Earlier this year, no one was even sure if there would be an NFL season, but guess what, not only is it going to happen, but it's kicking off Thursday night. After going roughly seven months without NFL football, we're now just hours away from the Texans and Chiefs kickstarting the NFL's 101st season with a showdown in Kansas City.
Of course, we can't start an NFL season here at CBSSports.com without making some predictions for the year, so that's exactly what we're going to do below.
We rounded up seven of our experts and asked them to make some predictions on how each team is going to finish in 2020. Not only will they they be predicting how each division is going to play out this year, but they'll also be predicting the playoff field along with their Super Bowl winner.
Our experts must have spent a lot of time locked up in quarantine, because they made a few crazy predictions below, but you know what, that actually seems kind of fitting since it's been a crazy year.
Here are a few notes before we get to the predictions:
Our panel didn't agree on much this year, but there were a few things they were in a unanimous agreement on. For one, all seven experts are picking the Chiefs to win the AFC West (That's the only division where everyone picked the same winner). On the other end of the spectrum, all seven experts picked the Jaguars and Bears to finish in last place in their respective divisions. As for the playoffs, our panelists unanimously agreed that the following five teams would get into the postseason: Chiefs, Bills, Ravens, Saints, Cowboys.
There were three divisions where our panelists couldn't agree on anything: Three of the four teams In the NFC North, NFC West and AFC South got at least one first place vote. Our panelists also definitely didn't see eye-to-eye on the Seahawks as they were the only team that received at least one vote for first place, one vote for second place, one vote for third place and one vote for fourth place.
The Texans aren't getting any respect. Despite winning the AFC South last season, only one expert picked the Texans to go to the playoffs this year. To put that in perspective, the Lions, Cardinals and Broncos were all picked to go the playoffs by at least two experts.
Tom Brady's decision to leave New England isn't going to work out so well for the Patriots, at least according to our experts. After winning the division for 10 straight years, five of our experts don't think the Patriots streak will be continuing. As for Brady, six of of our seven experts are predicting that the 43-year-old will lead Tampa Bay to the playoffs. The Buccaneers haven't been to the postseason since 2007, which is the longest playoff drought in the NFC.
There were eight teams that received exactly zero votes for the playoffs, and those teams were: The Jets, Dolphins, Jaguars, Raiders, Giants, Washington, Bears and Panthers. Even the Bengals received at least one playoff vote.
Our seven experts combined to have a total of eight different teams playing in the Super Bowl, and although four teams received multiple votes to make it to the Super Bowl, only one team received multiple votes to win the Super Bowl.