The 2010 NFL Season and How it Plays Out

Blake Bollinger@rolltideblakeContributor IIAugust 13, 2010

The 2010 NFL Season and How it Plays Out

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    Will the Drew Brees and the Saints hoist the Lombardi trophy again, or will it be another team's turn this year?

    With preseason games starting to get into full swing football is officially back! With that brings all kind of excitement, even though we're only getting to watch our favorite players for a quarter or so its still great just to see them back out there.

    This year with only 6 playoff spots in each conference there are going to be some great teams sitting at home come January. There are so many great storylines going into the season like will Darrelle Revis suit up for the Jets, will Tim Tebow get a shot at playing time, will Brett Favre play, and so many more.

    With the regular season only weeks away excitement is starting to hit its prime. So here is how 2010 NFL season will turn out, let me know what you think!

NFC East

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    Plenty of big moves in the NFC East most notably being long time Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb being traded to division rival Washington.

    Another big off season question is can the Dallas Cowboys be the first team to ever defend their home turf during a Super Bowl, many believe that they have the team to do it.

    With the Giants opening a new stadium, and the maturation of young receivers, expectations are high as always in New York.

    In Philadelphia as mentioned before long time quarterback Donovan McNabb leaves so its time for Kevin Kolb to step up to the plate and get the job done.

    In Washington long time Broncos coach Mike Shannahan is the new guy in town, with one of the big questions here being can they get the $100 million dollar man Albert Haynesworth to play to the level of his contract?

    How the East Plays Out: Washington will again finish 4th, but with major improvements along each side of the ball. The New York Giants come in at 3rd, just not quite having the talent to close the gap to 2nd place. The Philadelphia Eagles come in at second behind a impressive campaign from first year starter Kevin Kolb.The Dallas Cowboys will complete phase one of their journey to win the Super Bowl in JerryWorld by winning the NFC East.

NFC North

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    The big question coming into the season in the NFC North is of course will #4 lace em up one more time for the Minnesota Vikings?

    The Chicago Bears look to improve on their 7-9 record from last year and have brought in offensive coordinator Mike Martz to help Jay Cutler finally learn the ways of an NFL quarterback.

    In Detroit, they are still trying to recover from the first 0-16 record in NFL history that they posted 2 years ago. They hope that with the first round picks of Ndamukong Suh and Jahvid Best, that they can again return to a repectable football team.

    Green Bay is no longer concerned that Brett Favre is no longer under center, they've found themselves a new gunslinger in Aaron Rodgers. Question is, can he get this team over the hump that is the Minnesota Vikings?

    In Minnesota they're starting to get upset with the Brett Favre saga, begging him to just give them an answer. Having a year under his belt to learn from one of the best regardless of Favre's decision the Vikings should be alright with Tavaris Jackson.

    How the North plays out: Once again coming in last are the Detroit Lions, however they make some strides in trying to once again become a winning franchise. The Chicago Bears will again finish third, however look for vast improvements from Jay Cutler under Martz.Coming in a close second will be the Minnesota Vikings, regardless of who is under center even if Favre comes back theres no way he plays at the level he did last year. The Green Bay Packers will return to the top spot in the NFC North behind an MVP type season from Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

NFC South

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    The NFC South is where you'll find the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. Big question out of the Big Easy is simple, can they do it again? With almost all the same tools from last year it seems possible, but there will be a much bigger target on the backs of the Saints.

    In Atlanta, people are confident and getting ready to see Matt Ryan break out as a top 5 NFL Quarterback. With a running game featuring Michael Turner and another year of experience under the belts of the young Falcons receivers, look for there to be an explosive offense in the ATL.

    In Carolina it gets dicey when looking at the current quarterback situation. Long time leader Jake Delhomme was let go and now plays for the Browns. Matt Moore got the start last night over rookie Jimmy Clausen, question is will that stay the same on opening day?

    Tampa Bay is coming off a mighty disappointing 3-13 season, but all was not terrible as rookie quarterback Josh Freemen started to show signs of improvement late in the year last year, but can he carry that over to this year?

    How the South Plays Out: The Bucs will again finish last as they really didn't do much to improve this team in the off-season. Coming in at third will be the Carolina Panthers, the running game will impress again, but that might be it. The Atlanta Falcons will have another winning season making it 3 in a row for the first time ever, however it still won't be enough to win the South. The Super Bowl Champions will repeat... as the champions of the NFC South.

NFC West

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    The big departures in the NFC West both come out of Arizona with the retirement of Kurt Warner and the trade of Anquan Boldin to the Ravens. Can the Cardinals repeat as the West champs behind the arm of Matt Lienart?

    In San Fransisco, expectations for the 49ers are high. Alex Smith finally started to show improvement under Mike Singletary, and any defense with Patrick Willis one it is sure to be a good one. Questions is can the Niners live up to the expectations?

    In Seattle its the dawning of a new era, the Pete Carroll era. Carroll the long time USC head coach left town just in the nick of time with the Trojans now falling under NCAA probabtion. Can Carroll carry over his success to the NFL?

    In St. Louis its time to see what the number 1 overall pick Sam Bradford can do. Can he live up to his record rookie contract? Outside of Bradford there's not really much to look forward to and could be another long season in St. Louis.

    How the West plays out: The Rams will once again finish last, not seeing much improvement from last years squad. Finishing in third will be the Seattle Seahawks, Carroll may resurrect this team but it wont be this year. Finishing in second will be the Arizona Cardinals, the loss of Q and Kurt will be too much to make up for in 1 season. San Fransisco will return to the top of the NFC West, behind an impressive season from Alex Smith and monstrous numbers from Frank Gore.

NFC Wildcard

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    The NFC Wildcard will come down to the final weekend, and should be a very exciting race.

    The teams that will be in contention for the 2 NFC Wildcard spots will be: The Atlanta Falcons, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Arizona Cardinals, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Washington Redskins.

    In the end, I think that the 2 wild card spots in the NFC will go to the Atlanta Falcons behind the arm of Matt Ryan, and the Minnesota Vikings led by their shutdown defense.

    The NFC Conclusion: If this all plays out, the playoff teams from the NFC will be the Dallas Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers, the New Orleans Saints, the San Fransisco 49ers, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Minnesota Vikings.

AFC East

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    Hard Knocks or not, everyone knows the New York Jets are a good football team. Question is will they have star corner back Darrelle Revis? With or without Revis this is still a great football team with off-season additions of LT, Jason Taylor, Cromartie, and Holmes.

    The Buffalo Bills picked up Clemson speedster C.J. Spiller, but outside of that didn't do much to help their team. Look for the Bills to slide again in 2010.

    The Miami Dolphins are banking on a healthy Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams to again deliver in the wild-cat offense. With new wide-out Brandon Marshall and young QB Chad Henne, look for the Dolphins to air the ball out a lot more this year too.

    In New England all talks are centering around Tom Brady, and him being in the last year of his deal. Whether or not the Pats are able to extend his contract or not, with a healthy Wes Welker intact the Patriots should once again be a good football team.

    How the AFC East Plays Out: Buffalo will again be the cellar dwellers of this division, with change not in the foreseeable future. The Miami Dolphins will finish in third in what may be the closest divisional race in football. Runner-up in the East will be the Pats, but barely. Winning the AL East, Darrelle Revis or not, will be the New York J-E-T-S.

AFC North

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    The North will again boast some of the NFL's best defenses. And a dynamic duo in Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens. The big question in Cincinnati is can the 2 co-exist? Only time will tell. 

    In Baltimore expectations are soaring, and they should be. With another year under quarterback Joe Flacco's belt and a new weapon in Anquan Boldin, this should be a high flying offense. Also, never sleep on this defense I don't care how old they are.

    In Pittsburgh the big storyline has been party bot Ben Rothelisberger, and his suspension due to an incident at a Georgia club. How this team copes with Big Ben's absence the first 4-6 games will determine how the Steelers finish the season.

    The Browns get an upgrade in the front office in the likes of Mike Holmgren. Can the Browns step it up any under Eric Mangini and Jake Delhomme? After the departure of LeBron James the Cleveland fans sure hope so.

    How the North Plays Out: Even with a slight improvement the Browns will still finish last in the North. In third will be the Steelers for the 2nd year in a row, the absence of Big Ben will just be too much. In second will be the Bengals and their high scoring passing attack. Coming in first with an MVP type season out of Ray Rice will be the Baltimore Ravens.

AFC South

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    The South is home to the Super Bowl runners up, and MVP Peyton Manning. The Colts have reloaded like they always do and look to make another run deep into the post-season.

    In Nashville, expectations are soaring for the home town Titans. Behind only the 6th ever 2000 yard season by Chris Johnson, this running game looks to be dynamite again. With a little more seasoning under his belt Vince Young could be great for the Titans.

    The Houston Texans enter the 2010 season riding the arm of NFL passing leader Matt Schaub. Look for Schaub and Johnson to make another huge impact on the record books. Also, behind Mario Williams this defense could be great.

    In Jacksonville, the expectations for Maurice Jones-Drew are super high for the little guy. David Garrard looks to improve as this Jaguars team looks to improve over their 7-9 record from a year ago.

    How the South Plays Out: The Jaguars will finish in last, as they simply didn't do enough to make this team competitive in the AFC South. The Houston Texans will finish third however winning some impressive games along the way. The Tennessee Titans will finish a close second behind another phenomenal season from Chris Johnson. Again winning the AFC South will be the Indianapolis Colts behind another fantastic season by Peyton Manning.

AFC West

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    In the AFC West, the Chargers finally got stud linebacker Shawne Merriman back today, as he signed his tender. The other big question is Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson, will he or will he not play? Phillip Rivers looks to continue to grow this year and the Chargers look to replace the franchise's most decorated player in LT with first round draft pick Ryan Matthews. 

    The Denver Broncos made a splash by drafting quarterback Tim Tebow in the first round of this years draft. They also made a splash by trading away arguably their best player for the second straight year. Everyone is wanting to know can this team still compete on defense despite the loss of Elvis Dumervil? 

    In Kansas City, despite the addition of first round pick Eric Berry, not much was done to improve the team. Second year coach Todd Haley has a lot to prove in KC, but does he have the talent to do it?

    In Oakland things are finally starting to look up. They finally cut ties with former number 1 overall pick Jamarcus Russell and picked up Jason Campbell along the way. First round pick Rolando McClain should make a huge impact on a much better defense. 

    How the West Plays Out: Coming in last will be the Kansas City Chiefs, Matt Cassell will play better but it still won't be enough. The Denver Broncos finish 3rd, too many injuries and just overall lack of talent. The Oakland Raiders will finish second behind Jason Campbell and an breakout year from Darren McFadden and be one of football's most improved. The San Diego Chargers will once again sit atop of the AFC West, just too much talent at every position to be booted from the top. 

AFC Wildcard

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    The AFC Wildcard will have a slew of great teams, with some of those teams only being able to watch the playoffs. 

    The teams in contention for the 2 Wildcard spots will be: The New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Tennessee Titans, the Houston Texans, and the Oakland Raiders. 

    In the end the 2 non division winners that will emerge are the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tennessee Titans. 

    The AFC Conclusion: The playoff teams in the AFC will be the New York Jets, the Baltimore Ravens, the Indianapolis Colts, the San Diego Chargers, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Tennessee Titans. That means that teams like the Pats, Steelers, and Texans will be left to watch the playoffs from their couches at home. 

    Check back in a few days for playoff predictions!