It's never too early, as far as I'm concerned, to talk football.
I mean, NFL football. While just about everyone else is thinking about the draft, I've decided to tackle something else first—my April prediction.
Shortly after the schedule comes out, I sit down and predict the outcome of every game during the regular season, then figure out what that means for the playoffs.
One caveat: I've been doing this since before Super Bowl XIX (I predicted a Seahawks-Cardinals Bowl), and I've never been right in April.
Last year, I picked San Diego and the Giants.
San Diego 8-8 (4)
Kandsas City 6-10
Denver hurt itself by trading quarterback Jay Cutler. The Raiders will win a few games they shouldn't.
Tennessee 11-5 (3)
Indianapolis 10-6 (6)
The Texans will look good for a while, but this division is tough.
New England 13-3 (2)
N.Y. Jets 5-11
This is a good place for a reminder that I'm operating on the assumption that there will be no injuries. Brady's back.
Pittsburgh 14-2 (1)
Baltimore 11-5 (5)
Just about every key Steelers player is a year better. Coach Mike Tomlin's still getting going.
Atlanta 9-7 (3)
New Orleans 7-9
Tampa Bay 6-10
As much as I love the Pewter Pirates, the schedule looks awfully unfriendly, and the team has dumped needed veterans.
N.Y. Giants 12-4 (2)
Dallas 12-4 (5)
This race will come down to the final weekend. The Cowboys may fall to a team they should beat. If they stay focused, maybe they can beat the Giants outright.
Minnesota 9-7 (4)
Chicago 9-7 (6)
Green Bay 8-8
The Bears will benefit from the acquisition of Cutler. The Lions' losing streak ends at 23, when the Rams visit for a Nov. 1 game.
Arizona 12-4 (1)
San Francisco 7-9
St. Louis 2-14
The 49ers will look good at times, and the Seahawks won't get blown out often, but the Cardinals have the talent, the confidence and a sense that they've left unfinished business.
Tennessee 20 Indianapolis 30
Chicago 10 Atlanta 38
Dallas 44 Minnesota 21
Baltimore 13 San Diego 10
Indianapolis 24 New England 28
Dallas 23 Arizona 35
Atlanta 16 N.Y. Giants 26
Baltimore 10 Pittsburgh 14
New England 24 Pittsburgh 20
N.Y. Giants 16 Arizona 21
Super Bowl XLIV
The Patriots missed the playoffs last year, and still have that foul taste in their mouths from their defeat by the Giants on the Cardinals' home field. Tom Brady will get the car.
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