On the cusp of the 2016 NFL season, our analysts provide their predictions, including the winners of individual awards, playoff teams for each conference and Championship Sunday/Super Bowl forecasts.
Bucky Brooks: Minnesota Vikings. Despite losing their franchise quarterback on the eve of the season, the Vikings roll through the NFC North to claim their second straight division title. Shaun Hill doesn't post big numbers as the starter, but he leans on Adrian Peterson and a young WR corps to guide Minnesota back to the winner's circle.
Dave Dameshek: Packers. Like Ali v Frazier, Green Bay v Minnesota is compelling because of the massive stylistic differences. The Vikings' rugged approach knocked Rodgers & Co. down last year. This year, the Pack soars back to the top -- and would've even if Teddy B had been under center for Minnesota. (12-4, No. 2 seed)
Gil Brandt: Panthers. This team won't win 15 games again, but repeat MVP Cam Newton and repeat Coach of the Year Ron Rivera push this super-complete team to at least 12-4.
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Dave Dameshek: Buccaneers. Teddy B. didn't deserve that awful injury, but like Will Munny said in "Unforgiven," "Deserve's got nothing to do with it." As it is, Jameis is ready to fill the void with what'll be a strong offense and defense built around Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David, two of the very best -- if most underrated -- players at their respective positions. (9-7, No. 6 seed)