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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

NFC North Predictions: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota

The NFC North is one of the most intriguing divisions in all of football.  So many questions to be answered.  Will the Lions improve?  Will Jay Cutler continue to throw interceptions?  Is Aaron Rodgers the best in the divisions?  Will Brett Favre return?  The answers to these questions will determine how this division turns out.

Brett Favre will return, so we are going to base our predictions on that.

Chicago Bears - The shortcomings of the Chicago Bears all lies in the hands of Jay Cutler.  He needs to perform at top level, for this team to succeed.  In order for Matt Forte to run, the Bears will need to pass.  Jay Cutler is not a good quarterback and that is not going to change this season.  The Bears defense does not limit opponents to enough points for Jay to keep them in games.  The Bears finish 4-12.

Detroit Lions - The Detroit Lions are in for another long season.  They do not have the personnel to compete in this division, or the conference.  I do not believe they are the bottom of the barrel in the NFL, but they are close to it.  Their offense is weak, and their defense is not much better.  They have trouble scoring points, and trouble holding their opponents.  Not much else to say, but the Lions finish 3-13.

Green Bay Packers - Green Bay is not only one of the strongest teams in their division, but also one of the strongest in the NFC.  They will be fighting throughout the year for the division title.  Aaron Rodgers is coming off a great season, and should come close to those numbers again this season.  The Packers have a strong defense, that can be burnt at times.  Some games they will win by blowout, and others they will have win in shoot outs.  Look for a great season from this team.  Packers finish 12-4.

Minnesota Vikings - Brett Favre will return this season, and that will be great for the Minnesota Vikings.  Adrian Peterson will be better than last year, Brett Favre will be better than last year, and the receivers will be better than last year.  They will score points, the defense will shut teams down.  This is one of the most powerful teams in the NFL and it will show throughout the season.  The Packers finish with a great record, but The Vikings finish 14-2.

This is probably going to be one the best divisions in the NFL.  They have two great high caliber teams and it is going to be tough.  I know it seems very unlikely that you will have a 12-4 and 14-2 records in a division, but these teams are GOOD.

NFC North Standings

Minnesota:  14-2
Green Bay:  12-4
Chicago:  4-12
Detroit:  3-13

NFC West Predictions
NFC South Predictions
AFC East Predictions
AFC North Predictions
AFC South Predictions
AFC West Predictions
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

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NFC South Predictions: Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay

The question is not "Who will win the NFC South?".  The real question is "What teams will make the playoffs from the NFC South?".  The South is a very weak division this season, and only two teams will be competing for the playoffs throughout the season.  Their will be no fall from the top for the Saints, but who is going to be next in line in the South?

Atlanta Falcons - The Atlanta Falcons have healed during the offseason and will be back to their 2008 ways.  Matt Ryan will lead a strong passing attack with Roddy White.  Michael Turner will run through many teams this year.  The Falcons do not have a tough schedule and that will help them fight through to double digit wins.  The Falcons finish 10-6.  Is it enough?

Carolina Panthers - Where will the Panthers stand this year?  Carolina seems to be going through a rebuilding process that is starting this season.  This team does not have the offensive firepower to win.  When you can't pass, you see what can happen to the run.  That is what will happen this season.  Teams are going to cut off the Panthers run and D'Angelo Williams, because they will not be worried about the pass.  This will be a long season for the Panthers.  Carolina finishes 5-11.

New Orleans Saints - New Orleans has the benefit of being in a division that they are superior to all other teams.  The Saints can pass, run, and play defense.  That is something that makes teams deadly.  They do not have a difficult schedule and should run through the competition easily.  Their is not much to say about this team, except that they are good.  Saints finish 13-3.

Tampa Bay Bucaneers - If you think Carolina is going to have a long season, well then the Bucs will have an even longer one.  The Bucs could be one of the weakest teams in the NFL this season.  They can't score and their defense cannot keep the games close enough for a win. Tampa Bay finishes 3-13.

NFC South Standings

New Orleans:  13-3
Atlanta:  10-6
Carolina:  5-11
Tampa Bay:  3-13

NFC North is up NEXT

NFC West Predictions
AFC East Predictions
AFC West Predictions
AFC South Predictions
AFC North Predictions

NFC West Predictions: Arizona, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis

I hope everyone enjoyed the the weekend.  I know that I did.  Now it is time to get back to the predictions.  We move on to the NFC West.  The West has been run by the Cardinals for the past two seasons, but that could change this season.  Arizona has changed enough this year, where the division will be wide open for Seattle or San Francisco to take.

Arizona Cardinals -  Arizona has lost Kurt Warner to retirement and Anquan Boldin to the Baltimore Ravens.  Without the explosive offense of the past two years, the Cardinals will fall back in the standings in the NFC West.  The defense is not strong enough to carry the team, and the offense will be taking a hit with Matt Leinart under the center.  The Cardinals will have a tough road ahead of them in their fight to make the playoffs.  Arizona finishes 6-10.

San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers will go as far as Alex Smith is able to take them.  San Francisco has a strong defense, which should keep them in most games.    For this team to win Smith needs to step up and complete passes.  This will help the running game with Frank Gore.  I think Alex Smith will have a strong year with the 49ers and will be a strong contender for the division.  San Francisco finishes 11-5.

Seattle Seahawks - The Seattle Seahawks are going to be another team fighting for the division.  They have brought in some great personnel with Leon Washington, and Pete Carrol.  They have Matt Hasselback back and healthy, but do they have what it takes to win the division?  Pete Carrol should help this team succeed, but is it enough?  Seattle does not have the defense that the 49ers have, and their offense is not much better.  The Seahawks finish 9-7. 

St. Louis Rams - The Rams are going through a rough rebuilding process that does not seem to be happening quickly.  Sam Bradford will be leading the Rams this season at some point and his first year will not be his best year.  The Rams do not have a shot this season in the West.  The Rams finish 3-13.

NFC West Standings

San Francisco - 11-5
Seattle - 9-7
Arizona - 6-10
St. Louis - 3-13

NFC South Next

AFC East Predictions
AFC West Predictions
AFC North Predictions
AFC South Predictions

Friday, July 2, 2010

AFC East Predictions: Buffalo, Miami, New England, and New York

The AFC East is going to be a great division to watch this year.  The New York Jets have gone out and put everything into this season.  With the additions added to the Jets, they will be an exciting team to watch.  New England will be vying for the top spot once again, led by Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Bill Belicheck.  The Miami Dolphins went out and added Brandon Marshall to give them that ouside threat and make their division odds even higher.  The Buffalo Bills went and drafted C.J. Spiller, but seem to lack the aresenal to compete in this very strong division.

Buffalo Bills - The Buffalo Bills will have an uphill battle this season.  The three teams they compete against are beginning to put themselves in a class of their own, while the Bills are beginning their rebuilding process.  They picked up C.J. Spiller in the draft would should strengthing their offense, but not enough.  The defense is in the process of switching to the 3-4.  With them going through rebuilding and their conference being superior, the Buffalo Bills will finish 4-12.

Miami Dolphins - The Miami Dolphins have attempted to compete up with the rest of their division rivals by adding Brandon Marshall to the offense.  Chad Henne will be leading the way, and Ronnie Brown will be back in the mix.  Where does this leave the Dolphins?  This puts them in good position to push for the playoffs after they took a year off last season.  They have a mediocre schedule, with their toughest games being in the division.  With the additions to the Dolphins, they are able to squeeze out a few more wins than last year.  The Miami Dolphins finish 9-7.

New England Patriots - Each and every year it seems the Patriots are involved in the race for the AFC East, and that does not appear to change this year.  The Patriots will have a healthy Wes Welker back, Tom Brady under the center, and Randy Moss going deep, this will pose a problem for every team they play.  The Patriots have seen the teams in their division inch closer to the talent that the Patriots have.  The Patriots have a mediocre schedule in which they should perform well.  The Patriots finish 11-5.

New York Jets - The New York Jets have really made a splash this offseason.  If they wanted a player, they found a way to get them.  They aquired Santonio Holmes, Ladainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, and Antonio Cromartie.  These additions to an already talented team could put them over the top in the AFC East.  This talent and personalities will be great to watch each Sunday, no matter if they win or lose.  The Jets have closed the gap on not only the AFC East, but the whole conference as a whole.  This season the Jets finish 12-4.

AFC East Standings 2010

New York - 12-4
New England - 11-5
Miami - 9-7
Buffalo - 4-12

NFC West Predictions Next

AFC North Predictions
AFC South Predictions
AFC West Predictions

Thursday, July 1, 2010

AFC North Preview and Predictions: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh

The AFC North is going to come down to a few happenings in the NFL.  Ben Roethlisberger will be missing the first 4 games of the season.  Will the Ravens use Ray Rice more than last year?  Who are the real Bengals?  Can the Browns compete in this hard knocks, defensive mindset division?

Baltimore Ravens - Will the Ravens use Ray Rice more than last year.  If they do, then they will be very successful.  He can run, he can catch, and he can gain tons of yards after first contact.  If they use him to his strengths, then he will help Joe Flacco and the passing attack.  I think Baltimore is a strong team, with a strong defense, and a better offense than last year, if used correctly.  The Ravens play in a strong division, but with the Steelers missing Big Ben, it will be to their advantage.  The Ravens finish 11-5

Cincinnati Bengals - Last year the Bengals started out strong and slumped near the end of the season.  The question is, "who are the real Bengals?".  I think the Bengals we saw near the end of the 2009 season is the Bengals we will see in 2010.  They play a real tough schedule, against some teams who have bettered themselves.  In order to make the playoffs this seasons, then they will need to pull of some upsets.  The Bengals finish 6-10.

Cleveland Browns - Cleveland has put a rest to the controversy at quaterback, that they have had for years.  With the addition of Jake Delhomme, they have bettered their chances within the division.  I still do not think it is enough.  They have made progress, but they will need to make a few more moves after the 2010 season to be able to compete.  Cleveland has a tough schedule within the division and a few games outside the division.  They will compete more than last year, but not by much.  The Browns finish 6-10.

Pittsburgh Steelers - Alright Steelers fans, I know you will burn me for writing this, but you are already in a hole.  With Ben Roethlisber missing the first 4 games of the season, the Steelers will have to claw their way up the standings.  The first 4 games are crucial and I feel the Steelers will be facing opponents that will benefit from the absence of Big Ben.  In my opinion, I feel the Steelers lose all 4 games to open the season, but at best I say they could go 1-3.  With Ben's return, the Steelers will need to pull of a 9-3 record at the least to overcome the bad start, and I do not see that happening.  The Steelers are a good team, but the suspension of Roethlisberger will be proving tragic.  The Steelers finish 7-9.

AFC North Standings 2010

Baltimore - 11-5
Pittsburgh - 7-9
Cincinnati - 6-10
Cleveland - 6-10

AFC East Next

AFC South Predictions
AFC West Predictions

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

AFC South Preview and Predictions: Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Tennessee

The AFC South is going to be one of the toughest divisions to predict.  Tennessee played down at the beginning of last year and caught fire near the end.  Houston continues to improve on a yearly basis, Jacksonville continues to give teams trouble, and Indianapolis is still one of the powerhouses of the NFL.

Houston Texans - Each and every the year the Houston Texans have been getting better and better.  Last year they were picked by many to make the playoffs and this year is no different.  The answer will lie within the division.  The trouble for Houston is "what will Tennessee be like this year?".  Houston finished 9-7 last year and will come close to the same record this year.  They have a tougher schedule and I believe Tennessee will be a lot better this year and knock off Houston twice.  Houston will finish 7-9.

Indianapolis Colts - Indianapolis will be the divisional powerhouse and also a powerhouse in the AFC.  They have some tough games in the division and I see them getting knocked off by atleast one of their opponents (most likely Tennessee).  They have a pretty easy schedule which will help them in their quest for homefield advantage.  Peyton Manning will have one of his best seasons this year.  The Colts will finish 13-3.

Jacksonville Jaguars - Jacksonville is a middle of the road team and their record this season will reflect it.  They are facing an average schedule and will pull out some wins this year.  Jacksonville has some high quality receivers, but do not have the quarterback to help those receivers.  They have a great running attack, but when that is keyed on, it can be slowed down.  The Jaguars will finish 7-9.

Tennessee Titans -  Tennessee will have a better year than they did last year.  They will have a great start and that will guide them through the season.  They do have tough matchups throughout the year, but they should pull out some victories over the tough teams.  Vince Young will be a good quarterback, but not overwhelming.  Chris Johnson will run like he did last year, maybe not quite as many yards.  The Titans defense will be stronger and they will not give up as many points.  Tennessee will finish the season at 11-5.

AFC South Standings 2010

Colts:  13-3
Titans: 11-5
Texans:  7-9
Jaguars:  7-9

AFC North Up Next

AFC West Preview and Predictions:

AFC West Preview and Predictions: Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, and San Diego

The AFC West will as usual not be to big of a test for the San Diego Chargers.  The Chargers not only have the stongest team in the AFC West, but they also are one of the strongest teams in the AFC conference.  The question is, will any team besides San Diego in the AFC West make a push for a playoff birth?

Denver Broncos - With the loss of Brandon Marshall and the uncertainty of the starting quarterback, Denver will face a tough season.  Looking at the schedule of the Broncos, it will be very difficult for this team to win a wildcard birth.  Luckily, the Broncos get to play Oakland and Kansas City twice a year, this will help their record.  Denver finishes the regular season at 6-10.  The only sign of hope for Denver is if they signing of Brian Westbrook.

Kansas City - Their is not much to say about the Kansas City Chiefs.  They are coming of a 4-10 season and I do not see them improving on that record.  Matt Cassel was not the quarterback that he shown in New England.  Offseason moves have not bolstered their roster and I do not see an easy schedule for the Chiefs.  The Chiefs would need to rely on their defense in hopes to win games this year.  As far as making the playoffs, not this year.  The Chiefs finish 3-13.

Oakland Raiders - The Oakland Raiders have made some key moves this year by signing Jason Campbell and Richard Seymore.  These moves should help the Oakland Raiders improve on last seasons terrible season.  Jason Campbell is a lot more reliable than JaMarcus Russell and Richard Seymoure will help to better the 29th rushing defense.  Will these moves help the Oakland Raiders to earn a playoff birth?  I do not think the improvements will help that to happen, but they will improve on their record.  The Raiders finish the season 7-9.

San Diego Chargers - The San Diego Chargers are the best in the AFC West.  They will cruise through their division with a 6-0 record.  Philip Rivers is an elite regular season quarterback and he knows how to win.  They have a very easy schedule this season, and I only see three tough opponents for the Chargers.  Like last year they will finish with one of the best records in the NFL.  The Chargers finish 13-3.

Like last year, the AFC West will be represented only by the San Diego Chargers.

AFC West Standings

San Diego - 13-3
Oakland - 7-9
Denver - 6-10
Kansas City - 3-13

Tomorrow will be the AFC South

What Will The Pittsburgh Steelers Do With Their 12 Game Schedule?

Looking at the Steelers schedule, they are already 0-4. Missing Ben Roethlisberger for the first 4 games of the season is going to hinder the playoff chances for the Steelers. Byron Leftwich is not the answer for this team and it will show throughout the first few weeks of the season. The question is "Can the Steelers overcome the bad start that they will have?"

When Ben Roethlisberger returns from his suspension, the Steelers will be facing a very difficult schedule. The Steelers will need to go AT LEAST 8-4 with the return of Roethlisberger. That is going to be a tough task.

Luckily, the Steelers will face the Cleveland Browns twice, which will be 2 out of the 8 wins needed. They beat Oakland, Carolina, Buffalo and Cincinnati twice, but who is the other team that they are able to beat? They will not beat New England, New Orleans, New York Jets, or Baltimore.

That leaves the Miami Dolphins in week 7. This will end up being the biggest game on the schedule for the Pittsburgh Steelers. If the Steelers lose in week 7 to the Dolphins, then playoff hopes are ruined, if they win they stay alive.

Being that this is a week 7 game and only the second game of the season for Roethlisberger, compared to a Miami Dolphin team that will have 6 games as team under their belt, I see this being a very close competition. The Steelers are the better team, but I do not believe they will be able to beat the Dolphins, that early in the season under those circumstances.

When all is said and done, the Steelers will be a 7-9 team and miss the playoffs. Will this be the end of the road for Big Ben in Pittsburgh if that happens? Who will be taking the blame? This will be an interesting story line to follow throughout the 2010 season.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why The Giants Will Win The NFC East? - NFL SUNDAY HITS STORE

It all but seems forgotten that the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in the 2007 Super Bowl.

It is now 2010 and the NFC has seen some shuffling around. Donovan McNabb will now be wearing the Redskins burgundy and gold, along with both Mike and Kevin Shanahan. While Kevin Kolb will be leading the Phildelphia Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys are thinking about changing their green pants to silver pants (HDTV reasons). The New York Giants have a new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and they will be returning to the field healthy.

The Giants finished 4-2 against their NFC East opponents. The losses came at the hands of the Donovan McNabb led Eagles, where 40 and 45 points were dropped on Bill Sheridan's Giants defense. In 2010, Sheridan does not lead the Giants defense and they will not need to worry about the McNabb/Jackson connection any longer.

Two teams in the NFC East have improved, while one has declined, and another has remained the same.

The Redskins now have the Shanahans and have bettered themselves by trading for Donovan McNabb, but who will he throw to? is the Redskins offensive line better than the Eagles? With Shanahan at the helm, expect the Redskins to try to get the ball deep and often. The Redskins receivers are short and McNabb will need time to get the ball down field, that may be a problem, giving the Redskins gave up 46 sacks last year. The Redskins also ranked 16th passing and 27th rushing, this does not bode well for McNabb having time to pass.

The Eagles on the other hand ranked 22nd in the run and 10th in passing. They now have a young receiving core, with an untested quarterback. Most times when we see this happen it takes at least a year to come together. The rushing was not strong last year, and not enough changes have been made with the Eagles to change that ranking. Kolb is not as mobile as McNabb and McNabb's craftiness on his feet was a Giant killer. Kolb will need time to settle into his new role and this change that will cost the Eagles this year.

The Cowboys are the same. They have not made many changes that will effect how they look. The Cowboys will be the strongest contender in the East and will be most experts preseason picks to win the division. They have strong receivers, a good quarterback, and a quick, strong defense. The main threat to the Cowboy season is Jerry Jones and Wade Philips. With the 2010 season's Super Bowl being held in the new Cowboy Stadium, Jones will have extremely high expectations for Philips and the rest of the Cowboy squad.

The Dallas Cowboys WILL make the playoffs, but they will have to settle for the wild-card.

That brings us to the New York Giants.

2007 was mentioned and was mentioned for a reason. The Giants have not changed much since that time. They are the team with the credentials and experience, specifically on the offensive side of the ball. Eli Manning has become a better quarterback each year since 2007. A lot has been put on his plate and he has excepted the challenge. They still have Brandon Jacobs running the ball, who will once again be healthy and a threat. Jacobs is offset by Ahmad Bradshaw, who last year played with a fractured ankle. Bradshaw's speed will be a large part of the Giants success on offense this season. The Giants offensive line is still made up of veterans who led them on their Super Bowl run. Lastly, the Giants receivers now have experience and this will be a breakout year for them and Eli.

The Giants defense may have weakened in the middle, but they strengthened last years weak spot, the secondary. The Giants have Deon Grant, Antrel Rolle, and future star Kenny Phillips. This secondary will not be last years. It is an improvement and it is exactly what the rest of the Giant defense needed. Fewell will be able to let his defensive line go after the quarterback and the coverage will help them reach him. The defensive line is still strong and the added padding in the secondary will help them become even more threatening.

The 2007 Giants were good, in 2008 they were better, but the 2010 Giants are quietly complete.

With all of the changes that occurred in the NFC East, the Giants have great match-ups with the division. McNabb is a Giant killer more with his feet than his arm. When it seemed like the defense had McNabb, he was able to get away, outside the pocket. He will not have that kind of time this season with the Redskins. The coverage will be tighter down the field and the Giants line will be quicker through a weak Redskins offensive line. The Redskins are a better team, but the Giants are still able to take both games from them. 2 wins for the Giants.

The Eagles have taken a step backwards this season. Kevin Kolb will be going through the learning process. It does not matter how long he watched McNabb play, it will still take time. He is not as quick as McNabb and will not be able to escape long for his receivers to break free. The Eagles are not a threat on the ground, especially now that defenses will see Kevin Kolb behind center and not Donovan McNabb. With the McNabb trade and the Giants strengthening the secondary, the Giants win both from the Philadelphia Eagles. 2 win for the Giants.

The Cowboys and Giants matched up very nicely against each other last year. They played great games that could have gone either way, but you always have the Giants vs. Tony Romo factor. It always comes down to "Can Romo beat the Giants?" If we go by last year, then the answer is no. The Giants were able to take 2 games from the Cowboys last year, and the Giants are better this year. The Cowboys receivers are the only threat to the Giants secondary in the division. I think the Cowboys will be able to expose them and Eli Manning will have to play catch up at some point. Both defenses are strong, both passing games are a threat, but the Cowboys are better in that area. The Giants will have to run the ball and control the tempo of the game. They will be able to do this in the New Meadowlands in November, but I cannot say the same for the Monday night game at Cowboy Stadium. Giants and Cowboys split. 1 win and 1 loss.

The Giants match-up well against all teams in their division and that division record will be the deciding factor. The Giants will go 5-1 against their own. Which will leave 10 game remaining. They beat the Panthers, Titans, Bears, Texans, Lions, Seahawks, and Jaguars. The lose to the Colts, Cowboys, Vikings (w/Favre), and Packers. The Giants finish the season 12-4 and clinch the NFC East.