Now, when you look at these predictions make sure that you keep a few things in mind. One is that I have not gone through each schedule and said “well this team will beat this team and lose to this team and yada yada yada…” I went through and I am picking the division winners and telling you why. Secondly I am no NFL expert. I just know what I know and this is how I feel. Take it for what its worth.
First lets take a look at the NFC:
NFC North: Green Bay – A lot of people are high on the Packers and I am one of them. Tons of people are also on the side of the Vikings, but truth be told I really doubt they are not going to top what they did last year. Brett Favre had his best year of his long career last year and didn't turn the ball over. For someone to expect that again is a little far fetched. Brett turns the ball over a lot over his career and I think that is true again. Aaron Rogers is the real deal too. That offense is dangerous up there in Green Bay. The special teams isn't that great and the defense is so-so but that offense can win games and that will get the Packers where they need to be in the NFC North.
NFC South – New Orleans – Last year I picked Atlanta to win the NFC South. I was dead wrong. Although I think the Saints will repeat as NFC Champ's I think Atlanta gives them a real run for their money. The Saints are pretty stacked all things considered. Drew Brees is the real deal and he has some pretty lethal targets to throw to. Reggie Bush may not be a running back but he can still make some plays and break a game open with a punt return. Pierre Thomas is going to be big this year and the defense will make enough plays to hold off the Falcons.
NFC East – Dallas – Listen, I hate this whole division. Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington can all go 0-16 and I still wouldn't be happy about it. Dallas has some good offensive weapons and should win this division. The Redskins have McNabb but it will be the same sad story about the Skins. Romo is a pretty decent QB and can make some plays and throwing to Miles Austin doesn't hurt. The defense is decent and Barber and Jones can split the load for carries and make this team pretty good. The tough part is that they play in a knock 'em out conference and they will get beat up every week.
NFC West – San Francisco – I mean are you really kidding me? Talk about a weak conference. You know who is QB'ing the Cards? Derek Anderson. Derek Anderson. Let that sink in. This is a terrible conference and someone has to win it right? This might be the trendy pick but Mike Singletary has this team's head on straight and he is hard nosed and I think we are going to see that out of the 49ers.
Lets now take a look at the AFC:
AFC South – Indianapolis - Peyton Manning is still on the team so they are still a pretty big favorite out of the South. I really think the Texans are going to take a step up in the standings but I really think that they just fall short. The Texans have a dangerous offense and will make a push for the wild card spot but I just don't see them getting over that hump this year. It will be close but Indy takes it again this year.
AFC East – New England – The Jets are the talk of the town. Rex Ryan, a young and upcoming QB, a tough defense and the city of New York. I just don't buy it. Sure they are real good but they still have a ways to go on offense before they can claim everything. The Patriots may be out of their glory years but they are still the best team in that division. It might come down to the last game of the season but I can see the Pats holding on for one more year at least. If the Jets take the division it will be because of defense. I can see Sanchez taking a step back and without Thomas Jones it will be tough on offense. Tom Brady and Randy Moss can still ball, and somehow their defense always does just enough to get by. I expect that to continue.
AFC West – San Diego – Jesus, are you kidding me? I thought the NFC West was bad. This might be just as bad of a division. If you made an all star team of the NFC and AFC West teams you might have a fringe playoff team. San Diego wins by default, somehow. The expect the Oakland and Kansas City to get better this year, but how much worse could they get? Denver has a chance, I guess. Maybe they will get to .500 or maybe Tim Tebow wills then to 16 wins. Joke.
AFC North – Baltimore - I know what you are thinking, how can I pick Baltimore to win the division. Listen I am the biggest Steelers fan around and I hate the Ravens, but I can respect that this is a very, very good team. With Ben on the shelf for four weeks that will make a difference and I can see the Ravens winning this division and getting maybe 12 wins. I hate them, but they are pretty legit. The only question I have is that how are the new players going to impact this team. No lying that they brought it top talent, but did they have to cut key players to get these guys on the roster. The Bengals will finish in third. I can see a real dud for them this year. They have had no sustained success in the last 15 years so what gives you the idea that they are going to start now.
NFC Final Standing:
NFC Champion: New Orleans
AFC Final Standing
AFC Champion: Pittsburgh
Super Bowl 45 Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers
I mean come on, I am going to homer the hell out of this one. This is not only homer though, the Steelers defense is the real deal. Bringing back BMac and Larry Foote is a big deal, oh yea and that Smith and Polamalu characters back so I see this defense making moves. The offensive line isn't great, but Ben is. The offense is going to be able to score points, despite what a lot of the pundits think.
Here We Go