Patriots—(12-4) The machine continues to roll with Wonder Boy back.
Miami—(9-7) They aren't as good as their 11-5 season, but they are somewhere in between. Wildcat will work at times, and at least make them fun to watch.
NY Jets—(8-8) Spend a lot of money, but get little results. They did nicely in FA and Mark Sanchez will get the hell hyped out of him. Personally, I hope he falls flat on his face, but they'll have excues for him if he does.
Buffalo Bills—(6-10) Desperate times (Toronto anyone?) call for desperate action (T.O.). He'll be a good soldier, until they start to lose, which they will. Then the **** will hit the fan, as always.
Baltimore Ravens—(9-7) I expect some regression after last year's boring "NFL's New (and Already Overused) Catchphrase">managing the game" by Flacco. As always, the defense will carry this team, and Flacco will get the credit.
Cincinatti Bengals—(4-12) They were a team that was already bad (4-11-1) and couldn't score...and they lost TJ Houshmanzedeh. How many shutouts was that after they shut it down last year? Like the Pirates in the NFL, this team deserves its fate, and I'm a Carson Palmer fan, too. They just don't get it, and they never will.
Indianapolis Colts—(11-5) Sure, they lost Marvin Harrison, but this lame team always overachieves. Why would this year be any different? Just make the playoffs and bow out as always. The sooner the better, cowtown Colts.
Tennessee Titans—(9-7) Like the Dolphins, I think they overachieved. Still, they are better than most of the teams here, so they'll be okay. It should be interesting to see more of their games, too. Maybe we can learn why they were so good last year...
Houston Texans—(8-8) Aren't they always 8-8 now? Always one player away on offense and defense. And they're still looking for that complement WR to go with Andre Johnson, whose career is being wasted here. Falcons or Dolphins? Try These Teams...">Could they finally break through?
Jacksonville Jaguars—(7-9) They won't be as bad as last year, but they'll still manage to lose 1-2 games that they shouldn't. No Fred Taylor to spell Maurice Jones-Drew will be disastrous for this once-rising team.
San Diego Chargers—(9-7) They will make the playoffs like clockwork. LT will get hurt and Sproles will take over. The team will overachieve and win a round, before falling to some real contender like they do every year. Repeat. It must really be frustrating to be a Bolts fan, knowing what's going to happen and not being able to prevent it.
Kansas City Chiefs—(8-8) They lost six games last year by nine points or less. Cassel will help solidify the QB position. Dorsey is a bust, as will be this year's first-rounder, Jackson. Late signee Amani Toomer was a nice find on a team that will desperately need him.
Denver Broncos—(6-10) Personally, I think Josh McDaniels ain't nothing but a Belichick-Wannabe who's in way over his head. Losing Cutler will be a crushing blow as Orton will manage the game and put fans to sleep. Sure, all he does is win, but will it matter when you can't move the chains? Last year's D sucked, so they bring in the only good thing UT had in Robert Ayers?
Oakland Raiders—(5-11) In Raiderland, five wins may seem like a playoff spot in itself. They are moving up. They have a brighter future than has-been Denver, who gets the nod by default because they still have more talent. The Raiders just need one more year of experience out of Russell and McFadden together. Next year will bring a real WR in the draft. They'll play teams tough, and Jonnie Lee Higgins will be fun to watch. They'll get nothing out of bust-in-waiting Darius Heyward Bey, who was drafted way too high. He was the Troy Williamson of this year's draft.
Minnesota Vikings—(12-4) Favre to the Vikings puts them over the top. They've already got Adrian Peterson and the great "D" and don't forget about 1st rd. pick Harvin who I saw as Randy Moss 1998 all over again, with or without Favre based on team need and fit. Now the question is, wil Marvin Harrison follow as once rumored?
Green Bay Packers—(9-7) Their defense will be improved with Raji and Matthews. Last year, I think, was a bit of a misnomer. They are better than their 6-10 record.
Chicago Bears—(8-8) Cutler fills a huge void, but they are still 1-2 WR short. Though, they are closer than they've been in a long time. If the "D" can carry them to 1-2 wins who knows. But for now, they are short on "O," as always. But they'll be fun to watch with the usual grit, and you can't take them lightly.
Detroit Lions—(3-13) I could see them getting an early win over some sorry team that catches them off guard or takes them lightly. ESPN will have breaking news etc. QB Stafford will get his yards like Kitna did, but it won't do any good. Some teams are just plain losers, and this is exhibit A. I don't think they can be helped.
Carolina Panthers—(11-5) If Julius Peppers doesn't rip them apart at the seams, it should be a fun season all the way to the second round exit.
Atlanta Falcons—(10-6) Like the Dolphins, they too will back step a little, but they are still more talented than most in their conference. They'll be fine by default. However, they are a likely first round exit.
New Orleans Saints—(7-9) They are a perpetually disappointing team, and why would this year be any different? Bush will get hurt. Does Shockey still play here? You wouldn't know it. The "D" is pathetic and full of holes, like usual. Next.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers—(4-12) It saddens me to place them here, but the loss of Brooks will kill their once infamous "D." I love the Ward RB addition to the offense, but it's not enough with the headless QB situation. Terrell Owens: Analyzing The Most Likely Destination and Who Could Use Him">Ward could be the 2009 version of Michael "the burner" Turner (i.e Free agent pick up of the off-season).
New York Giants—(11-5) WR Hakim Nicks will help ease the loss of Plaxico Burress in the lineup. They have deep depth at WR and RB, in addition to better-than-expected "D". They have a solid team (and I'm not even a Giants fan).
Philadelphia Eagles—(10-6) Just when I was ready to write them off after the jettison of stalwart safety Brian Dawkins and the loss of Correll Buckhalter (both to the Broncos), they solidify a perpetual weakness at WR with the addition of burner Jeremy Macklin and finally add RB depth in LeSean McCoy. The LeSean DeShan marketing possibilities are intriguing should they both succeed. Somehow, this team will find a way to make the playoffs and lose in the NFC Championship game as always (the Chargers of the NFC, but worse).
Dallas Cowboys (8-8) The loss of T.O on offense will hurt the Cowboys, as will the release of solid, long-time productive vet Greg Ellis. He quietly (so quietly I just found out via Google) signed with Oakland, which makes the Derrick Burgess trade to New England last week make more sense.
Washington Redskins—(6-10) Each year, they spend mega bucks, and each year it never works out. Why would this year be any different? Noticing a theme? Congratulations go out to the Dumbest Contract of the Offseason in Albert Haynesworth(less), who will live up to his name. Will they ever learn?
Arizona Cardinals—(9-7) They re-signed Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson and Kurt Warner, while managing to keep LB Karlos Dansby and Anquan Boldin so far. Thi weak division should give them 4-6 wins alone, meaning they only have to split their other eight games. They are just good enough to repeat.
Seattle Seahawks—(8-8) Matt Hasselback will make a world of difference for this team, whose 4-12 record isn't nearly an indicator of their talent. Still, first-round pick Aaron Curry will have to do a lot to match the production of former Pro Bowler Julian Peterson. Houshmanzedeh will be a huge help, but he and WR Deion Branch basically do the same thing as glorified No.2s.
San Francisco 49ers—(6-10) I just don't see this team doing that well, despite having Frank Gore and DeShaun Foster. They have no QB, as Aaron "small hands" Smith and Shaun Hill can't carry the team. Once again, it will be up to the defense, who will probably take a few steps back. Even if Crabtree works out, he still needs a complement, or he'll just get double-covered. I sense Chad Ochocinco-like drama here.
St. Louis Rams—(3-13) "If you can't say anything nice...."
They have no legit WRs, a horrible sieve defense that can't stop anyone, and lame special teams. Will they be back in L.A. in two years with shaky ownership? I hope so.
Playoffs: AFC (1) New England (2) Pittsburgh Steelers
(3) Indianapolis vs. (6) Baltimore
(4) San Diego vs. (5) Tenneessee
(1) New England vs. (4) San Diego
(2) Pittsburgh vs. (3) Indianapolis
(1) New England vs. (2) Pittsburgh
NFC (1) Minnesota Vikings (2) New York Giants
(3) Carolina Panthers vs (6) Atlanta Falcons
(4) Arizona Cardinals vs (5) Philadelphia Eagles
(1) Minnesota Vikings vs. (4) Arizona Cardinals
(2) New York Giants vs (3) Carolina Panthers
(1) Minnesota Vikings vs (1) New York Giants
Super Bowl (1) New England vs (1) Minnesota Vikings
Winner: Ole' Hoodie and the Pats
Awards: Offensive ROY: Knowshon Moreno, Broncos (1600 yards behind the always solid O-line), runner up: Harvin, Vikings
Defensive ROY: Rey Maualuga, Bengals (wherever he went, I had him a ROY), runner up: Clay Matthews, Packers
MVP: Brady, Patriots (39 TDs)
Rushing yards for Adrian Peterson-1,808, 15 TDs,
kickoff returns for TD by Devin Hester-3
Coach of the Year: Jon Fox, Panthers (I really don't see any surprise teams this year, as you can tell by my picks).
Coaches to get fired: Lewis of the Bengals, Cable of the Raiders, Jauron of the Bills (how did he last this long), McDumbass of the Broncos, Zorn will be on the bubble, and Reid will resign in the postseason.
Draft busts-Heyward Bey (already mentioned), Tyson Jackson, Aaron Maybin, Josh Freeman (too early to tell, but he'll struggle).