Panther Prints

Tackling the NFL Season

Running back LeSean McCoy (25) warms up prior to preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 26.

Courtesy of AP images

Running back LeSean McCoy (25) warms up prior to preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 26.

by Travis Humphrey, Sports Editor

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With the NFL season a little over four weeks away, I will be giving my opinions on what I believe will happen in each division. Although some divisions seem to be foregone conclusions, this year may be remembered as one of the most competitive seasons in past few decades. As teams that struggled last year have made moves that have made them significantly better, the playing field this year will be relatively even and will make for a very exciting season. With that being said here are my predictions for the AFC East:

AFC EAST:

  • New England Patriots (13-3): Despite losing Brandin Cooks to a trade with the Los Angeles Rams, the Patriots found a “replacement” in former Oakland Raider Cordarrelle Patterson. Although Patterson is a downgrade for the position, the Patriots improved their offensive line and running back in the first round of the draft with running back Sony Michel and offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn. They re-signed many of their solid performers on the defense and still have Tom Brady and Head Coach Bill Belichick. Due to this, the Patriots will be a strong contender in the AFC and have a chance to do damage in the playoffs.

Courtesy of AP images
Quarterback Tom Brady (12) warms up prior to preseason game against the New York Giants on Sept. 30.

  • Buffalo Bills (8-8): After ending their 17-year playoff drought in their previous season, the Bills will miss the playoffs once again this year. The team lost starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns and will start Nathan Peterman, rather than first-round draft pick Josh Allen. The Bills have not gotten any better in free agency but have not lost any key figures other than Taylor. With LeSean McCoy as running back, it will be difficult for them to struggle, which is why they will finish with a .500 record.

Courtesy of AP images
Running back LeSean McCoy (25) warms up prior to preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 26.

  • New York Jets (4-12): The Jets are an inexperienced team as they will start the youngest quarterback to start since the NFL merger in 1970, Sam Darnold. Although Darnold will be a solid quarterback, it will take him time to adapt to the league which is why the Jets will go through another year of disappointment. The Jets have a lot to look forward and have a relatively young core that they can build around. If Darnold’s development continues down its trend, the Jets will be a very strong team two years from now. This season will be a development year for Darnold and hopefully, fans will see this and accept this year as a throwaway year.

Courtesy of AP images
Quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back for a pass during preseason game against the New York Giants in 22-16 loss on Sept. 24.

  • Miami Dolphins (3-13): Despite having veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill and a strong backfield made up of Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake, the Dolphins will once again be one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Dolphins have a very exciting wide receiving core of Danny Amendola, Kenny Stills and returning receiver DeVante Parker, but it will be difficult for to get them the ball because of the lack of talent on their offensive line. Due to this and a lack of talent across their entire defense, the Dolphins will struggle to win many games and it is very likely that Coach Adam Gase and his coaching staff will be let go of at the end of the year.

Courtesy of AP images
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) throws pass during preseason game against the Carolina Panthers in 27-20 loss on Sept. 17.

 

About the Writer
Travis Humphrey, Sports Editor

Travis Humphrey is a returning member of the Panther Prints staff and will be contributing this year as the sports editor. He is a senior and is looking forward to spreading his thoughts and opinions to the school through his writing during his last year. On top of writing for the Panther Prints, he is also a part-time writer for the Murphy Monitor and will be the live tweeter for the PESH Prints Twitter at most sporting events. After graduating, Travis looks to major in sports management at either Texas A&M University or the University of Georgia. Although he doesn’t plan to pursue journalism after high school, Travis is grateful that he has been able to fulfill his dreams of being able to express his sports opinions to others. 

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