Jeff Reinebold's NFL Season Preview Part 2: The AFC
Oddschecker’s NFL ambassador looks at three teams in particular that have big seasons ahead of them.
We’ll start with Superbowl LII’s losers. The Patriots will be expected to contend, just like every year. Tom Brady is timeless: It’s incredible how he manages to keep rolling every year and the 41 years next to his name really is just a number!
They’ll want to avenge February’s loss but their roster has taken a bit of a hit and it could be more difficult for them than people are expecting. Yes, they’ll almost certainly top their division, but losing Malcolm Butler, Dion Lewis, Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks in one go would be tough for any team to overcome. Not only that, they’ve got Julian Edelman banned and he has to come back and star for this team.
They still have Gronk, and you feel that he has to stay fit. If not, and father time finally catches up to Brady (Not that we have seen any evidence of that happening anytime soon), #12's sixth ring will have to wait some more.
Let’s go from the top of the conference to the bottom: The Cleveland Browns will improve (They can’t get worse), but to what extent? A lot of stats were made to point out that the side wasn’t a 0-16 team last season, but that’s what they got and it’s something that can’t be erased.
There’s a lot of talent in this team and Hue Jackson has to hit the ground this season. Although a season opener against the Steelers will be extremely tough. Some people have given reasons that the Browns can get six, seven or even eight wins this year. While the latter might be a bit of a stretch, and talk of making the playoffs might be a bit wide of the mark, there’s a lot to be excited about. Six wins is definitely possible.
Finally, I feel that this is a bigger year for the Miami Dolphins than other teams. Ryan Tannehill is back from injury and will need to really leave his mark on the offense, but it won’t be easy stepping straight back into the firing line after that long out. They have winnable games in their schedule but it’s hard going when you’re fighting for second place in the AFC East.
Whatever happens in the NFL, keep it on Oddschecker for reaction and opinion. Enjoy the season!
Jeff Reinebold is the current BC Lions Special Teams Coach and a long time Sky Sports pundit. He will be Oddschecker's NFL Ambassador throughout the 2018 season.