This is what's going to happen in the upcoming NFL season. Let's not even play the games.
Of course, that is crazy talk. Anything can happen in just about every NFL game, so these predictions are just that—predictions. This is a projection of what the season could look like from my perspective based on the release of the NFL schedule.
A lot is going to happen between now and the regular season in September. Players are going to be injured. Little-known athletes are going to come out of nowhere to become role players for their teams. More free agents are going to be signed.
Oh, and there's this little thing called the draft.
Right now, every single team is going to ostensibly get better in about a month. So, the question is: Which teams are going to get better incrementally and which will get better by larger margins? The crazy amount of variability is almost assuredly going to shake up these projections by the preseason.
So, why do this?
In short, we've known who was playing whom for a long time, but now we see how the when plays into that knowledge. The New York Jets, for instance, will play the top two AFC seeds from a year ago, the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots, in a five-day span in mid-October.
Coach Rex Ryan said of the quick turnaround, via Darryl Slater of The Star-Ledger, "Obviously, that's a huge challenge. We'll be up for it. You're facing the two best teams in the AFC last year. We'll have a lot of football to play up until that, and hopefully we're hitting our stride when we play those two teams."
And now that we can start to piece together the when, we know more about the upcoming season than ever before. Rather than go around the same ridiculous NFL draft rumors that anonymous executives are spouting, it's a perfect time to take the league's temperature.