Training camp has officially kicked off, and (un)fortunately, that allows anyone with a sports opinion to make their NFL predictions.
In reality, your favorite writers have mostly likely already made their predictions, and you have probably already read them and made peace with them. However, a lot of predictions tend to come out in tandem with the official NFL schedule, so they do not include many of the team-altering factors that have taken place since then.
So don’t worry. Here’s your latest update.
To kick off our somewhat of “too early to tell” predictions, we’ll start in the AFC East, where the New England Patriots are looking to defend their Super Bowl 51 title:
New England Patriots
Projected Record: 14-2
According to Sports Illustrated, the Patriots have averaged about 3 losses a year since 2010. That’s tough to beat.
As good as they looked last year, it’s hard not to admit that they may look better this year. They have added some great veterans, along with some young talent – the perfect combination for Bill Belichick. And as long as Brady stays healthy, the Patriots should be A-Okay this year.
There is a lot of talk going around about the possibility of the Patriots going 16-0, however I do not see that happening again this year. It seems like too tough of a task, especially with the Patriots loaded second-half of the season with games against Denver and Oakland back-to-back.
My guess: they lose one of those games, and possibly drop another to the team with the highest winning percentage of all time against Brady: the Dolphins.
Projected Record: 9-7
The Dolphins have been an average team over the past few seasons, finishing around .500 more and more often than most. Last season proved to be a little different, as they made the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
However, we project that they go back to their close to .500 ways this season. Adam Gase, who has become a great young coach in this league, will only be able to lead his team so far against some tough opponents. This includes the Patriots, Raiders, and Broncos.
The Dolphins have also had a pretty quiet off-season, not giving much support to Tannehill, who took a beating last season. We’ll see if the Dolphins can prove us wrong.
Projected Record: 5-11
The poor Bills. After a few seasons where the playoffs finally seemed like an attainable feat, Buffalo is going to face another rough patch.
The franchise faced some major changes this off-season, firing Doug Whaley and handing the organization over to Sean McDermott. It is rare that a team with minimal talent will succeed with a newly bred head coach.
Like all of the other teams in the division, the Bills will face some tough, playoff bound organizations throughout the regular season. Five wins may be generous, but I expect them to run Watkins and McCoy into the ground, or at least until they fall to injury.
New York Jets
Projected Record: 2-14
There is a possibility the Jets are planning to tank this season. This off-season has been quite a mess for the dysfunctional franchise, and that may be what they were aiming for (in some weird and crazy sort of sense).
First of all, the quarterback situation is still up in the air, and I believe it will be for the majority of the season. This in fact, may be why they are tanking. The Jets might possibly believe that their QB of the future is one that will be a top pick in next year’s draft.
However, it is hard not to believe that a team will go out onto the field and not compete. This young and inexperienced team will face some tough, tough losses this year, but projecting them as a team that goes 0-16 just doesn’t seem reasonable.
The Jets may end up being this season’s Browns (I can hear cheers in Cleveland), however it may end up benefiting them down the road…way, way down the road.
Let us know your thoughts below and which division you would like us to project records for next.
Kyle Hirshkind is the managing editor for Full Press Coverage's New York Jets channel. Originally from Long Island, New York, Kyle has been an avid Jets supporter for 20+ years.