I wear the "steel blue, battle red glasses" and love being optimistic, and sadistically love getting my heart torn out when we lose (go figure). However I don't feel these expectations are unrealistic:
1. The defense will be surprisingly tough. I expect sack totals to jump, the D getting turnovers, and causing mistakes and making teams earn their yardage (with fewer penalities).
2. The O line will be consistent and sufficient to provide Carr's protection, and Davis some fine holes from week to week.
3. I doubt we will lead the league in injuries two years in a row, and so I expect fewer injuries - which will be huge.
4. Having Davis starting all year, I expect 1,200 yards rushing from him, and some "home run" runs by Hollings.
5. Because the running game will be consistent, our QB in his 3rd year, chemistry forming between him and his recievers, and better line - the passing game will be greatly improved. AJ and Carr, I expect will have a great year!
6. I expect this season we will see 2 and 3 game win streaks - and furthermore, I expect this monkey will get off our backs in the first 2 games of the season (SD, and Detroit).
7. Because of the improvement on both sides of the ball, the consistency of our special teams in the past 2 years, apparently a lighter schedule, I believe we can expect 8 to 10 wins. I qualify the "8" becasue of the level of competition in the NFL. Personally I expect 10 wins and a play off run.