It’s that time of the year where everyone makes their predictions (that are sure to go wrong) for the upcoming NFL season. Here are my predictions that will probably be proven wrong by Week 3.
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
Starting off with one of the toughest divisions to predict! Either the Bears, Vikings, or Packers could win this division. I will go with the Packers because of the experience of Aaron Rodgers. The Bears defense and special teams will make it tough on the Packers and I’m not too sold on the Vikings just yet.
NFC East: Washington Redskins
This was also a tough pick. As good as RGIII is, I’m not sure what would happen to the Redskins if Alfred Morris got hurt. The Giants (as long as they have Eli Manning) and the Cowboys could challenge the Redskins. I think ultimately the Redskins running game (if it stays healthy) will win key games down the stretch.
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
The Saints have a chip on their shoulder after Bountygate. Head coach Sean Payton is back after his suspension and will try to dethrone last year’s division champ: the Atlanta Falcons. I’m not sold on Josh Freeman and Tampa Bay. Drew Brees and the offense can certainly outscore anyone including Atlanta. If their defense gets better (and it certainly can’t get much worse), I think the Saints will be back in the playoffs.
NFC West: Seattle Seahawks
This division will come down to the Seahawks and the 49ers. There has been a lot of offseason hype on Colin Kaepernick but I believe the Seahawks have the better quarterback in Russell Wilson (Kaepernick is on the Sports Illustrated cover so that means he’s jinxed anyway, right?). Both teams are fierce on defense but I think the Seahawks defense will force more turnovers and win the division in a tight race.
NFC Wildcards: San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons
Definitely a tough pick as the NFC has more quality teams than the AFC. The wild card could come down to the 49ers, Falcons, Giants, Cowboys, Bears, and Vikings. Teams that play well down the stretch will get the wild card berths (This rules out any team Tony Romo is on). The Giants and the Falcons will fight for the last playoff spot in the NFC with the Falcons coming out on top being a more balanced team.
AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals
This may be the toughest division to pick in the AFC. The defending Super Bowl champion Ravens lost key players in the offseason. The Steelers have many question marks surrounding their team including an aging defense and their inability to score points. This could be the season that Andy Dalton and the Bengals win the division title.
AFC East: New England Patriots
The AFC East is one of the easiest divisions to pick. The Dolphins are the only team that has a chance to beat out New England. The Jets will be worse than they were last year and Rex Ryan will be gone soon. The Bills are rebuilding. The Patriots, yet again, have an easy road to the postseason.
AFC South: Houston Texans
This division will come down to the Indy Colts and the Houston Texans. Andrew Luck may already be a better quarterback than Matt Schuab but he doesn’t have the weapons that Schuab has. The Texans defense is better than the Colts as well. This division may come down to the head-to-head matchups.
AFC West: Denver Broncos
This may be the easiest of all divisions to pick. Other than the Broncos, the AFC West is in shambles. I do believe the Chargers will be better (now that they finally got rid of Norv Turner). The Broncos have way too many weapons though (including newcomer Wes Welker). The Broncos losing Dumervill (to free agency) and Von Miller (for the first 6 games) may be something to watch. But they’ll be able to win without those guys in that division.
AFC Wildcards: Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts
It is possible that the Ravens, Colts, Steelers, Titans, Chargers, and Dolphins will all contend for the wild card. But the Steelers, Titans, Chargers, and Dolphins all have too many questions marks for me right now. The Ravens have been a mainstay in the postseason since they hired Harbaugh as head coach. And Andrew Luck and the Colts finish the season with the Chiefs and Jaguars; so they will more than likely finish strong.
NFC Champions: Seattle Seahawks
AFC Champions: Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will both win enough games in the regular season to gain home field advantage for the postseason. Both Seattle’s and Denver’s venues are nightmares for visiting opponents. These teams will use their home field to their advantage and advance to Super Bowl 48 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Who will win?
Super Bowl Champions: Denver Broncos
And there you have it, my predictions that are sure to go wrong. If you missed my previews for each division, be sure to go back and check those out. My regular column will begin this coming Wednesday!
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