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NFL: How the TH sports writers forecast the 2018 season

Here’s how the sports writers at the Telegraph Herald see the National Football League playing out this season:

JIM LEITNER

(American Football Conference)

East — New England Patriots

North — Pittsburgh Steelers

South — Jacksonville Jaguars

West — Kansas City Chiefs

Wild cards — Los Angeles Chargers, Houston Texans

Championship – Jaguars over Steelers

(National Football Conference)

East — Dallas Cowboys

North — Minnesota Vikings

South — Atlanta Falcons

West — Los Angeles Rams

Wild cards — Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints

Championship — Falcons over Vikings

Super Bowl — Falcons over Jaguars

MVP — Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Bold prediction for 2018 — This just might be the year we finally figure out what is and isn’t a catch.

TIM O’NEILL

(AFC)

East — New England Patriots

North — Pittsburgh Steelers

South — Houston Texans

West — Kansas City Chiefs

Wild cards — Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts

Championship — Steelers over Patriots

(NFC)

East — Philadelphia Eagles

North — Green Bay Packers

South — Atlanta Falcons

West — Los Angeles Rams

Wild cards — Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints

Championship — Falcons over Eagles

Super Bowl — Falcons over Steelers

MVP — Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Bold prediction — Andrew Luck returns to form after a year off and leads the Colts back to the playoffs. But perhaps that’s just wishful thinking.

STEVE ORTMAN

(AFC)

East — New England Patriots

North — Pittsburgh Steelers

South — Jacksonville Jaguars

West — Los Angeles Chargers

Wild cards — Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens

Championship — Patriots over Chargers

(NFC)

East — Philadelphia Eagles

North — Minnesota Vikings

South — New Orleans Saints

West — Los Angeles Rams

Wild cards — San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers

Championship — Rams over Eagles

Super Bowl — Patriots over Rams

MVP — Todd Gurley, Rams

Bold prediction for 2018 — Former Dubuque Wahlert and University of Iowa standout Riley McCarron will be called up from the practice squad and see game action this season for New England, which has a messy situation when it comes to its receivers. McCarron will catch a pass in the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory.

BRENDEN WEST

(AFC)

East — New England Patriots

North — Pittsburgh Steelers

South — Houston Texans

West — Denver Broncos

Wild cards — Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs

Championship — Patriots over Texans

(NFC)

East — Philadelphia Eagles

North — Green Bay Packers

South — Atlanta Falcons

West — San Francisco 49ers

Wild cards — Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants

Championship — Eagles over 49ers

Super Bowl — Eagles over Patriots

MVP — Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers

Bold prediction for 2018 — Before the Khalil Mack trade, I would’ve said this was a six-win Chicago Bears team at best. With Mack? I still think they’re a year or two away. The Bears will flirt with .500 but miss the postseason.

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