2018 NFL Season Preview
The summer is dragging for some NFL fans meaning there is plenty of speculation about what could happen next year.
This time of the year is good for gamblers who try and predict next year's season based on the back end of 2017. 888.com are already providing odds on who will be successful following the outcome of the 2016/2017 season. It was a season full of drama and controversy, as well as surprise results and plenty of close games. Despite the champagne finish at Superbowl 51, 'Deflategate' and the race-related national anthem protests stole the headlines, with bans and media attention no doubt having an influence on both teams and individuals.
The team with the best defence in the league didn't make it into the playoffs and the team with worst made it through as a wildcard. A 40 year old who had a ban for cheating overturned then reinstated won the Superbowl and the Superbowl MVP award and the game itself saw more than 30 team and individual records broken thanks to outstanding gameplay and solo efforts. Two rookies from the same team, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys, were in contention for MVP and dominated the league statistically. It was definitely a topsy turvey season.
The New England Patriots were undoubtedly the best team in the country, dominating their division and finishing 14 for 2 in regular season play, the 14th time in a row they have finished on more than ten wins in a season. Tom Brady has been a driving force for the Patriots and has managed to become something of an American Football Peter Pan at the ripe age of 40. Despite serving time off the field for his involvement in 'Deflategate', which saw match balls purposely deflated to help the Patriots get an edge in a game over the Indianapolis Colts, Brady still managed 28 touchdown throws. Whilst it's certain that the Patriots will be there or thereabouts next year, Brady will need to keep taking the magic potion that is keeping him from losing traction as the years roll on.
The Patriot's Superbowl rivals the Atlanta Falcons also had a superb season, with a divisional win thanks to only 5 defeats all year as well as inspired performances both at home and on the road; many wins were by double figures. They need to avoid the 'second season syndrome' that plagued last year’s Superbowl finalists however, as the 2016 winners the Denver Broncos and their final opponents the Carolina Panthers both failed to return to the playoffs this year.
There are plenty of challengers and a handful of underdogs who could put up a fight this year, with the Broncos and Panthers joined by the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks in the mix of favourites. The Patriots will have plenty of improved teams biting at their heels this time around and might not walk their division as easily as they did this year.