On the cusp of the 2015 NFL season, our analysts provide their predictions, including the winners of individual awards, playoff teams for each conference and Championship Sunday/Super Bowl forecasts.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Michael Silver: Luck. For three years, he has politely elevated himself into elite company. This year, he crushes everybody.
Colleen Wolfe: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers.I've finally Jedi mind tricked myself into spelling his name correctly, so this is definitely his year. The 2014 co-league leader in passing yards has Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant (suspensions acknowledged) and Markus Wheaton to steamroll opposing defenses.
Gil Brandt: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers. The fact that Rodgers completes 67.45 percent of his passes at home -- outdoors at Lambeau Field -- is nearly unbelievable. He overcame a calf injury to lift the Packers to the NFC title game last season, and he'll overcome the loss of top receiver Jordy Nelson to an ACL tear this season. Rodgers is so good, he could be successful even if his receiver depth chart were filled with names from the list of analysts on this page.
Dave Dameshek: Rodgers. He's the 21st century's best player until someone demonstrates otherwise. What else is there to say?
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Brian Billick: Peterson. Running backs always thrive in Norv Turner's offense, and Peterson is arguably the best running back Turner's ever had at his disposal -- with all due to respect to our very own LaDainian Tomlinson.
Michael Silver: Luck. If I ever vote for a different Offensive Player of the Year than MVP (on the side of ball in question), crush ME.
Colleen Wolfe: Peterson.Like him or not, Peterson's going to put together an outstanding 2015 season. His talent is unquestioned. Now, with nearly an entire year of rest and something to prove, he's poised to post gaudy numbers.
Gil Brandt: Luck. He's won 33 regular-season games in the past three years on a team that went 2-14 the season before he took over. Under his direction, the Colts had the best passing offense and third-best overall offense in the NFL in 2014. This season, he'll improve his decision making and toss another 40 touchdown passes.
Dave Dameshek: Luck.With Gore in the backfield, Luck will now see less traffic when he looks for his speedy receivers in the deep third of the field. Result: a monster statistical season.
Bucky Brooks: Peterson. With a second 2,000-yard season on the way, Peterson will deserve the honor as the NFL's top offensive player.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Brian Billick: Watt. This is a boring pick because it's so obvious, but nothing about watching Watt play is boring.
Gil Brandt: Watt. This is a rare cat. Watt has so much athletic ability, he's like a running back on the defensive line. The ultra-competitive dynamo wins his second straight Defensive Player of the Year award (and third in four years).
Marc Sessler: Watt. I'm not betting against Watt winning his third DPOY crown when he has the talent to win six over his career.
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Michael Silver: Agholor. Somebody has to become The Man in Chip Kelly's explosive offense, and this youngster is the most qualified.
Gil Brandt: Gordon. Gordon will shake off a rough preseason and climb to the top of his class playing for a team that loves to run and control the ball, while proving to be a threat as a receiver.
Charley Casserly: Cooper. He has a good young QB in Carr and should be the focal point of the offense.
Marc Sessler: Cooper. He's the unquestioned top talent among Oakland's receivers. He'll pile up numbers from wire to wire.
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
COACH OF THE YEAR
Colleen Wolfe: Zimmer. Bold choice! The Vikings were 7-9 last year. But that was without Adrian Peterson. Now he's back. Teddy Bridgewater heads into his second season after showing accuracy under pressure as a rookie. They added Mike Wallace. (Don't laugh. Stop laughing!) Minny is on the move. Zimmer benefits.
Marc Sessler: Kelly. Ridiculed for most of the offseason, Kelly will silence the doubters by winning it all.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Steve Wyche: Berry. He is back from a serious bout with cancer and will re-establish himself as one of the best at his position.
Marc Sessler: Bradford. This award requires a marketable narrative -- Bradford hoisting the Lombardi should get the job done.