It is officially football season! In one hour the Saints and Packers will feed us what we have been craving, a healthy dose of playoff energy football! The Greg One has already picked week one’s winners, now its time to take it one further and predict where every team will finish. Super Bowl pick will be at the bottom. Enjoy!
New England 12-4
NY Jets 10-6
New England will win due to a vast advantage at the quarterback position. Mark Sanchez can’t be trusted to win the game and the Jets will see that after the playoffs begin.
Peyton Manning will miss most of the season and the Colts playoff hopes go with him. Houston will finally rise to the challenge and rule the division for the next half decade. Tennessee will ride Hasselbeck’s veteran smarts to second place but miss the playoffs. Jacksonville will be moved to Los Angeles at the end of the season.
Pittsburgh and Baltimore are a coin flip and only a game apart. However both teams are getting up there in age and Pittsburgh gets the nod due to an easier home schedule and better quarterback play. Colt McCoy will flourish and have a breakthrough year while Andy Dalton will learn the hard way in Cincinnati.
San Diego 11-5
Kansas City 7-9
The Chargers finish no worse than 5-1 in division and have hard games against New England, Green Bay, Baltimore and the Jets. Nevertheless, the Chargers will finish second in the league in points scored behind Philadelphia. The rest of the west is a mess and no other team is good enough to finish over .500.
NY Giants 8-8
Philadelphia will finish the season on a four game win streak which will claim the division for them. Dallas will be better but lose three of their last five and limp into the playoffs. New York will will struggle all season and Washington will not be able to contend with just a better running game.
New Orleans 10-6
Tampa Bay 8-8
The Falcons and Saints will put their aerial attacks on display and finish tied with Atlanta winning the division based on division record. Atlanta improved the most in the offseason on both sides of the ball. New Orleans got the steal of the first round with running back Mark Ingram. Tampa Bay will fall a step back as result of a tougher schedule and Carolina will predictable struggle with Cam Newton under center.
St. Louis 8-8
San Francisco 6-10
Arizona will win the division with a soft schedule and the biggest upgrade at quarterback. The Rams have a much tougher schedule than the Cardinals. Both teams will sweep Seattle and San Francisco who will disappear quickly with dreadful quarterback play.
Green Bay 12-4
Green Bay is the class of the division but Detroit with a healthy Matthew Stafford will light up the scoreboard and the Lions defense will rank in the top 8 by the end of the year. Minnesota will struggle with a past his prime Donovan McNabb under center. Jay Cutler, the worst ‘franchise’ quarterback in the league will throw as many interceptions as touchdowns costing them multiple games and Bears fans will be clamoring for Caleb Hanie by the end of the year.
NFC Playoffs week 1:
Green Bay Bye
Dallas at Atlanta: Atlanta wins 27-24
New Orleans at Arizona: New Orleans wins 28-23
NFC Playoffs week 2:
New Orleans at Green Bay: Green Bay wins 33-24
Atlanta at Philadelphia: Philadelphia wins 26-24
Philadelphia at Green Bay: Philadelphia wins 20-17
AFC Playoffs week 1:
New England bye
NY Jets at San Diego: San Diego wins 28-20
Baltimore at Houston: Baltimore wins 23-16
AFC Playoffs week 2:
Baltimore at New England: Baltimore wins 30-21
San Diego at Pittsburgh: San Diego wins 27-23
Baltimore at San Diego: San Diego wins 24-13.
San Diego vs. Philadelphia: San Diego wins 31-26.
Super Bowl MVP: Philip Rivers
League MVP: Aaron Rodgers
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Mark Ingram
Defensive rookie of the year: Patrick Peterson
Defensive player of the Year: Ndamukong Suh
Comeback player of the year: Ryan Mathews
Coach of the year: Ken Whisenhunt
Biased? Maybe a tad, but this season could not set up more perfectly for San Diego. Philip Rivers set up the best players training camp during the lockout to get quality time in with his receivers. The Chargers signed their own guys instead of pilfering the free agent list and maintained their continuity on both sides of the ball. The Chargers have their entire offensive line returning and my expected emergence of Ryan Mathews will catapult the Chargers potent offense even further. The Chargers are only now getting attention as a Super Bowl contender. So far Sports Illustrated’s Peter King and Mike Greenberg of ESPN’s Mike and Mike have come to the same conclusion. Philadelphia and San Diego will score the highest points per game but Rivers ability to stand tall in the pocket will overcome Vick’s propensity to run when the going gets tough.