I’ll post my NFL predictions for this season now and talk about a couple of things I think will crucial this upcoming season. A couple of things to look out for will be the age of the New England Patriots’ defense. No one expects them to run the table again in the regular season but people might be in for a surprise if their age finally catches up to them and they end up losing 4 or 5 games. Also, who knows how injured Tom Brady really is and how effective he’ll be in the early parts of the season?
In the NFC, Aaron Rodgers has been handed a wonderful team but a great receiving group and all he has to do is not try to be Brett Favre. If he can stick to the short passes and allow the receivers to do their work with YAC as they did last year along with the new found running game in Ryan Grant – the Packers could really repeat as one of the top two seeds in the conference. New York Giants on the other hand have lost two considerablely talented players on defense and will that blow be big enough to keep them out of the playoffs? I doubt it because their offense has matured well enough and Eli should be able to carry a team to a couple of wins just by himself this year.
In the playoffs, you can never count out Brett Favre and certainly he’s not done with the way he played last year. Cold weather will be not be an issue and just might be something to provide Jets’ fans with something to hope for. However, let’s all be realistic. The Jets went 4-12 last year and just making the playoffs this year will be a dramatic improvement so I doubt they advance much further even though I do have them winning a game in the post-season.
Is this the year that Tony Romo finally breaks through and stops choking in the clutch? I think so. Packers losing Favre drops their main threat to be #1 once again in the conference and they had all the opportunities in the world to beat the Giants last year in the Divisional Round and if Romo can control the ball, they would have at least been a game away from going to the Super Bowl. No reason to expect the same progress this year, if not a little bit more poise and potentially a couple more wins in the post-season.
Does a Manning win a Super Bowl this year as well? Well that would make it three years in a row with Peyton and his Colts beating the Bears in 2007 although the loss of Jeff Saturday in the early parts of the season can slow down their progress but probably not enough to keep them from winning the division yet again en route to the Super Bowl XLIII victory on February 1, 2009.
Predictions are after the break.
East – New England Patriots
North – Pittsburgh Steelers
South – Indianapolis Colts
West – San Diego Chargers
Wild Card – Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets
East – Dallas Cowboys
North – Green Bay Packers
South – New Orleans Saints
West – Seattle Seahawks
Wild Card – New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings
Wild Card Weekend:
#6 New York Jets over #3 Pittsburgh Steelers
#4 San Diego Chargers over #5 Jacksonville Jaguars
#3 New Orleans Saints over #6 Minnesota Vikings
#5 New York Giants over #4 Seattle Seahawks
#1 Indianapolis Colts over #6 New York Jets
#2 New England Patriots over #4 San Diego Chargers
#1 Dallas Cowboys over #5 New York Giants
#2 Green Bay Packers over #3 New Orleans Saints
#1 Indianapolis Colts over #2 New England Patriots
#1 Dallas Cowboys over #2 Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl XLIII:
Indianapolis Colts over Dallas Cowboys