Since Monday, I have been giving a somewhat in-depth (but not too in-depth) division by division breakdown for this upcoming year in the NFL. It is never easy to pick the always unpredictable and parity filled League. But I am pretty confident in my picks and very excited for the first game come September.
In summary, here are my NFL overall predictions:
AFC East: New York Jets, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills (in order of predicted finish)
AFC East Champion: New York Jets
The Jets have had the best off-season of any team in the League. They made a phenomenal run last year all the way to the AFC Championship game. This team is better than last year’s squad and hungry to go all the way. It all starts with capturing the AFC East Crown. This team will be very fun to watch on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” television series.
AFC West: San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders (in order of predicted finish)
AFC West Champion: San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have been holding court in the AFC West for well over 4 years now. And why would it change this year? Sure they need to figure out what the deal is with star receiver Vincent Jackson, but there is no reason why these guys should not capture a 5th straight West title. The loss of LT may sting locker room morale, but look for the Chargers to possibly meet up with their old franchise player come playoff time.
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars (in order of predicted finish)
AFC South Champion: Indianapolis Colts
Peyton Manning and the Colts have owned the AFC South for nearly a decade now. This team is not only talented, but they are mentally tough, led by the game’s best quarterback. Expect the Indy boys to make another deep run as they ride their star for yet another year.
AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns (in order of predicted finish)
AFC North Champion: Cincinnati Bengals
It is TO Mania at Georgetown College where the Bengals are holding training camp. This team has both a strong offense and defense. The Bengals possess the deepest and most talented team of the Marvin Lewis era. Can they repeat as AFC North champs for the first time in my lifetime? You better believe it as America gets to witness the “Ocho/TO Show,” aka the “Carson Palmer Show.”
Wildcards: Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots
The Ravens in my opinion are one of the top few teams in the entire AFC. They just unfortunately share a division with another one of the top couple of teams, the Bengals. Finally, the Ravens have a receiving corps that makes this team have a solid offensive attack to go along with their always scary defense. The Patriots are the Patriots. They are not the most talented team this year, but they are led by the best coach in the game and the best big game quarterback in the game. Expect these guys to have a solid year, but an early exit from the playoffs.
AFC Championship: New York Jets defeating the Cincinnati Bengals
The Jets will knock the Bengals out of the playoffs for the second year in a row. Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and the Jet’s secondary will be up to the challenge of stifling the Bengal’s very talented receiving corps.
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles (in order of predicted finish)
NFC East Champion: Dallas Cowboys
So what if Dez Bryant does not want to be hazed by his teammates? The guy has big time potential to help out an already strong passing attack led by Miles Austin, Jason Witten, and Tony Romo. Could the Cowboys make this Super Bowl a home game? We will find out come February 6th.
NFC West: San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams (in order of predicted finish)
NFC West Champion: San Francisco 49ers
Okay, so this is one of the weakest conferences in the entire NFL. But the 49ers look to finally be somewhat back. Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and the entire San Francisco Bay area will be very proud to see these guys make the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade (8 years).
NFC South: New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (in order of predicted finish)
NFC South Champion: New Orleans Saints
The party on Bourbon Street is still going on from last year’s Super Bowl Championship. Luckily for the Saints, most of the team has been kept intact. Expect Drew Brees to lead these guys to another outstanding season.
NFC North: Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions (in order of predicted finish)
NFC North Champion: Minnesota Vikings
This division has two of football’s best at the top. Brett Favre (if he returns), will get the better of his former team in the regular season. All eyes should be on the dates of October 24th and November 21st as these two powerhouses go head to head. But watch out for the Packers come postseason time as they steamroll their former franchise player.
Wildcards: Green Bay Packers, New York Giants
The Green Bay Packers are in my opinion the best team in the NFC. They just have to deal with the second best team, the Minnesota Vikings, before their quarterback gets tired. So these guys will be ready to roll come playoff time. The Giants participate in football’s best conference top to bottom. I just feel like they are the team who will find their way out of the 3 team battle between Philly, Washington, and themselves for 2nd place in the East, and the 2nd Wild Card spot.
NFC Championship: Green Bay Packers defeating the New Orleans Saints
Revenge will be sweet for the Cheeseheads as they see Brett once again come up short of making his first appearance in a Super Bowl since 1997. Will Brett go for it again in 2011-2012? This game though will be an absolute aerial assualt, but the Packer’s ability to defend will help them come out victorious in a nail biter over the defending champion Saints.
Super Bowl Prediction: New York Jets defeating the Green Bay Packers 31 to 28.
This will just be an absolutely outstanding game in all aspects, as football’s two best teams battle it out in Cowboys Stadium. Expect Darrelle Revis to come up with some big time plays and help stifle the Packer’s amazing aerial attack. Rex Ryan will make the whole media aspect of this game quite entertaining. New York will go nuts.
So there you have it. Those are the predictions from TheSportsKraze for the upcoming NFL Season/Postseason.
Let me hear your thoughts on what should be an outstanding year in the NFL.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.