Previews and predictions aren't worth the cathode light rays burning your eyeballs as you read them. But, they are fun, and not only because, at the end of the year, you usually are so wrong. I mean, who picked the Cardinals last year?
That said, let's get into it.
Dallas is ready for a crash and burn. The o-line is old, the secondary unsettled...the owner impatient. And who is catching Romo's passes? The Giants have some questions themselves at WR, but have a lot of quantity, if not quality to chose from there. Despite Vick getting all the headlines, the real story is who takes over for injured MLB, Stewart Bradley. Also, the rebuilt O-line hasn't taken a snap together yet. The Redskins...well they are getting tired for the real Jason Campbell to show up. This is his last chance.
New York: 12-4
Green Bay is the pick, and for good reason. Aaron Rodgers had a Farve-free summer and should be ready to tee off on a weak central division. The Vikings are also talented everywhere, but if Farve couldn't do it last year, what makes anyone think, a year older, he can do it this year? The Bears are getting a little old on defense, and have Cutler, Forte and.....on offense. Ooof. The Lions....well, growing pains is the phrase for them this year.
Green Bay 13-3
New Orleans, despite Reggie Bush's numerous injuries, should be the leader of the toughest division. A revamped defense and Drew Brees will take them far. Matt Ryan just got the best security blanket in Tony Gonzalez since Linus Van Pelt. He will need it; Atlanta's defense could have problems. Carolina lost their run plugger, Maake Kemoeatu and since then, in preseason teams have been running all over the Panthers. And as for Tampa....nothing coming out of there makes anyone think there is a plan in place. Tampa could get the number one pick next year.
New Orleans 11-5
Tampa Bay 2-14
Arizona had a freak run into the playoffs last year. Can they do it again? It doesn't hurt to play in the NFC West, where they could easily win 6 games alone. The Seahawks have Matt Hasslebeck back, but his protector, Walter Jones is injured, as is Marcus Trufant. Seattle has a lot of talent, but a lot of question marks at key areas. If San Francisco is appreciably better this season—their roster doesn't have the talent, at least they should be more fun to watch with Mike Singletary around. And the Rams....need a lot of time for a complete roster overhaul.
San Francisco 8-8
St. Louis 3-13
Might get a lot of flak for this, but with all the question marks on defense, I'm not sure the Patriots will be as good as they have been. Losing Richard Seymour, Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel is a lot of leadership and talent. Miami took everybody by surprise last year. They wont this year, and while they lack some talent, they do have a lot of "Parcells"-type guys on the team. Rex Ryan has the swagger, and some nice pieces to work with. But it wont last for a true deep playoff run. The Bills Trent Edwards didn't throw a TD pass in the preseason and had 3 interceptions and a 46 QB rating. Think T.O. will be quiet if that happens in the real season?
New England 11-5
New York 9-7
Yes, there are questions on both lines. That said, the Steelers are the class of the league right now, period. Joe Flacco is the real deal. And with Ray Rice improving and Kelly Gregg returning, the only question is, can anybody help Flacco by actually catching the ball? The Bengals are a cipher—the talent is there to go a long way, especially on offense. Yet, i can't see them doing it. The Browns are a while away from contention.
Indy has been the class for so long here, is it the year they slip? A new defense, new WR, a battered-up OL...maybe. The Titans lost D coordinator Jim Schwartz, but have new options on offense, with Javon Ringer, Kenny Britt and rookie breakout TE Jared Cook who had a nice preseason—watch for Collins to go to him. Good news for the Jags is that David Garrard looked like vintage 2007 Garrard in preseason. Bad news, is that they mustered only 2 sacks the entire preseason. The Texans completely revamped their defense, coaches and players. On offense, balance is there, as long as Schuab stays healthy. Possibly a surprise team.
Is this the year the Chargers put it all together. The pieces are there, well except for Norv Turner. The rest of the division is a toss-up. Did Josh McDaniels do too much damage for the Broncos to come together—their defense is a mess anyway. The Chiefs are at least a year—and a pass rush—away. And my God, the Raiders are a pee-wee league mess.
San Diego 12-4
Kansas City 5-11
NFC Division Winners: New York, Green Bay, New Orleans, Arizona
NFC Wild Cards: Atlanta, Minnesota
NFC Winner: Green Bay
AFC Division Winners: New England, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, San Diego
AFC Wild Cards: Baltimore, Indianapolis
AFC Winner: San Diego
Super Bowl Winner: Green Bay
MVP: Aaron Rodgers
Offensive Rookie Of The Year: Jeremy Maclin
Defensive Rookie Of The Year: B. J. Raji
Coach Of The Year: Mike McCarthy
Enjoy the Season.