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NFL's risers, fallers, playoff picks and more 2017 projections

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Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season is just around the corner. What better way to raise (or temper) expectations than with a complete breakdown of predictions and projections?

Below is a guide of what to expect once the season kicks off Thursday -- from teams that will score the most points and defenses that will allow the least, to the best and worst positional units in the league, to the toughest schedules -- as well as (very early) predictions for the playoffs and, of course, Super Bowl LII.

Surprise teams

Tennessee Titans: Tennessee has drafted and developed talent well in recent years and revamped at wide receiver (Eric Decker, Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor) and cornerback (Logan Ryan, Adoree' Jackson) during the offseason. They should easily take the AFC South.

Los Angeles Chargers: The injury bug seems to be biting the Chargers for the sixth consecutive year, but the team is still very good on paper. The defense is built around one of the league's best duos at edge rusher (Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram) and cornerback (Jason Verrett, Casey Hayward). Plus, Phillip Rivers' talented and deep supporting cast includes Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen.