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Everyone Does It, Now So Am I: MY 2009 NFL Predictions

ATLANTA - AUGUST 29:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers drops back to pass during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on August 29, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Falcons beat the Chargers 27-24.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Steven LernerContributor ISeptember 8, 2009

Every season NFL experts and novices alike declare their predictions for the upcoming year. And almost every one of these predictions are completely wrong. Some things to consider:

First, every season there are teams that go from being one of the worst franchises in the league to transforming as one of the elite teams. In 2005, the Saints and the Jets were two of the worst teams in the NFL. The following season, both teams made the playoffs; the Jets as a wild card team and the Saints to the NFC Championship game.

In 2006, the Buccaneers and Redskins were in the basement of the league, only to find themselves competitive and playoff-bound the following season. And in the 2007, the Dolphins, Falcons and Ravens were among the worst ten teams in the league.

All three teams clinched playoff berths in 2008. The point is that every season, there are teams that make the same climb to the top, and the same goes in 2009. In other words, expect either the Lions, Chiefs, Rams, Seahawks, Bengals, Browns, Jaguars, Raiders or Bills to make the playoffs. In fact, expect at least two.

Second, in addition to teams improving each season, there are certain franchises that go from Super Bowl contenders to first-pick-in-the-draft contenders in a heartbeat. Why? Injuries. They happen every season. For example, imagine if Adrian Peterson received a season-ending injury. What about Ray Lewis? Or Matt Ryan? Or Peyton Manning?

Most people didn't expect Tom Brady to get injured in 2008, but it happened. Because of it, the Patriots went from Super Bowl contenders to just missing the playoffs. And that was a good slip. Last year, injuries crushed the Bengals and Seahawks' playoff chances . In other words, expect at least two division winners from last season like the Dolphins, Steelers, Titans, Chargers, Cardinals, Giants, Vikings or Panthers to not only miss the playoffs, but to fall to the basement of the NFL. Expect at least one major injury to occur in week 1.

And finally, football is just too plain unpredictable. Every week there are upsets. Why? Because experts don't know what they're talking about. Most of the time, they just go with the proven "safe" pick before properly evaluating the situation and giving a bold estimation. As my fantasy football friends will tell you, there are sleepers each season and there are busts. There is no formula in predicting who would win the Super Bowl. In many ways, predicting a winner of any game in the National Football League is almost like predicting which way the coin toss will go- it could go either way. That's why predicting is just so frickin' unpredictable.

For these reasons, I have decided to announce my own predictions for the upcoming 2009 NFL Season—everything from standings, to the playoffs, to even the awards. I expect many people to criticize my predictions, before and after the season (and you're all more than welcome to), but I just want to see how accurate I could be with my predictions. Once again, I'll probably be dead wrong with most of my guesses (that's what there are) but I hope that my predictions are somewhat enjoyable. Without anymore delay, here are my predictions for the 2009 NFL Season:

 

STANDINGS

AFC EAST

  • NE 14-2
  • MIA 8-8
  • NYJ 6-10
  • BUF 4-12
AFC NORTH
  • PIT 12-4
  • CIN 10-6
  • BAL 7-9
  • CLE 3-13
AFC SOUTH
  • IND 10-6
  • HOU 9-7
  • JAC 7-9
  • TEN 4-12
AFC WEST
  • SD 11-5
  • OAK 8-8
  • DEN 5-11
  • KC 5-11
NFC EAST
  • PHI 11-5
  • NYG 10-6
  • WAS 7-9
  • DAL 5-11
NFC NORTH
  • GB 13-3
  • CHI 10-6
  • MIN 8-8
  • DET 2-14
NFC SOUTH
  • ATL 12-4
  • NO 8-8
  • TB 4-12
  • CAR 2-14
NFC WEST
  • SEA 9-7
  • ARI 7-9
  • STL 5-11
  • SF 1-15
PLAYOFFS
WILD CARD ROUND
  • (5) CIN d.  (4) IND
  • (3) SD d.  (6) HOU
  • (4) SEA d. (5)CHI
  • (6) NYG d. (3) PHI
DIVISION ROUND
  • (1) NE d. (5) CIN
  • (2) PIT d. (3) SD
  • (1) GB d. (6) NYG
  • (4) SEA d. (2) ATL
CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
  • (2) PIT d. (1) NE
  • (1) GB d. (4) SEA
SUPER BOWL XLIV
  • GB d. PIT
AWARDS
  • MVP: Philip Rivers
  • Coach: Bill Belichick
  • Offensive Player of the Year:  Adrian Peterson
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Adewale Ogunleye
  • Offensive Rookie of the Year: Mark Sanchez
  • Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aaron Curry
  • NFL Comeback Player of the Year: Carson Palmer
  • Super Bowl MVP: Aaron Rodgers
That wraps up my predictions for this season. I don't expect many of these guesses to be accurate, but some might be. I didn't leave any explanation or reasoning behind each prediction, I want you to figure out why I made these estimations. The point is that no matter what you expect for the 2009 NFL Season, expect the unexpected.

 

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