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FRF’s Comeback & Reviewing our 2018 Campaign!

(clutchpoints.com)

I am excited to announce that Front Row Football is officially returning! After some time off, our team is back and ready to create some tremendous content. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter to ensure you see our upcoming articles. If you are interested in joining or contributing to FRF, please check out our official Recruitment Article by clicking here!

After running Front Row Football from January to June 2018 basically all by myself, I needed some time to pursue some other opportunities. Honestly, my time away from FRF was very successful, but I did miss creating content here. I am back now and am committed to creating engaging football content. I hope you enjoy!

Reviewing Our 2018 Predictions

The purpose of this article was not only to announce FRF’s return but also to review some of our work from 2018. I will be showcasing some of my best predictions from the previous draft and offseason. Looking back, there were quite a few shockers. Let’s get right into it.

The Best of What Went RIGHT

A clear success has to be my “Projecting 2018 breakout players at EVERY position” article. CLICK HERE to view the full original article! This article was released in May 2018 and there were quite a few unlikely candidates that I successfully predicted before the past season. I’ll leave some of the best ones below.

Quarterback
Mitch Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears

Mitch Trubisky has every opportunity to succeed in 2018. The young signal-caller was drafted at #2 overall for a reason; he has sky-high potential. The Bears made some great additions on both sides of the ball, but on offense they added some real weapons to give Trubisky some help. With talent all-around him, Trubisky has a real good shot to make a huge leap in Year 2. The Sky is really the limit for him, and I think that Trubisky will have a very good 2018 campaign that will give Chicago a chance to make the playoffs.
Projected Stats: 3982 passing yards, 28 TDs, 14 INTs, 64.5% completions

Torre Avitabile (https://frontrowfootball.com/2018/05/22/projecting-2018-breakout-players-at-every-position1/)

The article speaks for itself. I even (sort of) predicted Chicago’s playoff appearance, which was laughable back in May. Also, my predicted stats were fairly close!
Projected Stats: 3982 passing yards, 28 TDs, 14 INTs, 64.5% completions
Actual Stats: 3,223 passing yards, 24 TDs, 12 INTs, 66.6% completions

Tight End
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

George Kittle had a very solid rookie season (43 catches/515 yds/2 TDs), but this should only be the beginning for the young Tight End. Kittle emerged as a reliable target for Jimmy Garappolo, and got better every week with his new QB. The Niners will be a team on the rise in 2018, and the team will have to get Kittle involved in the passing game in order to move the ball through the air. Watch out for Kittle, and the 49ers, to make huge strides this year.
Projected Stats: 61 receptions, 794 yards, 7 TDs

Torre Avitabile (https://frontrowfootball.com/2018/05/22/projecting-2018-breakout-players-at-every-position-tight-end/)

Another big-time hit. Kittle actually blew my projections out of the water, but I can proudly say I predicted a huge jump for Kittle in year 2. I was predicting him to join the Top-5 TE conversation, and he surely did do that.
Projected Stats: 61 receptions, 794 yards, 7 TDs
Actual Stats: 88 receptions, 1377 yards, 5 TDs

Another article I want to highlight would be “8 NFL teams ready to break into the playoffs in 2018.CLICK HERE to view the full article. In order to be in consideration for this article, the team had to have missed the 2017 playoffs. So, this was me trying to identify the new teams that would be in the 2018 postseason. This was posted in June 2018, and I successfully identified three (nearly four) unlikely teams that made it into the postseason. Check out who I uncovered, and my reasoning, below!

Los Angeles Chargers (2017 Record: 9-7)
Key Additions: S Derwin James, C Mike Pouncey, LB Uchenna Nwosu, TE Virgil Green

In 2017, the Chargers started the season 0-4. They finished the season on a 9-3 run and just came short on a postseason appearance. On paper, the Chargers have one of the most complete teams in the entire NFL. They honestly have very good players at almost every position, and the infusion of that talent was evident when the Chargers went on that 9-3 run. Los Angeles has made good additions throughout the off-season, and honestly the worst thing to happen to them was losing Hunter Henry not to another team, but to injury after he tore his ACL. Besides that, the Chargers are returning almost all of their key-starters, the this team is a sneaky dark-horse for a Super Bowl run. The Chargers had solid success last year, but some solid additions, along with getting players back off the IR, will leave the Chargers in a great position to break into the playoffs in 2018.

Torre Avitabile (https://frontrowfootball.com/2018/06/07/8-nfl-teams-ready-to-break-into-the-playoffs-in-2018-3/)

Chicago Bears (2017 Record: 5-11)
Key Additions: LB Roquan Smith, WR Allen Robinson, OG James Daniels, TE Trey Burton, WR Anthony Miller, WR Taylor Gabriel, HC Matt Nagy

The Chicago Bears have a lot of hype heading into the 2017 season. Some people think that this team can make a jump in 2018 similar to the Rams in 2017. While this might sound crazy, it is not as far-fetched as it seems.  The Rams had some solid pieces in place last year, and they will only get better after adding play-makers on both sides of the ball. Chicago’s offense should be heavily improved with Mitchell Trubisky in year 2 along-side some new weapons. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Matt Nagy is now in control as the Head Coach. Nagy is an offensive minded coach who will give Trubisky and the rest of the offense a great chance to have success. This team making the playoffs is really based on how well Trubisky can play. The rest of the team is good enough. With a young nucleus of talent, the Bears should reach the postseason soon. There is a real chance we could see them in the playoffs as early as 2018.

Torre Avitabile (https://frontrowfootball.com/2018/06/07/8-nfl-teams-ready-to-break-into-the-playoffs-in-2018-4/)

Houston Texans (2017 Record: 4-12)
Key Additions: S Tyrann Mathieu, S Justin Reid, LB Duke Ejiofor

The Texans were one of the most exciting teams to watch in the beginning of this season. With Deshaun Watson at the helm, this team was a serious surprise and played very well. When Watson went down, so did Houston’s playoff chances. Oh, and it didn’t help that Houston also lost some key pieces on Defense. The Texans playoff chances in 2018 are not based on their additions this offseason, but rather the players they are returning from IR. Watson, JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus all missed significant time last year. They are all on track to return to full strength in 2018. Oh, and adding Tyrann Mathieu surely will pay dividends for one of 2017’s worst pass defenses. By returning the old, along with blending in the new, the Texans can seriously compete for a playoff spot.

Torre Avitabile (https://frontrowfootball.com/2018/06/07/8-nfl-teams-ready-to-break-into-the-playoffs-in-2018-6/)

Cleveland Browns (2017 Record: 0-16)
Key Additions: WR Jarvis Landry, QB Tyrod Taylor, QB Baker Mayfield, RB Carlos Hyde, RB Nick Chubb, S Damarious Randall, LB Mychal Kendricks, CB EJ Gaines

There have been massive changes in Cleveland. Nearly everything has changed with 2017’s worst team. Personnel, staff, the GM, but yet Hue Jackson remained as the Head Coach. Anyway, if Jackson can’t get production out of this roster he has in 2018 he will be gone. The Browns have added at least one player to nearly every level of their team, and they have signed/acquired/drafted multiple game-changing talents. If it all forms together, the Browns can be a legitimate playoff contender for the first time in years. Cleveland surely has the talent to do it, but only time will tell if this team can fully mesh. Either way, the Browns should be much improved in 2018, and they surely have a genuine chance to break into the playoffs.

Torre Avitabile (https://frontrowfootball.com/2018/06/07/8-nfl-teams-ready-to-break-into-the-playoffs-in-2018-8/)

I think that all speaks for itself. The Chargers, Texans, and Bears all made the playoffs. The Browns were one drive away, against Baltimore, from the postseason. Not too shabby for offseason speculation.

Another article I would like to highlight would be my “The biggest steal from every round of the 2018 NFL Draft” article. CLICK HERE to view the full article. The jury is still out on every draft pick after only one season, but there’s one big gem that I seemed to uncover.

Round 5: Maurice Hurst, DT, Oakland Raiders
If it were not for some of his health concerns, Michigan DT Maurice Hurst would have likely been a First Round selection. Regardless, the Raiders selected a player with tremendous upside, and if his health is okay Hurst can be a dominant player in the NFL. Hurst can be one of the best Day 3 picks in recent history if things work out in his favor. Hurst has been a full-go so far at the Raiders rookie mini-camp, and all signs are pointing to Hurst being able to contribute early in his career.

Torre Avitabile (https://frontrowfootball.com/2018/05/07/the-biggest-steal-from-every-round-of-the-2018-nfl-draft-round-5/)

Hurst has been a factor thus far in his career, making a noticeable impact on a bad Raiders team. The Michigan product played in 13 games, starting 10. Hurst racked up 31 tackles (26 solo), 4.0 sacks, and 1 FF. Not too shabby from a 5th round pick, who nearly was a plug and play starter. I’m excited to see what Hurst can do in the future.

I think that’s enough of a review for now. There were a bunch of other correct predictions (and incorrect), but I just wanted to share a handful of my favorite. If you actually made it to the end, thank you. This article was meant to be more of a reflection, so there won’t be many more pieces like this. I plan on releasing mock drafts for a majority of the next two months, so stay tuned! Thanks for reading along. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @FrontRowNFL for awesome NFL Content!

About Us

If you don’t know about or remember us, here’s what we are all about: Front Row Football shares views from the spot with the best view: the Front Row. Here at Front Row Football, we are devoted to releasing daily quality content. We speculate on all types of NFL Headlines and give out expert insight on Fantasy Football. FRF is here to assure you go into your fantasy season with confidence, and that you come out as a league champion.

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Torre Avitabile View All

Founder and writer for Front Row Football (2018-present).
Writer for Armed Rodgery (2016-2017).

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