We’re now two weeks into the preseason and with a full week of action left before the start of the regular season, it’s time to take a look at which teams have the best shot at making the playoffs.
It’s also time to make predictions about the rest of the field.
The best and worst of the preseason has begun.
Who will make it to the playoffs this year?
The Cleveland BrownsIt’s a little hard to see where the Browns go from here.
While it’s a huge step up from the team that just went 8-8, it also represents a significant drop in quality from last season.
The Browns are a team that has been underwhelming for the most part, ranking 27th out of 32 teams this year.
There are some promising things going on behind center, but there’s still a lot of work to do.
The Cleveland Browns are now 0-8 in the preseason.
What will they look like in November?
This is a very tough question to answer, as there are a lot more questions to answer.
What can we expect from the Browns this year, and how can they improve their overall game plan going forward?
The Browns have been terrible at forcing turnovers, ranking 31st out of 30 teams this season.
That’s an average of one turnover per game, which is more than the next worst team in the league.
The fact that the Browns are giving up so many is concerning, especially when you consider they have a quarterback who has completed nearly 70% of his passes for 3,082 yards and 15 touchdowns.
It will be important for the Browns to find a way to generate more turnovers and generate some offense when the games come down to the wire.
There’s no question that Cleveland has struggled with turnovers and this team will need to figure out a way for them to be successful, especially if it hopes to win the AFC North and make it back to the postseason.
New Orleans SaintsA win over the Baltimore Ravens will send the New Orleans Saints into Week 2 on a high note.
It’ll give the Saints a chance to prove that they can contend in the NFC South.
It won’t be easy, especially after the New York Jets won at Baltimore, but New Orleans is a team in transition at the quarterback position.
The Saints have been inconsistent at quarterback throughout the season, ranking last in the NFL in attempts per game.
That could change in the second half of the season as Drew Brees’ throwing woes and the emergence of rookie Zach Mettenberger have made the offense more explosive.
New England PatriotsNew England will be without Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, and Malcolm Mitchell.
Edelman is set to miss the rest with a broken hand, Gronkowski is on the injured reserve list, and Gronkowski and Mitchell are both out for at least the first half of November.
However, the Patriots will still have a big hole to fill at wide receiver, as the team has allowed the sixth most receiving yards per game (2,097) to opposing wide receivers.
They’re not without weapons on the offensive line, either, as James White has emerged as one of the best left tackles in the game.
The Patriots are 0-7 in the first preseason game, with the last win coming over the Carolina Panthers in Week 5.
They’ve had a few promising offensive performances in the past, but the Patriots offense has struggled to get the job done this preseason.
Will this be the start to a trend?
If the Patriots can find a rhythm offensively, it could be a different story.
The Buffalo BillsThis team has had a rough first month, as they’ve been plagued by injuries.
However a healthy OJ Howard, Tyrod Taylor, and rookie E.J. Manuel could make a big difference for the Bills offense.
The Bills have given up 4,095 yards and 11 touchdowns to opposing running backs this preseason, which ranks third-worst in the entire NFL.
However the Bills have a great defense, with New York allowing just 21.9 points per game and only a 41.4 passer rating when leading after seven minutes of game time.
Buffalo’s defense will be tested early and often this year with the Buffalo Bills defense having allowed the second-fewest points per opponent (2.1) and yards per play allowed (6.1).
The Buffalo Jets have been a disaster offensively all season long, ranking 32nd out of 31 teams in points per drive allowed (5.2) and giving up 466.9 yards per contest (16.1 per game).
The Jets are currently 8-3 and have only allowed one rushing touchdown this preseason (a 26-yarder by Ryan Fitzpatrick).
However, their defense has been one of their biggest weaknesses all season.
They rank 30th in yards per drive (5) and allowed 466 yards per match-up (16).
This will be a big test for the Jets as they try to improve on a 7-2 start.
The Arizona CardinalsArizona has a lot riding on the Cardinals first preseason win