Though it's always fun, it's a little presumptuous to begin making postseason projections before the NFL season begins. However, for this 2010 season, for five of the 32 teams, it may as well be January. Here are five teams that are dead locks to win their divisions this season.
The Chargers kick off our list not so much because of the strength of their team, but because of the weak AFC West. The Broncos and Chiefs look to be abysmal, the Raiders are on the upswing but not there yet. That leaves Phillip Rivers and the Chargers. Even with the departures of veteran pro bowlers LaDanian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie, the Chargers look to have the weapons to coast through the division and find themselves with at least a four-seed come January.
The San Francisco 49ers will find themselves playing in January for one reason - head coach, Mike Singletary. But a postseason birth is just the beginning for this once-dominant franchise who seems to be on the rise. If they are able to solidify the quarterback position with former first-round pick, Alex Smith, they may just have the weapons and the favorable division schedule to win the West and secure an NFC playoff spot.
Expectations are through the roof for this storied franchise. The Cowboys, under head coach Wade Phillips, have won the always tough NFC East two of the past three seasons. Don't look for that to change this year. Look for Romo and the 'Boys to get out of their own way. This team is loaded with talent and seems poised to handle a very tough schedule well enough to find them finishing with a one or two seed in the NFC.
The Super Bowl Champions will be riding high into the 2010 season. With a slew of weapons and arguably the best quarterback in the NFC by the numbers, the Saints look to dominate the sluggish NFC South. Only the Falcons stand a chance of getting in the way. Don't expect it. The Saints will coast to a division win and a first-round bye.
Why should 2010 be any different? Barring an injury of signal-caller Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts should continue their streak of winning seasons and playoff appearances in route to securing a division title in what looks to be a tough AFC South. Many predictions have the Super Bowl runner up Colts returning to the big game in Dallas to represent the AFC.