2021 NFC North Prediction

The NFC North has gone from the “Black and Blue” Division in the past to mostly just blue, now, as in all of the fans are blue since most of the teams have struggled lately. One of the teams that has not had problems are the Green Bay Packers. The Elldee Sports formula is projecting the Pack to finish first in the division with a 15-2 record. It’s all down hill from there as the Minnesota Vikings finish second with a 7-10 record. Following in third are the Chicago Bears at 4-13. Finally, the Detroit Lions bring up the rear at a weak 2-15.

The Green Bay Packers finally got confirmation that all-world QB Aaron Rodgers will be playing this season. All is not golden in paradise, though. This may be the final ride for Rodgers in Green Bay and the best idea for him is to make it a memorable one. The Minnesota Vikings have a fairly strong offense but the defense was terrible last year. That combined with a tricky schedule and Minnesota will have to wait until next year for a playoff run.

The Chicago Bears just cannot seem to get things together. They are almost the exact opposite of the Vikings as the Bears have an above average defense but a offense that has short-circuited lately. Lastly, the Detroit Lions fielded the NFL’s worst defense last season and even the offense was in the lower half of all teams. Trading former pro-bowler Matthew Stafford probably did not improve their offensive prowess, either.

2021 AFC East Prediction

After 11 years of New England Domination in the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills were finally able to dethrone the long-time champs. For years, this division has had one dominant team and 3 mediocre to poor teams and the predictions are calling for the same, again. The difference this time is that the Buffalo Bills will be the dominant team. The Elldee Sports formula is calling for the Bills to win the division with a 15-2 regular season record. They will be followed 6-games behind by the Miami Dolphins, finishing at 9-8. New England has really fallen and looks to finish in 3rd at 5-12. In the basement, once again, are the New York Jets at 1-16.

Buffalo is following a proven path to success with a strong offense and a serviceable defense. This is the same formula that the Kansas City Chiefs have followed for the last 2 years in their Super Bowl runs. In fact, KC is the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year. This is the year that they overcome the hump and get past the Chiefs. Miami, on the other hand is doing their best to turn things around. They drafted Tua Tagovailoa last year and have continued to increase the talent around him. They may be a sneaky good team this year.

Oh how the mighty have fallen! The New England Patriots have lost their mojo. They are no longer feared and the Cam Newton experiment has been a failure so far but if anyone can turn this squad around, it is all-world coach Bill Belichick. The quickest way back to relevance is for him to go back to basics and focus on defense. There is not much to say about the NY Jets. They cannot seem to get out of their own way and the general management has really underperformed in talent evaluation in recent years. It’s possible that Zach Wilson can make a liar out of me but I just don’t see it happening this year and neither does the Elldee Sports Formula. The beauty of football, though, is that everyone starts the year at 0-0. The problem is the formula only calls for the Jets to win one more after that start.

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2021 NFC East Prediction

How the mighty have fallen. Not so long ago, this division was one of the most feared in the NFL but rulers rarely rule for long. This may be the season that one of the teams can escape the doldrums and make some noise after a very rocky season for the entire division last year. The predictions are calling for the Dallas Cowboys to return to the top at 9-8. In second is expected to be the Philadelphia Eagles but only with a 6-11 record, slightly better than last year. The Washington Football Team follows up last year’s division championship with a 4-13 record. Finally, the New York Giants will have the leagues worst record at 1-16.

The Cowboys look to regain the division title for a division leading 24th time but for the first time since 2018. They will be helped immensely by the return of Dak Prescott and support of Ezekiel Elliot and Amari Cooper. The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off of their second worst season in 23 years. With locker room problem Carson Wentz off the team, expect the Eagles to play better but without the weapons they once had, the offense will still likely struggle.

The Washington Football Team will take a sharp decline in overall record but this is only due to the quality of competition they will face. The team itself is comparable to last year with a strong defense, led by an all-world defensive line, that the coaching staff will lean upon. Gaining quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was an odd move that doesn’t spark confidence moving forward at the position. The Giants are hoping something clicks for Daniel Jones as he has failed to find consistency and even regressed in overall touchdown passes from his rookie year to sophomore season. The expectation is that with a healthy Saquon Barkley in the backfield, defenses will be forced to respect the run game and open up the passing attack. I tend to agree with this line of thinking but the numbers are the numbers and the formula has spoken.

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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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