The 2017-18 NFL season officially kicked off on Thursday night, with the Kansas City Chiefs surprising the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots with a 42-27 victory in Foxborough.

I intended to release my preview and predictions before Thursday's game, but the result only changes my predictions slightly.

What will happen this NFL season? Will the Patriots make it back to the Super Bowl and win its sixth, as well as their third in the last four years? Would they face a familiar NFC opponent or a new one?

Could the Falcons recover from their Super Bowl loss last year? Can Aaron Rodgers carry the Packers to the big game? Can the Seahawks make it back? What about the AFC? Can anyone contend against New England?

Let's take a look...

AFC Playoffs

1. New England Patriots (14-2)
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
3. Oakland Raiders (11-5)
4. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
5. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5)
6. Denver Broncos (9-7)
7. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7)
8. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
9. Cincinnati Bengals (8-8)
10. Indianapolis Colts (8-8)
11. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
12. Buffalo Bills (5-11)
13. Houston Texans (5-11)
14. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)
15. Cleveland Browns (3-13)
16. New York Jets (1-15)

Wild Card

(3) Raiders over (6) Broncos
(5) Chiefs over (4) Titans


(1) Patriots over (5) Chiefs
(2) Steelers over (3) Raiders


(1) Patriots over (2) Steelers

NFC Playoffs

1. Seattle Seahawks (13-3)
2. Green Bay Packers (12-4)
3. Dallas Cowboys (12-4)
4. Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
5. New York Giants (11-5)
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-6)
7. Carolina Panthers (10-6)
8. Arizona Cardinals (9-7)
9. New Orleans Saints (8-8)
10. Detroit Lions (8-8)
11. Minnesota Vikings (8-8)
12. Washington Redskins (6-10)
13. Philadelphia Eagles (5-11)
14. Los Angeles Rams (4-12)
15. Chicago Bears (3-13)
16. San Francisco 49ers (2-14)

Wild Card

(3) Cowboys over (6) Buccaneers
(4) Falcons over (5) Giants


(1) Seahawks over (4) Falcons
(2) Packers over (3) Cowboys


(1) Seahawks over (2) Packers


MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Offensive Player of the Year: Rodgers

Defensive Player of the Year: Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

Defensive Rookie of the Year: T.J. Watt, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Comeback Player of the Year: Earl Thomas, S, Seattle Seahawks

Coach of the Year: Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Super Bowl

Yep, I'm predicting a rematch of the 2015 Super Bowl. Though it would have been nice to see Marshawn Lynch in this one, I do think the Seahawks will avenge their loss from two years ago. 

Their defense is still strong, and many are saying that the Legion of Boom is looking like 2013 all over again. What many forget is that the defense was pretty banged up in the 2014 loss, so being healthy will be a major factor.

If the Seahawks are healthy on defense, I don't even think they have to worry about reliving a nightmare situation on the one-yard line again. Instead, I think the defense will help set the tone for Russell Wilson and the offense to manage and take control. 

I'm feeling Seattle in this one, as they avenge their 2015 loss vs New England, as well as preventing them from repeating as champs once again. The 'Hawks are back. 

Seahawks over Patriots



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