Predicting the entire 2020 NFL season before training camp

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(Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Predicting the record for all 32 NFL teams and the entire playoffs before camp.

With rookies already reporting, NFL veterans are set to report to training camp across the league on Tuesday, July 28. After the COVID-19 pandemic nixed offseason workouts, teams will finally be in the building together to work towards their goals in the 2020 NFL season. And with I’s dotted and T’s crossed regarding protocol with the coronavirus, football is on the horizon.

Things will still be different in training camp, most notably with no preseason games being played. Even still, everything is on track for a full 16-game regular season to be played. With that, there comes a ton of questions.

How will Tom Brady fare in his first season away from the New England Patriots with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Does Jamal Adams make the Seattle Seahawks viable contenders? Can Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs repeat? Will reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson make another leap and bring the Baltimore Ravens with him?

We’re about a month and a half away from the regular season kicking off on Thursday, Sept. 10 and getting answers to those questions and many more. But why wait?

As training camps throughout the league get underway, let’s predict the entire 2020 NFL season. That means records for all 32 teams, division standings, playoff predictions and picking a Super Bowl LV champion. Yes, things can change in terms of these opinions but, as we enter training camps, this is how the forthcoming season will play out.

Note: Records, playoff seeding were compiled using Playoff teams are denoted with an asterisk.

AFC East predictions for the 2020 NFL season

New England Patriots* – 9-7
Buffalo Bills – 8-8
Miami Dolphins – 7-9
New York Jets – 2-14

Back before the New England Patriots signed Cam Newton, I was ready to reluctantly crown the Buffalo Bills AFC East champions for the 2020 season. But with Bill Belichick now bringing in a competent and hopefully-healthy quarterback, that changes everything. New England isn’t going to be a dominant force but they’ll be good enough to win the division, especially with their defense.

Having Buffalo miss the playoffs might come off as a shocker to some fans. After all, this team won 10 games last year and added Stefon Diggs to the fold, which should improve them. The simple truth, though, is that I’m still extremely skeptical of Josh Allen and believe that we might see a big regression out of him this year, which is going to bring the Bills back to Earth, even if the rest of their roster is impressive.

In the cellar of this division is the New York Jets, a team that I have projected to finish tied for the worst record in the NFL. This defense was already going to be pretty bad and now they lost Jamal Adams. When you also take into account how disastrous Adam Gase has been in just one year, success will be extremely hard to come by for this club.

The same can’t be said of the Dolphins. The South Beach Fins will take a tremendous leap forward in their rebuild in 2020. Head coach Brian Flores led this team to 5-11 last year and the roster is markedly better than that on both sides of the ball. While it may be premature for the playoffs, a seven-win season feels wholly in the cards for Miami.

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