Well here we are on the verge of another NFL season, and I can't wait. I thought it would be fun to make our predictions for this years division titles. I would like to see everyones predictions as well. We can't be worse than Prisco can we? Ok lets go.
I don't think there is any question here who will win. Buffalo is making great strides, but I don't think they can unseat the Patriots yet. The other two teams have their issues as well. One is trying to find its identy under center and the other is in full rebuild mode.
1. New England
This, along with the South could be the toughest division in the AFC. Pittsburgh is the incumbant and looks to be very good again. The one question mark I see is the O-line. The Browns surprised us all last year with their explosivness on the Offense, they threw the draft away to try to get better on the defensive side, but will it be enough. If Baltimore can find some offense and the Bengals find a way to stop some teams this could very well be a 4 horse race.
Another very tough division with 4 talented teams. The Colts look to have on paper the most talented team they have ever had in Indy. If the injury bug doesn't bite them, then look out. Jacksonville has been working for years thru the draft and free agency to stop the Colts reign at the top. Every year they get closer, could this be the year? We'll see but it will produce 2 not-to-be-forgotten gamesbetween them and the Colts. The Titans and Texans both will be good. The Titans strength is on the running game, and I really didn't pay attention if they upgraded their recieving corps. The Texans were hurt by injuries last year on the offensive side and really took their steam away. I guess that pick of Mario Williams doesn't look so bad now does it.
This division may be almost as lopsided as the east. There isn't any team that will seriously challenge the Chargers. The Broncos are second best but there looks to be a big gap between them. The Raiders are improving and will continue to pound the ball on the ground. It will be an interesting year to see if the QB in a linemans body will earn his paycheck. The Chiefs I can't figure out. They may be this years version of the Dolphins or they may surprise us like the Browns did. Until they get a stable QB and line established it could be the former.
AFC Playoff Seeding
1. New England 14-2
2. San Diego 13-3
3. Indianapolis 13-3
4. Pittsburgh 11-5
5. Jacksonville 12-4
6. Cleveland 11-5
Here is the NFC's toughest division. The Cowboys have a well rounded team, but did they get a reciever to play opposite Owens? The defense should be tough again. The Giants as defending SB champions can't be counted out. Will they get off to their traditional slow start, then pick up steam as the year goes on. I'm sure their fans will want a few more home wins out of them. Which Eagles team will show up this year. The one capable of 10+ wins, or the one that was there last year? And finally Washington, who made a good upgrade to their D-line with the addition of Taylor. Jason Campbell could thrive by having Zorn as coach.
The old Black and Blue division looks to make some changes at the top. This could be the Vikings year to reclaim the top spot. They have arguably the best RB in the league, and by the end of the year the Defense could be ranked #1. The Packers may not win the division this year, but it won't be because of Rogers under center. I think the Pack will be fine, it will just look different without the gunslinger under center. Rogers played very well, if not better than #4 last year at Dallas. The Lions will have a new look on offense without run and bomb Martz calling the shots. But are they able to transform to a ground attack with only 1 offseason? The Bears........Why can't they just draft a QB? Their defense will be good, but the offense, who knows.
When was there a repeat winner in this division? How many times has a team gone from worst to first? Well that won't happen this year. Atlanta is still trying to pick up the pieces from the Vick disaster and is still rebuilding. We know Matt Ryan will get the rookie starts. But will he become a Dan Marino/Peyton Manning or will he get blasted and become another David Carr/Joey Harrington? The Saints IMO are the team to look for in this division. Last year losing several close games early and digging that hole spelled their demise. They have a dangeous offense look for them to use it early. Tampa will be alright this year, they looked bad late in the year but already had the division locked up and coasted. They got out of rhythm and made an early exit from the playoffs. The Panthers as we saw last year hinge on Jake Delhomme. If Jake is hot, so are they. Thru the first few weeks of last year, he was one of the top rated QB's before his injury.
At first I thought this would be a pretty boring division to keep track of. But with Holmgren a lame duck coach (not that he will go easy on his team) and remembering all of the key injuries the Rams had last year, it could get interesting. Seattle will still have a very potent team and the division is theirs to lose. They picked up some RB's that should bring an instant upgrade to their running attack. (like that was tough to make better) The defense will be as solid as ever. The Rams were hit hard with injuries last year. The season could hinge on the O-line, they need to show improvement to keep Bulger upright and open holes for Jackson. If this happens, Seattle could be in a fight. The D-line sould be able to pressure opposing QB's. The Cardinals, what can I say, the last three years I thought they would be better but it hasen't happened. Until they show it on the field during the season I'm not falling into that trap again. The 49ers are playing for their coaches life. Once again with the hiring of new coordinators (Martz's air show lands here) and a talented RB in Gore. Well maybe they can show improvement. This is a tough divison to call.
NFC Playoff Seeding
1. Vikings 13-3
2. Saints 12-4
3. Giants 11-5
4. Seahawks 11-5
5. Cowboys 11-5
6. Packers 10-6
Well there you go, there is my guess and I do mean guess. Injuries are always a factor in a season. One of these teams could put several players on the IR in week 1 and blow all of this out of the water.
So my challenge to you, give us your predictions, no need to go into detail if you don't want to. Let us know. Thanks for reading.