

There should be no surprise that KC is the team to beat in the AFC West. They have won the division for five-years running now and are loaded offensively. They claim the top offense in the NFL and have possibly the best young-star of the NFL in quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Chargers have a respectable team but they are just not on the same level as the Chiefs. LA has a top-10 offense and defense and will provide stiff competition for most teams that they play as they sneak into the playoffs in a wildcard position.

Las Vegas Raider fans have a lot to look forward to. They have gotten better each year under head coach Jon Gruden. The largest problem is that, true to Gruden’s style, the offense has to carry too much of the load as the defense is near the bottom of the NFL. On the flip side, they could always be worse. To see this, you only have to look East towards Denver, Colorado. The Broncos have struggled mightily since Peyton Manning’s retirement. They have been mired in mediocrity and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon as they are struggling to create excitement with draft picks or free agency.

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2021 NFC West Prediction

The NFC West looks to be one of the more competitive divisions in football this year. The Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals are projected to vie for the top spot with both teams closing out the year at 13-4. The San Francisco 49ers come in third in the division with a 10-7 record and just ahead of the Seattle Seahawks at the bottom, carrying an 8-9 record to the offseason.

The top of the division will be decided with a good old-fashioned stingy defense as the Rams closed last season with the top ranked defense in the NFL. In fact, LA held teams to more than 20 yards per game less than the 2nd ranked team. Couple that defense with an offense which added future Hall of Famer Matthew Stafford and you have a recipe for success. Arizona may be projected to have the same record as LA but they are not quite ready to take the division this season. The defense is not stout enough and the offense, while good, is only equal to or, at best, marginally better than the offense that the Rams will put on the field.

San Francisco and Seattle are both teams with a proven track record, as both teams have reached the Super Bowl within the last 6 years. This will not be a repeat of those seasons. San Francisco has pressed the reset button on the quarterback room and moved up to draft Trey Lance out of North Dakota St in the #3 spot during the draft. The big questions here are who will start at QB, will they play good enough to be kept around, and how long will management allow Lance to learn the NFL game? In Seattle, the draft class was fairly light, as the Seahawks only had three picks. Luckily, they finished as 12-4 division champs last year so they didn’t have a lot of holes to fill. The problem is that the rest of the division became better and they have not followed suit.

2022 NCAA Football Playoff Prediction

Now that Elldee Sports has posted our 2022 NFL Playoff Prediction, the logical next step is to identify the 2022 NCAA Football Playoff teams. This year’s championship will be in Indianapolis with the semi-finals in the Cotton and Orange Bowls, respectively. Based on the mathematical formula we have created, it appears that the four playoff teams will be made up of the usual suspects.

If these are not one of your favorite teams, don’t fret! College football is always full of twists and turns. In fact, there is a dark horse team coming out of the Pac-12 this year. If not for preseason rankings, this team would have a shot a reaching the playoffs for the first time ever. Be on the lookout for UCLA to come out and provide some fireworks while making a playoff push by the end of the year!

2022 NFL Playoff Prediction

It’s that time of year again! In between the end of the previous season, after the draft, and before the next season begins, there is little to do outside of making predictions. This is the time of year when every team has a chance and every fan base knows that this is their year! Hey, everyone is 0-0…all tied up…so you’re telling me there’s a chance!

While everyone does have a chance, we can all agree that some squads have a better chance than others to finish the year at the top of the pile. Based on mathematical analysis, Elldee Sports is predicting a tight playoff race and even tighter match-ups once the playoffs begin. Then again, anything can happen when the league is comprised of 32 cities loaded with professional talent!

AFC East: With Brady Gone, is a New Sheriff in Town?

AFC Logo     With Tom Brady out of the picture, will this be the year that one of the other teams in the AFC East finally break the stranglehold that the New England Patriots have had on the division? That’s an interesting question but with the caliber of the teams in this division, it doesn’t look like it will change. The division is made up of perennial powerhouse New England, along with the upstart Buffalo Bills, the Miami Dolphins, and the New York Jets. Let’s dive into the season as predicted by the Elldee Sports Formula.

Buffalo Bills Logo     Buffalo Bills: 2019 Record 10-6 — 2020 Predicted Record 6-10

The Buffalo Bills had an impressive 2019 season and in a perfect world would continue to improve. The problem that they are running into is that after finishing 2nd in the AFC East last season, the schedule this year gets exponentially more difficult. They have a solid core on offense with Josh Allen at quarterback but until he can prove that he can lead an effective passing offense, the Bills will struggle to be consistent. They were one of the best rushing teams and one of the worst passing teams last season. The Bills are hoping that the addition of Stefon Diggs can spark a lethargic passing attack. Luckily, the bottom dwellers in the division are really bad enabling them to finish 2nd in the division again but they won’t sniff the playoffs this year.

Miami Dolphins Logo     Miami Dolphins: 2019 Record 5-11 — 2020 Predicted Record 2-14

In Miami, the Dolphins are going to be behind the power curve thanks to COVID-19. The lack of team workouts are going to stunt the growth of first-round draft pick Tua Tagovailoa. The silver lining is that they would most likely have started Ryan Fitzpatrick anyways but he has proved so inconsistent that you never know if he is going to throw five TDs or deliver a dud. That is not promising when the rushing game was dead last in the NFL last season. Compound that with the 30th ranked defense and you have a recipe for a 2-win season.

NYJ Logo     New York Jets: 2019 Record 7-9 — 2020 Predicted Record 1-15

If you are a Miami fan, be grateful that you are not a New York Jets supporter. The Elldee Sports Formula is predicting the Jets to be one of the worst teams in the league this upcoming season. I don’t necessarily agree with this prediction but numbers are numbers and they don’t lie. Quarterback Sam Darnold just hasn’t developed into the professional star that many thought he would coming out of college. LeVeon Bell was once a superb playmaker but hasn’t flashed the same brilliance that he did in Pittsburgh. The offense finished last year dead last in the NFL and they did not make any blockbuster moves to change that. The lone bright spot was the defense but letting Jamal Adams get away is not going to help matters. Mind you, trading him for two first-round picks makes me believe that they are looking to the future, not the present.

New England Patriots Logo     New England Patriots: 2019 Record 12-4 — 2020 Predicted Record 13-3

The New England Patriots have been NFL royalty since the turn of the century. In fact, they have won the AFC East 17 times in a 19-year period, including 11 straight 1st place finishes. The division and league finally thought that they would get a reprieve from the Patriot dominance as Tom Brady left for sunnier pastures in Tampa Bay. That is, until the Pats just went out and picked up former NFL MVP Cam Newton. With a healthy Newton, New England will be just fine on offense and Bill Belichick is a coaching genius on the defensive side of the ball. Expect the Patriots to continue the streak and finish 1st for the 12th straight year.

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AFC South: Will Tennessee Build on Last Season’s Success?

AFC Logo     After an up-and-down 2019 regular season, the Tennessee Titans closed it out with a miraculous run ending in the AFC Championship game.  Did that run make them even more hungry for this season?  The AFC South consists of the already mentioned Tennessee Titans, the Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Although it did not play out how they hoped in the playoffs, the Houston Texans were the Divisional Champions.  Can the Texans hold the top spot this season as well?

Houston Texans Logo Houston Texans:  2019 Record 10-6 — 2020 Predicted Record 7-9

The Houston Texans are the reigning AFC South Champions.  In fact, the Texans have come out on top of the AFC South four of the last five seasons.  This has been due in part to a balanced offense and an opportunistic defense.  The offense has been kept afloat by quarterback Deshaun Watson and a pair of top-notch receivers in DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V.  This season, though, Hopkins has been shipped out while Brandin Cooks was brought in to pick up the slack, as he suits up for his third different team in four seasons.  David Johnson has also been picked up at the RB position to help ease the load for do-everything QB Watson.  If the defense can stay healthy and improve production, the Texans will have a shot to outperform the 7-9 prediction but with Tennessee and Indianapolis on the rise, don’t expect it.

Indy Colts Logo     Indianapolis Colts:  2019 Record 7-9 — 2020 Predicted Record 11-5

The Indianapolis Colts made the biggest splash move of the AFC South in the offseason.  After boasting the #7 rushing offense in the NFL but the #30 passing offense, the Colts went out and got the 8-time Pro Bowler, Philip Rivers.  The hope is that Rivers can gel with his new receivers quickly and make a jump in the win column.  The Covid quarantine put a damper on building chemistry but a savvy veteran like Rivers will find a way to be prepared.  The defense was strong against the rush last year, giving up under 100 ypg but the pass defense had much to be desired.  With a better offensive attack, the defense should be able to stay off of the field longer and produce better than the middle-of-the-pack numbers that we saw last year.

Jacksonville Jags Logo Jacksonville Jaguars:  2019 Record 6-10 — 2020 Predicted Record 4-12

The Jacksonville Jaguars seem to always be in reverse.  In eight of the last nine seasons, the Jags have won six games or less.  The one outlier was a 10-6 season in 2017.  Talent evaluation has been a large problem as they have regularly received high draft picks, only to watch them fall to the wayside on and off the field.  The city of Jacksonville would love to see this become the year that their team turns the corner but unless Gardner Minshew can increase his 42.6 QBR while Leonard Fournette stays healthy for an entire season, the likelihood is not there.  The defense was one of the worst in the league defending the run at almost 140 ypg.  Additionally, the squad did not do enough in the draft to shore up that problem, adding CJ Henderson to an already solid pass defense with the first-round pick.

Tennessee Titans Logo  Tennessee Titans:  2019 Record 9-7 — 2020 Predicted Record 14-2

Following a regular season that found the Tennessee Titans finishing just one game above .500, they turned in some of the best football in the NFL.  First traveling on the road to defeat an always dangerous New England squad but then following that performance up with a dismantling of the top-seeded Ravens in Baltimore.  What do they have for an encore in 2020?  The Titans used a bruising running game and a deceptively good passing attack in 2019.  With a small draft class, they bolstered that offense, grabbing Isaiah Wilson in the first round, a top OT from Georgia.  The defense will need to improve if they hope to make the jump from Wildcard contender to Superbowl winner, though.  If some of the young defenders round in to the form that the Titan Coaching Staff hopes, anything is possible.

AFC West: Can Anyone Challenge KC?

AFC Logo     Who is afraid of the big bad wolf?  In the AFC West, that wolf is the Kansas City Chiefs.  The division consists of the reigning NFL Champion Kansas City squad, the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, and the Las Vegas Raiders.  Have any of the three competitors gathered enough firepower to take the throne?

Denver Broncos Logo     Denver Broncos:  2019 Record 7-9 — 2020 Predicted Record 2-15

Denver does not look to have a very good year this season.  After finishing 28th in the NFL for overall offense, including 28th in passing, they needed to make some solid moves in the passing game.  The did draft star Alabama Receiver Jerry Jeudy but the biggest offensive move they made was picking up Melvin Gordon.  Gordon can catch out of the backfield and that may help move the chains but it is a dangerous game to count on an unproven quarterback and rookie receiver to bolster the offense.  Defensively this team did well to stay in the top 12 of the NFL, particularly strong against the pass but dropping to the lower half of the NFL against the run.  While it is true that the NFL is a passing league, if you struggle to stop the run, you will struggle to get off of the field.  For these reasons and the more difficult schedule this season, expect the Broncos to have a big drop off.

KC Logo     Kansas City Chiefs:  2019 Record 12-4 — 2020 Predicted Record 13-3

What did the Kansas City Chiefs do to cement their spot as king of the NFL?  Only went out and sign their youthful Superbowl MVP quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, to the largest deal in the history of the league.  They were also able to maintain the nucleus of one of the best offenses in the NFL, even adding Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the draft.  Edwards- Helaire proved in college that he can catch the ball out of the backfield and may be a better fit than current starter Damien Williams.  The defense was in the lower half of the league but it was no secret that the Chiefs strategy was to outscore their opponents.  Even still, the pass defense was better than average, coming in at #8.  The run defense was not #8, in fact it was almost at the bottom of the league.  If the Chiefs hope to take home the Lombardi trophy again this season, they will need to shore up some gaping holes in the run defense.

LA Chargers Logo v2     Los Angeles Chargers:  2019 Record 5-11 — 2020 Predicted Record 10-6

The Los Angeles Chargers are the team hoping to make a splash this season.  Big news out of LA was that the longtime QB Philip Rivers left town to find glory elsewhere.  With a glaring hole at quarterback, the Chargers will be depending on Tyrod Taylor to be a game manager until first-round draft pick Justin Herbert can adjust to the speed of the NFL.  The reason for the predicted turn-around has much less to do with the offense, though.  The ‘Bolts have a menacing defense, led by Joey Bosa that was top-5 vs the pass.  In fact, this team boasts talent at every level of the defense and are absolutely loaded on the D-line.  Expect big things from this group as they make a return to the playoffs this season.

Las Vegas Raiders Logo     Las Vegas Raiders:  2019 Record 7-9 — 2020 Predicted Record 7-9

New location, same result.  The Raiders will play their first season in Sin City this year.  They are not a bad team and could shock a squad or two this coming season as they return most of a team that boasted the #11 Offense and # 19 Defense in the NFL.  They are a balanced team with a solid quarterback in Derek Carr and an even better running back in Josh Jacobs.  The defense is solid and should improve this year as the chemistry builds.  Pile the talent in with a great offensive mind in Jon Gruden and the Raiders should be competitive.  The one downfall of this team is that they are in the AFC West and will struggle against KC and the Chargers.  They will once again finish 7-9 and miss the playoffs, even though the team will be better than last year.

 

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2021 NFL Playoff Prediction

This year has been unkind to sports.  Well, actually, this year has been unkind to a lot of things.  Luckily, the major sports leagues are attempting to find work arounds to bring back our beloved games.  Europe has already shown that it can work as the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, and La Liga have all began playing soccer again, albeit without fans.  With the hopes that the American sports leagues can go on without any serious issues, Elldee Sports has gone forward with our 2021 NFL playoff prediction!  A little early?  Maybe, but in our current sport-starved environment, we hope this can bring a little joy and stimulate some discussion.

NFL Playoff 2021

Updated NFL Playoff Prediction

NFL Logo     The regular season of the National Football League has drawn to a close.  The Elldee Sports Formula has gone through a few tweaks but ultimately finished the regular season with a respectable 54.6% win percentage.

Now that the Playoff field has been set, a new playoff bracket has been generated and is now presented for your entertainment.  Until next time, good luck!

NFL Playoff 2020 Updated

 

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PAC 12 Championship: Utah @ Oregon

PAC-12 Logo     What a great College Football season that this has been.  There have been so many twists and turns and we at Elldee Sports do not think the twists are finished just yet.  The PAC-12 Championship game, in Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium, is a de-facto playoff play-in game for the Utah Utes so they will be playing with everything to gain.  With that being said, The Oregon Ducks would love nothing more than to crash the Utes party and deny them a playoff berth!

Utah’s Kyle Whittingham is, quite possibly, the most underrated coach in all of college football.  He has a team built from cast-offs, players who are by no means average but not considered the cream of the crop by the “big schools”.  In fact, the Utes have made it to #5 and only 7 points from perfection with a team that has consistently received a lower recruiting ranking than this week’s opponent.  That is because these players have not let arbitrary rankings define them.  Leaders Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss, both from Hallandale High School in Florida, have bought into this program and the coach.  They have had amazing seasons and the offense has been supported by the #3 defense in the country.  Expect these guys to give their all and hope to reach heights never before seen by this program.

What can be said about the Oregon Ducks?  They came into the year with sky high expectations, great recruiting classes, beautiful facilities, and a future 1st-round NFL pick at QB to lead them.  What else could you want?  Well, turns out that they could’ve used two more wins.  They opened the season in dominating fashion, handling a highly-touted Auburn team at a neutral site until crumbling in the 4th quarter and dropping the opening game.  Yes, they should have beaten Auburn, the same team that just beat Alabama.  The Ducks handled the adversity well and reeled off nine consecutive wins before letting complacency take hold once again.  They dropped a game at Arizona State after positioning themselves in the driver’s seat for the playoffs.  For Oregon players and fans, this has got to be extremely frustrating.  It is clear they have one of the best teams in the country but cannot seem to keep their heads right.  All is not lost, though, as QB Justin Herbert has another chance to impress the NFL scouts and lead his team to the Rose Bowl during his Senior year.  The defense is top 25 caliber and the offense is averaging the exact same amount of yards as the Utes so this game should be an all out brawl.

So who wins this matchup?  The Utah Utes with a shot at the playoffs or the Oregon Ducks with nothing to lose?  After running the numbers through the Elldee Sports Formula, it appears that the bright lights and pressure of the situation will be too much for Utah.  Oregon will win this convincingly, even though they come in as the underdog!

Oregon 43 – Utah 26

Oregon +6.5 and Over 46

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