The NFL season is at its halfway point and it seems just like yesterday we were making our bold preseason predictions for this year. As the season continues at a relentless pace we wanted to revisit our preseason predictions. Find out in this 8-part series what we got wrong, what we got right, as well as a new bold prediction for the second half of the season. Today we will focus on the NFC South.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Original Prediction: Leonard Fournette finishes outside of the top 20 RBs
Currently- Leonard Fournette is currently RB 8 on the season. While he is currently busting the preseason prediction, his play is trending in the wrong direction. Fournette has only averaged 8.5 carries and 3 targets over the last two weeks, and Tampa Bay can’t seem to get anything going on offense. Rachaad White continues to have a growing role and may see increased action after the bye. This one still feels like it could go either way.
New Prediction - Tom Brady, currently QB14 on the season, ends up as a top 7 QB. Brady surprisingly leads the league in passing, but you would never guess due to the lack of touchdowns on the season. Tampa and Brady are far from out of this and they are due for positive regression. If this happens and Brady continues to hit his yardage marks, currently on pace for 4800, Brady should start moving up the leaderboard quickly.
New Orleans Saints
Original Prediction - Jameis Winston finishes as a top-12 QB
Currently - Winston is currently QB34 and doesn’t look like he’ll be getting back on the field any time soon. The Saints have been riddled with injuries, and this prediction is dead in the water.
New Prediction - Chris Olave, currently WR 19, finishes as a top 12 WR on the year. Michael Thomas isn’t coming back, Alvin Kamara may have his suspension expedited and Olave has been every bit as good as advertised. All of this together is a recipe for success for the first-round standout who should coast easily to being the top offensive rookie of this class.
Original Prediction - Christian McCaffrey plays less than 10 games, but still finishes as a top-12 RB
Currently - McCaffrey was traded to the 49ers and looks like he’ll be in full swing come playoff time. He only needs to play three more games to top the ten-game mark and is absolutely locked in as a top 5 RB, let alone top 12.
New Prediction - DJ Moore, who is quietly WR25 on the season, catapults into the top 15. He seems to have a real connection with PJ Walker, and with Robbie Anderson and the aforementioned McCaffrey already out of the lineup, should command a huge target share for the rest of the season.
Original Prediction - Kyle Pitts and Drake London both finish with 1000 yards
Currently: Atlanta has been better than advertised, their offense, however, has not. Drake London looks like a stud and we already know Kyle Pitts’ capabilities. Marcus Mariota is doing everything he can to not let this one come true.
New Prediction - I’m going all in on this one and saying both of these young studs will pick it up in the second half. Eventually, Atlanta will fall out of contention and want to see what Desmond Ridder can bring to the table. Ridder likely opens up the offense just enough to have a few splash games for each player.