Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Summer Series: Bold Predictions; Here's What NFL Crystal Ball Tells Us

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Summer Series: Bold Predictions; Here's What NFL Crystal Ball Tells Us

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

Which team will be the last to lose/win a game? Which team's quarterback situation will be the most fluid? Which five teams will reach the postseason after not qualifying last year?

To wrap up the Times-Union's NFL Summer Series, here is one bold prediction for all 32 teams:

AFC SOUTH

Jaguars: Quarterback Blake Bortles will throw 26 touchdown passes to set the franchise's single-season record. David Garrard's 23 in 2010 is the current mark.

Houston: Quarterback Ryan Mallett will start the opener against Kansas City, but Brian Hoyer will end up starting more games.

Indianapolis: The Colts will be the final team to lose a game, starting 4-0 with wins over Buffalo, the Jets, Tennessee and the Jaguars (what a gift schedule, right?) before losing a Thursday night game at Houston.

Tennessee: Meanwhile, the Titans will be the final team to win a game. They'll start 0-4 before winning at home over Miami in Week 6.

AFC EAST

Buffalo: Sammy Watkins finished 18 yards shy of 1,000 yards receiving as a rookie, but he'll reach 1,400 yards to finish in the top five of the league.

Miami: The Dolphins will start fast (4-2) before losing four in a row to see their season go off the rails. If they don't make the playoffs, Joe Philbin won't be retained.

New England: Rob Gronkowski will lead the NFL with 20 touchdown catches, breaking his own record (17 in 2011) for TDs by a tight end.

New York Jets: The Jets' revamped secondary (Darrelle Revis, Buster Skrine and Antonio Cromartie) will lead the league in passing defense, but it won't matter because New York will rank 27th against the run.

AFC NORTH

Baltimore: The Ravens will start 0-2 ... and then go on an 8-1 run that will propel them to an AFC North title.

Cincinnati: The Bengals' streak of playoff appearances will end at four years, but offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will get a head coaching job.

Cleveland: First-round pick Cam Irving will start games at center, guard and tackle.

Pittsburgh: Antonio Brown won't repeat as receiving yardage champion because third-round pick Sammie Coates will catch five touchdowns of at least 45 yards.

AFC WEST

Denver: New defensive coordinator Wade Phillips inherits a Broncos' unit that allowed the third-fewest yards last year under old friend Jack Del Rio. They'll be top-five again and win the AFC West again.

Kansas City: The Chiefs' receiving corps didn't catch one touchdown last year. Jeremy Maclin will have one in his KC debut.

Oakland: Receiver Amari Cooper will win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Period.

San Diego: In 18 of the last 19 seasons, there have been at least five new playoff teams. The Chargers will be in the "new" category along with Houston, New Orleans, Minnesota and Philadelphia. …

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