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  • Before the NFL season kicks off, we're making our best guess at who will dominate on the field this season, which teams will still be playing in January and who can win it all.
By The MMQB Staff
September 04, 2018

Last season the Eagles laughed at everyone’s preseason predictions en route to defeating the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. Will we see a return to the mean with one of the perennial favorites taking the crown or can another unexpected team rise above the rest?

The 2018 NFL season kicks off with the Falcons heading up to Philadelphia to take on the reigning Super Bowl champs on Thursday. But before that can happen, the writers and editors of The MMQB peer into the crystal ball to make playoff and Super Bowl LIII predictions, pick award winners and explain what they think will be the standout storyline this season. 

Albert Breer

NFL MVP: Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Offensive Player of the Year: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
Defensive Player of the Year: Cam Jordan, DE, Saints
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Roquan Smith, LB, Bears
Comeback Player of the Year: Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
Coach of the Year: Bill O’Brien, Texans

If the Vikings can stay healthy, there isn’t a major hole on the roster. Sure, there are depth issues along the offensive and defensive lines, but if they keep their guys upright in those areas—I am a tad concerned about that—this should be a 12- or 13-win team. And because they play in the NFC North, they’ll be as battle tested as it gets coming out of the regular season. The AFC, which is much weaker this year than the NFC, really is a crapshoot, which is why I’m forecasting some playoff upsets before we get to Atlanta on Feb. 3.

Storyline to watch in 2018: Outside of the lowering-the-helmet rule, which I think will be heavily discussed for six or so weeks, I think the continued dominance of older quarterbacks in the standings will be up there. Seven of my 12 playoff teams are piloted by 30-somethings. Six of those quarterbacks, accounting for half the field, are 33 years old or older. And four of them are 36 or older.


Greg Bishop

NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Bradley Chubb, LB, Broncos
Comeback player of the year: Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans
Coach of the year: Mike Zimmer, Vikings

A Super Bowl rematch? Hey, stranger things have happened. I like the Patriots in an AFC that feels truly up for grabs, if only because of their postseason experience and two guys you might have heard of: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The usual Super Bowl hangover may apply here, but I believe New England will overcome that by the end, and they should win their division at half speed. The NFC to me has a deeper field—I think the four top teams each could represent the conference in the Super Bowl. I picked the Eagles because I think Carson Wentz will play at an MVP level again this season, and I like the pieces they added on defense like Michael Bennett and Sidney Jones (a 2017 second-round corner who was rehabbing a torn ligament last year). I don’t see any reason why the Eagles can’t win again, other than no team has repeated in over a decade. As for the awards, don’t think I’m out on a limb on any of them. Rodgers, Brown, Bosa, etc.—they’re all great, transcendent players. And I believe that Zimmer will position the Vikings for a run at the Super Bowl, and since Pederson and McVay won various coaching awards last season, I like him to win this year.

Storyline to watch in 2018: Last season it felt like injuries were the dominant story. This season I think we’ll see an equal and opposite reaction to that, with everyone focusing on the comebacks: Rodgers, Watson and J.J. Watt coming back from injury, the Vikings coming back to truly contending and Los Angeles football coming back to true relevance with the Rams and Chargers. Comeback season is upon us.


Jenny Vrentas

NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
Offensive Player of the Year: Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers
Defensive Player of the Year: Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Derwin James, S, Chargers
Comeback Player of the Year: Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans
Coach of the Year: Sean Payton, Saints

The Patriots no doubt have their share of question marks, from last year’s uncharacteristic in-house drama to a defense that gave up more than 500 yards in the playoffs. And that’s not mentioning the prognosis is historically not good for teams that lost the Super Bowl the year before. But, picking the Patriots also doesn’t require a lot of explanation, so I’m going to stop here. The NFC is a deeper field. The Rams have the most hype; Atlanta might have the best roster in the league; and the Packers have the most talented QB. But I like the Saints to make a run—and they obviously feel that way, too, otherwise they wouldn’t have ponied up a third-round pick for a back-up QB (plus a sixth-rounder) who is not under contract past this year. Teddy Bridgewater is their insurance for what they clearly believe can be a Super Bowl season. Patriots 31, Saints 28, and Gisele asks, is this one the last one?

Storyline to watch in 2018: The new wave of quarterbacks. The perceived panic a few years back about teams not being able to find franchise passers from the crop of college QBs has predictably ceded to great enthusiasm for this next era of young signal callers. Who will be this year’s Carson Wentz, taking a giant leap into the MVP conversation? How big of an impact will the five rookie QBs drafted in the first round this year make, if they get onto the field at all? Will an up-and-coming team be able to take advantage of that magical window when they are flush with cap space on account of employing a player on his rookie contract under center? Tune in this season to find out!


Robert Klemko

NFL MVP: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Sam Darnold, QB, Jets
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Bradley Chubb, LB, Broncos
Comeback Player of the Year: Richard Sherman, CB, 49ers
Coach of the Year: Andy Reid, Chiefs

I picked the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, so naturally in such a scenario they’ll have a few people exceeding expectations. For my money, it’s Reid, arguably the finest coach in the NFL to never win a Super Bowl as head coach, and Hunt, the second-year running back who accounted to more than 1,700 offensive yards as a rookie in 2017. With Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill stretching the field, the Chiefs promise to have an explosive offense in 2018 (if Mahomes is any good) and that means plenty of opportunities for Hunt to salt games away on the ground. Darnold’s had a successful preseason, and he has a greater chance to start 16 games than any other rookie quarterback. Chubb’s in position for a breakout rookie year because has what no other rookie edge rusher has: Von Miller on the other side, absorbing double teams and chip blockers. Bosa is next to arrive in the upper echelon of pass rushers, and it doesn't hurt that he’s got Ingram on the other side. Sherman is going to be tested coming off the Achilles injury, and I’ve never seen that man fail a test.

Storyline to watch in 2018: I’m fascinated to see how Sean McVay and Wade Phillips manage a talent-packed locker room full of new faces. If Les Snead’s strategy of dealing high draft picks for veteran contributors ends in a championship, I think you’ll see more teams in contention trade away their future for the present, especially teams with quarterbacks on rookie contracts.


Jonathan Jones

NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
Offensive Player of the Year: Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
Defensive Player of the Year: Luke Kuechly, LB, Panthers
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Sam Darnold, QB, Jets
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Marcus Davenport, DE, Saints
Comeback Player of the Year: J.J. Watt, DE, Texans
Coach of the Year: Dan Quinn, Falcons

The Packers haven’t had a top-10 defense since 2010, and despite stellar quarterback play in the seven years since (injuries notwithstanding), it has helped keep them out of the Super Bowl. Now Green Bay has loaded up on defense, Aaron Rodgers has a full complement of weapons on offense and Green Bay gets the top overall seed in the NFC. Did I pick this Super Bowl matchup last year, too? You bet I did. As for players of the year, look for Kamara to fully usurp Mark Ingram thanks to the latter’s four-game suspension to start the season. And a healthy Kuechly will lead the NFL in tackles again for a Panthers team that is good enough for postseason football if the NFC weren’t so stacked. Speaking of, I think whoever wins the NFC South—the toughest division in football—deserves the coach of the year trophy, and that’s why fourth-year head coach Dan Quinn gets it in his third straight trip to the postseason.

Storyline to watch in 2018: I don’t know what twists and turns the Patriots saga will take, but I’m confident it will continue throughout this season. We’ve seen cracks in the past two years, and now everyone is aware that not all is hunky dory with Kraft, Belichick and Brady. What happens when the offensive line falters, or when Brady realizes he doesn’t have enough offensive weapons to keep this offense performing at the historic level he’s accustomed to? When on-field adversity hits these Patriots, who will leak what to the media, and how will that be handled internally? If you believe this dynasty is crumbling at some rate, then 2018 will offer more clues.


Conor Orr

NFL MVP: Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
Defensive Player of the Year: Khalil Mack, DE, Bears
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Bradley Chubb, LB, Broncos
Comeback Player of the Year: Eli Manning, QB, Giants
Coach of the Year: Ron Rivera, Panthers

This is going to be a weird season, but something about my time in Carolina sold me on the Panthers this year. Christian McCaffrey is going to have a Faulk-ian 2018 and Newton will be let out of the pocket with reckless abandon. The vibe around defensive coordinator Eric Washington is strong. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes lights up the NFL and the Bengals emerge as the “what the hell?” team of 2018 behind a resurgent John Ross and dominant defense. 

Storyline to watch in 2018: I noted by worst case scenario here, but let's imagine the president directs his vitriol elsewhere (space force?) and this is actually a season about footballs and helmets and games. After Barkley, Fournette and McCaffrey take over 2018, everyone will be on the search for the next franchise-changing running back atop the ’19 draft class.


Andy Benoit

NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
Offensive Player of the Year: Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
Defensive Player of the Year: Von Miller, LB, Broncos
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Roquan Smith, LB, Bears
Comeback Player of the Year: Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
Coach of the Year: Todd Bowles, Jets

When in doubt, bet on talent. Rodgers remains the NFL’s most physically gifted quarterback, Jones is the most imposing wide receiver and Miller is the most explosive defensive player. Barkley will be credited for the Giants’ bounce-back year on offense, and football people will tout Smith for his fit in Chicago’s scheme.

Storyline to watch in 2018: The rookie quarterbacks. I think that all five first-round rookie QBs—Baker Mayfield (Browns), Sam Darnold (Jets), Josh Allen (Bills), Josh Rosen (Cardinals) and Lamar Jackson (Ravens)—will take over before the season ends. Especially with the CBA limiting practice time, there just aren’t enough reps for young passers to develop from the bench. Through 2017, 24 of the last 27 first-round QBs became their team’s starter as a rookie. The trend will continue.


Kalyn Kahler

NFL MVP: Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Offensive Player of the Year: Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
Defensive Player of the Year: Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Sam Darnold, QB, Jets
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Bradley Chubb, LB, Broncos
Comeback player of the year: Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles
Coach of the Year: Mike Zimmer, Vikings

Minnesota return the majority of its 2017 starting lineup, and there’s a lot to say about the importance and rarity of consistency in the league. The team added a more proven quarterback in Kirk Cousins, return RB Dalvin Cook from injury and boosted a defense which ranked first in the league last season by adding safety George Iloka and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson and drafting cornerback Mike Hughes in the first round. The NFC was deep last year, and it’s only gotten more competitive this season. I could see the Rams, Saints, Eagles or Falcons all winning the Super Bowl this season. Even though Brady always makes do with less and turns water into wine, I think the lack of offensive weapons, coupled by off-field drama that impacts on-field play, is too much for New England to overcome this year. The Vikings are the most complete team in the league, and this season they’ll finally take home the title.

Storyline to watch in 2018: I’m still riding the Browns Hard Knocks high, but I’m really looking forward to seeing how Cleveland’s 2018 season unfolds. As we’ve seen on HBO, this is a group of coaches and players who desperately want to win. New general manager John Dorsey has not been shy in drafting the guys he wants and getting rid of the inherited players that don’t fit his specific image for the Browns. This has to be the season the Browns break through—and by break through, I mean cross the one-win threshold… The question is, in what circumstance and at what point in the season will the Browns revert on their commitment to Baker Mayfield’s redshirt season?


Ben Baskin

NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
Offensive Player of the Year: Rodgers
Defensive Player of the Year: Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Bills
Comeback Player of the Year: Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans
Coach of the Year: Mike Zimmer, Vikings

I’ll stop picking the Patriots when Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are no longer there—it’s as simple as that. The team has limited time left in its reign, and I think they’ll win one more before it’s over. Rodgers is motivated to prove he’s worth his big contract, so a monster year is coming, even by his standards. Bosa is on the precipice of true greatness. Barkley will be the most talked about rookie all season, and if he even comes close to matching the hype, the award is his. While Josh Allen is the most talked about rookie in Buffalo, Edwards is the one that will shine this year; an athletic marvel who can do anything physically possible from the middle linebacker position. Watson is not only incredibly gifted, but incredibly fun to watch play football; if he is back to his rookie form, the award is his. And Zimmer has been slept on enough. His players love him, and his team is shaping up to be the class of the NFC.

Storyline to watch in 2018: Coming off a 12-month stretch filled with turmoil and rumors and reports of their demise, the Patriots were within a couple of plays of winning yet another Super Bowl. Then all of their problems ostensibly spilled into this offseason, with uncharacteristic Instagram posts and headline fodder quotes and even players skipping minicamp. New England has been an unprecedented dynasty in NFL history, with their reign spanning not one, but two decades. But now Brady is 41 years old and Belichick is 66—the end is near. Will they go out with one more win? Or will this whole thing combust in spectacular fashion? We will be watching every single week and parsing every single game or play or quote for evidence one way or the other. It will be the prevailing topic all season.


Andrew Brandt

NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
Offensive Player of the Year: Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
Defensive Player of the Year: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jaguars
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Bradley Chubb, LB, Broncos
Comeback Player of the Year: Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
Coach of the Year: Andy Reid, Chiefs

The Packers have Rodgers, the best player in football, returning to the team after a prolonged absence, now signed for the next six years, happy and healthy. I also love the hire of Mike Pettine and a more aggressive defense. The usual suspects will circle in the NFC—Vikings, Saints, Falcons, Rams—but the Packers and Eagles are top of the class, with Rodgers’s singular abilities winning the day at the end. In the NFC, Jacksonville will get there the opposite way that the Packers will: without a premium quarterback. They have built and refined offensive and defensive lines that will wear teams out, especially late in the year.  And yes, Blake Bortles will do enough to get them to the Super Bowl.

Storyline to watch in 2018: I think the top threat to the NFL’s continued prosperity and popularity is not concussions, the anthem issue, player/league issues, etc. The league’s biggest challenge is attracting and maintaining younger viewers. With so many options and fractured viewership, the NFL has to recognize their new fans will not sit blindly for three hours to watch a product with 11 minutes of action. The league started having fewer commercials, more split-screen advertising, etc. but will need to do more. And the advent of legalized gambling is an integral part of engaging younger fans as well as a much-needed and lucrative revenue source. This issue will continue to dominate as the NFL tries to embrace cord-cutters, new media and a changing landscape of content delivery.


Michael Beller

NFL MVP: Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Offensive Player of the Year: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants
Defensive Player of the Year: Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Roquan Smith, LB, Bears
Comeback Player of the Year: Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans
Coach of the Year: Pat Shurmur, Giants

I firmly believe the Saints were the best team in the NFL last year, and that if not for the fluky Minnesota Miracle, we’d be talking about Brees and company going for a Super Bowl repeat this season. That entire team is back this season, and there’s reason to believe it can be even better. So many of its key players—Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Marshon Lattimore, Sheldon Rankins, Ryan Ramczyk—are 25 or younger, and the team strengthened the defense over the offseason, bringing in linebacker Demario Davis and safety Kurt Coleman. The 39-year-old Brees didn’t miss a beat last year, setting an NFL record in completion percentage while leading the league in yards per attempt. There won’t be anything, flukes or otherwise, derailing the Saints this year. As for the Eagles missing the playoffs, I don’t think they’re as insured against Carson Wentz missing time as many think. Remember, they have a brutal schedule that includes matchups with the Saints, Falcons, Panthers, Vikings, Rams, Texans, Jaguars and Titans.

Storyline to watch in 2018: The NFC is loaded. The Saints, Falcons, Vikings, Packers, Rams and Eagles all look like Super Bowl contenders on paper. The Panthers won 11 games last year. The Bears and 49ers are ascending. The Seahawks still have Russell Wilson. The Cardinals won eight games last year despite losing David Johnson in Week 1 and Carson Palmer after seven games. How many NFC teams do you feel comfortable writing off as playoff contenders? (For me, just the Buccaneers.) I think there’s an argument for any of the 15 other teams to make the playoffs, and that’s going to make the NFC a ton of fun to watch this season, especially from Thanksgiving through the end of the season.


Mark Mravic

NFL MVP: Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
Defensive Player of the Year: Jalen Ramsey
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Minkah Fitzpatrick
Comeback Player of the Year: J.J. Watt, DE, Texans
Coach of the Year: Anthony Lynn, Chargers

Explainer: California dreamin’? In June, The MMQB dedicated a week of content to the idea that this could be the best year ever for the NFL in the Golden State. I’m sold! I think the promise of Jimmy Garoppolo (and Kyle Shanahan) in San Francisco is real. Sean McVay’s offense paired with a defense that stocked up on major talent will make the Rams a juggernaut. And very quietly, the Chargers have built one of the strongest and best-balanced rosters in the NFL. This is the season Philip Rivers finally gets his due. And who can resist the prospect of the AFC Championship Game being played in the 27,000-seat StubHub Center?

Storyline: It has to end sometime for the Patriots, right? This season will signal the beginning of the decline of the Brady-Belichick dynasty. No matter how brilliant, Belichick can’t continue to patch together championship-caliber teams out of thin air. The behind-the-scenes cracks began to show last season, and those will play out on the field this year. New England should still win a weak division (though look for the Jets to push them), but will exit the playoffs early, to serious questions about what the future holds for the game’s greatest quarterback and greatest coach


Gary Gramling

NFL MVP: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
Offensive Player of the Year: Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
Defensive Player of the Year: Fletcher Cox, DE, Eagles
Offensive Rookie of the Tear: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Dolphins
Comeback Player of the Year: Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
Coach of the Year: Adam Gase, Dolphins

I want to point out how heartbroken I am to have excluded the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs from this playoff projection (which, if you didn’t realize, will prove to be 100% accurate). As for the teams I actually put in the postseason, they will show that you can turn around a defense quickly with good, young cornerbacks (think Marshon Lattimore, the Jaguars guys, etc.). In Green Bay, they have three promising ones (Kevin King and rookies Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson), and if two of them are good the Packers immediately go from a C-minus defense to a B-plus defense. Throw in Aaron Rodgers (who always performs better with a good flex tight end, enter Jimmy Graham) and you have a world champion. I also thought about picking the Lions to win it all, with the tragically underappreciated Matthew Stafford making the kind of gutsy, late-in-the-down plays that Nick Foles pulled off last winter and stud-in-the-making Jarrad Davis leading an opportunistic defense, but I came to realize I am a coward. I also think Adam Gase earns back his wiz-kid branding with his culture reset in Miami.

Storyline to watch in 2018: No one realizes it because they’ve been too busy wasting their lives spending quality time with loved ones, making them blind to the fact that passer rating is a flawed, outdated stat that puts too great an emphasis on simply not throwing interceptions, but offenses across the league will finally realize that the game is skewed so heavily in their favor—both the rules and the player pool—that the ultra-conservative strategy of avoiding the turnover above all will go out the window and most teams will start actually trying to score points rather than being paralyzed by fear. Young quarterbacks (Mahomes! Watson! Darnold!) will test tight windows downfield and make plays late in the down. The result will be a few more interceptions, but also a record-setting year for scoring, inspiring the kind of run-on sentences you just trudged through (that first one is 99 words!).


Bette Marston

NFL MVP: Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Offensive Player of the Year: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
Defensive Player of the Year: Jalen Ramsey, RB, Jaguars
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Marcus Davenport, DE, Saints
Comeback Player of the Year: Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
Coach of the Year: Anthony Lynn, Chargers

This Super Bowl prediction says less about the winner and more about the loser—losing the Super Bowl two years in a row is enough to bring about changes in an increasingly unstable New England. Carson Wentz will return nearly as strong as before, and the Eagles will become the first repeat NFC East champions since Philadelphia won the division from 2001-04. And because some things never change, the Bengals are going to nab an AFC wild-card spot, igniting the conversation over whether or not Marvin Lewis can win a playoff game (hint: he will not). 

Storyline to watch in 2018: Week in and week out, we’re going to be hanging on the news of the most important position in football—the quarterbacks. Until Jimmy Garoppolo loses as a 49ers starter, San Francisco games will be must-watch. If Joe Flacco gets off to a slow start to the season, how long until the Ravens will start rookie Lamar Jackson? Will Kirk Cousins live up to his massive contract in Minneapolis? How long will it take the quarterbacks returning from injury—Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, Aaron Rodgers—to get back up to speed? It’s the most important position in football for the reason.


Mitch Goldich

NFL MVP: Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Offensive Player of the Year: Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers
Defensive Player of the Year: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jaguars
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Derwin James, S, Chargers
Comeback Player of the Year: David Johnson, RB, Cardinals
Coach of the Year: Sean McVay, Rams

One of the best blueprints to reach the Super Bowl is to have a kickass QB on a rookie contract, and the Chiefs very well might have one in Patrick Mahomes. He steps into a great situation with regard to both the quality of his weapons and the way they’ll be utilized under coach Andy Reid. Kansas City is not a trendy pick, but the Chiefs always seem to be in the mix—they’ve won 53 games in Reid’s five seasons, always staying above .500. If and when the Patriots’ decline eventually begins, Kansas City should be one of the teams positioned to capitalize. Coming out of the NFC, in which there are eight or nine legit Super Bowl contenders, I like the Saints on both sides of the ball, and it just feels like this Brees/Payton run deserves another Super Bowl appearance. They were as close to the big game as anybody last season and should be right back.

Storyline to watch in 2018: I wish I could say it will be something else, but the biggest NFL storyline this season will be the debate over players protesting during the national anthem. The midterm elections fall on the Tuesday of Week 10. Trump will spend a large chunk of the season on the campaign trail for some of his preferred candidates, and he’ll use his platform to intentionally divide people over this issue. We saw the video of Beto O’Rourke discussing player protests go viral, and you can expect every candidate in both parties to be asked their opinion on the topic. Each response will be given its own news cycle ad infinitum, with players and coaches being asked about local candidates. Even if the league and the players somehow find a resolution, Trump will move the goalposts and demand more. He’ll call out the players, the owners, the league, the TV networks, the politicians who voice opposing viewpoints and whoever else he can think of. This isn’t going away.

• Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

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