The 2013 NFL Regular Season starts tonight with a great opening match up between the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the Baltimore Ravens taking on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. So which team is going to take home the Lombardi Trophy in February, lets get to the division by division season preview and predictions right now.
1. New England Patriots: 11-5
2. Buffalo Bills: 8-8
3. New York Jets: 6-10
4. Miami Dolphins: 5-11
Breakdown: Unless you are a Bills, Jets, or a Dolphins fan, there is no point of arguing with the fact that New England is going to win the AFC East this year. They are just too good to just have a big drop off. They may have lost Hernandez and Wes Welker and not have Rob Gronkowski for the first week or so, but they have backup Tight Ends who will have to step up and play well in the first week or so. Gronkowski will still be in New England and should still put up big numbers and if their new Receiver Danny Amendola stays healthy, then this will still be a good year for the Pats. As for the Bills, they will improve with new rookie QB in E.J. Manuel but their defense is still shaky with Mario Williams and others and the Bills are not that good to make a sudden big improvement. And no Bills fans, the Bills will not make the playoffs, the drought continues. As for the Dolphins and Jets, they are in rebuilding mode and will be fighting to stay out of last place.
1. Baltimore Ravens: 11-5
2. Pittsburgh Steelers: 8-8
3. Cincinnati Bengals: 7-9
4. Cleveland Browns: 4-12
Breakdown: No i am not one of those crazy NFL fans that says the Ravens will have a big drop off after winning the Super Bowl. Sure they lost Ray Lewis and Ed Reed but they still have a solid defense in Terrell Suggs and Corey Graham. They may have also lost Boldin and Pitta their two dependable receivers, but they still have Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones. Two fast receivers that can make big time plays, especially with Joe Flacco throwing to them. And they still have RB Ray Rice. Pittsburgh lost some big guys in James Harrison and Mike Wallace which will hurt them. They will not have a big drop off, but expect the Steelers to just have a 8-8 season like last year. And not make the playoffs, like last year. I am still not a big believer in the Bengals, and history for the Bengals shows that after they make the playoffs two straight years, they don't make the playoffs for a third straight year. Well that curse will continue as the Bengals will not make the playoff this year. I am going by curses and history people. As for Cleveland, if they claim they are going to have a big year, well as the old saying goes, I gotta see it to believe it.
1. Houston Texans: 12-4
2. Tennessee Titans: 10-6
3. Indianapolis Colts: 9-7
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-13
Breakdown: The Texans are the team to beat in the AFC South this year. They still got the TD machine in Arian Foster and in Andre Johnson. J.J. watt will put up big numbers on defense and will win defensive player of the year. Matt Schoub will have a good year and might be in contention for MVP who knows. The Titans should be able to make some big improvements with a new offensive coordinator and RB Chris Johnson primed for a big year. Plus with Jake Locker as our QB and Ryan Fitzpatrick as our backup QB, anything is possible. The Colts have a tough schedule and will not make the playoffs like last year. They will still have a 9-7 season. The Jaguars are just going to have another terrible season in last place again.
1. Denver Broncos: 13-3
2. San Diego Chargers: 6-10
3. Kansas City Chiefs: 6-10
4. Oakland Raiders: 2-14
Breakdown: There is no arguing the fact that the Broncos are going to win the AFC West. They have Peyton Manning at QB and have a great WR core in Welker, Decker, and Demaryius Thomas. The Chargers, Raider, and even the Chiefs can't beat that. The Chargers and Chiefs be tied for second. The Chargers won't get any better or worse and the Chiefs might improve with new QB Alex Smith and new head Coach Andy Reid but wont make a big jump. The Raiders will be in last place and the worst team in the league. Especially with Terrelle Pryor as their starting QB.
AFC Wild Cards: Titans and the Colts.
AFC Championship Game: Texans beat the Ravens 27-19
1. Philadelphia Eagles: 9-7
2. New York Giants: 9-7
3. Dallas Cowboys: 8-8
4. Washington Redskins: 7-9
Breakdown: I know, bold pick in saying that the Eagles will win the NFC East, but they will. They have a pretty good schedule and now have a great offensive minded coach in Chip Kelly. If Michael Vick and Lesean McCoy can stay healthy, and along with Desean Jackson and Riley Cooper as their WR core, this team will be good. They will have a run for their money though with the New York Giants. But the Eagles will get the tie breaker and the edge over the Giants. Dallas will be 3rd with an 8-8 record and the Redskins will be at the bottom in last. I know, bold pick. But RG3 is coming off Knee constructive surgery just 8 months ago. They have Morris at RB and Garcon at WR but other than Garcon, their WR core is not all that good. And their defense is still shaky. Don't expect RG3 to lead the Redskins to another division title.
1. Green Bay Packers: 12-4
2. Detroit Lions: 10-6
3. Minnesota Vikings: 8-8
4. Chicago Bears: 7-9
Breakdown: There is no team stopping the Green Bay Packers. Maybe the Lions but they are not good enough to stop the Packers. As long as Rodgers is QB and Clay Mathews is on defense, the Packers will be in first. The Lions will give the Packers a run for their money. But I still don't believe in head coach Jim Schwartz to lead this team to the division title or a Super Bowl. The Vikings will have a pretty good year. But I am not a believer in Christian Ponder. He does not have enough talent to lead this team to the playoffs for a second straight year. He counts on Adrian Peterson too much as well. He can't do everything for his Vikings. And same in Detroit, Calvin Johnson can't do everything for his Lions. The Bears have a tough schedule this year and loosing Brian Urlacher hurt them on defense. They might make a run for the division title with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, but I just don't see that happening. The Bears are not a good December team, if you know what I mean.
1. Atlanta Falcons: 12-4
2. New Orleans Saints: 12-4
3. Carolina Panthers: 6-10
4. Tampa Bay Bucs: 5-11
Breakdown: The Falcons will be the team to beat in the NFC South for the second year in a row. And for the second year in a row, will be winning the NFC South in a tie breaker with the Saints. The Falcons are a very explosive offensive team with Matt Ryan leading the way. With his two top targets in Roddy White and Julio Jones. Tony Gonzalez coming back for one more year is great for the team and the NFL in general. And adding RB Steven Jackson to this team makes them even better and more explosive on offense. The Saints will come back to the top and will also be the team to beat in the NFC South. The Saints got their master minded head coach in Sean Payton back. They also have a explosive offense with Drew Brees leading the way. If the receivers along with top TE Jimmy Graham can stay healthy, this team is going to be really good. Hopefully for them, their defense will be better with new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. After ranking dead last in defense last year. I am still not a Carolina believer especially with Cam Newton as their QB and their team leader or team captain. Tampa bay seems to be in a little bit in rebuilding mode, and they will be at the bottom in last place in the south.
1. San Francisco 49ers: 13-3
2. Seattle Seahawks: 11-5
3. St. Louis Rams: 4-12
4. Arizona Cardinals: 3-13
Breakdown: No, I am not going to predict the Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC West. I am not like those crazy's on ESPN. The 49ers still have on of the best defenses in the league with Patrick Willis and Donte Whitner. I don't really trust the Seattle defense. I think it will still be a tight 2 team fight in the NFC West between the 49ers and the Seahawks, but the 49ers will get the edge and win the NFC West. The Rams won't really be any good this year. They lost Danny Amendola and Steven Jackson this past off season to the Patriots and the Falcons. So the Rams will be in 3rd while the Cardinals with Carson Palmer, yes Carson Palmer, as their QB will be in last place and one of the worst teams in the NFL this year.
NFC Wild Cards: Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints.
NFC Championship Game: Packers beat the Saints 34-24
NFL Season MVP: Peyton Manning: QB Denver Broncos
NFL Season Rookie of the year: E.J. Manuel: QB Buffalo Bills
Super Bowl 48: Green Bay Packers Vs. Houston Texans: Packers win 35-23
Super Bowl MVP: Aaron Rodgers:
I know it may be a bit of a bold Super Bowl pick, but iv'e got the Packers winning the Super Bowl. Let the 2013 NFL Season begin.
By: Andrew Harrington