NFL 2016 Regular and Postseason Predictions

Can Cam Newton and the Panthers get back to the Super Bowl? Athlon's NFL experts make their division-by-division and playoff picks.

The NFL is finally ready to return to the field after more than seven months, and appropriately enough, it all starts with a rematch of the game that ended last season. Denver looks considerably different than the team that defeated Carolina 24-10 back on Feb. 7 to win Super Bowl 50.

 

The personnel changes for the Broncos go well beyond who is playing quarterback, but it’s probably what's going to get the most attention. But Denver isn’t the only team entering the season with questions or uncertainty at arguably the most important position on the field. New England will have Jimmy Garoppolo and not Tom Brady leading the offense for the first four games. Dallas is turning to rookie Dak Prescott with Tony Romo sidelined by a broken bone in his back, while Minnesota traded for Sam Bradford after Teddy Bridgewater dislocated his knee and tore his ACL in a non-contact injury during practice on Aug. 30.

 

On the other hand, the Panthers don’t have to worry about their quarterback, as Cam Newton is the reigning NFL MVP. Newton and his team have one goal in mind for this season, and it’s the same for the other 31 teams - get to the Super Bowl.

 

So can the Broncos mount a strong defense of their title or is this Newton and the Panthers’ year to win it all? The answer to both of those questions is no based on how a panel of Athlon editors and NFL contributors see the 2016 season playing out. In addition to the predicted standings for every conference, our esteemed panelists present their Wild Card (WC) picks as well as the respective conference championship game (CG) matchups and offer their best guess as to which teams will face off at NRG Stadium in Houston on 5, 2017 to determine the recipient of the Lombardi Trophy.

 

AFC

AFC East
  Rob Doster
@AthlonDoster
Bryan Fischer
@BryanDFischer
John Gworek
@JohnGworek

Steven Lassan
@AthlonSteven

Mark Ross
@AthlonMarkR
1
2
3
4
AFC North
1
2
3
4
AFC South
1
2
3
4
AFC West
1
2
3
4
AFC Playoffs
WC
WC
CG Patriots over
Steelers

Steelers over

Patriots

Steelers over
Chiefs
Patriots over
Steelers

Steelers over

Patriots

NFC

NFC East
  Rob Doster
@AthlonDoster
Bryan Fischer
@BryanDFischer
John Gworek
@JohnGworek
Steven Lassan
@AthlonSteven
Mark Ross
@AthlonMarkR
1
2
3
4
NFC North
1
2
3
4
NFC South
1
2
3
4
NFC West
1
2
3
4
NFC Playoffs
WC
WC
CG Cardinals over
Packers
Packers over
Seahawks
Cardinals over
Packers
Packers over
Seahawks
Cardinals over
Panthers

 

Super Bowl LI

  Rob Doster
@AthlonDoster
Bryan Fischer
@BryanDFischer
John Gworek
@JohnGworek

Steven Lassan
@AthlonSteven

Mark Ross
@AthlonMarkR

 
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