When it comes to the NFL season, Orlando has split allegiances across the board. It makes for fun Sundays in The City Beautiful, with fans from all 32 teams wearing their favorite gear and supporting their squads.
While there are large fan followings for teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills, most of the attention surrounds the three in-state teams, the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars. Here are our predictions on how each of Florida's teams will fare and some of best places in Orlando to catch all the action.
After last year's disappointing 6-10 season, the Dolphins are hoping to bounce back with quarterback Ryan Tannehill healthy. Tannehill had his best season as a pro in Adam Gase's first year and led Miami to the playoffs, so there is some reason for optimism here.
The Dolphins also cleaned house, purging themselves of veterans like Jarvis Landry, Ndamukong Suh and Mike Pouncey in an effort to create better team chemistry. New veteran names like Danny Amendola and Robert Quinn are expected to come in and pick up the slack.
Miami also feels good about the offensive pieces they have put around Tannehill, but there are questions looming on the defensive side of the ball. With former All-Pro Reshad Jones and Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins could have one of the league's best safety tandems, but there are depth concerns at almost every position.
For nearly two decades, the AFC East has run through New England and the Patriots should have no problem winning the division again. However, with the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills potentially breaking in rookie quarterbacks, there may be an opportunity for the Dolphins to pick up some easy victories.
Official Prediction - 6-10
Where to Watch the Dolphins in Orlando - Hideaway Bar
Hideaway Bar has been owned by the same family for over 35 years and they have long served as a gathering place for Dolphins fans. The exterior of the bar is even painted in the team's familiar aqua and orange colors, which only adds to the festive environment.
Hideaway is one of the true hidden gems of Ivanhoe Village and they have excellent burgers and wings. They often offer beer bucket specials during games as well.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers will start the season with their backs against the wall. Quarterback Jameis Winston is suspended for the first three games due to a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy and the team has one of the toughest opening stretches in league history: at New Orleans Saints, vs. Philadelphia Eagles, vs. Pittsburgh Steelers.
Tampa Bay has excellent receivers and tight ends, but rookie Ronald Jones has been unable to separate himself in the backfield this preseason from journeyman Peyton Barber. There are also questions along the offensive line.
The Bucs were injury-riddled on defense last year and that unit has plenty to prove in 2018. Tampa Bay may have one of the worst secondaries in the NFL and new additions Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry have to prove that they can greatly improve the pass rush.
The strength of the NFC South only adds to the concern around Tampa Bay. New Orleans and the Atlanta Falcons are top NFC contenders and the Carolina Panthers have had plenty of recent success, including a trip to the Super Bowl just three seasons ago.
Official Prediction - 5-11
Where to Watch the Bucs in Orlando - Wall Street Plaza
There is no official or unofficial watch party home for the Bucs in Orlando, but Wall Street Plaza is always a great place to watch football on Sundays. There are plenty of TVs on every game throughout the seven bars and it is fun to walk between each of them to take advantage of the different atmospheres.
Hooch is Wall Street's primary destination and they have six TVs over the bar that are perfect for game viewing. They always have great drink specials and their menu also features some bar food staples that are essential for gameday.
The Jaguars have by far the highest expectations attached to their season of any state team. Last year, they were a few plays away from defeating the New England Patriots and landing in Super Bowl LII.
The Jacksonville defense that became affectionately known as "Sacksonville" in 2017 is back intact and should continue to rank as the league's best. While sack artist Calais Campbell may take a step back off a career year, there is plenty of talent to keep things rolling.
Questions for the Jaguars still surround the offense, primarily quarterback Blake Bortles. Running back Leonard Fournette will be a great safety net for Bortles, but there is warranted skepticism around a wide receiving corps that stars Marqise Lee and features names like undrafted second-year player Kenan Cole and the disappointing Donte Moncrief.
The AFC South has also improved around Jacksonville. J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson are back from injury for the Houston Texans and, similarly, Andrew Luck returns from his ailments with his sights set on leading the Indianapolis Colts back to the playoffs.
Official Prediction - 9-7
Where to Watch the Jaguars in Orlando - Lion's Pride Orlando
The Orlando chapter of the Bold City Brigade has selected Lion's Pride as their new watch party destination in 2018. While the restaurant and bar normally caters to the soccer crowd, they will have their 200" screen turned on the Jags every Sunday and will have sound on for the entirety of the game.
If you get there early enough on a Sunday, you can snag one of their club-style, padded stadium seats on the second floor. They have an expansive menu that has typical sports bar items and some upgraded entrees.
Photo via SportsTalkFlorida