Predictions for the National Football Conference and their respective final records for the next season.
The Rams coach is 5-0 to start seasons, a record as pristine as his haircut. Sean McVay opened the last five seasons with wins over Indianapolis, Oakland, Carolina, Dallas and Chicago, averaging 32.6 points in those victories.
The stiffest challenge comes Thursday night in the “Kickoff Opener” when the Rams play host to Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills, the first time the NFL has lifted the curtain on the season in Los Angeles.
McVay, whose team is defending its Super Bowl title, has the NFC’s longest winning streak in openers, but the longest overall streak belongs to Kansas City’s Andy Reid, whose teams have won seven consecutive openers. The Chiefs begin the season at Arizona.
New England’s Bill Belichick has the most season-opening victories among active coaches, although the Patriots’ 18-9 record in those is not reflective of their enormous overall success.
Five coaches are making their debuts: Chicago’s Matt Eberflus, Denver’s Nathaniel Hackett, Miami’s Mike McDaniel, Minnesota’s Kevin O’Connell and the New York Giants’ Brian Daboll.
Five more will be coaching their first game with a new club: Houston’s Lovie Smith, Jacksonville’s Doug Pederson, Las Vegas’ Josh McDaniels, New Orleans’ Dennis Allen and Tampa Bay’s Todd Bowles.
A division-by-division look at NFC teams in their predicted order of finish: