The 2020 NFL season was kicked off last night when the Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium with limited people in the seats. The Chiefs took the game 34-20 as they start the season 1-0 in hopes that they defend their title and that they repeat as Super Bowl champs.

This season will be different compared to other seasons as some teams like the Detroit Lions are not allowing fans at the game for now. While this has gone for all sports, it will be a lot different for the NFL as the fan action and noise is part of what makes the game of football. Here is what might happen for the 2020 NFL season.

Bounceback season from two prominent players

Every year, there are players who are given high expectations but end up falling short of them. Last year, Juju Smith-Schuster was expected to entrench himself among the league's best at wide receiver but ended up putting on a disappointing season. I even had him leading the league in receiving yards last season but he came well short of that. Last season, he only got 552 receiving yards after putting up 1,426 in 2018. With Ben Roethlisberger back and healthy, Juju will have a better season with at least 900 receiving yards and a lot more than three touchdowns, the amount he got last season.

Todd Gurley also didn't have a great season according to standards for a player of his calibre.

Despite running into the endzone 12 times, he only rushed for 857 yards after putting up well over 1000+ the previous two seasons. He also battled with knee issues which led to his release from the Los Angeles Rams. He was scooped up by the Atlanta Falcons where he'll have a comeback campaign and get closer to the player he was before 2019.

Kyler Murray wins MVP

In the past two years, a sophomore quarterback has won the MVP award. Patrick Mahomes won the MVP award in his second year in the NFL and last season, Lamar Jackson won MVP in year two at the professional level. This year it will be another second-year player who wins the MVP in Kyler Murray.

Arizona's front office went out and acquired a new offensive weapon for Murray in DeAndre Hopkins who will make the quarterback a much better player. Along with Hopkins, the Cardinals have other solid pass-catching options in Kenyan Drake, Christian Kirk, speedster Andy Isabella and Larry Fitzgerald who has hands of steel as he rarely drops the ball. Murray also runs the ball himself quite a bit. Last season he averaged 5.8 yards a run totalling 544 rushing yards while running into the endzone himself four times. Murray will take a big leap forward this year which will get him the MVP award, even if his team doesn't make the playoffs or win a significant amount of games.

Patriots make playoffs

The New England Patriots have suffered significant losses to their roster. Their longtime quarterback Tom Brady elected to sign with Tampa Bay, former players signed elsewhere in free agency, specifically on the defensive side of the ball and they've lost multiple players to opting out of the season due to COVID-19. Their draft didn't improve their team that much either.

To replace the departure of Brady, they signed Cam Newton who's on a mission to prove to the league that he can still produce at a high level. During the offseason, Newton practiced and worked out with Julian Edelman to build a connection and bond with his WR1, something that is crucial beyond words. A resurgent Newton will propel the Patriots to a playoff berth and the extra playoff spot the league added for this season only helps them.

Bills win AFC East

The Patriots have won the AFC East for 11 straight seasons. That streak will finally come to an end as this year it will be the Buffalo Bills who take the division crown. Josh Allen seems like a quarterback on the rise and the front office got him a much needed offensive weapon by trading for Stefon Diggs. They also drafted Zack Moss who will help in the backfield. While their offence remains mediocre, it will be their defence that gets them the division. The Bills defensive line consists of Ed Oliver and Vernon Butler who's coming off the best season of his career while the secondary remains one of the strongest in the game. The saying defence wins games couldn't be any truer for this Bills team.

NFC West becomes tight division

The NFC West has all four teams that are acting as contenders and hope to make the playoffs. Only one can win the division though and it will be rare to see three teams in the same division make the playoffs. The Cardinals are trending up after a successful offseason, the Seattle Seahawks have a perennial MVP candidate at quarterback in Russell Wilson, the San Francisco 49ers are the reigning NFC champs and the Los Angeles Rams posses elite talent on their roster.

If the Rams play well, they could start off the season 8-0 as they play some weaker teams in the New York Giants, Washington, the Chicago Bears and the Miami Dolphins. While it will be difficult to win eight games straight, I can see them going 7-1 although I predict they'll fall off a cliff after their week nine bye.

The Seahawks are right up there among the better teams in the league in large part thanks to Wilson, the 49ers possibly have the most complete defensive team in the league and the Cardinals are dynamic.

With how good each team is, really, any could take the division but here is how the standings will end up at seasons end.

1) Cardinals 11-5

2) Seahawks 10-6

3) 49ers 8-8

4) Rams 8-8

While both the Cardinals and Seahawks get playoff berths, the 49ers end up missing out after going to the Super Bowl last year and the Rams disappoint and finish last.

Lock doesn't live up to the hype

Playing five games last season, Drew Lock completed 100 of 156 passes for 1020 yards, seven touchdowns, three interceptions and 54 first downs.

This season, many are expecting him to take a leap forward but those that are banking on it will end up being disappointed.

The Broncos have the most crowded backfield in the league that consists of three starting calibre running backs in Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman and Melvin Gordon. All of them are going to need touches which will have the Broncos relying heavily on the running game. The Broncos also have a very, very young receiving corps that includes two rookies and a player entering his second year in the league. As the Broncos are still very young on the offensive side of things, there will be growing pains, including from their young quarterback in Lock which means interceptions being thrown as he tries to navigate his way throwing the ball down the field and reading opposing defences.

He could be good down the road, but this year won't be the year we see a leap in Lock.

Iowa TE's take leaps

In last year's draft, two tight ends out of the University of Iowa were selected in the first round. T.J. Hockenson was drafted eighth overall by the Lions and Noah Fant was taken twentieth by the Broncos. This year, both will take leaps forward in their development and be integral parts of their respective teams' offences.

Last season, Hockenson caught 32 passes for 367 yards with two touchdowns. Some were expecting a big breakout in year one after his big week one performance where he totalled 131 yards on six receptions and a touchdown but he wasn't able to replicate that game and his season eventually ended with an ankle injury.

This season, he'll be a true option for Matthew Stafford to throw the ball to and will double the amount of reception yards he got compared to last season while getting way more touchdowns.

Same thing will happen with Fant. With 40 catches for 562 yards and three touchdowns last season, he'll improve on his stats from last year and put up better numbers. Speaking of tight ends, all of Blake Jarwin, Tyler Higbee and Hayden Hurst will have breakout years as well.

Shocker in the AFC South

With the AFC South consisting of the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans, the division is pretty much up for grabs. One thing is for certain is that the Jaguars will finish last.

In the past year, they got rid of quality players off their roster with the likes of Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and others. The Jaguars are more playing for the number one pick in next year's draft for a chance at Trevor Lawrence than they are for winning games.

The other three teams can walk away with the division. Despite having a superior offensive line, the Colts gave Phillip Rivers $25 million to be their starting quarterback. This is a huge overpay as Rivers struggled and gave many turnovers last season with the Los Angeles Chargers. While he'll have less pressure from opposing defensive lines due to better offensive linemen, there's still too many question marks surrounding the Colts offence.

The Titans surprised many last year making the playoffs and getting all the way to the AFC championship game. This was in large part due to Derrick Henry, an emerging A.J. Brown and the resurgence of Ryan Tannehill. While Henry should be a force, Tannehill won't be able to carry over the success he had last season. Despite adding Jadeveon Clowney to their defence, the Titans won't even make the playoffs as their success last season seems like a fluke.

That means that the Texans will run away with the AFC South division. Despite trading away Hopkins who's a top-five receiver in the league, the Texans will still be able to take their division. While not as good as Hopkins, they replaced his vacancy by trading for Brandin Cooks and if all goes well, they will have the most lethal backfield that consists of David and Duke Johnson (not related). They also have Deshaun Watson as their quarterback who without Hopkins, will carry the offensive load more himself by running the ball himself and throwing to all of his receivers instead of just one. They have one of the best edge combinations in J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus while guys like Zach Cunningham (142 tackles in 2019) will help on the defensive side of the ball too. Their secondary isn't anything to complain about either. The Texans will win their division as long as the key players can stay healthy, which has been a bit of a problem for this team in the past years.

Chiefs vs Cowboys Super Bowl

When it's all said and done, the Chiefs will be the last team standing in the AFC where in the NFC it'll be the Dallas Cowboys. The Chiefs are a dynasty in the making with their team largely remaining the same as last season. They added Clyde Edwards-Helaire who looks like he'll be a huge impact in year one. For the Cowboys, they arguably had the best draft of any team which will help them both now as well as the future and are absolutely loaded offensively. They have three receivers that could put up 1000+ yards and an elite running back in Ezekiel Elliott. This will be a great matchup but the Chiefs will take the Super Bowl two years straight.

Follow the page NFL
Follow
Don't miss our page on Facebook!