KIDS & BACK TO SCHOOL Jake’s Take - NFL Season Preview By Jake Shukan Football is back! As summer comes to an end, football fans across America are becoming more and more eager to support their favorite team. While some teams exceed expectations, bringing life to their fans, other teams will disappoint. Here’s my prediction for how the 2019-2020 NFL regular season will turn out. AFC North Browns: 10-6. The Browns have elite weapons to surround Baker Mayfield, which should be enough to get them over .500. Steelers: 8-8. Losing Antonio Brown will hurt, but the Steelers still have enough talent to make a realistic playoff push. Ravens: 7-9. The Ravens are above average on defense, but they lack an offensive superstar to get them back in the playoffs. Bengals: 6-10. AJ Green missing time at the beginning of the season will hurt, and the Bengals didn’t make any big-time additions from last year. AFC South Texans: 9-7. Superstars on both sides of the ball (Hopkins, Watson, Watt) should earn the Texans a playoff spot. Colts: 9-7. The Colts’ season depends on Andrew Luck, who won’t be completely healthy at the start of the season. Jaguars: 7-9. The Jaguars complimented their defense with an upgrade at QB, but they still lack the offensive weapons to contend. Titans: 7-9. The Titans have an overall well-rounded team, but they lack the star-power to rise above mediocrity. AFC East Patriots: 12-4. The Patriots play in a traditionally weak division and, led by Tom Brady, should find it no struggle once again to win the AFC East. Jets: 8-8. The Jets have a young team that should progress, especially with the addition of Le’Veon Bell. Bills: 7-9. If Josh Allen takes a second-year jump, the Bills should finish around .500. However, with poor offensive weapons, their potential is limited. Dolphins: 4-12. Whether Josh Rosen or Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starting QB, the lackluster offensive talent surrounding them will prove to be a huge challenge. AFC West Chiefs: 11-5. The Chiefs should be able to maintain the same offensive firepower as last season with nearly all their key offensive pieces returning. Chargers: 9-7. They may take a step back from 12-4 last year without Derwin James, but the Chargers are good enough to still make the playoffs. Broncos: 8-8. The Broncos are going to be a well-coached team, but they don’t have enough offense to contend. Raiders: 7-9. Expect the Raiders to improve, but the AFC West may be too difficult for them to compete in. NFC North Packers: 10-6. The Packers have a well-rounded roster this year. With Aaron Rodgers leading the way, this team is talented enough to return to the playoffs. Bears: 8-8. The Bears have the potential to win this division again, but they still have a few question marks offensively. Vikings: 8-8. Kirk Cousins needs to play at a higher level if the Vikings don’t want to disappoint again. They have the talent to return to contending form, but it all starts with Kirk Cousins. Lions: 7-9. The Lions have a mediocre team to surround Matthew Stafford, which isn’t enough to survive in the NFC North. NFC South Falcons: 11-5. Coming off an injury-plagued year, the Falcons have the talent to rebound and become contenders once again. Saints: 11-5. One bad call away from a Super Bowl appearance, the Saints have the talent and motivation to remain one of the NFL’s best teams. Buccaneers: 7-9. The Bucs have solid coaching, and they also surrounded Jameis Winston with a good receiving core. Nevertheless, the team is still unproven. Panthers: 6-10. Coming off shoulder surgery, QB Cam Newton will determine the Panthers’ fate this season. If he plays well, the Panthers could make a run at the playoffs. NFC East: Cowboys: 10-6. Assuming Ezekiel Elliot plays, the Cowboys should remain one of the NFC’s best. Without Elliot, however, the playoffs are far-fetched for the Cowboys. Eagles: 9-7. The Eagles have all the pieces to sneak into the playoffs, similar to last season. Giants: 5-11. The Giants have a limited ceiling with Eli at QB, and a low floor with rookie QB Daniel Jones. They should finish toward the bottom of the standings. Redskins: 4-12. The offense’s situation will be too difficult for Dwayne Haskins not to struggle if he’s forced to start prematurely. NFC West Rams: 11-5. A well-coached team with an abundance of talent, the Rams should be able to rebound off their Super Bowl disappointment. Seahawks: 9-7. The Seahawks were a surprise team last year, and in a good way. Behind Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, the Seahawks should be able to compete for a playoff spot. 49ers: 7-9. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has the potential to lead this team to the playoffs, but it will be difficult after missing most of last season with a torn ACL. Cardinals: 4-12. Rookie quarterbacks typically don’t do too well. Pair that with both starting cornerbacks missing significant time and the Cardinals should be in for a rough season. My bold prediction for the Super Bowl this year is the Packers against the Chiefs. As good as Aaron Rodgers is, I simply can’t see him outplaying Patrick Mahomes and the offensive juggernaut that will help bring the Super Bowl back to Kansas City.