- The Seattle Seahawks will maintain their winning record and win the NFC West.
It is undeniable that Seattle has exceeded any expectations of them this season. Their quarterback, Smith, who was utterly written off, has not “wrote back” — a quote Smith used following their Week 1 underdog win against the Denver Broncos. Smith ranks No. 5 in yards per attempt, No. 3 in passer rating and No. 4 in quarterback rating (QBR). And, Smith has been a top-five QB this season — there’s no doubt about it. However, despite Smith’s heroics, the team’s first-place standing will not continue. For one, their schedule gets very difficult. Five of their last six games go against teams with a .500 record or better, including the Kansas City Chiefs, 49ers and Rams twice. They are also scheduled to play the Buccaneers and the always-tough Las Vegas Raiders.
- Matt Ryan deserved to be benched and should not return this season.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan ranks in the bottom 12 in QBR, passer rating and yards per attempt. He also leads the league in sacks taken and interceptions. He’s been horrible. The 37-year-old former MVP looks like a shell of his former self. His inability to move the football downfield has suffocated the Colts’ offense. It is time for a change. Colts owner Jim Irsay made this decision almost unilaterally — a very rare and somewhat unprecedented move in the modern NFL. Ryan’s tenure as a starting NFL QB is over.
- The Philadelphia Eagles are the best team in the NFL.
No one has been more impressive through the first seven weeks of the season than Philadelphia Eagles’ QB Jalen Hurts. His 7-0 Eagles have cemented him at the front of the early MVP conversation. Hurts has improved every season in the NFL; his passer rating is up 20 points, his QBR has increased by 26 points, his sack percentage has lowered and his yards per attempt have increased. Hurts has been a force in both rushing and passing the football.
What has stood out the most about the Eagles is how resilient they have been. Following an early 14-0 deficit at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Eagles battled their way back into the game and defeated Jacksonville 29-21. Since Week 1, they have yet to allow more than 21 points in any of their last five games. With the addition of defensive end Robert Quinn coming over from the Chicago Bears in a trade, the Eagles’ defense is only getting better.
- Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers will finish below .500 and miss the playoffs.
I will never bet against QBs Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. They have, by far, the best track records of anyone in the NFL. They are two of the three best QBs of the 21st century. However, both have gotten off to extremely shaky starts in 2022. Now at 3-5, the Buccaneers no longer sit atop the NFC South. Their schedule is not easy but neither is facing Brady. They will win the NFC South and reach the playoffs.
Now, the case for Rodgers and the Packers is a lot harder to make. Their wide receiver core has been despicable throughout the last eight weeks. Dropping passes, running poorly, wrong routes and simple mental mistakes have caused Rodgers to look average. They had a very arduous matchup last weekend in their loss against the Bills but, like we’ve seen before from Rodgers, you can never count him out. They can still win the NFC North but should sneak into the Wild Card at worst.
- The New York Jets will finish as a Wild Card team.
Regardless of how this season ends for the green and white, give monumental credit to general manager Joe Douglas for absolutely killing the 2022 draft class. He made three tremendous picks early with lockdown cornerback Sauce Gardner, future elite wide receiver Garrett Wilson and a talented running back in Breece Hall. I can’t forget head coach and former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for his coaching job thus far. However, the New York Jets will NOT make the playoffs this season. The reason is that QB Zach Wilson is not a good NFL QB. His passer rating ranks below QB Mitch Trubisky in 2022, which is all one needs to know about Wilson. He hasn’t looked good. The Jets still has one matchup against the New England Patriots and two against the Bills. They also have games against the Minnesota Vikings, the Miami Dolphins and the Seahawks, all who are above .500. Maybe next year.