The time is nearly upon us as the NFL season is right around the corner.
Teams are just entering the preseason and trying to fill their rosters with the best players they can.
After a seemingly dull off season thanks to an uncapped year, fans are ready for what is turning out to be a very important season. After all, if a new collective bargaining agreement is not reached, what will we do September through early February 2011?
I've gone through every team's schedule and hand picked every game of the season. If you want to know who I think your favorite teams will beat or lose to, let me know!
Will the Saints succumb to a Super Bowl hangover? Can the Cowboys actually play in their own stadium for a Super Bowl? Will the Jets prove to the nation they deserved a playoff spot?
Without further ado, here are your 2010 predictions.
1.) Cincinnati Bengals (11-5)
2.) Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
3.) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
4.) Cleveland Browns (5-11)
The Bengals have the best cornerback duo in the game, and have the luxury of having one of the best receiving corps, too. They also get back Antwan Odom who racked up eight sacks in just six games last season.
The Ravens are Super Bowl favorites, but I'm not sold on their secondary yet. They did acquire Anquan Boldin, but I'm not sure he'll be enough to bring this offense over the top.
The Steelers are without Big Ben for the first four games. Believe me, there's no way he sits all six. When he gets back though, he'll have a tough test with Cleveland, Miami, New Orleans, Cincinnati, and New England in the next five games.
The Browns have a lot of holes, and I'm not sure they can fill all of them properly before the regular season. While cornerback is probably their strongest position, they still lack a good quarterback, receivers, rushing linebackers, and safeties.
1.) Indianapolis Colts (12-4)
2.) Houston Texans (11-5)
3.) Tennessee Titans (7-9)
4.) Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)
As long as Peyton Manning is a Colt, they are the best team in this division. I'm not a huge fan of the way their offseason went. They could have drafted MUCH better, but who am I to question the Colts? Their pass rush is excellent and oh yeah, they have Manning.
The Texans may finally make the postseason! Quarterback Matt Schaub has finally proven to be among the league's best. He gets the luxury of throwing to one of the best receivers in the league, Andre Johnson, and a stud tight end in Owen Daniels.
The Titans had a great run at the end of last season, but losing the anchor to their offensive line, Kevin Mawae, and a defensive leader, Keith Bulluck, will hurt this team big time.
The Jaguars didn't do any favors this offseason. They reached in the draft and lost stud run stopper John Henderson. Jones-Drew can't do it all himself. This season could be the end of Jacksonville football franchise as we know it.
1.) New England Patriots(10-6)
2.) Miami Dolphins (7-9)
3.) New York Jets (6-10)
4.) Buffalo Bills (4-12)
Tom Brady is still too good to simply de-thrown the Patriots just yet. The downfall of this team is going to be defense. It's quite mediocre, and crumbled in the playoffs along with a nervous Tom Brady.
While Miami made good strides getting Brandon Marshall, their off season issues may be too much to overcome. The defense was terrible against the pass last season. They will need Chad Henne to have an unbelievable year to do anything.
Here's where things get interesting. The Jets are Super Bowl favorites and are the toast of the New York media. Does anybody remember that Mark Sanchez had a terrible season? Sorry, looking at their schedule, the Jets are in for a long and disappointing season.
Let me get this out of the way; the Bills are just awful. They don't have a quarterback, their offensive line is shaky, and they picked the worst possible option for the head coaching position. They still manage a few wins thanks to the Steelers, Jaguars, Dolphins, and Jets.
1.) San Diego Chargers (11-5)
2.) Oakland Raiders (8-8)
3.) Kansas City Chiefs (6-10)
4.) Denver Broncos (5-11)
Every season, the Chargers are the favorite to win this division, and go deep into the playoffs, only to choke in the playoffs. They have an elite quarterback and solid linebackers. Other than that, this team seems weak, especially on the defensive line after Jamal Williams walked out of town.
The Raiders had a great off season where they picked up John Henderson in free agency, Rolando McClain in the draft, and traded for what could turn out to be the biggest move of the off season, Jason Campbell. Is this team finally ready? Get rid of Al Davis and this team is golden.
For the Chiefs, the main guy isn't Matt Cassel anymore. The new sheriff in town is Jamaal Charles, and his amazing gift of making defenders miss and leaving them in the dirt. Add in the most underrated cornerback in the game in Brandon Flowers, and rookie Eric Berry and this secondary gets a whole lot scarier.
The Broncos lost Elvis Dumervile, their only real pass rushing threat which is going to kill this pass defense. While I like Kyle Orton and believe he's a little underrated, he takes a hit due to the loss of Brandon Marshall. When you lose your best defensive player and your biggest weapon on offense, your season goes south real fast.
1.) Minnesota Vikings (14-2)
2.) Green Bay Packers(11-5)
3.) Chicago Bears (9-7)
4.) Detroit Lions (5-11)
The Vikings have the most talent of any team in the NFL and it shows in 2010. With Adrian Peterson regaining his stride and a healthy E.J. Henderson, this team is going to be scarier than ever. Their only road block belongs to the guys right across the river...
Aaron Rodgers is a stud and has a great shot of being the 2010 NFL MVP. However, the secondary is a little scary aside from Charles Woodson. They were beat down at the end of last season, but the offense is what is going to carry this team deep into the playoffs.
The Bears acquired the most highly sought after free agent on the market in 2010, Julius Peppers. However, with a pass happy offensive coordinator and an interception happy quarterback, the Bears could be writing a script for disaster.
I have a massive man-crush on Martin Mayhew for what he's done the last two offseasons for the Lions. The defense has received a massive overhaul and they've added Jahvid Best, Nate Burleson, Tony Scheffler, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Corey Williams, Chris Houston, Rob Sims, and most importantly, Ndamukong Suh. The list is amazing and the Lions will be contenders in a few short seasons.
1.) New Orleans Saints (11-5)
2.) Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
3.) Carolina Panthers (7-9)
4.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13)
The Super Bowl hangover hits New Orleans in a bad way as they start the season with three straight losses. With Drew Brees still leading the offense, there are still too many weapons. Their overrated defense will show themselves in 2010 though.
The Falcons were supposed to break out in 2009 with sophomore Matt Ryan leading the offense and Michael Turner backing him up. Well, Turner went down and Ryan struggled. The defense was terrible at times and will need to show up in 2010 for the Falcons to even sniff the playoffs.
Julius Peppers is gone and so is the Carolina pass rush. The Panthers still have Jon "The Beast" Beason anchoring the vastly underrated defense. Matt Moore is the key to the season. Will he play like he did at the end of 2010? If he does, then this Carolina team will be scary, but I'm not sold yet.
The Bucs finish the 2010 with the worst record in the NFL thanks to no receivers, running backs, or a mentionable defense. While I believe Josh Freeman can develop into an OK quarterback in the league, I can't see him living up to his first round status until the Bucs start putting proven talent around him.
1.) Dallas Cowboys (10-6)
2.) Washington Redskins (10-6)
3.) New York Giants (8-8)
4.) Philadelphia Eagles (4-12)
Sorry Dallas, but your first nine weeks of the season are going to be rough. With a secondary that was exposed in the playoffs and a terrible offensive line, this team is bound for a disappointing season. While Romo is a great quarterback, he has proven to fail in critical situations. They'll need a new coach before I give them 11 or more wins.
The Redskins pickup up a future Hall of Fame quarterback and shored up a weak offensive line. Both sides of the ball look great, but like the rest of the NFC East, their schedule is tough. Ten wins may be a little high for this team but, with a new coach things are going in the right direction.
The Giants had a terrible 2009 and didn't add much in the offseason. Eli Manning had his best statistical season, but the defense gave up on him last season. Again, the schedule is brutal and I can't see better than eight wins coming from the Meadowlands.
Losing McNabb and Westbrook is going to hurt this team more than any Eagle fan wants to admit. DeSean Jackson is a great receiver, but I can't see him duplicating his record breaking season. He didn't have the receptions a number one receiver should have. What makes fans think he's going to do better with Kolb under center?
1.) San Francisco 49ers (12-4)
2.) Seattle Seahawks (7-9)
3.) Arizona Cardinals (5-11)
4.) St. Louis Rams (4-12)
The 49ers picked up two huge offensive lineman and turned what was their biggest weakness into their biggest strength. I think they needed to add a proven veteran receiver, but this team is built like a brick— thanks to Patrick Willis and the defense. The 49ers are a hard hitting team that will punch a lot of teams in the mouth.
Seattle franchises have really gone downhill in the last few years, haven't they? Matt Hasselbeck isn't the quarterback he once was and the offensive line still has holes in it that won't be repaired by a single rookie. The receiver corps took a blow when Burleson left and the defense is always injured. Until they can stay healthy, no .500 season in Seattle.
The Cards had the worst off season of any team in the NFL. They lost a Hall of Fame quarterback to retirement, a solid safety, and their best linebacker. Coupled with an improving division and things get a lot tougher in Arizona. Is Leinhart ready to take hold of the offense? I don't think so.
What can we say about the Rams other than they've been the laughing stock of the league the last few seasons? Their entire offense revolves around a stud running back, but they have no defense at all. Drafting Sam Bradford will help the quarterback situation however, he has no one to throw to and no dependable defense.
NFC Teams (seed):
(1) Minnesota Vikings
(2) San Francisco 49ers
(3) New Orleans Saints
(4) Dallas Cowboys
(5) Green Bay Packers
(6) Washington Redskins
AFC Teams (seed):
(1) Indianapolis Colts
(2) San Diego Chargers
(3) Cincinnatti Bengals
(4) New England Patriots
(5) Houston Texans
(6) Baltimore Ravens
Sorry, but no playoff predictions. That's for another article. In the meantime, go ahead and tell me where I went wrong.