I realized I haven’t posted in a while, but who can blame me: I have been going through basketball withdrawals while watching every FIBA World Cup basketball game that is being televised (thank you NBA TV). What better way to get back into the swing of things than talk about the NFL as the season officially kicks off tonight with the Packers and Seahawks.
So let’s get right to it: here are my predictions for each division with what is supposed to be a small explanation of why I picked that team. Sorry, but I have a feeling its about to get chalky in here.
AFC EAST: New England Patriots (13-3)
What else is new. The Pats are going to roll through this division and much of their schedule and finish way ahead of everyone else with 12-13 wins. They do play the NFC North which should make for some good games. Tom Brady doesn’t “suck” yet, which means he hasn’t retired, so the Pats are a lock to make the playoffs and get a first round bye.
AFC NORTH: Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)
The Bengals are better than people give them credit for, especially defensively. I really like the Darqueze Dennard draft pick. A.J. Green will be a stud, Giovanni Bernard will have a good year and the Bengals lead by the Red Rocket himself will handle their division for the most part and grab a playoff spot.
AFC SOUTH: Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
This was a toss up between Indy and the Houston Texans, but I had to go with the team with the better, more proven quarterback. Andrew Luck will be.. Andrew Luck and the Colts are totally fine with that. The Texans will be significantly better and that defense will be scary (way to go if you drafted the Texans defense in fantasy like I did). I think the Colts squeak out the division and get another first round home playoff game.
AFC WEST: Denver Broncos (12-4)
I tried to warn you about the chalk. It’s hard not to pick Denver to win this division if they still have that Manning guy (and for my fantasy team’s sake I hope this isn’t the year father time catches up with him). St. Louis will be better, as will the Chiefs. The four games against these two division rivals cost the Broncos home field advantage throughout the AFC, but I think they still get a bye. Can’t wait for Denver vs. New England part 2 in Foxborough!
Two AFC Wildcard Teams: Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Championship Game: Denver over New England
NFC EAST: Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)
Did you expect me to not pick my Eagles? C’mon how can you not love Chip Kelly in year two with LeSean McCoy AND Darren Sproles running crazy in that fast paced offense (fast paced seems like an understatement). Foles may not put up the same numbers as last year, but I don’t think he has to for Philly to win this division. I know one thing: the Cowboys’ ceiling is 8-8, and that’s if everything goes right for them and no big injuries happen. That team from Washington may go 9-7, but I think the Eagles will be better than last year and we may actually see guys out there playing defense in Philly!
NFC NORTH: Green Bay Packers (11-5)
As much as I like Aaron Rodgers and think he is still the best quarterback in this division, their schedule doesn’t make things easy. Games against Seattle, New Orleans, New England and dare I say Carolina or Tampa Bay could all be losses and I didn’t even mention they might split with Chicago and Detroit in their own division. That’s 6 losses right there. I think the worst their record will be is 10-6, but that is if everything goes against them.
NFC SOUTH: New Orleans Saints (13-3)
I really like the Saints this year especially because they have Drew Brees, a sneaky good and opportunistic defense and a home field advantage that might be the best in the NFL after Seattle’s. I see 13 wins if they split with either Tampa Bay or Carolina so that could number could actually be higher when everything is all said and done. The Saints know their odds of going to the Super Bowl significantly increase if they get home field throughout the NFC playoffs and I think that is what Brees and Co. are playing for.
NFC WEST: Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
While I think everyone believes Seattle will come out of the toughest division in football it was a hard record to predict their record. On paper Seattle probably could go 14-2, but that is why we play the games. I think 2-3 division losses is inevitable for this team, and then games like San Diego and Kansas City on the road could be interesting. Ultimately I think their division keeps the Seahawks from snatching home field advantage away from the Saints.
Two NFC Wildcard Teams: San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Bucs
NFC Championship Game: New Orleans over Seattle
SUPER BOWL XLIX CHAMPS: Denver Broncos over New Orleans