The defending world champion New England Patriots open defense of their title on Thursday night at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers to kick off the 2015 NFL regular season. While football fans everyone are overjoyed that the attention on the nation's most popular sport will finally shift back to what happens on the field, the ultimate goal for all 32 teams remains the same — get to Super Bowl 50.
The Patriots are the champs looking to pull of another repeat, while the Seahawks would like to make some history of their own by becoming just the third team to play in three straight Super Bowls. The Buffalo Bills were the last to do so back in the early 1990s. Can Seattle be the next? Not likely, according to the panel of Athlon editors who have made their predictions for how the upcoming season and postseason will play out.
There does seem to be mutual agreement when it comes to the top and bottom of each division, as all five editors have the same champion for six of the eight and the same cellar dweller for all but one (NFC South). The only disagreement when it comes to first-place teams is in the AFC North and NFC East. After that, opinions vary, but in the end this panel seems to believe that Green Bay will wind up on top of the football world when all is said and done.
In addition to the predicted standings for every conference, Athlon’s editors also make their Wild Card (WC) picks as well as the respective conference championship game (CG) matchups and their best guess as to which teams will face off at Levi's Stadium on Feb. 7, 2016 with the Lombardi Trophy on the line.