Review-Journal NFL writer Gilbert Manzano predicts the 2018 playoff teams and Super Bowl LIII champion.
AFC East: New England Patriots
Non-Patriots fans are hopeful this is the year the evil empire falls. Keep wishing.
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers
This is probably Le’Veon Bell’s final year in Pittsburgh. It’s now or never for the “Killer Bs” to get to the Super Bowl.
AFC South: Houston Texans
If Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt stay healthy, the Texans will make noise in the AFC.
AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ explosive offense will score often and quickly.
NFC East: New York Giants
Odell Beckham returns healthy and a much richer man. New coach Pat Shurmur gets the team back on track.
NFC North: Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings will be tough to beat with a dominant defense and the addition of quarterback Kirk Cousins.
NFC South: Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons’ offense will run smoothly in Year 2 with Steve Sarkisian calling the plays.
NFC West: Los Angeles Rams
The stars aligned in L.A. to give the Rams a stacked roster on both sides of the ball.
AFC: Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers
The Jaguars’ defense will carry the team into the postseason despite a sluggish offense. The Chargers are deep enough to survive another injury bug.
NFC: Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals
The Eagles will struggle early with a Super Bowl hangover but get hot late with a healthy Carson Wentz. David Johnson reaches his lofty goal of 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards to lift Arizona to the playoffs.
AFC: Patriots vs. Steelers
These two teams didn’t meet in the AFC title game last year for a change. They’ll be the last two standing in the AFC in January.
NFC: Vikings vs. Eagles
In a rematch of last year’s NFC title game, the Vikings get their revenge at home to dethrone the defending champs.
Super Bowl LIII: Patriots vs. Vikings
A motivated Tom Brady and Bill Belichick get the job done this year for ring No. 6. One decides to retire during the celebration.