Obviously I have already done predictions on where I believe teams will finish in their division. But I have yet to cover wildcard spots, championship games, Super Bowl, MVP, rookies of the year, etc. So with that being said let’s get at it.
AFC wildcard teams
Pittsburgh Steelers – well this shouldn’t come as a big surprise. No doubt that this team is getting old and one of these seasons it will hit them hard. But looking at it closely I just don’t see this team losing out on a wildcard spot to a team like KC or Cincy. As long as Roethlisberger can start 13 games or so, that defense will still be one of the best and that should be enough to get them into the dance for the 3rd year in a row.
Buffalo Bills – WOW! When I did the team by team previews I kind of got after the Bills and picked apart all the holes on the team. But the more I looked at the AFC, the more I thought that this team SHOULD get a wildcard spot. If they can stay healthy, they probably have a top 6 team talent wise in the AFC. I’m not a big Ryan Fitzpatrick guy, but I like him better than Matt Cassel and there for I like the Bills better than the Chiefs to get this spot. As for the Bengals who I also believe will challenge for it, I just think the division will prove to be too tough.
NFC wildcard teams
Chicago Bears – I know its a very tough division, but the Bears have good enough talent to overcome that. This team would win a lot of the other divisions in football, but they just happen to be in the same division as one of the league’s elite. It wouldn’t shock me if the Bears ended up winning the NFC North. I don’t think they will, but they have the talent to go 12-4. You can say this for every team, but they have to stay healthy which they weren’t able to do last season. If they do, they’re in.
NY Giants – a lot of teams will challenge for this spot. Whoever is the 2nd place team in the NFC South (I said the Saints) will be right there. Another team from the NFC East will challenge for this spot (by my projections thats Philly). And the Lions will challenge for this spot. But the G men don’t have the off field distractions the Saints and Lions will have, and I don’t think Michael Vick can stay healthy enough to get the Eagles in. There will be a Super Bowl hangover, this was a very inconsitent team (7-7 at one point), and they know they don’t have to go 13-3 to win it…they just need to get in. And just barely I believe they will.
AFC title game
Denver Broncos vs New England Patriots
Winner: New England
I like Denver better than most do with the exception of Peter King who has them going to the Super Bowl. However while I like the Broncos better than most (despite there horrific schedule), I think the Pats will overcome their offensive line woes they’re currently facing and head back to the Super Bowl. The defense is vastly improved mainly due to getting Jones and Hightower in the 1st round. Hightower was the bigger name in college, but Jones could emerge as the bigger name in the pro’s…especially this season.
NFC title game
Dallas Cowboys vs Green Bay Packers
Winner: Green Bay
Yep! I not only have the Cowboys to win the NFC East (predicted well before Wednesday night), but to go all the way to the NFC title game! That team is loaded with talent, they have a chip on their shoulder, their defense will be one of the best in football with the additions of Bruce Carter, Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, and Dez Bryant will have a monster season. But they still won’t get past the Pack. Green Bay has as much talent as the Cowboys, and they have the experience, and there is no way I would take Tony Romo in a playoff game over Aaron Rodgers.
Super Bowl winner
New England Patriots
3rd times a charm for the Pats. What an amazing Super Bowl this would be. 2 great QB’s, 2 great coaches, 2 good but not great defenses, and potential for a boat load of points and another great ending. Again with the Pats I just love what they did on defense in the draft and I believe it will have a bigger impact then some are expecting. Also it would be shocking to me if they got back and Brady’s Super Bowl record fell to 3-3…can’t happen, not to the golden boy. He finally matches Montana and Bradshaw with 4 Super Bowl wins.
Team that could surprise
Oakland Raiders – I’m not going to pick a team that I already said could surprise, I’m picking one that I have ranked low. I really like Reggie McKenzie, really like Dennis Allen, they do have a lot of talent there, and if Carson Palmer could have one of those big comeback years that he is capable of doing then they could be the surprise team of the league.
Team that could disappoint
San Francisco 49ers – again this isn’t what I’m expecting to happen, but there is always at least one team that comes from nowhere to rise up, and one team that massively underachieves. I’m still not a believer in Alex Smith, they came out of nowhere last season, and teams will be taking them a lot more seriously this season. Now again, I’m not expecting this to happen but if there is one upper echelon team that could fall off I would say the niners are the top candidate to do so.
YEP! I just think he is going to have that focus to do it this season. He has the talent, always puts up big numbers, and with me predicting a break out year for the Cowboys I just believe that combination will get him serious consideration for the MVP and with voters expecting big things from the likes of Rodgers and Brady, Romo ends up winning the award.
Defensive player of the year
It’s now his 3rd season. His first season he was a beast. Last season he was a beast as well…just a little too much of one that got him in trouble more than anything. While the Lions turmoil isn’t done, he gets a fresh start this season and with the talent he has around him on that d-line I think he will seriously bust out this season.
Offensive rookie of the year
Robert Griffin III
Although some know him as “Bob Griffin”, he will earn the RGIII moniker by seasons end. Andrew Luck is going to be the better QB in my mind, but this season Griffin will have better numbers. More talent around him and the ability to really run (that I think could hurt him in time) are the big reasons I think that THIS season Griffin will be the top offensive rookie.
Defensive rookie of the year
Are you sick to death of me pimpin this guy yet?! He is going to be a nightmare for tackles. Great talent, great work ethic, and his BROTHER will beat you up! What more needs to be said? Chandler Jones, your defensive rookie of the year.
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