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2018-2019 NFL Team Preview

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2018-2019 NFL Team Preview

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Arizona Cardinals:  The Cardinals started their season off with a tough 24-6 loss to the Redskins. One of their key team focuses is their strong defensive backs. Cornerback Patrick Peterson is a team leader for the Cardinals, alongside a pretty solid strong safety in Antoine Bethea. The Cardinals also have a pretty solid O-line with big names in Justin Pugh and Mike Iupati.  Most importantly, this team is lead by future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald at wideout. The Cardinals also have star athlete David Johnson at running back.

Atlanta Falcons:  The Falcons started their season off against the defending Super Bowl Champions Eagles in a close loss 12- 18. The Falcons are lead by their big three Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonta Freeman with a surprising breakout year last year from wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. Defensive specialist Keanu Neal should have a pretty solid year as well.

Baltimore Ravens:  The Ravens had a bone-crushing start of the season against the Bills 47 to 3. The main focus of the Ravens this summer was rookie Heisman quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Ravens also picked up pro wide receiver from the Cardinals, John Brown. Eric Weddle and Terrell Suggs should also have a solid year for the Ravens on the defensive perspective.

Buffalo Bills:  The Bills had a rough start to the year with a 3-47 loss to the Ravens.  A huge focus for the Bills this year will be their rookie quarterback from Wyoming, Josh Allen.  The team is hoping for big things from their first round pick. Allen will have veteran running back LeSean McCoy to run the ball for him if needed. The Bills’ main target to hit this year will be Kelvin Benjamin.

Carolina Panthers:  Panthers’ fans were happy as their team started off with a win, 16-8 against the Cowboys. The Panthers’ key focus this year will be the evolution of second year running back Christian McCaffrey. The Panthers were also fortunate to receive the rookie wide receiver from Maryland, D.J Moore.  They also have All-Pro tight end Greg Olsen and All-Star quarterback Cam Newton. Their defense has some big names as well in future Hall of Famer Julius Peppers and 2013 Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly.

Chicago Bears:   The Bears had an extremely close game to start their season against their rivals, the Packers, 23-24 with the Bears losing.  A big focus for the Bears is their second year quarterback Mitch Trubisky.  The team is hoping for big numbers for their QB. The team also traded for 2017 Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack. If the Bears’ rookie linebacker from Georgia, Roquan Smith, plays to his full potential, their linebackers should be tough to get through this year.

Cincinnati Bengals:  The Bengals started off their season with an easy win against the Colts 34-23. The Bengals are hoping that Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J.  Green take them to their first playoff win since 1990. The team is hoping for a breakout year from second year running back Joe Mixon. Longtime quarterback Andy Dalton should also have a solid year.

Cleveland Browns:  It was an awkward start for the Browns with a tie to the Steelers 21-21. The Browns last year had one of the worst seasons in NFL history, going 0-16. This year they will try to recuperate by bringing in Pro Bowl wide receiver from Miami, Jarvis Landry. The Browns also drafted Heisman quarterback Baker Mayfield and signed solid quarterback Tyrod Taylor. They should also have a good young core with some players that should have breakout years, Nick Chubb, Denzel Ward, Myles Garrett, and Jabrill Peppers.

Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys started off with a tough loss to the Panthers 8-16. The Cowboys had a tough loss of wide receiver Dez Bryant this offseason. Fortunately,  running back Ezekiel Elliott, who had an amazing rookie year despite a suspension, will be able to return this year. Quarterback Dak Prescott should also have a pretty solid year this year as well.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos started off their season with a rematch of Super Bowl 50 against the Seahawks, winning 27-24. The Broncos team is focused around Super Bowl MVP linebacker Von Miller. The Broncos also gained the strength of quarterback Case Keenum, who will try to replace Future Hall of Famer quarterback Peyton Manning, who retired in 2016. Quarterback has been the main focus for the Broncos ever since their legendary quarterback retired.

Detroit Lions:  The Lions started off with a rough start losing 17-48 against the Jets. The Lions overall have a pretty solid offense. Their offense is lead by Pro Bowl quarterback Matthew Stafford.  Stafford’s main targets this year should be wide receivers Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. The running backs who should share most of the running this year will be veteran LeGarrette Blount and Ameer Abdullah. The Lions also have great expectations from defensive end Ezekiel Ansah.

Green Bay Packers:  Game one was a close one for the Packers, winning 24-23 against the Bears. This year the Packers will obviously be lead by future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers, who in 2016 almost threw for 4,500 yards. A big target for Rodgers will be 2018 Pro Bowler Jimmy Graham, who the team recently pick up off of Seattle. The defense will be lead by team veteran linebacker Clay Matthews. The Packers also picked up quarterback DeShone Kizer from the Browns.

Houston Texans: Houston had a bumpy start losing 27-20 against the Patriots. The Texans will be lead by three-time Defensive Player of the Year, defensive end J.J. Watt. Houston is also expecting a star year from second-year quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson’s main target this year will be wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins with help in the back field from running back Lamar Miller. Safety Tyrann Mathieu should also be pretty stout this year for the Texans.

Indianapolis Colts: It was a not-so-fun start for the Colts as they lost 23-34 to the Bengals. The Colts’ team captain, quarterback Andrew Luck, has been the Colts’ go-to guy ever since the departure of Peyton Manning in 2012. The Colts were fortunate this year to draft 2nd to 3rd round wide receiver Deon Cain in the 6th round. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton should also have a pretty solid year.

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars started off with a solid win over the Giants, winning 20-15. Jacksonville’s quarterback this year will be Blake Bortles.  Bortles, who had a breakout year last year, helped carry the Jaguars to the AFC Championship. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey and running back Leonard Fournette both had outstanding years, as well.

Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas started off their season with a 38-28 win over the Chargers. The Chiefs are lead by second year quarterback Patrick Mahomes II and Pro Bowl wide receiver Tyreek Hill. A nice addition to the team this year was the pick up of wide receiver Sammy Watkins off of the Rams. Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry should also have a solid year. On offense, they also have tight end Travis Kelce and running back Kareem Hunt who should have standout years as well.

Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers looked good with a tough loss to the Chargers 28-38 to start their season. The Charges’ captain and seven-time Pro Bowler Phillip Rivers should have another great year at quarterback. Joey Bosa should also have another solid year at playing defensive end. Keenan Allen should also have, in my opinion, one of the best performances from a wide receiver.

Los Angeles Rams: The Rams came out on top in their first game, winning 33-13 against the Raiders. Todd Gurley will most likely be getting the ball the most this year, putting up a bit over 1300 yards last year and 13 rushing touchdowns. The Rams will also have, most likely, one of the best defenses in the NFL with outstanding tackles Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh. They also have veteran cornerback Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters to go up and put on some solid play. Quarterback Jared Goff and wide receiver Brandin Cooks should also have some solid connections this year.

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins got a solid win against the Titans, winning 27-20. Ryan Tannehill is the starting quarterback for the Dolphins and had a pretty good year last year coming from only five yards to 3000. Some big pickups this year for the Dolphins over the off season were wide receiver from the Patriots, Danny Amendola, and rookie safety Minkah Fitzpatrick from Alabama. They were also able to pick up tight end Mike Gesicki from Penn State. Their big defensive end Cameron Wake should also have a pretty solid year.

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings who had an outstanding year last year started off their season with a 24-16 win against the 49ers. The main focus for the Vikings this summer was quarterback Kirk Cousins that they recently picked up from the Redskins. Wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs should both have a great year. The Vikings will also be able to rely on safety Harrison Smith and cornerback Xavier Rhodes on defense.

New England Patriots: New England started out with a shaky start to their season just sliding by with a 27-20 win against the Texans. It is obvious who the Captain of this team will be, future Hall of Famer and maybe the best quarterback of all time, Tom Brady. The Brady and Belichick legacy has been going on since 2000 and is sure to put another great year for them in the books. Wide receiver, Julian Edelman, who just recently had a suspension, should also have another good year. Rob Gronkowski, a tight end for the Patriots, should also have a great year this year. The big pick up for the Patriots this year was rookie running back Sony Mitchell from Georgia.

New Orleans Saints: The Saints started off with a tough loss to the Buccaneers, losing 48-40. The Saints came within clutches of going to the NFC championship but got stunned by the Vikings in the Minneapolis Miracle. The Saints will be lead by the their veteran, future Hall of Famer quarterback Drew Brees. Last year the Saints were able to pick up amazing running back Alvin Kamara in the draft. They also were able to acquire Marshon Lattimore.

New York Giants: New York had a bumpy start, losing 15-20 against the Jaguars. The main story of the Giants this off-season was Heisman nominee, rookie running back from Penn State, Saquon Barkley.  Two obvious stars from previous years will be wide receivers Odell Beckham, Jr. and Eli Manning. Manning has been the quarterback for the Giants for many years now and has even lead them to win two Super Bowls.

New York Jets: The Jets started off with a surprising win against the Lions, 48-17. A huge key to the Jets’ franchise and their team this year will be the third pick, quarterback Sam Darnold from USC. The Jets were also fortunate to receive wide receiver Terrelle Pryor from the Redskins this off-season. Running back Isaiah Crowell should also have another solid year for the Jets. Look out for safety Jamal Adams, as it could be his breakout year.

Oakland Raiders: Oakland had a pretty tough loss to the Rams 13-33 to start their season. The main star of the Raiders is their quarterback Derek Carr, but there are big expectations for wide receiver Amari Cooper. They were also fortunate enough to pick up wide receiver Jordy Nelson from the Packers this off-season. Running back Marshawn (Beast Mode) Lynch should also have a pretty good year.

Philadelphia Eagles: Philadelphia had an amazing year last year, winning the Super Bowl against the Patriots.   They started their season with an 18-12 win against the Falcons. Something for the Eagles to deal will be the king of the ¨Philly Special¨ Nick Foles and outstanding quarterback Carson Wentz. Tight end Zach Ertz should, as usual, have another great year. Some other well known athletes to have big years are Jay Ajayi, Alshon Jeffery, Darren Sproles, and Malcolm Jenkins.

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers had a strange start to their season tying the 0-16 Browns from last year, 21-21. The leaders for Pittsburgh will be Pro Bowl wide receiver, who recently ranked the 2nd best player in the NFL,  Antonio Brown, and veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who will be sure to put up another exceptional year. The news for the Steelers this year is Pro Bowl running back Le’veon Bell not accepting a 70 million dollar deal to re-sign with the team. But with Bell not in the game,  James Connor will have to step up and fill his shoes to make a huge impact on the team.

San Francisco 49ers: A tough loss started the 49ers’ season, losing 24-16 against the Vikings. Huge news for the 49ers this off-season was picking up cornerback Richard Sherman from the rival Seahawks. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo should have a exceptional year, getting to be the starting man this year. Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, in my opinion, should have an amazing year if he plays to his potential. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin should also have a solid year this year.

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks had a rough start losing 2-27 against the Broncos. Seattle was unfortunate this off-season and lost one of their best defensive stars Richard Sherman. In the 2018 Draft, they were able to pick up one-handed linebacker Shaquem Griffin, brother of teammate cornerback Shaquill Griffin. They will be lead by quarterback Russell Wilson, who took the Seahawks to two Super Bowl appearances. Safety Earl Thomas, III should be able to step it up this year and have an amazing season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa started off with a big win against the Saints 48-40. The big focus of that game was Ryan Fitzpatrick ‘s 400 yards and four touchdowns. This posed the question:  Who will be their starter. Fitzpatrick or outstanding quarterback Jameis Winston?  Wide receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson should also play well this year with Evans expected to be their key player on offense. Big defensive tackle Gerald McCoy should be pretty stout for the Buccaneers this year.

Tennessee Titans: The Titans had a close start against the Dolphins, losing 27-20. Quarterback Marcus Mariota should, as expected, have a great year–just as last year. Their running back Derrick Henry should have a breakout year  and should be able to put up some big yardage for the Titans. They were fortunate this off-season to pick up cornerback Malcolm Butler from the Patriots.

Washington Redskins: The Redskins had a solid win against the Cardinals, 24-6. The Redskins were able to get veteran quarterback Alex Smith from the Chiefs this off-season. There will be a big discussion this year of who will start running back, Adrian Peterson or Derrius Juice. The team is expecting big things from veteran cornerback Josh Norman, who had a pretty solid year last year.

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Kolby Barrett, Author

Kolby is a Freshman at Redbank Valley HIgh School. This will be his first year on The Bark staff. Kolby participates in football, wrestling, student council,...

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