Leading up to the NFL season, of course, takes are going to fly from pundits, fans, players, and reporters alike. Some of them are insane, others are barely lukewarm. There are some takes, however, that fall somewhere in the middle. They may seem crazy when you hear them on your television set or read them online, but when thinking about the context that they are made in, they may have some merit.
These are often the most interesting takes you can get, and these are three that might just be insane enough to happen.
Hot take? Matt Ryan will win MVP
The Atlanta Falcons have not been able to repeat the success of their Super Bowl season, but it does not mean they are finished. Matt Ryan has not returned to MVP form, but could this be the year that he does? The team has not been awful since the Super Bowl season, but after a 7-9 season, nobody is expecting much.
Perhaps, this is why it is not crazy to say that Matt Ryan could win MVP. Despite a mediocre record, the Falcons were not bottom-dwellers, and the difference between last year and the glory of 2016 could come down to health.
Ethan Johnson at Blogging Dirty posits that with a healthy team, a new offensive, and Ryan’s consistent output, the former MVP could get his second trophy. After all, it only took 11 wins for him to do it back in 2016.
Johnson cites an offense with Austin Hooper, Calvin Ridley, and Ito Smith as a reason to look forward to Ryan’s season, and if Devonta Freeman can come back healthy, it’s an even better omen for Ryan. Time will tell just how spicy this take looks in January.
Spicy take? The Tennessee Titans will win the AFC South
In the two months since Colton Pickard predicted this, the take may have cooled down a little, which is why it is worth exploring. Andrew Luck shocked everybody when he announced his sudden retirement from the NFL, and while this was unfortunate for the league, it could have gotten rid of a major hurdle for the Tennessee Titans.
With the Colts likely in rebuild mode, the Titans will likely be looking at the Houston Texans as the only competition in the AFC South. If Marcus Mariota can have a healthy season, he has the weapons to become an elite quarterback, and 2019 could be a marquee year for him. The Titans could very well struggle, especially if Mariotta isn’t entirely healthy, but health is a major concern.
Deshaun Watson is a promising NFL quarterback, but he is not one who one can guarantee will show up on a game-in, game-out basis. Because of this, it could be anyone’s game in the AFC South, if they can just be consistent throughout the season.
Hot and spicy take? The Giants can win the NFC East
It’s hard to imagine the Giants having an outstanding season regardless of how it goes, but the fact that we don’t even know who their starting quarterback is going to make things even more awkward. On one hand, they might have an aging quarterback who has struggled to show that he can conquer his years of mileage, and on the other, they might have a young quarterback who isn’t yet ready. They also lost several valuable members of the team.
Despite all this working against them, Russell Baxter of FanSided is not yet ready to throw in the towel on the Giants. Even more surprising, his reasoning may be sound.
The Giants may have e increased offensive line strength, and this could be huge for either quarterback. Manning is historically better when he is protected, even if he struggles with accuracy. A young quarterback like Daniel Jones could also flourish with this line.
While Odell Beckham Jr. is gone the depth on offense might be better, so instead of worrying about his miraculous catches, the Giants could theoretically have more options to throw at in a pickle. Saquon Barkley will have another year under his belt after all, and that will be huge when they do need an ace. Time will tell how spicy this NFL take is, but if a few things go right it may not be as spicy as we think.