Updated 2012 Team Win-Loss Record Predictions After NFL Week 1
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While there is always an over-reaction to what happens during Week 1 of any NFL season, the first slate of games did give us some information on what may happen over the course of the final 16 weeks.
Without too much over-reaction, here are our updated win-loss predictions for the 2012 season:
Dallas Cowboys: 10-6
Rob Ryan's defense is the right scheme for this age of the NFL, and he finally has the horses in the secondary to make it work. Tony Romo is an early MVP candidate.
Philadelphia Eagles: 9-7
Once the Eagles find out what kind of team they are offensively, they will become one of the best teams in the NFC. But will Andy Reid ever figure out that throwing Michael Vick 45 times isn't the right recipe for this team?
New York Giants: 10-6
One game does not make a season. The Cowboys out-played them in all aspects on their home turf, but the Giants are plenty talented to make a run another run at the NFC East crown.
Washington Redskins: 7-9
Game on, NFC East. The Redskins have a fast, attacking defense, plus a quarterback that shares those qualities on the offensive side.
Chicago Bears: 10-6
It's somewhat hard to believe, especially with Lovie Smith in town, but the Bears have more worries on the defensive side of the ball than offensive. This offense might be the best Chicago has seen in a long, long time.
Detroit Lions: 8-8
I wasn't exactly sold on the Lions coming into 2012, and Week 1 did little to change that perception. This is still a good football team that can beat anyone on any Sunday, but it has some issues to iron out before it becomes a consistent playoff team.
Minnesota Vikings: 4-12
A ray of hope came through the Metrodome roof Sunday, but those moments may be few and far between in 2012. Continuing the progression of Christian Ponder is the one goal this season.
Green Bay Packers: 11-5
Green Bay all alone in the NFC North cellar? The Packers were man-handled by a better, more physical team in its own backyard. They won't skate through the regular season like 2011, but there's too much overall talent to miss the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8-8
Beating Cam Newton and shutting down the Panthers running game should be a huge confidence booster for a team that failed to live up to expectations a year ago. I'm still not sold they are a playoff team, but the Bucs are on the rise.
Atlanta Falcons: 11-5
The Chiefs aren't a bad football team, but the Falcons went into a really tough place to play (Arrowhead) and left with a convincing win. Atlanta's passing game is for real, and Matt Ryan just has that look to him.
New Orleans Saints: 8-8
Asleep at the wheel or a sign of things to come? Everyone knew this was going to be a tough season for New Orleans, especially with the constant changing of head coaches. Maybe .500 is the best it can ask for.
Carolina Panthers: 7-9
The pieces are there for Carolina to make a run at the postseason, but it may be a year out from being a real contender. The Buccaneers were more physical up front on both sides of the ball.
Arizona Cardinals: 5-11
A nice win for Arizona to kick off the season, but keep it in context: rookie quarterback, on the road, making his first NFL start. The Cardinals defense needed to look solid, and it did.
San Francisco 49ers: 13-3
Forget all the talk about this team "regressing" in 2012. There's no better team in the NFC. Alex Smith still probably stinks after all the cheese he burnt through Sunday afternoon, and that defense is as fast as ever.
Seattle Seahawks: 8-8
Maybe the crowning of the Seahawks came a little too early. I still believe in Russell Wilson, but expecting a third-round rookie to light the NFL world on fire might have been a little too much.
St. Louis Rams: 6-10
Jeff Fisher will have this team in a majority of games because his clubs put together strong defensive game plans and always appear prepared. But the talent level isn't there yet. 2013, maybe?
New York Jets: 10-6
New England Patriots: 12-4
There was nothing I saw Sunday in Tennessee that made me believe this team isn't winning at least 12 games. Stevan Ridley and the Patriots young defense look, might I say, scary good?
Buffalo Bills: 7-9
The Bills are still going to be in the Wild Card hunt, but if Ryan Fitzpatrick can't stay away from turnovers, this could be another long, unfulfilled season in Buffalo. Not a good opener.
Miami Dolphins: 2-14
Ryan Tannehill may one day be a top-15 quarterback in the NFL, but it's not happening this season. Or maybe the next. Miami needs offensive playmakers maybe more than any other NFL team.
Baltimore Ravens: 13-3
No team, besides maybe the 49ers, played as well in Week 1 as the Ravens. You could see the lightbulb inside Joe Flacco flick on, and the defense is still as good as ever. AFC favorite?
Cincinnati Bengals: 7-9
The Bengals feel a lot like the Lions in the NFC. They can probably play with anyone, but are they due for a slide? They lack confidence against the better teams, and the schedule is much more difficult in 2012.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 10-6
This is still a playoff team, even if there are issues up front on both sides of the ball. Keep in mind, the Steelers defense was missing some key parts in Denver on Sunday night. They'll rebound.
Cleveland Browns: 3-13
We haven't seen a quarterbacking performance like Brandon Weeden's debut in some time. You obviously can't write him off yet, but the Browns are going to struggle to score points in 2012.
Houston Texans: 12-4
The Texans erased some early hiccups with another dominant performance against the Dolphins. As long as the key guys on this offense stay healthy, 11-12 wins should be a basement number. Houston is that good.
Jacksonville Jaguars: 6-10
There were encouraging signs in Minnesota on Sunday, but somehow the Jaguars managed to blow a game that was in the bag with 20 seconds remaining. Six wins might be optimistic, but there's something about this team I still like.
Tennessee Titans: 7-9
The Titans will win exactly zero games if Chris Johnson averages four yards a contest. But forget that number, because the film was actually the worrisome part for Tennessee. CJ2K just seems lost vision-wise and the burst is lacking some punch.
Indianapolis Colts: 3-13
Andrew Luck is the real deal, but the Colts are still in Year 1 of a rebuilding process. Like Peyton Manning 14 years ago, the Colts will take their bumps and bruises with a rookie quarterback. But brighter days are almost certainly ahead.
San Diego Chargers: 10-6
Denver Broncos: 10-6
Ten wins might be too low if the Broncos play as well the rest of the season as they did Sunday night. It was hard not to come away impressed with both the offense and defense.
Kansas City Chiefs: 6-10
The Chiefs won't face many passing games as good as the Falcons' in 2012. But giving up 40 points at home? The Chargers and Broncos have quarterbacks who can hurt Kansas City in the all important division matchups.
Oakland Raiders: 3-13
It might be a long year in Oakland, but it's all a part of GM Reggie McKenzie's plan. Give him 2-3 drafts, and the Raiders will be winning AFC West crowns. Book it. Three wins in 2012 means a stud rookie quarterback next April.
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