Here we are, one day away first day of the official NFL season and it is time to make some yearly guesses. People like to call them predictions, but who can predict what will happen? Injuries always mess things up, so I won’t call my picks predictions. I am going to take an educated guess at the final standings and what I believe will occur in the playoffs and ultimately in Super Bowl XLVII. Now keep in mind, these picks are made in a perfect world and I am not taking any major injuries into account, nor would I ever guess of an injury. That is just bad karma. These “predictions” are based off what I have seen in the past and going forward. OK, enough rambling and more picking. Here we go.
1. *New England Patriots 15-1- Loaded on offense, and the defense looks improved.
2. Buffalo Bills 9-7- Will the pickups lead to the playoffs? Almost.
3. New York Jets 8-8- The defense will be very strong, but the offense…not good, not good at all.
4. Miami Dolphins 2-14- Another rebuilding year in Miami, but Philbin gets it.
1. *Baltimore Ravens 11-5- Still good on DEF, & Flacco & Rice are GOOD.
2. *Cincinnati Bengals 10-6-…As long as Dalton & Green continues to develop.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers 8-8- Transition time on def/OL for the aged Steelers.
4. Cleveland Browns 2-14- New ownership, new RB, same old Browns.
1. *Houston Texans 12-4- Schaub staying healthy is the key.
2. Indianapolis Colts 7-9- Much better than expected. Luck is the real deal.
3. Tennessee Titans 6-10- Locker gets his chance, & the Titans draft in the top 10.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12- Gabbert has improved, but they have a long way to go.
1. *Denver Broncos 11-5- Manning makes them contenders in 2012. For the title.
2. *San Diego Chargers 9-7- Is Norv that bad or is this team annually overrated?
3. Kansas City Chiefs 8-8- .500 will be good as the Chiefs are trending upward
4. Oakland Raiders 6-10- Palmer looks AWFUL(lifelong SC fan too). Not good.
Bye- Patriots, Texans
Ravens 31 Chargers 27, Broncos 28 Bengals 13
Patriots 35 Broncos 31, Texans 24 Ravens 21
Patriots 27 Texans 21
AFC Champions- New England Patriots
1. *New York Giants 12-4- The World Champs need to& will improve consistency.
2. *Philadelphia Eagles 11-5-The “Dream Team” shows major improvement on D
3. Dallas Cowboys 9-7- Same old Cowboys. Almost, but not enough.
4. Washington Redskins 3-13- Tough division hurts record, but the future is bright.
1. *Green Bay Packers 14-2- Can the defense improve? I say yes, & w/Rogers…
2. Chicago Bears 10-6-Close again, but the NFC is ultra-competitive.
3. Detroit Lions 8-8- Down year due to lack of running game & accountability
4. Minnesota Vikings 5-11- Peterson being slowly worked in costs Vikes games
1. *New Orleans Saints 11-5- Suspensions won’t matter in the end.
2. *Atlanta Falcons 10-6- Another year better, but not good enough.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-8- Huge strides under Schiano in his first season.
4. Carolina Panthers 5-11- Newton takes a step back & so do the Panthers
1. *San Francisco 49ers 9-7- Facing the AFC East is no easy chore, besides Miami
2. Seattle Seahawks 8-8- Pete loves QB’s and mediocre NFL records. Look it up.
3. Arizona Cardinals 4-12- Kevin Kolb is a certified bust. Skelton isn’t good.
4. St. Louis Rams 2-14- Not a lot of talent in the cupboard for this group.
Bye: Packers, Giants
Saints 38 Eagles 17, 49ers 28 Falcons 10
Packers 31 49ers 21, Saints 27 Giants 24
Saints 38 Packers 35
NFC Champions- New Orleans Saints
Super Bowl XLVII
Patriots 41 Saints 21
MVP – Tom Brady-Patriots
NFL Coach of the Year- Bill Belichick-Patriots
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year- Andrew Luck-Colts
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year- Chandler Jones-Patriots
NFL Offensive Player of the Year- Aaron Rodgers-Green Bay Packers
NFL Defensive Player of the Year- Patrick Willis-San Francisco 49ers
So there you have it. I went with the homer pick and took the Patriots to win it all. The thing is, I predicted last year that the Patriots would lose the Super Bowl (I picked the Packers, but that isn’t the point) so I have picked both ways. I think the return of McDaniels and the infusion of speed and talent on the defense will help the Patriots overcome their issues from the past five years and collect their 4th Super Bowl ring. I promise that the day after the Super Bowl, this will be held against the results, and even if I do horrible, I’ll keep guessing; an educated guess of course.
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