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.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Judy Battista: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers. If his receiving corps stays healthy -- and it HAS to be healthier than last season -- Rodgers will enjoy one of his standard MVP-worthy seasons. What puts him over the top? The Packers have the easiest strength of schedule entering the season, with only the Seahawks (vs. Seattle on Dec. 11) looming as a daunting out-of-division showdown.
Gil Brandt: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers. Newton follows in the footsteps of Super Bowl 50 foe Peyton Manning, the last player to be named MVP in consecutive seasons (in 2008 and '09). Newton will be even better than he was in 2015, thanks to another year of experience -- he'll be ready for the new looks he'll face from opposing defenses.
Gregg Rosenthal: Wilson. He plays quarterback well, which is one requirement for this award. He's going to play for a team that wins more games than any other, which is another requirement.
Willie McGinest: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York GiantsSterling Shepard (and possibly Victor Cruz) will open up the field for OBJ. The Giants' offense is going to be more comfortable in its third year under Ben McAdoo. OBJ is going to have a lot of touches and close to 1,800 yards and around 14 touchdowns if he's healthy.
Eric Davis: Newton. He can easily improve on his mechanics (footwork, timing and his release). He's already the MVP, and with those improvements, he will earn this award once again.
David Carr: Brown. I would like to see more non-quarterbacks win this award, and I think he has a shot at taking it this season. He put up 1,834 yards a season ago, and he has the potential to have an even bigger year in 2016.
Colleen Wolfe: Roethlisberger. This is the year he stays healthy and finally gets the credit he deserves. Somebody hold Dave Dameshek.
Marcas Grant: Rodgers. The band is back together in Green Bay! After a "disappointing" season, Rodgers will reassume his place atop the league's best.
Michael Robinson: Rodgers. I think last year was a real disappointment for him. He is one of the best quarterbacks right now, and he has too much pride to have another down season.
Alex Gelhar: Rodgers. With his weapons once again healthy and in shape, and Mike McCarthy calling plays, Rodgers could be in for another statistically dominant season.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Judy Battista: Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers. Brown is so dominant that he even softens the blow of the season-long suspension of Martavis Bryant. Last year, he had 136 receptions for 1,834 yards and 10 touchdowns -- and that was with Michael Vick and Landry Jones starting five games. Good luck to defensive backs if Ben Roethlisberger stays healthy this season.
BUT IF NOT: Give it to Gronk, the best to ever play his position.
Chris Wesseling: Beckham. I have no idea what the qualifications are for this award, but Beckham is the best athlete on the field every time he steps foot on the gridiron. He's a generational talent.
Colleen Wolfe: Brown. No one can stop him. Not even the barber who gave him that sweet Lego cut last year.
Marcas Grant: Rodgers. If you're the best player in the league, how are you not also the best offensive player? This feels like a slam dunk.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Judy Battista: Tyrann Mathieu, S, Arizona Cardinals. It's tempting to pencil in J.J. Watt again, but let's wait to see how his recovery from surgery goes first. Mathieu's star is ascending and if he is completely recovered from the torn ACL that prematurely ended his 2015 season, he'll make a strong push for this award because of his versatility.
Gil Brandt: Donald. In his second pro season, Donald collected 11 sacks and first-team All-Pro honors. He has the great quickness needed to rush the passer and the strength to stop the run.
Maurice Jones-Drew: Mack. He will have a better year than the last, and I think he's going to challenge the single-season sack record.
Ike Taylor: Mathieu. If he can stay on the field, his versatility will carry him to this award. He can play anywhere in the secondary and can do so many things for the Cards' defense.
Dave Dameshek: Donald. Even though he doesn't cut the typical hulking figure of an NFL D-tackle, he's always easy to spot on the field. (Note: He's the one in the opponent's backfield on every play.)
Heath Evans: Watt. He has won this award three of the last four years. I don't have a reason to pick against him at this point.
Marcas Grant: Mack. Mack officially announced his presence to the league last year. This year, he'll become impossible to ever ignore.
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Maurice Jones-Drew: Elliott. He has the best chance at being successful in the offense he's in. He will get a lot of touches and produce big numbers in Year 1.
Brian Billick: Elliott. As of now, none of the three first-round quarterbacks are slated to start in the season opener. Not that that matters. Elliott would still be the pick, running behind what is easily the best offensive line in the NFL.
Gregg Rosenthal: Elliott. Any other pick is just trying too hard. Elliott isn't a bad dark-horse MVP pick while we're at it.
Charley Casserly: Elliott. I said it on Draft Day and I'm not changing my mind now, even though the loss of Tony Romo hurts.
Dave Dameshek: Elliott. Boring choice, but it's gotta be Zeke (although the guy who'll be handing him the ball to start the season is suddenly in a position to change that).
Chris Wesseling: Elliott. It won't be long before Elliott is viewed as the premier all-around back in football. He boasts rare instincts, awareness, vision and toughness -- as if he was born to play running back in the NFL.
Marcas Grant: Elliott. The best running back prospect in the draft behind the NFL's best offensive line. Is there any other way this can end?
Adam Rank: Elliott. So the best running back off the board is playing behind the best offensive line. That seems fair.
Alex Gelhar: Elliott. If someone other than Zeke wins this award -- especially after Tony Romo's injury -- it'll be a huge upset.
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Judy Battista: Myles Jack, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars. Assuming his knee is OK and he remains healthy, Jack should have a huge impact on Jacksonville's ability to cover running backs and tight ends, where the Jaguars were dreadful last year. Joey Bosa's protracted holdout probably eliminated him from contention.
Kurt Warner: Jack. This would be a great story for this kid to win this award on the heels of his knee injury.
Gil Brandt: Brandon Williams, CB, Arizona Cardinals. Like 2015 winner Marcus Peters in Kansas City, Williams will have lots of chances to pick off the ball as opponents avoid the veteran across from him (All-Pro Patrick Peterson, in Williams' case) -- and I expect Williams to make good on the opportunity.
Eric Davis: Jack. The rookie awards are all about stats, and he's going to be put in a position to produce in Jacksonville's defense.
Elliot Harrison: Karl Joseph, S, Oakland Raiders. My editor turned me on to De'Vondre Campbell, a good kid who should get an opportunity in Atlanta. Arizona third-rounder Brandon Williams is a fun candidate, especially with the Cardinals really needing him to win the starting job. Darron Lee should contribute on the Jets' D. Who knows how much opportunity Myles Jack will receive in Jacksonville? Joseph, who will have the luxury of starting Day 1 opposite veteran Reggie Nelson, will win the award for the Raiders.
Ike Taylor: Jarran Reed, DT, Seattle Seahawks. He has a good setup in Seattle with Pete Carroll and that Seahawks defense. Reed was one of the main forces of Alabama's defensive line a year ago, and he'll bring his dominance to Seattle. I think he's going to play less like a rookie and more like a veteran.
Colleen Wolfe: Jack. Fear him. He's gonna devour opposing running backs like the monster that ate Barb in "Stranger Things."
Heath Evans: Jack. He's going to be a key player for the Jags' defense and will live up to the high expectations in Year 1.
Marcas Grant: Jack. Fears of a lingering knee issue pushed him down the draft. He'll remind the rest of the league how much of a beast he is.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Jeffri Chadiha: Arians. Arians has won this award twice, but don't be surprised if he adds a third honor this coming season.
Gil Brandt: Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers. Rivera becomes the first back-to-back winner of this award since Joe Gibbs in 1983 by leading the Panthers back to the Super Bowl with a combination of outstanding offense, defense and special teams -- paying off a process that started the day after Carolina's loss in Super Bowl 50.
David Carr: Bradley. He might be a little bit of an underdog for this award, but his players like playing for him. He is a good coach and is building a team that will contend for the division title.
Colleen Wolfe: Arians. The man is smart and talented. And those hats. No one has rocked a jeff cap that well since Dom DeLuise.
Heath Evans: Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings.In Zimmer's press conference Tuesday, he stressed that despite losing Teddy Bridgewater (to a major knee injury), people shouldn't count his team out. I'm with him. I believe Zimmer is going to lead this team to the playoffs again, even without its starting QB.
Michael Robinson: Del Rio. I like the bully he's building in Oakland. I think this team will win the AFC West for the first time since 2002 because he is developing all of the team's draft picks from the last couple years.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Judy Battista: Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers. The drop off in the Packers' offense after Nelson suffered a season ending ACL injury in the preseason is all the testament we need for the receiver's importance to the system. Green Bay averaged a full touchdown less per game in 2015 than in 2014.
Gil Brandt: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Miami Dolphins. The team, coaching changes and scheme held Suh back in 2015. He should return to his All-Pro form in 2016 under former Lions assistant Jim Washburn, who was hired as a pass-rush specialist in Miami, and with the Dolphinsset to incorporate a wide-nine defense.
Brian Billick: Nelson. After missing every game last season, Nelson is primed for the best statistics of any comeback player candidate simply because he is catching passes from the best quarterback in the NFL.
Charley Casserly: Charles. He is one of the top backs in the NFL. He will return to his elite status.
Ike Taylor: Luck. He had a down year, but I think he's going to bounce back. Luck understands now that he doesn't always have to go for the home run and can turn a low-risk play into a 20-plus-yard gain just by being smart and getting the ball to the right guy.
Dave Dameshek: Charles. The last time he came back from a knee injury in the previous season, he rushed for over 1,500 yards. In other words, don't sleep on The Most Underrated Player of The Generation (he's still got a 5.5 career ypc!).
Marcas Grant: Luck. Now fully healthy following a poor year, Luck will once again look like the quarterback who was on the verge of elite just two season ago.
Michael Robinson: Charles. After his first ACL injury in 2011, Charles rushed for 1,509 yards the following season.