So as you read earlier when I did my AFC season preview, that I was going to do an NFC season preview in a different post. Well this is the different post that I was talking about and let's get started with an NFC preview for the 2014 NFL season.
1. New York Giants: 9-7: I am probably being crazy and making a bad pick by picking the Giants to go 9-7 and win this division AND make the playoffs. But I am sticking with this pick. Look I know the Giants first team offense has looked really bad tin the preseason but look people, it's just the preseason. Just because a team is bad in the preseason does not mean they will be bad in the regular season. And besides, it the NFC East. Every year a different team wins this division and goes to the playoffs. One year it's the Redskins, one year it's the Eagles or Cowyboys you just can never predict this division. QB Eli Manning and his go to receiver in Victor Cruz know that they have to do better than last year and they got to make sure they also don't get swept by division rivals in Dallas like last year. Because had they won the two games against Dallas last year then they would have been 9-7 and probably would have made the playoffs. I like making bold picks every year and this is my big bold pick this year.
2. Philadelphia Eagles: 8-8: This team will still be good, but not as good as last year and won't make the playoffs like last year. They lost Desean Jackson to the Washington Redskins and their pass defense is just shaky. We also don't know if receiver Jeremy Maclin can be any good after not playing at all last year from the torn ACL he suffered before last season even started and nit sure if QB Nick Foles be great like he was last year. Just not sure about this team, dont get me wrong they will be good and at least have a record at .500 or above .500 but it will not be easy for this team.
3. Washington Redskins: 8-8: Last year was definitely a season to forget for the QB RG3 and the whole Redskins team. They were 3-13 and when they lost games, it was usually loosing by 10 or more points and just simply looking bad. This year, with old head coach Mike Shanahan finally gone and now they have Jay Gruden as their new head coach, this team will at least be better than last year. Plus they got a big pickup in receiver Desean Jackson from the Eagles. If RG3 and Desean Jackson can develop good chemistry, and if running back Alfred Morris stays consistent and healthy along with the defense possibly improving, then this team might be able to win this division and make it back into the playoffs. The Redskins just have to have a better year.
4. Dallas Cowboys: 7-9: people are gonna probably say that I am actually being too nice by giving the Cowboys a 7-9 record but I think it's just about right. When I look at the Cowboys schedule, there are at least 5 match-ups they could easily win. And 3 of them are within this NFC East division. On offense, this team looks really good. QB Tony Romo is always a guy you can count on to make a late comeback and win games, receivers Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are very reliable to Romo and running back Demarco Murray is very talented and still has lots of potential. But on defense, boy does this team look bad when it comes to defense. if you thought last years Cowboys defense, which gave up the 3rd most overall yards in NFL history was bad, it will most likely be worse this year. Mainly because sack king Demarcus Ware moved on and went to the Denver Broncos and Sean Lee tore his ACL in mini camp last may. Also not to mention that Orlando Scandrick is suspended for the first 4 games due to abusing the NFL's substance abuse policy. This team has a lot of work to do to improve their defense and head coach Jason Garret has his work cut out for him. The Cowboys will most likely miss the playoffs for the 5th straight year, the first time that has happened with Jerry Jones as the owner of the team.
1. Green Bay Packers: 11-5: The Packers are going to win this division for the 4th year in a row. Last year QB Aaron Rodgers missed a few games last year and they struggled. But when Rodger came back, they were really good and just made the playoffs. This year the only team they might have to worry about in this division is the Detroit Lions. As long as Rodgers and receiver Randall Cobb stay healthy, and with the big addition of defensive player Julius Peppers from the Bears, then this team is winning the division and going to the playoffs. They got a good team and a pretty good schedule to have a good year and get back to the old Packers that we knew when they won the Super Bowl just 3 years ago.
2. Detroit Lions: 10-6: The Lions finally have a good new head coach in Jim Caldwell and I think he will help improve this team. Receiver Calvin Johnson is going to be his old self and be one of the best receivers in the NFL and this team got a good addition at receiver in Golden Tate from Seattle and Tate might be able to take some of the pressure of of Johnson. This team still has a solid running back in Reggie Bush and QB Mathew Stafford will be very good as always. What this team needs to win their games in the 2nd half of their schedule. Last year they went 2-6 in their last 8 games and it cost them any shot of making the playoffs. This year 5 of their last 8 opponents of the season had a .500 or lower record last year. So they have to win those games this year. If they can do that, then this team will have a winning record and might make the playoffs.
3. Chicago Bears: 8-8: I would like to make the Bear a better team than last year but they lost a really good defensive player in Julius Peppers, and QB Jay Cutler is always a risk because of his injuries. Yes they got a good defensive pickup in Jared Allen from the Minnesota Vikings but who knows how good he will be. And the last time Cutler played a full 16 game season was back in 2009 in his first year with the Bears. Cutler has to stay healthy and the offensive line has to do a better job in protecting Cutler. And not to mention that running back Matt Forte has to be consistent and stay healthy as well, otherwise this team will go 8-8 for the 2nd year in a row and miss the playoffs for a 4th year in a row.
4. Minnesota Vikings: 7-9: The Vikings I think will have a better season than last year. Receiver Cordarrelle Paterson is expected to break out and have a great year. He is a good receiver and can return kickoffs and punts as well and his pretty good in that area of the game. Running back Adrian Peterson will still be rock solid as he has always been and as long as QB Matt Cassel can stay healthy and the defense can somehow improve even though they lost Jared Allen to the Bears, then this team might at least be better than last year. But the Vikings are no way a playoff team like they were in 2012.
1. New Orleans Saints: 12-4: The Saints really surprised us all last year with their defense. Sure their defense was not the best but it was at least way better than their defense from 2012. Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan has done a very good job with this team and deserves a lot of credit. The offense was even better last year. The QB and receiver combo of Drew Brees and tight end Jimmy Graham is one of the best combos in football as Graham got 16 touchdown's last year and might get more this year. If those two and stay on the same page and keep scoring touchdown's, and the defensive players stay healthy, then there is no doubt this Saints team will be good this year and win this division. They came close to winning the division last year but got unlucky as the Panthers got past them late to win the division, but this year the Saints will have more luck on their side and not have to worry to much about the Carolina Panthers.
2. Carolina Panthers: 10-6: Don't get me wrong when you see this record I have for the Panthers, I still think they will be a good team, but just not as great as they were last year. They still have a great defense but their offense definitely does not look as good as it was last year. Yes, they kept their two main running backs in Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, but pretty much lost their whole wide receiving core from last year. As we all know, Steve Smith left to go to Baltimore, Domenik Hixon left to go play for the Bears but then retired after suffering a torn ACL in May, Brandon LaFell left to go to New England and Ted Ginn Jr. left to go to Arizona. That's 4 of your main receivers from last year gone just like that. Now they were able to keep tight end Greg Olsen and get other tight end Ed Dickson from the Ravens. The Panthers also were smart in the draft and drafted Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State, who by the way are the defending College Football National Champions. And let's not forget that Kelvin Benjamin was the one who got the game-winning touchdown catch in the National Championship game against Auburn. So Kelvin can play. But in order for this team to still be good, they are gonna have to really rely more on their defense which I think should work. The Panthers are still a winning team and will make the playoffs this year for the 2nd year in a row.
3. Atlanta Falcons: 4-12: I's sorry, but I don't see the Falcons getting any better this year. Now I don't think they will get worse, but they just won't get any better that's all. This team definitely surprised us last year but not in a good way. After going 13-3 year before in 2012 and going to the NFC Championship game, they went 4-12 last year and obviously missed the playoffs. This year might be the same story. They don't have star tight end Tony Gonzalez as he finally decided to retire from football, and receiver Julio Jones is coming off a really bad foot injury that he suffered last October that kept him out for most of last year. Plus other receiver in Roddy White is getting old and I think is past his prime at the age of 32 and the defense is still shaky and does not look that good. It's just going to be a rough season for this Falcons team and for the 2nd year in a row since 2006 and 2007, the Falcons will not make the playoffs.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3-13: This is not going to be a good year for Tampa Bay as well. Yes they got a good head coach in Lovie Smith but he can't completely change this team on his own. Running back Doug Martin is coming off an injury plagued season that only saw him play 6 games and rush for only 1 touchdown. He needs to stay healthy and have a better season. Josh McCowen is now the starting QB but might struggle with this kind of Tampa Bay offense and their is not much depth at wide receiver other than Vincent Jackson. Also not to mention that this team's offensive line is pretty weak and had a tough time last year creating room or holes for Doug Martin to run in. This team may surprise us like the Panthers did last year and be pretty good, but I just don't see that happening this year. Maybe next year for Tampa Bay.
1. Seattle Seahawks: 12-4: The defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks will be number 1 in the NFC West for the 2nd year in a row. This team pretty much looks the same as last year. The only player they lost was receiver Golden Tate to the Detroit Lions. This offense still looks very good with QB Russell Wilson leading the charge with RB Marshawn Lynch and as long as receiver Percy Harvin can stay healthy and play all 16 regular season games, then this offense can be even better than last year. The defense for this team was by far the best defense last year with Corner back Richard Sherman and linebacker and Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith. expect this Seahawks defense to still be one of the best defenses in the league this year as long as they all stay healthy. Just gonna be the same old story as last year, Seahawks win the division, go to the Super Bowl, and most likely win the Super Bowl.
2. San Francisco 49ers: 11-5: A lot of people are really concerned with this team and says they are gonna have a big drop off from last year. People are saying that because the 49ers did not look to good in the preseason. Well all I got to say to those people who doubt the 49ers is that it's only preseason and that the 49ers will still be on of the top teams in the NFC. Sure I have them dropping off a bit in their record from last year and have them going 11-5 this year but they are still gonna be a good team. Their offense still looks good with Colin Kaepernick as their QB who can throw and run when needed to and if Kaepernick and still have a good connection with tight end Vernon Davis, then this offense will still be one of the best offenses in the league. Their defense still looks good with linebackers Ahmad Brooks and Patrick Willis, and if this team can improve their pass rush, then this defense will definitely be just as good as last year. Bottom line is that the 49ers will still be a top team in the NFC and might be able to make the NFC Championship game for the 4th year in a row.
3. Arizona Cardinals: 8-8: Last year, head coach Bruce Arians led this team to a solid 10-6 record last year with was a 5 game turn around from their previous season. However, because this team is in a very tough NFC West division, the Arizona Cardinals DID NOT make the Playoffs. Now as much as I would like to predict the Cardinals being a good team and going to the playoffs this year, well I just can't make that prediction because I just don't see that happening. Yes this team got a big defensive pickup in Corner back Antonio Cromartie from the Jets but he is just not the player he used to be and other that corner back Patrick Peterson,this defense sis not all that great. This team's offense still looks good with Carson Palmer as their QB but he is also getting old and just like Cromartie, is not the great player that he used to be. This Cardinals team also has a bit of a tough schedule as 9 of their 16 games are against teams that had a .500 or better record last year. As much as I would like to see this team make the playoffs this year, it won't happen as they are still in a tough NFC West division and the competition should still be intense in the NFC as it was last year.
4. St. Louis Rams: 4-12: It's not gonna be a good year at all for the Rams this year. They lost their QB Sam Bradford as he tore his ACL for the 2nd time in just 10 months. This time he tore his ACL in the preseason. Their offense does not look that good and this team also just released defensive player Michael Sam, which i think was a big mistake to let him go. Bottom line is that the Rams will be last place in this division and most likely be one of the worst teams in the league this year. I guess all the Rams fans can hope for is better luck next year.
Now here are my playoff standings for the NFC:
1. Seattle Seahawks: 12-4: NFC West Champions
2. New Orleans Saints: 12-4: NFC South Champions
3. Green Bay Packers: 11-5: NFC North Champions
4. New York Giants: 9-7: NFC East Champions
5. San Francisco 49ers: 11-5: Wild Card
6. Carolina Panthers: 10-6: Wild Card
By: Andrew Harrington
The NFL season starts in just 2 days. And everyone is wondering how the teams will do and has a lot of questions for this up and coming season. Like, will Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos be as dominant as they where last year or will the Seahawks win the Super Bowl for the 2nd year in a row? Will I am here to answer those questions. In this blog post I will preview the AFC and in the other post I will preview the NFC. Then in another post I will give you my Playoff and Super Bowl Predictions. So here is an 2014 NFL season preview for the AFC.
1. New England Patriots: 11-5: It's simply the same old story every off season. The Patriots will win the AFC East. Why fight it when it's just bound to happen. I know they are not as dominant as they used to be because they lost Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez. But as long as Brady and Gronkowski are there and with the addition of Darrelle Revis this team will still win the AFC East. The other teams in this division are just not strong enough to conquer New England as the top team in this division.
2. Buffalo Bills: 7-9: I know i may sound crazy saying that the Bills will finish second in the AFC East but I think this could be a pretty good year for the Bills. There pass defense was 4th in the league last year and the defensive front line had the 2nd most sacks last year with 57, only behind the Carolina Panthers who had 60. This team has to improve on their rushing defense. Last year they were 28th in the league against the rush. If they can finally improve their rushing defense and Quarter Back EJ Manuel and rookie Sammy Watkins can stay healthy, this team can be good and have the potential to one day challenge New England as the top team in this division.
3. New York Jets: 7-9: I know people are saying the Jets are going to be better than last year because they got Eric Decker from the Denver Broncos but other than Eric Decker and QB Geno Smith, there is little to no offense on this team. Last season this team was 31st in their passing offense but 6th in the rushing offense. Their defense is not much of a concern. Yes their passing defense was 22nd and not that good but their rushing defense was good as they were 6th. Basically this team needs to work on their entire passing offense and defense and maybe they will be a better team. But for now they are just a 7-9 team that will miss the playoffs for the 4th straight year.
4. Miami Dolphins: 6-10: Everybody is high on this team to be the best threat and take over the top spot in this division. But I am not buying any of it. Last year defenses cut through the Dolphins offensive line like cutting through thin pieces of paper and allowed teams to sack their QB Ryan Tannehill 58 times. Yeah that's right, Ryan Tannehill got sacked 58 times last year the most out of any QB in the NFL. And last year teams were able to sack Ryan Tannehill when two big offensive guards in Jonathan Martin and Richie Incongnito were on the team. No that those two guys are gone, this offensive line might be WORSE than last year, which is crazy to believe. And this team does not have much offense. The only two really good receivers are Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace. They did get a good running back in free agency in Knowshon Moreno but who knows if he will be the starting running back because the Dolphins really believe in Lamar Miller. Maybe I am being too hard on this team but as soon as that offensive line improves, there is not much hope for this team.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: 12-4: I truly think that Cincinnati is going to be really good and win the AFC North for the 2nd year in a row. A.J. Green was phenomenal last year and we should expect the same from him and QB Andy Dalton this year. Giovani Bernard is finally the starting Running Back this year and should have a very goo season and they also got a good backup in Jeremy Hill, who a lot of people are high on this season to do well and be a good pickup in Fantasy Football. And this teams defense is still good with Terrence Newman and Geno Atkins. Watch out for the Bengals to maybe be the dominant team in this division.
2. Baltimore Ravens: 10-6: This team has to do better than last year. Last year this team really struggled on offense as they only had one true go to receiver in Torrey Smith and Ray Rice was downright bad and missed a few games. Well expect the same from Ray Rice missing games as he is suspended for the first two games of the season for the domestic abuse arrest last February. But this team has Tight End Dennis Pitta back this year and got a good pickup in free agency when they signed Steve Smith from the Carolina Panthers. And if the defense can improve from last year and stay healthy, and if Joe Flacco can play like a 120 million dollar Quarterback, then this team will have a bounce back year and will be back in the playoffs. Bengals, Broncos, and Patriots, be on the look out because this team is back.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers: 8-8: People think the Steelers can win this division. Well that's just not going to happen. They were able to get LeGarrette Blount from the New England Patriots but they lost fast receiver in Emmanuel Sanders to the Denver Broncos. And not to mention that there could be punishments on the way to both running back in Le'veon Bell and Legarrette Blount for getting arrested for possession of Marijuna a few weeks ago. This team does not have much offense other than Big Ben and Antonio Brown and the rushing defense was 21st last year. This team will not win the division and they still have some work to do if they want to get back into the playoffs. But for now the Steelers are a 8-8 team that misses the playoffs for the 3rd year in a row.
4. Cleveland Browns: 6-10: In my personal opinion, and I know many people might disagree with my opinion on this topic, but I think the Browns did the right thing when they named Brian Hoyer the starting QB over Johnny Manziel. Manziel has done a pretty good job this preseason but he has showed us and told us that he is not ready for the week 1 match-up against Pittsburgh. Manziel just needs to learn the Browns offense more get better with his throwing mechanics and then maybe he will be the starting QB. Brian Hoyer last year had 3 starts for the Browns and was 3-0 in those starts before tearing his ACL against the Bills. I expect Hoyer to definitely struggle against Pittsburgh and for the first month or so of the season but I also expect Hoyer to eventually come on and win some games for the Browns because they have a pretty good 2nd half schedule. This team will definitely miss receiver Josh Gordon as he is suspended for most of the year and it will hurt the Browns but expect tight end Jordan Cameron to have a good year and help this team out on the offense side of the ball. As long as Hoyer stays healthy, this team will at least be better than last year.
1. Indianapolis Colts: 10-6: The Colts will have a tough time in the first half of the season as 5 of their first 8 match-ups are against teams with a .500 or better record record last year. But the 2nd half should be fairly easy for the Colts as 7 of their last 8 match-ups are against teams that had a .500 or worse record last year. Either way the Colts should win this division. They git a good pickup in Receiver Hakeem Nicks from the New York Giants. Nicks was the best receiver last year to not score a touchdown, and don't worry fantasy football players who own Nicks, Nicks will get a touchdown at least once this year as he has a better QB in Andrew Luck throwing him the ball. Other receiver in Reggie Wayne is coming back after tearing his ACL last October, and he should have a good bounce back year. The defense still looks good and Trent Richardson is now definitely the starting running back and needs to have a good bounce back year. All in all, this team is good enough to be like the old Indianapolis Colts and win this division for the 2nd year in a row.
2. Tennessee Titans: 8-8: I'm not sure if you guys know this but I am a Tennessee Titans fan. The Titans are my favorite team in the NFL and I am really sick and tired of people saying that the Titans are gonna have a terrible 5-11 or 6-10 record this season. Okay yes, maybe I am being too nice giving the Titans a 8-8 record but they are definitely not a 5-11 team. They did loose running back Chris Johnson to the New York Jets but they were able to keep Shonn Greene and they drafted a good backup running back in Bishop Sankey who everybody is high on and he should have a good season. And as long as QB Jake Locker can stay healthy and have a good season, this team may even be better than 8-8 and could contend with the Colts for the top spot in this division.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: 6-10: The Jaguars have some potential since they drafted QB Blake Bortles. And he has looked great this preseason. But looking great in the preseason was not enough and the Jaguars ended up going with Chad Henne as their starting QB. I don't think it's he right move by the Jaguars but maybe Chad will surprise us, but don't be surprised if Blake Bortles is the starting QB by mid season. The problem is this team does not have much offense at all. Now that their former running back Maurice Jones Drew is gone and now in Oakland, this team has little to no offense at all. The only good and well known offensive player on this team is Cecil Shorts III. This team is gonna have to count on their defense a lot this year but otherwise it's another loosing season for the Jaguars. I will say this though, just like Cleveland, this team will be 6-10 and will definitely have a better year than last year.
4. Houston Texans: 4-12: I know I may be being to hard on the Texans by giving them a 4-12 record but I do think that not matter what, they will also be better than last year. J.J. Watt is staying with this team and they got a great draft pick in Jadeveon Clowney. So their defense should be better, but not so sure about that offense. Yes they still have receiver Andre Johnson and running back Arian Foster is back after blowing his back out last year in October. So that part of the offense looks good, but i am not too high on Ryan Fitzpatrick being the starting QB. He did not do to well when he was in Buffalo and Tennessee and just not sure he will do to well in Houston. But like I said earlier with Chad Henne, maybe he will surprise us all and be a winning QB.
1. Denver Broncos: 11-5: Just when you thought the Broncos couldn't get ant better they just get better. They definitely got better on defense with the big pickups in sack king Demarcus Ware from the Dallas Cowboys and Corner back Aqib Talib from the New England Patriots. Those two players alone should make your defense even better than what it was last year. And if linebacker Von Miller can stay healthy after tearing his ACL last December then this defense is gonna be some of the best in the league. Now on offense Peyton Manning won't have Wes Welker for the first 4 games because Welker is suspended for taking a banned performance enhancing substance, and they did loose Eric Decker to the Jets and also lost running back Knowshon Moreno to the Dolphins. But they got a good pickup in receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the Steelers. This team looks good and should be fine for the first 4 games without Wes but I still have this team dropping off from last year because there inter-conference opponents are from the NFC West which is a tough division with the defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks and the 49ers.
2. Kansas City Chiefs: 7-9: I know it seems crazy of me to give the Chiefs a loosing record especially after they went 11-5 last year and made the playoffs. But they started out 9-0 after beating weak teams like the Bills, Jaguars, and Texans. The the schedule got more tough and they went 2-6 the rest of the way. And that includes the playoff loss to the Colts. The Chiefs did not do much in the off season to improve the defense that looks pretty weak and they don't much offense other than QB Alex Smith, RB Jamaal Charles, and receiver Dwayne Bowe, who by the way won't be playing this week against the Titans because of his arrest of possession of Marjiuna last November. So unless this team's defense drastically improves, then the Chiefs will be 7-9 and back out of the playoffs.
3. San Diego Chargers: 7-9: Last year the Chargers had a bit of lady luck on their side and made the playoffs and got a playoff win against the Bengals. But this year they won't be so lucky. They got a tough schedule and who knows if veteran tight end Antonio Gates still has anything left in the tank at age 34. plus their defense is not all that great and you just never know what your gonna get out of running back Ryan Mathews. He is either injured or not injured. Scoring touchdowns or not you just never know. Same goes for QB Phillip Rivers. Chargers are gonna be unlucky this year and join the Chiefs as team not making the playoffs this year.
4. Oakland Raiders: 3-13: The Raider did a pretty good job this off season in picking up QB Matt Schaub from the Houston Texans and RB Maurice Jones Drew from the Jacksonville Jaguars. But as we just found out, the Raiders are gonna go with rookie Derek Carr as the starting QB and put Matt on the bench. And as far as Jones Drew goes, he is coming off two not so good seasons and don't expect him to do well with this Raiders offensive line. Maybe I am being too hard on the Raiders but is they say they are gonna be a good team this year, well I gotta see it to believe it.
Now here are my Playoff standings for the AFC.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: 12-4: AFC North Champions
2. New England Patriots: 11-5: AFC East Champions
3. Denver Broncos: 11-5: AFC West Champions
4. Indianapolis Colts: 10-6: AFC South Champions
5. Baltimore Ravens: 10-6: Wild Card
6. Tennessee Titans: 8-8: Wild Card
By: Andrew Harrington
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