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Bing Predicts — NFL season preview

  • Bing Predicts — NFL season preview

    As the NFL preseason wraps up its four-week stretch of games, players and fans for all 32 teams are gearing up for the start of the regular season. The season officially kicks off Thursday, Sept. 6 with the Atlanta Falcons taking on the defending Super Bowl champs, the Philadelphia Eagles. Bing features specifics on this NFL season, including standings, live scores, and breaking news. Most fans will see their teams play Week 1 on Sunday, Sept. 9, with a Monday Night Football double-header featuring the New York Jets vs. the Detroit Lions followed by the Los Angeles Rams vs. the Oakland Raiders.

    Using Microsoft’s Bing Predicts rankings predictor, Stacker analyzed expected outcomes of all 32 teams to see how each is expected to fare this season. Get ready for the season with quick recaps of last season's performance, any major roster shake-ups to note for the coming season, and a few critical games each team should be highlighting on their schedule for the 2018–19 season.

    Bing predicts only one team that made the playoffs in 2017 will post a losing record this season. Conversely, two teams are predicted to increase their win totals by four games or more.

     

  • #32. Cleveland Browns

    Conference: AFC

    Division: North

    Predicted record: 1-15

    The good news for the Browns? They can't get worse than last year. The Browns suffered through a miserable 0-16 campaign last season, averaging a league-worst 14.6 points per game on offense and finishing 31st among team defenses for points allowed per game with 25.6. The even better news is there is actual reason for Browns fans to have some optimism going into the 2018–19 campaign after decades of cheering for an underperforming team.

    The team traded for wide receiver Jarvis Landry and quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The front office also spent two top-five draft picks on Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward. Ward is already slated to start, and Mayfield is expected to make a strong run for Taylor’s starting gig. While Hue Jackson's team may have laid the groundwork for the future, too many questions remain to see a dramatic improvement from last season.

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  • #31. New York Giants

    Conference: NFC

    Division: East

    Predicted record: 2-14

    The New York Giants enter the 2018–19 season at a crossroads. They have a new head coach in Pat Shurmur, the former head coach of the Browns, and a new running back with #2 draft pick Saquon Barkley from Penn State. But quarterback Eli Manning remains, despite coming off one of his worst seasons in years where he posted a 41.7 QB rating, the second-lowest of his career. Shurmur has reaffirmed his faith in the 37-year-old team leader, but skepticism on a bounce-back year remains. Playing in the same division as the Eagles, the reigning Super Bowl champs, doesn't help matters. They'll face each other twice this season on Oct. 11 and Nov. 25.

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  • #30. Miami Dolphins

    Conference: AFC

    Division: East

    Predicted record: 3-13

    Last year went off track quickly after quarterback Ryan Tannehill went down with a knee injury in a preseason practice. They saved on payroll by trading wide receiver Jarvis Landry to the Browns in the off-season, who then gave him a pricey five-year, $75 million deal. The Dolphins will face a tough test to close out this coming season, playing against the Patriots, Vikings, and Jaguars in weeks 14, 15, and 16. While adding veterans like running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Danny Amendola may help modestly, it’s doubtful it will be enough to bring Miami back to their playoff form of 2016.

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  • #29. Washington Redskins

    Conference: NFC

    Division: East

    Predicted record: 3-13

    The Redskins signed quarterback Alex Smith and watched their long-time quarterback Kirk Cousins bolt to Minnesota as a result. Now, with what analysts expect to be a severe downgrade at quarterback, Washington is also dealing with a disappointing slew of preseason injuries to their running backs, leading them to sign 33-year-old Adrian Peterson in desperation. Fans may be wishing they could go back to the 7-9 finish from last year as Bing predicts the Redskins will go 3-13 this season.

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  • #28. Buffalo Bills

    Conference: AFC

    Division: East

    Predicted record: 5-11

    The Bills made a surprising run last year, going 9-7 and making the playoffs for the first time in the 21st century—their last playoff appearance was 1999. Still, they aren’t predicted to repeat that success in 2018, a stance largely aided by Preston Brown bailing on Buffalo for Cincinnati. The 25-year-old linebacker had his best season yet last year, tying for the lead league in total tackles with 144. Another concern is how they’ll replace Tyrod Taylor, whom they traded to the Browns. Top draft pick Josh Allen appears poised to be thrown into the role, likely early in the season.

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  • #27. Cincinnati Bengals

    Conference: AFC

    Division: North

    Predicted record: 5-11

    This season could prove to be a critical one for quarterback Andy Dalton and head coach Marvin Lewis. Dalton, now 30, has regressed over the past three seasons as his QB rating has stumbled down from 106.3 to 91.8 to 86.6. Lewis is now entering his 16th season as the team’s leader, through which he’s racked up a thoroughly mediocre 125-113-3 cumulative record. On the plus side, they’ll have one of the five easiest schedules in the league for 2018. With no major departures or signings, Bing predicts another less-than-admirable year for Cincinnati at 5-11.

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  • #26. Oakland Raiders

    Conference: AFC

    Division: West

    Predicted record: 5-11

    Jon Gruden left ESPN’s broadcast booth to join the Raiders’ sideline once again as their head coach for this season, and expectations are high for his squad to put the pieces together to make a run in the AFC West. Gruden’s raving comments from training camp regarding quarterback Derek Carr and his command of the offense should inspire some optimism amongst fans, but outside linebacker Khalil Mack has been holding out for a contract that does not seem to be coming from Oakland, who are reportedly exploring trade possibilities. Losing one of the best defensive players in football—Mack was the league’s 2016 defensive player of the year—would be a devastating blow to what was a middling defense last season.

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  • #25. Arizona Cardinals

    Conference: NFC

    Division: West

    Predicted record: 5-11

    New head coach Steve Wilks will hopefully revamp an offense that proved to be anemic last year, averaging an uninspiring 18.4 points per game, which ranked in the bottom third of the league. To help with this,Wilks will have stud running back David Johnson returning from injury and top draft pick Josh Rosen at quarterback. Defensive end Chandler Jones leads a formidable front seven for Arizona. Jones posted a league-high 17 sacks last season, making for 28 total in his two years since being traded from New England. The defense was sixth-best in total yards and rushing yards allowed per game in 2017.

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  • #24. Indianapolis Colts

    Conference: AFC

    Division: South

    Predicted record: 6-10

    After Josh McDaniels committed and uncommitted to the head coaching job, the Colts tapped Frank Reich for the gig. The former Eagles offensive coordinator should help quarterback Andrew Luck take the step toward elite play, which he was able to do with Carson Wentz in Philadelphia, but any Luck-Reich synergy can only carry the Colts so far. The wide receiver corps remains scarily thin behind T.Y. Hilton, and the defense is coming off an abysmal year where they finished third-worst in the league for points and yards allowed. They didn’t draft any secondary help, which is a questionable move for a team that finished tied for worst in net yards per passing attempt at 7.3.

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  • #23. New York Jets

    Conference: AFC

    Division: East

    Predicted record: 6-10

    Last season was yet another disappointment for Jets fans, as the team piddled out to a 5-11 year of mediocrity. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold will hope to make the difference as he contends for the starting job along with Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown. But even with their off-season maneuvers, the Jets still are poised for another year of averageness in the NFL.

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