1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tampa Bay is a very interesting and up and coming team. With the acquisition of CB Brent Grimes, DE Robert Ayers and CB Vernon Hargreaves III (1st round draft choice), I believe the defense will improve significantly from last year and possibly become a Top 10 defense. The Offense will improve as well with the signing of G J.R Sweezy, the resigning of RB Doug Martin, and the up and coming star that is QB Jameis Winston. Winston will have countless of TALL bodies to throw to including WR Mike Evans who will bounce back from his sophomore slump. Another addition is Head Coach, Dirk Koetter who will fit right in to the Buccs organization and hopefully help resolve the on field chemistry issues. Buccs fans have a lot to look forward to, but the real question is can they get past the more experienced teams of the NFC.
- 2015-16 Record 6-10
- 2016-17 Prediction 10-6
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jacksonville Jaguars improved tremendously this off season with Free-Agent signings of notable names like RB Chris Ivory, Tashaun Gipson, Prince Amukamara, Malik Jackson and Kelvin Beachum. The Jaguars also had a very solid draft further to add to their off season moves. Jacksonville has an explosive offense led by QB Blake Bortles who is coming off a great year. Bortles has an amazing receiving core and a corps of running backs to hand the ball off to. If Bortles can down the turnovers and the offensive line can create more time for Bortles to work with, the jaguars will have one of the best offenses in the league. Along with turnovers, the defense was a BIG problem for the Jaguars last year having allowed the 2nd most points and yards but with the signings of CB Prince Amukamara, DE Malik Jackson, and S Tashaun Gipson the Jaguar defense could improve quite a bit. Former first round pick DE Dante Fowler is also returning from a season ending ACL injury that he suffered last summer before his rookie year. If the Jaguars can stay healthy they could find themselves with their first winning record since 2007.
- 2015-16 record 5-11
- 2016-17 Prediction 9-7
3. Minnesota Vikings – The last year success of the Minnesota Vikings is mainly due to RB Adrian Peterson’s outstanding League Leading rushing season. But without AP are the Vikings a contending team or even an above .500 team? At age 31 AP is past his prime and his career is coming to an end. I expect AP to lose some of the fire power that he had last year which means that “Pro Bowl” QB Teddy Bridgewater will have to take a big step up from his 14 TD 9 INT season last year for the Vikings to return to the playoffs. However, Teddy will not be ready to be the leader of the offense just yet meaning a down year for the Minnesota Vikings may be in store. Don’t get me wrong, the Vikings have a very talented, young team but I do not think their offense will be able to bring them to the postseason.
- 2015-16 record 11-5
- 2016-17 Prediction 8-8