The site FiveThirtyEight has used the upcoming NFL Schedule to produce who they think will get off to a quick start in the NFL, and some of the teams they pick may surprise you!
Here’s the five teams (yes, we’ll save you from reading the piece) – but you can see the entire piece HERE
1. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens had an awful 2015, and were crushed all season due to injury. They are not expected to be a contender in the AFC in 2016, but with an early schedule that includes at home vs the Bills, at the Browns, at the Jaguars and at home against the Raiders. If the Ravens are going to be any good, they have to get off to a quick start.
2. Arizona Cardinals – The Cards are going to be a favorite in the NFC anyway in 2016 to represent the conference in the Super Bowl, but they have a schedule that early in the season should allow them to build up some wins. They open with the Pats at home, minus Tom Brady, and then play Tampa at home, at the Bills, and then home for the new Los Angeles Rams. This team is going to be a force in 2016.
3. Oakland Raiders – I like what the Raiders have done building this team, and I think they have a chance to be the AFC West champs in 2016 if the Broncos can’t get any offense with their QB shuffle. Oakland will start with the Saints on the road, and then are at home in week two for the Falcons. Then they go to Tennessee and to Baltimore. While three of the first four are on the road, with their offense, they could be in store for a big 2016.
4. Washington Redskins – The Skins snuck out the NFC East title last season, and in 2016 are hoping for much of the same. They open on Monday night with the Steelers, which won’t be easy, and then play at home against the Cowboys, then go to the Giants before they play the awful Browns at home in week four. The Redskins need to play with the same intensity they did in 2015, but at the same time, they have a schedule early that helps.
5. Seattle Seahawks – The Hawks ran into a buzzsaw in the divisional playoffs last season, losing to the Panthers, but should be back in 2016 with another team that could represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Their schedule starts with a crazy three home games, playing the Dolphins, Rams, and 49ers. Then in week four they finally go on the road, but it’s to play the Jets, who still don’t have their QB situation set. Look for the Hawks to be back near the top of the NFC in 2016.