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Jacksonville Jaguars

2016 Record: 3-13

NFL Draft: Rd 1- RB, Leonard Fournette; Rd 2- OT, Cam Robinson; Rd 3- DE, Dawuane Smoot; Rd 4- WR, Dede Westbrook; Rd 5- LB, Blair Brown; Rd 7- CB, Jalen Myrick; Rd 7- FB, Marquez Williams

Pitt Players: CB, Lafayette Pitts #29

The Jaguars are a team that should have been decent by now. I was high on Blake Bortles when he was drafted by Jacksonville in 2014, but he has not panned out how the Jaguars wanted. TJ Yeldon was another disappointing bust, and the reason they drafted Leonard Fournette out of LSU this year. The one bright spot on this offense over the last couple years has been WR Allen Robinson, who was drafted along with Bortles in 2014. Despite Allen Robinson’s greatness, this offense has been little help to a team that has earned an abysmal .229 win percentage since he and Bortles were drafted.

This defense hasn’t exactly been helpful either, as the Jaguars have been floating around the bottom of the league in points score against the last few years. Obviously Bortles’ many interceptions has not helped the Jaguars defense, as it is much easier to score when given good field position (they were 6th in yards allowed last year but 25th in points allowed). However, the additions of Calais Campbell and Barry Church should be big for this defense, and I would expect the defense to at least pull itself out of the gutter this season. If the Jaguars wish to build a good defense in the future, they will have to start spending high draft picks on defensive players instead of signing old defensive stars that will be useless within a few years.

These predictions are based primarily off of prior predictions from other pieces on the site and from Locker Room Podcasts. They certainly have a chance to flip the Week 11 result against the Browns, but don’t expect this team to win too many games in a tough division and even tougher conference.

Schedule:

Week 1: Away at the Houston Texans– 24-10 Texans

Week 2: Home vs the Tennessee Titans– 20-7 Titans

Week 3: Home vs the Baltimore Ravens (London)- 27-6 Ravens

Week 4: Away at the New York Jets– 10-0 Jaguars

Week 5: Away at the Pittsburgh Steelers– 17-7 Steelers

Week 6: Home vs the Los Angeles Rams– 24-14 Jaguars

Week 7: Away at the Indianapolis Colts– 17-7 Colts

Week 8: Bye-Week (Current Record: 2-5)

Week 9: Home vs the Cincinnati Bengals- 24-21 Bengals

Week 10: Home vs the Los Angeles Chargers– 28-9 Chargers

Week 11: Away at the Cleveland Browns– 20-17 Browns

Week 12: Away at the Arizona Cardinals- 23-13 Cardinals

Week 13: Home vs the Indianapolis Colts– 24-10 Colts

Week 14: Home vs the Seattle Seahawks– 13-6 Seahawks

Week 15: Home vs the Houston Texans– 13-10 Jaguars

Week 16: Away at the San Francisco 49ers- 14-13 Jaguars

Week 17: Away at the Tennessee Titans– 27-10 Titans

Final Predicted Record: 4-12

Miami Dolphins

2016 Record: 10-6

NFL Draft: Rd 1- DE, Charles Harris; Rd 2- LB, Raekwon McMillan; Rd 3- CB, Cordrea Tankersley; Rd 5- OG, Isaac Asiata; Rd 5- DT, Davon Dochaux; Rd 5- S, Nate Gerry; Rd 6- DT, Vincent Taylor; Rd 7- WR, Isaiah Ford

Pitt Players: None

Oh woe be to the Dolphins. Who could have thought that a playoff team could get this bad in a year? With above-average QB Ryan Tannehill gone, they are now stuck with the embattled Jay Cutler under center. If Cutler plays well, the Dolphins are a team that could upset many of the teams on their schedule, but winning games will be difficult if he turns the ball over like he did with the Bears. RB Jay Ajayi will look to improve on his breakout 2016 season, and Jarvis Landry should be excellent again this year, despite the lack of quality coming from the person throwing to him. Cutler will have a good receiving core to throw to, the only problem is, he had a good core to throw to while he was with the Bears and still managed to lose games.

The defense hasn’t changed much this year, other than it’s another year older and they signed 31 year old Lawrence Timmons from the Steelers this offseason. In addition to Timmons, starters Cameron Wake, Ndamukong Suh, and key contributor Rey Maualuga are all over 30 years old. Age tends to hit defensive players rather quickly, especially linebackers and linemen like those mentioned above due to the beatings they take. If Father Time is merciful with this defense, the Dolphins could have a pretty good year defensively, but if he is harsh, this could be a rough season for a defense that looks good on paper. Bad field position caused by a QB who can’t take care of the ball will be a problem for them, though.

The Dolphins are a decent team with a bad quarterback. Unfortunately for Miami, this is a QB centric league, and it will be very hard for them to win games with the man they have under center. These predictions are based off prior predictions from other pieces on the site and from Locker Room Podcasts. I could see the Dolphins possibly beating the Saints in Week 4, the  Ravens in Week 8, the Patriots at home in Week 14 (the Pats don’t play well in Miami), or the Bills in Week 15. The success of this team depends on how Jay Cutler performs, hence my uncertainty about their predicted record.  Miami could have between 3 or 7 wins this year, and the fate of this team rests on Cutler’s shoulders.  This will likely be a disappointing year for a Dolphins team that looked ready to make a playoff run before Tannehill was hurt.

Schedule:

Week 1 (Delayed to Week 11): Home vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers– 24-16 Buccaneers

Week 2: Away at the Los Angeles Chargers– 28-17 Chargers

Week 3: Away at the New York Jets– 24-7 Dolphins

Week 4: Home vs the New Orleans Saints– 38-17 Saints

Week 5: Home vs the Tennessee Titans– 27-13 Titans

Week 6: Away at the Atlanta Falcons– 31-12 Falcons

Week 7: Home vs the New York Jets– 24-10 Dolphins

Week 8: Away at the Baltimore Ravens– 27-17 Ravens

Week 9: Home vs the Oakland Raiders– 30-14 Raiders

Week 10: Away at the Carolina Panthers– 20-13 Panthers

Week 11: Bye-Week (Current Record: 2-8)

Week 12: Away at the New England Patriots– 21-10 Patriots

Week 13: Home vs the Denver Broncos– 14-6 Broncos

Week 14: Home vs the New England Patriots– 28-17 Patriots

Week 15: Away at the Buffalo Bills– 22-13 Bills

Week 16: Away at the Kansas City Chiefs– 24-10 Chiefs

Week 17: Home vs the Buffalo Bills– 28-24 Dolphins

 

Final Predicted Record: 3-13

Cincinnati Bengals

2016 Record: 6-9-1

NFL Draft: Rd 1- WR, John Ross; Rd 2- RB, Joe Mixon; Rd 3- LB, Jordan Willis; Rd 4- OLB, Carl Lawson; Rd 5- WR, Josh Malone; Rd 4- DT, Ryan Glasgow; Rd 5- K, Jake Elliott; Rd 5- C, JJ Dielman; Rd 6- LB, Jordan Evans; Rd 6- RB, Brandon Wilson; Rd 7- TE, Mason Schreck

Pitt Players: WR, Tyler Boyd #83

The Bungeling Bengals have been hurting since Hue Jackson left for the Browns. Last season proved that Andy Dalton’s great 2015 campaign was a product of Jackson’s offense and coaching prowess, not an increase in actual skill. They also managed to add to their list of troublemakers by drafting RB Joe Mixon, who, while dynamic, has a history of nasty off-the-field issues. Despite my personal disgust with Joe Mixon the man, he should add some value as a player to a good running back trio. Drafting John Ross in the first round was a poor decision when they already had one of the better receiving corps in the league.

Missing Burfict for the beginning of the season will hurt the Bengals. Having Burfict for the rest of the season may hurt the Bengals, too, if he keeps causing penalties. This Bengals defense is talented but undisciplined, and penalties will continue to be their downfall this year. However, this should come as no surprise to Bengals fans, as Cincy has lacked discipline year in and year out under Marvin Lewis’ lead.  If Lewis can somehow reign in his defensive players, this team could be good, but until then, this team will lose games that they probably should not.

These predictions are based off prior predictions from other pieces on the site and from Locker Room Podcasts. I think the Bengals could take the week 1 Ravens game, the Week 4 Browns game, and the week 5 Bills game to give them another 6 win season. However, they are certainly losable games, especially with the damage an undisciplined defense can do in terms of penalties. If the Bengals have another losing season, Marvin Lewis should be on the hot seat, but probably won’t be fired, because ya know, it’s the Bengals.

Schedule:

Week 1: Home vs the Baltimore Ravens– 20-13 Ravens

Week 2: Home vs the Houston Texans– 28-17 Texans

Week 3: Away at the Green Bay Packers– 35-20 Packers

Week 4: Away at the Cleveland Browns– 14-10 Browns

Week 5: Home vs the Buffalo Bills– 31-17 Bills

Week 6: Bye-Week (Current Record: 0-6)

Week 7: Away at the Pittsburgh Steelers– 17-10 Steelers

Week 8: Home vs the Indianapolis Colts– 24-17 Colts

Week 9: Away at the Jacksonville Jaguars- 24-21 Bengals

Week 10: Away at the Tennessee Titans– 28-10 Titans

Week 11: Away at the Denver Broncos– 17-0 Broncos

Week 12: Home vs the Cleveland Browns– 24-20 Bengals

Week 13: Home vs the Pittsburgh Steelers– 31-14 Steelers

Week 14: Home vs the Chicago Bears– 27-14 Bengals

Week 15: Away at the Minnesota Vikings– 14-10 Vikings

Week 16: Home vs the Detroit Lions– 27-14 Lions

Week 17: Away at the Baltimore Ravens– 17-16 Ravens

Final Predicted Record: 3-13

Peter Brath is a Political Science and Economics major at the University of Pittsburgh (Class of 2019). He currently lives in Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania (that’s outside of Harrisburg). His conservative beliefs are largely rooted in his Christian faith. After graduation, Peter would like to go to law school to study either constitutional or international law. Peter hosts the Locker Room Podcast and appears regularly on other shows.

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