As a follow-up to my wildly successful, completely accurate, by-position fantasy ranks series, I present to you my completely accurate division and Super Bowl winners. I even roped in Heath and Pete to give their takes on the 2019 NFL season.
Clark: New England Patriots — No surprise here, the Pats are the class of the division.
Heath: Patriots — No other team is even projected (or likely) to exceed eight wins. Only a fool would pick someone besides the Patriots.
Pete: Patriots — duh.
Heath: Los Angeles Chargers — I’ll go off the beaten path here and choose the Chargers. Sure, KC will be a playoff team. But I think Rivers’ cupboard is stocked with weapons and he’s got another epic season up his sleeves.
Pete: Chiefs — I think the Chargers will have a strong season, but I have a hard time picking against Patrick Mahomes and that Chiefs’ offense.
Clark: Baltimore Ravens — The AFC North is the best divisions in football, top-to-bottom. I may be blinded by my enthusiasm for Lamar Jackson taking a step forward, but this division should come down to the wire again!
Heath: Pittsburgh Steelers — We can safely say it won’t be the Bengals...right? With the other three teams likely beating up on each other though, give me the team with the best QB—that’s Big Ben and the Steelers, in my book. This offense will still be electric, even without Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. I’m not writing off a Donte Moncrief revival...
Pete: Steelers — I can’t wait to see the Steelers, Browns and Ravens all beat the shit out of each other all season but ultimately I have the Steelers winning the battle to come out AFC North champs (only to of course get knocked out by the Patriots).
Clark: Houston Texans — The AFC South is the polar opposite if the North division. Anything less than winning the division would be a disappointment for the Texans.
Heath: Texans — The Texans, man. I may not know who the third receiver in this offense is, but adding the underrated Kenny Stills is a big win. I think the Colts will surprise with Brissett, but I expect the Texans to be at the top of the heap by season’s end.
Pete: Texans — Bill O’Brien really f***ed up if the Texans can’t win the AFC South.
Clark: Chargers, Buffalo Bills — Phillip Rivers gets the gang together for one last ride, and the Chargers overcome the early-season angst around Melvin Gordon’s holdout. Sean McDermott had the Bills defense playing fantastic ball in 2018, and while we don’t want to get too excited about a couple of pre-season performances, Ed Oliver is looking like a very nice addition to an already hard-nosed defense.
Heath: Chiefs, Ravens — I’ll grant the Chiefs a playoff spot, and the second-best team in the North, which should be the Ravens.
Pete: Browns, Ravens — AFC North gonna send three teams to the playoffs just so we can watch them all beat each other up one more time.
Heath: Eagles — It’s Dallas or Philly, right? I’ll take the Eagles, who are the more complete offense. It’s that kind of world in the NFL, after all. Alshon should re-assert himself this year, and Dallas Goedert makes another leap forward. Miles Sanders impresses. I love this Philly group.
Pete: Eagles — I’m putting my full faith in MVP Carson Wentz returning to the NFL this year.
Clark: Seattle Seahawks — With just a little help from the defense, and thanks in no small part to Russell Wilson reminding us why he should be a perennial MVP candidate, the Hawks dethrone the Rams and take the division.
Heath: Los Angeles Rams — I’ll take the Rams here. The Seahawks just don’t have enough on either side of the ball for me to justify picking them over last year’s other Super Bowl team. Rams roll easily into the playoffs this year.
Pete: Rams — That whole team is too talented to fall back down the rankings this year. I also think Sean McVay have some new tricks up his sleeves for this year.
Clark: Green Bay Packers — Speaking of perennial MVP candidates, whether it really was Mike McCarthy holding back the Packers offense, or some other combination of factors, the Pack return to their division winning ways.
Heath: Minnesota Vikings — I’m a sucker for Minnesota. I think Kirk Cousins is good enough. I’ll take the Vikings in another hotly contested division.
Pete: Vikings — I’m with Heath. The Vikings are good and I think this is going to be a much improved offense from a year ago and we know what the defense can do. Also Bears are going 8-8 this season.
Clark: Carolina Panthers — The NFC South misses out on the ‘best division in football’ label thanks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cam takes a step forward in his maturity and begins leaning on the weapons he’s been surrounded by. Yet again, this division should be dogfight all season.
Heath: Panthers — Just call it a hunch (or homerism) but give me the Panthers here. This new-look Panthers offense can finally take shape, as Cam focuses on getting the ball out quickly to D.J. Moore, Christian McCaffrey, and Curtis Samuel. Greg Olsen and Ian Thomas will present threats when on the field, as well. I say the defense does just enough to keep us in it.
Pete: New Orleans Saints — God I want to pick the Panthers but I already made my bed in New Orleans. Gotta trust that squad to win the South.
Clark: Saints, Cowboys — For the Saints, continued solid play from their defense and lights out efficiency from Drew Brees keep the Saints’ Super Bowl window open. After the Cowboys drop their first game to the Giants, Jerry Jones swallows his pride and gives Zeke his new deal. The young linebacking corps and modernized offense give the boys just enough to squeak into the last playoff spot.
Heath: Saints, Seahawks — I’ll take the Saints and Seahawks here. What a loaded group!
Pete: Packers, San Francisco 49ers — JIMMY G GONNA DO WORK THIS SEASON BABY!
Clark: Seahawks 27, Patriots 26
Heath: Chargers 24, Eagles 21
Pete: Vikings 21, Patriots 17