Now that college football has kicked off, it can step aside and let the big boys of the football world take center stage.
Yes, that's right, folks. The big boys of football are ready for a new season to kick off.
The NFL is back for its 100th season. What a way to start the season, too. The Green Bay Packers will play the Chicago Bears. It is the games best and oldest rivalry, and the rivalry is arguably the best rivalry in sports.
Not only do you have that game to start the season, but Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will raise the Super Bowl LIII banner right before Sunday's game vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nothing better than seeing Brady keep trotting out on the field to start a season.
Oh, then go to Dallas. The Cowboys, "America's Team" welcomes the New York "Football" Giants to town to open the season. No Ezekiel Elliott and Eli Manning has his heir apparent waiting in the wings. Should make for a juicy matchup to start the 100th season.
With a new season comes new sure-fire predictions to go way right, or as the case normally is, way wrong.
Over the last two seasons, the Super Bowl predictions haven't been that close. Two seasons ago, it was the Packers over the Oakland Raiders 26-21. Neither team made the playoffs.
Last season, both teams made the playoffs but didn't get past the Divisional Round. The prediction was the Cowboys over the Houston Texans, 24-20.
For the 100th season, though, if these are the sure-to-go-wrong NFL predictions, then the predictions are going to go out in a blaze of glory.
The three games mentioned before are just for Week 1. The season is full of games that will bring entertainment.
Look no further than Week 2. The New Orleans Saints head to Los Angeles to take on the Rams in a rematch of January's NFC Championship.
Saints fans won't let the no-call go from the end of that game. Did it cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl? Who knows, but it created a lot of controversy that the Saints want to put to bed. I'm sure the Rams want to show, again, that they're the better team.
In Week 5, the Packers visit the Cowboys. These two teams are arguably the most popular sports franchises. The famous "G" on the helmet for Green Bay vs. the "Star" on the helmet for Dallas. Given the last two games between these teams, this matchup should be a fun one.
The Packers will also be featured in Week 8's game to watch. The Packers head to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. As much as fans wanted to see more Aaron Rodgers vs. Brady, it should be safe to start the hashtag "#Rodgers&Mahomes." Yes, the reigning MVP is Patrick Mahomes, quarterback of the Chiefs. Rodgers could be the single-most-talented player to ever play quarterback, but Mahomes has a lot of Rodgers in him, through at least one season of play. Mahomes and Brady delivered twice last season. Mahomes and Rodgers can deliver at least once.
Remember when the Bears lost to the Philadelphia Eagles on the "Double Doink" kick in the Wild Card round of the playoffs? Well, the two teams will meet in Week 9, only the game will be in Philadelphia. Khalil Mack of the Bears is one of the best defensive players in the league, and the Bears' defense should be good, just like last season. Can the Bears avenge the "Double Doink" loss? Or will Carson Wentz have the Eagles soaring by the midway mark of the season?
Week 12, it's Cowboys and Patriots. I mean, just the "Star" and Brady make it worth watching. But by Week 12, games will have even more playoff implications, and if it is snowing up in New England, then Elliott will need to be back for the Cowboys to have a chance to ice a win out (figuratively speaking).
Outside of the iconic Packers-Bears rivalry to open the season, the Week 14 matchup of the Chiefs and Patriots is the game of the year. Last year, the Patriots defeated the Chiefs at home in the regular season and then went to Arrowhead and beat the Chiefs to reach the Super Bowl. The AFC Championship made it to overtime before the Patriots won the game. No games topped those two meetings last year. Expect the same game in Week 14.
The NFL has four divisions. The four division winners and two wild card teams make up the six teams from each conference in the playoffs
- AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs (13-3)
- AFC East: New England Patriots (12-4)
- AFC North: Cleveland Browns (10-6)
- AFC South: Houston Texans (10-6)
- Wild Card: New York Jets (10-6), Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7)
- NFC West: Los Angeles Rams (12-4)
- NFC North: Chicago Bears (12-4)
- NFC South: New Orleans Saints (11-5)
- NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)
- Wild Card: Minnesota Vikings (11-5), Seattle Seahawks (10-6)
During the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs, on the AFC side it will be the No. 6-seed Steelers at the No. 3-seed Browns and the fourth-seeded Texans will host the No. 5-seed Jets.
In the NFC, it will be the fifth-seeded Vikings going to the fourth-seeded Eagles and the No. 6-seed Seahawks fly to the Bayou for a date with the three-seeded Saints.
Advancing from the Wild Card round will be the Browns, Jets, Vikings and Seahawks. That's three road teams advancing to the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
In the Divisional Round, the best team in the NFL, the No. 1-seed Chiefs will host the Jets on the AFC side of the bracket. Brady, along with the two-seeded Patriots will welcome the Browns.
The NFC side of things will be the Seahawks at the No. 1-seed Rams, a divisional rivalry meeting in the playoffs. The same will also be for the Vikings and the Bears, the No. 2 seed.
The Divisional Round is normally the best games of the playoffs. The teams are so close. That will be the same for this year's playoffs.
Advancing to the AFC Championship will be the Jets, who pull a huge stunning upset of the Chiefs on a pick-6. The Jets will face the Patriots in the AFC Championship.
In the NFC Championship will be the Bears hosting the Seahawks, who upset the Rams. Both No. 1 seeds will be out at the same time in this year's playoffs.
For the title games, the Jets do the improbable and defeat Brady and the Patriots on the road to advance to the Super Bowl. The Bears will squeak by the Seahawks in a defensive slugfest, where field goals are the norm and touchdowns are scarce.
Super Bowl LIV
Prediction: Bears 22, Jets 16