So during this long part of the offseason in between OTA's and training camp we fans sit down and become incredibly optimistic about our own teams as we read reports predicting our Super Bowl bound destiny's.
Well here I'm going to predict the NFL Playoffs for you (without individuals scores) and explain why each team got in, and then predict how the playoffs went.
AFC: (In order of seed)
1. AFC East: Patriots
The Patriots are back and better than ever! Tom Brady is back from surgery and has been rehabing his knee long enough that it should not be bothering him. Reports coming back from all specialists say that Brady is far ahead of schedule in his recovery and it looks like his knee is moving very naturally.
The offense has the potential to be even more lethal than in 2007 with the addition of Joey Galloway. With Randy Moss and Joey Galloway stretching the field with their speed and athleticism Wes Welker will have the ability to tear up the rest of the field at the slot position.
I mean, how many people can you double cover? I also like the addition of Fred Taylor and Shawn Springs to the team. Two experienced players who know football incredibly well.
2. AFC North: Steelers
The Steelers have only gotten better this offseason. They are returning with 10 of their 11 starters on defense, and Big Ben is only getting better after every season.
3. AFC West: Chargers
I think that the Chargers finally realized what they have in Darren Sproles, a back who can do it all while still giving LT plenty of rest and time to shine. Phillip Rivers is establishing himself as one of the best in the game and Antonio Gates looks to contribute even more after making a full recovery.
Also, the addition of a healthy Shawn Merriman will bring the defense up a notch.
AFC South: Colts
No matter who his head coach, offensive coordinator or the offensive line coach is, Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning. The offense will continue along fine without Marvin Harrison and Manning will make it happen in Indianapolis.
Wild Card : Ravens
Unfortunately they will not win their division but the Ravens look to be one of the best teams in the conference. Joe Flacco has another year under his belt.
The defense however won't quite be the same without Rex Ryan leading, but it should still be a top 5 defense purely because of the talent on that side of the ball.
Wild Card: Texans
This is the only team I'm not 100% will make the post season. I really like the Texans, and I want them to win. The team has made a concentrated effort to focus on red zone efficiency (by far their weakest point last season). Andre 'the giant' Johnson still can't be double covered and Steve Slaton looks to be poised for a big sophmore season.
Wild Card Weekend:
Chargers > Texans
Ravens > Colts
Patriots > Ravens
Steelers > Chargers
Patriots > Steelers
AFC Rep. In Super Bowl: New England Patriots
NFC: (In order of seeding)
NFC East: Eagles
Now I could go on for hours about why the Eagle's are making the playoffs (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/206020-why-the-eagles-will-go-to-the-superbowl ) but here is the basic gist of why they are going to be the No. 1 seed in the conference. McNabb is happy with his contract.
The Eagles got a dependable backup in LeSean McCoy where they don't have to change the system for a change up back (i.e. Buckhalter).
The offensive line is new and improved with the additions of Jason Peters and Stacy Andrews and the return of Shawn Andrews. The Receiving Corps is looking great with DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis and Jeremy Maclin stretching the field.
Eagles fans check out my blog at http://www.igglesfanatics.blogspot.com
NFC South: Panthers
The Panthers have recently settled their major offseason concern when Julius Peppers signed his franchise tender. Now one of the best Defensive Linemen in football is returning to a defense built around him.
The offense looks great as always with Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad leading the receiving corps, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams running down the field and the clock, and Jake Delhomme playing efficiently (forget the playoff game last year guys, it won't happen again)
NFC North: Bears
Jay Cutler plays a huge role in this decision. It was either between the Bears and the Vikings: essentially Cutler vs. Favre. I really like Cutler in this battle. I think that Jay Cutler+Devin Hester+Matt Forte = great offense.
Side Note: That being said, if Jay Cutler is a flop, I unofficially pick the Vikings.
NFC West: Seahawks
I know, why aren't the Cardinals, the NFC rep in the super bowl, making the playoffs. It's simple, because I believe in the Seahawks more than the Cardinals. Matt Hasselback is back, with a new weapon in T.J. Houshmanzadah.
The defense looks strong this year. The reason that the Seahawks floundered last year is really because of injuries. The Seahawks ended the season last year with 19 (I think) players on IR. That can't happen twice.
Wild Card: Giants
The Giants are playing in a tough division, and that is the sole reason why they won't win it. Their defense looks as strong as ever, with Osi Umenyiora returning. The Giant's running game should return as strong as ever, with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw busting through the O Line.
The only problem I foresee is the loss of Plax and the go-to-guy for Eli Manning. I don't think that Hakeem Nicks is going to develop THAT quickly. The receiving corps looks great, but when Manning is in trouble I am going to question what he does with the ball.
Wild Card: Saints
The Saints also are playing in a tough division. Drew Brees looks to establish himself as an elite QB along with the likes of Brady, Manning, and Rivers. I think that Reggie Bush is poised for a breakout season, as long as he can stay healthy.
Pierre Thomas will chip in quite a bit, as I see them trying to use Bush in the passing game a lot. I doubt Brees will come close to setting any records this year, but an explosive offense and a solid defense should get them into the playoffs.
Wild Card Weekend:
Saints > Bears
Giants > Seahawks
Eagles > Saints
Giants > Panthers
Eagles > Giants
NFC Rep during Super Bowl: Philadelphia Eagles
And the winner is...
This will be a revenge game for the Eagles, having lost to the Patriots in 2004. The Eagles defense will slow down the Patriots offense like it did in 2007 (remember, the Eagle's came very close to winning that game).
The Patriots will fight back though and it will be a close game. I predict that the score will be 24-21 and that it will be decided by a last second David Akers FG.
If you want to read more of my stuff check me out at Iggles Fanatics!