The Official 2010 Division-by-Division Picks for This NFL Season

Tom DavisCorrespondent INovember 16, 2016

The Official 2010 Division-by-Division Picks for This NFL Season

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    Well, the last week of the preseason wrapped up on Thursday, and that means that it's time for me to make a fool of myself in my Official NFL Predictions for the 2010 season.

    Now, these predictions are based on nothing more than my understanding of the teams based on a moderate amount statistical research and a general feel for how I think each team's season will go. I have no insider knowledge (not that having any ensures correctness; look at Peter King's picks last year), and so I trust that by Week 6, my Super Bowl pick will be 1-5, and that some team that I have at 6-10 will make their conference championship game.

    It's all a guess in the end, but I figure I might as well put my thoughts out there and get on the record, in the off chance that I'm right and someone wants to offer me a job as a sports prognosticator. I mean, if an octopus can do it, I've got to have a chance, right?

    So, without further ado, here are my predictions for the season. We'll start in the AFC East.

1. New York Jets: Projected Record 11-5

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    1. New York Jets: Projected Record 11-5

    Is this team the most overrated squad we've had in quite some time (not including the Cowboys, who are overrated every year)? The answer is an emphatic yes.

    Maybe it's being on "Hard Knocks," maybe it's traditional New York egoism, maybe it's the team's mouthiness from head coach Rex Ryan on down, but this team is expected to go places this year.

    While I don't believe in the Jets as a Super Bowl team, I can't help but see them topping their division, even with sophomore (as in "Sophomore Slump") quarterback Mark Sanchez at the helm and their workhorse from last year backing up Jamaal Charles in Kansas City.

2. Miami Dolphins, Projected Record 9-7

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    2. Miami Dolphins, Projected Record 9-7

    A bit of a surprise here, to be sure (though not nearly as big as another I have in store: stay tuned), but I think that the addition of Brandon Marshall Makes all the difference to this team. He provides a threat on the wing to a team that already has a two headed monster in Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, a tight end that is a red zone threat in Anthony Fasano, a solid young quarterback in Chad Henne, and a decent defense.

    I expect this team to be a serious contender in a few years; for now, I'm sure they'll be happy with the above .500 season.

3. New England Patriots, Projected Record 8-8

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    3. New England Patriots, Projected Record 8-8

    It's been a while since somebody's dared to talk about the New England Patriots as a mediocre team, and with good reason: they haven't had a non-winning record since the year 2000. To put that in perspective, the NFL was cut up into six divisions instead of eight the last time that New England had a record worse than 9-7.

    Problem for the Pats is, offensive starters like Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Fred Taylor were playing in the league when that happened. Add that Wes Welker still isn't back to full strength, and that the defense apart from Vince Wilfork and a few others is still very young, and I expect this team to hover around .500.

4. Buffalo Bills, Projected Record 4-12

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    4. Buffalo Bills, Projected Record 4-12

    Poor Lee Evans. On a team with any hope of success this season, he might be talked about as the great receiver he's becoming. Instead, he's got another year ahead of passes from lower echelon quarterbacks being protected by a lower echelon offensive line, while a lower echelon defense waits on the sideline for the inevitable punt.

    The addition of C.J. Spiller brings some hope for, if not victory, at least a little excitement this season. Other than that, there's not much to look forward to in Buffalo this fall, at least until the Sabres get underway again.

    In any event, up next is the NFC East.

1. Dallas Cowboys, Projected Record 12-4

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    1. Dallas Cowboys, Projected Record 12-4

    Did I say this team was overrated? I meant in the postseason. In the regular season, the Cowboys always seem to rack up the wins before waning in the playoffs. I expect this year to be no different.

    On paper, the Cowboys always look stacked: Tony Romo is a top-10 quarterback, Marion Barber, Tashard Choice, and Felix Jones will do more than enough in the ground game, the defense led by DeMarcus Ware will be good again, and between Roy Williams, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Martellus Bennett, there will be plenty of options in the passing game.

    The question that exists in this season, as it does with every season for Dallas, is whether or not they can translate their undeniable talent into a ring.

2. Washington Redskins, Projected Record 8-8

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    2. Washington Redskins, Projected Record 8-8

    In Shanahan we trust. All I know about Mike Shanahan is that he wins (regular season) games. Ditto for Donovan McNabb. Putting these two together ought to be good for four more wins, even for a dysfunctional franchise like Washington.

    They have a proven coach and a proven quarterback for the first time probably since Gibbs and Theismann. They have talented, if a bit injury-prone, players at wide receiver, halfback, and tight end. And Albert Haynesworth or no Albert Haynesworth, they have a good defense. If you didn't see the name Redskins on the jersey, you'd be crazy to say this team wouldn't be contending for a playoff spot.

3. New York Giants, Projected Record 7-9

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    3. New York Giants, Projected Record 7-9

    Remember when this team won the Super Bowl a few years back? Yeah, me neither. A lot has changed; Plaxico Burress is serving time, Michael Strahan is serving delicious Subway sandwiches and Dr. Pepper, and so now the Giants are serving up mediocrity.

    This team has a few bright spots; they have a couple of rising stars at wide out in "The Other" Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks, and Eli Manning is still in his prime. But the defense that carried this team to the Super Bowl in 2008 is a shadow of its former self, as is their running attack. It's hard (for me, at least), to be optimistic about Big Blue's chances this season.

4. Philadelphia Eagles, Projected Record 6-10

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    4. Philadelphia Eagles, Projected Record 6-10

    I like most of what the Eagles have: a good defense, talented young wide receivers, etc. However, in the past two years, this team has gotten rid of three of its most important team leaders: Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb, and Brian Dawkins.

    Looked at in a certain light, one could say that it would seem that head coach Andy Reid is attempting to hold on to his job by throwing overboard anyone else he can potentially blame their drooping performance on. Insomuch as this is true, it screams of desperation on his part.

    Even were this not the case, I don't expect this team to flourish under first year starter Kevin Kolb. Aaron Rodgers was thrust into a similar situation a few years ago, and only managed a 6-10 record. I am unwilling to predict that Kolb will outdo him.

    Now, let's take a look at the AFC North.

1. Cincinnati Bengals, Projected Record 11-5

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    1. Cincinnati Bengals, Projected Record 11-5

    I seriously hope I'm wrong on this one, because if this team opens 1-4, the implosion that this team is capable of would be unlike anything ever seen in sports.

    However, I just can't help but like this team: good (if aging) stars all over the offense being bolstered by youngsters like tight end Jermaine Gresham, and a young defense that has been improving steadily. Expect Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco, and Terrell Owens to be all-in this season, as they are all nearing the end of their careers and this may be the best chance they'll get to win a Super Bowl.

2. Baltimore Ravens, Projected Record 11-5

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    2. Baltimore Ravens, Projected Record 11-5

    When I look at the Ravens, I see a Bizarro version of the Bengals: a lot of young talent on the offensive side excepting tight end Todd Heap (by which I mean he is not young, not untalented), while defensive stalwarts like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are anchoring the defensive end. So, I thought it fitting that since the two teams seemed to be equally strong (if perfectly inversely experienced), they should have the same record.

    All together, I expect big things from this Ravens team. Joe Flacco should improve with another year of experience, and now has a legitimate threat at wide receiver in Anquan Boldin. Add Ray Rice coming off of a breakout year, and there's no way this team shouldn't contend for a playoff spot.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers, Projected Record 9-7

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    3. Pittsburgh Steelers, Projected Record 9-7

    Can four games without Ben Roethlisberger really hurt the Steelers that much? When you have the Bengals and Ravens to contend with in your division, yes, they can.

    It's not just about losing his presence on the field for those four weeks; he's not allowed to practice with the team during that time. A month off is a long time away from the game, particularly when you have little experience with your receivers outside of Hines Ward.

    Yes, the defense will still be strong, and Mike Wallace is expected to step up and do very well this season in replacing Santonio Holmes. But when you take into account the time it will take Ben Roethlisberger to get up to speed even after coming back, it may be hard for the Steelers to make the playoffs.

4. Cleveland Browns, Projected Record 4-12

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    4. Cleveland Browns, Projected Record 4-12

    Speaking of quarterback situations in flux, it's goodbye Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson, hello Jake Delhomme in Cleveland. Unfortunately, this is at best a lateral move for the Browns, who it seems are still looking for the next Jim Brown and/or Otto Graham.

    In what can only be considered a surprisingly smart move on the Browns part, they have brought in Mike Holmgren to be GM. In what can only be considered a supremely puzzling move on Holmgren's part, he retained Eric Mangini as head coach.

    It seems to be a matter of when, not if, Holmgren will step out of the front office and down onto the sideline. In the meantime, Browns fans will have little to look forward to on the field.

    Next, we look at the NFC North.

1. Green Bay Packers, Projected Record 12-4

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    1. Green Bay Packers, Projected Record 12-4

    Being a Packers fan, I am always very cautious when it comes to evaluating them as a team. However, I can't help but predict the Packers to top their division.

    Bad news first: the secondary, which was the Achilles' heel of this team a year ago, seems to be in relatively the same place. But one can't help but be impressed with the Packers' offensive capabilities, having four quality wide outs from Greg Jennings down to Jordy Nelson, a tight end most people are expecting to be a top-five caliber player in Jermichael Finley, a running back who, while not being flashy, routinely puts up numbers in Ryan Grant, and a quarterback who is getting a great deal of pre-season MVP talk in Aaron Rodgers.

    Admittedly, I may be more willing to believe the hype than most, but I expect this team to go places.

2. Minnesota Vikings, Projected Record 10-6

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    2. Minnesota Vikings, Projected Record 10-6

    A year ago, this team was one game away from the Super Bowl. Now, despite few substantive off-season changes I don't even have them as being atop their own division. What changed?

    The long and short of it is Brett Favre. He's not in it for the same reasons he was last year, and it shows already. No longer are we hearing, "I know I can still play." Instead, the big quote when he came back this year was, "I feel like I owe it to this team." Brett talking about playing football as an obligation is not a good sign.

    Everyone laughed at head coach Brad Childress for picking Favre up at the airport in Minnesota last season. This year, three of his teammates had to fly down to Mississippi, pry him off his tractor, and get him back into camp. Chauffeuring him to the practice facility seems minor in comparison.

    The Vikings are still going to be good; there's no doubt about that. But even if Favre's ankle turns out to be fine, I wouldn't expect the same magic from him this year.

3. Chicago Bears, Projected Record 6-10

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    3. Chicago Bears, Projected Record 6-10

    There are some people out there who are excited at the potential that Mike Martz will make the Bears' offense into The Greatest Show in Soldier Field (sorry, there aren't really any good puns to be made there), which will in turn make the Bears into the playoff contender they were supposed to be last year. Then, those people are reminded that Jay Cutler's number one receiving threat is a punt returner, and they usually snap back into sanity.

    Even if Matt Forte bounces back from a down year as I expect him to, Jay Cutler's too inconsistent, and he doesn't have any great option to throw to. Yes, the defense added Julius Peppers (pictured), but he just adds more age to a group that already has too much of it to begin with. I can't see the Bears ending the year with anything better than a .500 record.

4. Detroit Lions, Projected Record 5-11

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    4. Detroit Lions, Projected Record 5-11

    We all saw Ndamukong Suh try to rip Jake Delhomme's head off of his shoulders in that preseason game. Pretty sweet, wasn't it?

    Unfortunately, that's likely to be one of the major highlights of the Lions' season. It's not that the Lions don't have talent; between a young offense with the likes of Matthew Stafford and Jahvid Best in the backfield and anchored by Calvin Johnson at wide receiver, and a defense that will be looking to improve with the addition of Suh, there's plenty of reason to be very optimistic about the future in Detroit (a phrase that surely must be one of the least used in the English language, whether referencing football or otherwise).

    However, I don't see the Lions putting it all together this year, partly because it's too soon, and partly because they're still the Lions.

    Next, the AFC South.

1. Indianapolis Colts, Projected Record 13-3

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    1. Indianapolis Colts, Projected Record 13-3

    No surprises here; the Colts have been the class of this division pretty much since its inception, and I don't see that changing this year. That Peyton Manning guy is pretty good from what I hear, and his offense is still loaded with talent, from Joseph Addai in the backfield to Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, and Dallas Clark out running routes.

    Add that a defense that has always been serviceable now has back it's leader Bob Sanders, and the Colts look to be the team to beat in the AFC.

2. Houston Texans, Projected Record 9-7

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    2. Houston Texans, Projected Record 9-7

    After struggling to find consistent quarterback play since the inception of the franchise, Matt Schaub has emerged not just as a solid starter, but as the league leader in yardage last season. The Texans are still looking for their first ever playoff berth, and with Schaub and Andre Johnson, they may just get it.

    The main issue for Houston will be the running game. Steve Slaton, who was a surprise star two years ago, has again receded into obscurity due to fumbling issues. Arian Foster will be the Week 1 starter, a fact that cannot inspire much confidence.

    Still, with the league's most potent passing attack and a defense in the top half of the league, Texans fans may finally be rewarded this year.

3. Tennessee Titans, Projected Record 8-8

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    3. Tennessee Titans, Projected Record 8-8

    Fantasy geeks are all amped up about Chris Johnson, and with good reason; he ran for over 2,000 yards last year, and, while he may not reach that plateau again this season, he's going to be the focal point of the Titans' offense again this year.

    However, for that same reason, I can't get behind Tennessee as being more than a team that will hover around .500 this season. They are far too one-dimensional in the wrong direction; as much as I love old-school, smash mouth football, the fact is success in the NFL is far more often determined by the passing game rather than the running game.

    Vince Young is a mediocre quarterback, his receivers won't scare anyone, and the Titans' defense was in the bottom five last year. As great as Chris Johnson is, I don't believe a running back can carry you to the playoffs anymore.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars, Projected Record 4-12

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    4. Jacksonville Jaguars, Projected Record 4-12

    Speaking of fantasy stud running backs, Maurice Jones-Drew will once again spearhead the Jaguars offense this year. Unfortunately, he won't be getting much help: Mike Sims-Walker is the only pass-catching threat worth mentioning for an average quarterback in David Garrard, and despite investing several high draft picks in defensive lineman over the past few years, the Jags' D was in the bottom ten last year.

    So it looks like Jacksonville will only go as far as MJD will carry them. And while Jones-Drew is an elite HB, teams that rely heavily on running attacks generally aren't successful.

    Now, we take a look at the NFC South.

1. New Orleans Saints, Projected Record 12-4

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    1. New Orleans Saints, Projected Record 12-4

    I originally had the Falcons winning this division. Then I thought to myself, "Why?" Other than, "Super Bowl victory hangover will affect New Orleans," I didn't have an answer. That wasn't a good enough reason for me, so I put the Saints back on top.

    I guess the other reason (other than a lack of a reason to pick the Falcons, that is) that I picked the Saints is that they're still loaded, and still unpredictable. Because they have a lot of offensive weapons who all command about the same amount of respect, you can't zero in on one guy and force ancillary players to beat you. Devery Henderson, Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, and Jeremy Shockey can all be dangerous on a given play, and with a quarterback the quality of Drew Brees under center, they will still be able to put up points on anyone in the league.

2. Atlanta Falcons, Projected Record 11-5

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    2. Atlanta Falcons, Projected Record 11-5

    Just because I couldn't vault the Falcons ahead of the Saints doesn't mean they aren't a good team. They can't put up the offensive numbers the Saints do, but I'd say their trio of top offensive threats in Michael Turner, Tony Gonzalez, and Roddy White is far better than the players filling those spots in New Orleans.

    The issue, as I illustrated when talking about the Saints, is depth. Beyond those three guys, the caliber of the Falcons' players drops off precipitously. Add that the defenses are both about equally bad, and that Matt Ryan, as much as I think he's getting ready for a solid season, isn't on the same level as Drew Brees, and the Falcons must be second.

3. Carolina Panthers, Projected Record 7-9

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    3. Carolina Panthers, Projected Record 7-9

    Watching how head coach John Fox will handle the dilemma of whether to start Matt Moore or Jimmy Clausen this season should be very interesting to watch. Fox has been rumored to be on the hot seat for several years now, and so it will be interesting to see how much he's willing to risk a lost season to get Clausen some playing time.

    The real story in Carolina will be, as it has been for the past few years, is the simply ridiculous backfield pairing of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. It is my firm belief that both of these guys are in the top ten amongst running backs in the league, but neither gets full credit because they split time with the other.

    In spite of their talent on the ground, whether Moore or Clausen is starting there won't be much experience under center. Add a lack of passing threats outside of an aging "The Real" Steve Smith, and that the defense will no doubt take a hit with the loss of Julius Peppers, and it seems likely that the Panthers won't be a playoff threat this year.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Projected Record 4-12

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    4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Projected Record 4-12

    What can be said about Tampa Bay? Their two main offensive threats, Cadillac Williams and Kellen Winslow, are both coming off of off-season surgeries, and both have had multiple surgeries in the past. For once, draft experts were exactly right about a player, in this case Josh Freeman: he has a great arm, but at times is wildly inaccurate.

    The arrival of Gerald McCoy will likely bring some relief to a defense ranked 27th in the league last year, but not enough to pull the Buccaneers out of the cellar, particularly when you consider the quality of their divisional opponents.

    Next up, the AFC West.

1. Oakland Raiders, Projected Record 9-7

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    1. Oakland Raiders, Projected Record 9-7

    I bet you completely forgot I said I had a big surprise for you later. Well, here it is. Before you start yelling about how I clearly am outside of my mind, just hear me out. Please?

    Thank you. Anyway, basically my choice on who my number one team for this division would be came down to Oakland and San Diego. I'll talk about the qualms I had about the Chargers later.

    Here's what I see when I look at the Raiders: youth and talent everywhere. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Chaz Schilens, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Louis Murphy, Zach Miller, Michael Bush, and Darren McFadden are all decent or better weapons at new quarterback Jason Campbell's disposal.

    Add to that a decent defense led by cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (little known fact: if you zoom the map out, you will actually see that Revis Island can be found inside the Sea of Asomugha), and I came to the following conclusion: if you stripped both teams of all their colors and just compared them as Team A and Team B, the Raiders appear on paper to be the better team.

2. San Diego Chargers, Projected Record 8-8

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    2. San Diego Chargers, Projected Record 8-8

    OK, so I guess I'll start with what I like about the Chargers. Philip Rivers is a superior quarterback to his Oakland counterpart. Also, the Raiders lack an offensive talent that can compare with Antonio Gates.

    Now the bad news. The Chargers had a middle-of-the-road defense last year, and have grown weaker through the loss of Antonio Cromartie. Add that they've been locked in a contract dispute with Shawne Merriman for much of the off-season, and there is a lot of bad mojo around that side of the ball heading into the season.

    The off-season also saw the departure of LaDanian Tomlinson, a necessary parting of ways, but one that now leaves the rushing attack in the hands of rookie Ryan Matthews. Now, half back is a position that makes for a relatively easy transition from college to the NFL, but I'm nevertheless skeptical that a first-year starter will be able to come in and, if you'll pardon the pun, hit the ground running.

    Add the uncertainty about Vincent Jackson's future, and even with the addition of Patrick Crayton, the negatives seem to be counterbalancing the positives. That's why I picked the Raiders to win the division.

3. Denver Broncos, Projected Record 6-10

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    3. Denver Broncos, Projected Record 6-10

    Has there ever been more hype about a third-string quarterback? I certainly can't remember there being more talk about a player as unlikely to play as Tim Tebow. Yes, he was a great college quarterback. But this is the NFL, and he's not ready for the kind of football they play on Sundays yet.

    I can understand why there's so much talk about Tebow though: there's little else to talk about when it comes to the Broncos. Kyle Orton is average, and will be made worse by the departure of Brandon Marshall. Elvis Dumervil, the team's sack leader, is already out for the year. Knowshon Moreno has turned into a quality running back, but with no real threat in the passing game, he may face eight-man defensive fronts often. Even if Tebow does see the field this season, this team doesn't look to be going anywhere.

4. Kansas City Chiefs, Projected Record 4-12

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    4. Kansas City Chiefs, Projected Record 4-12

    Double Dwayne Bowe All The Way may be my second favorite fantasy team name this year behind My Vick in a Box, but that's about all I can say positively about this team for now.

    Matt Cassel looks pedestrian without the Patriots O-Line in front of him, and while the running tandem of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones ought to be fierce, limited weapons in the passing game and a porous defense will probably be more than enough to negate their efforts.

    Maybe trying to create Patriots West in Kansas City will work out eventually, but this year is not the year that is likely to happen.

    And now, on to the final division, the NFC West.

1. San Francisco 49ers, Projected Record 10-6

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    1. San Francisco 49ers, Projected Record 10-6

    The 49ers are the class of this division, which is a statement in and of itself about the weakness of the NFC West.

    Yes, the 49ers are talented on both sides of the ball, with the likes of Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, and Michael Crabtree on offense and Patrick Willis leading the defense. My problem with the 49ers, as it is with every team in this division, is the man under center, Alex Smith.

    I'm not saying that Smith's not talented; you don't get drafted first overall by chance. It's just that he hasn't shown that he can lead a team in the NFL. He's going to get another chance this season with a group of talented players around him in a weak division. If he can't get it done, San Francisco may have to cut him loose.

2. Seattle Seahawks, Projected Record 7-9

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    2. Seattle Seahawks, Projected Record 7-9

    All Pete Carroll did at USC was win 9 or 10 games every year. While I don't think his arrival will turn Seattle into an instant contender, I do believe that there's something about coaches who win that brings out the best in players.

    Bad news first: the Seahawks were in the bottom quarter of the league overall defense last year, something the addition of rookie safety Earl Thomas won't fix. Matt Hasselbeck isn't getting any younger, and there aren't any wide receivers on this team that will scare any of the Seahawks' opponents.

    The good news is that the Seahawks got nearly 1000 yards of offense out of running back Justin Forsett last year, and that it seems that the team is relatively healthy this season. John Carlson is one of the most underrated tight ends in the league, and the team is in a soft division. I don't expect a playoff berth from this team, but they ought to be much improved from last year.

3. Arizona Cardinals, Projected Record 7-9

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    3. Arizona Cardinals, Projected Record 7-9

    How unfortunate for Larry Fitzgerald. In one year he goes from a potential future Hall of Famer at quarterback to a guy who couldn't even keep his job as starter for the lowly Browns. Granted, Fitz may be the most talented receiver in the league, but you have to expect a drop in productivity with Derek Anderson under center.

    Head coach Ken Whisenhunt has been talking about returning to something closer resembling the smashmouth style of football reminiscent of his Pittsburgh roots. Between Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower, they have the halfback talent to make it happen, but can this team successfully transition away from the heavy passing game that led them to a Super Bowl two years ago?

    My first instinct is to say not immediately, and not with Derek Anderson as signal caller. Expect last year's division champ to struggle.

4. St. Louis Rams, Projected Record 4-12

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    4. St. Louis Rams, Projected Record 4-12

    Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford will be getting most of the publicity this year, but this offense is still going to run through Stephen Jackson. His job will not be easy, as a dearth of quality receiving options means teams are going to load up to stop the run.

    Add that the Rams are still going to have one of the worst defenses in the league, and even if Bradford turns out to be the real deal, there's little hope for St. Louis this season.

    Finally, we come to the playoff predictions and Super Bowl champion.

Postseason Predictions

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    Postseason Predictions

    If you've been keeping track so far, you should have these as my listed playoff teams:

    AFC: 1. Indianapolis, 2. New York, 3. Cincinnati, 4. Oakland, 5. Baltimore, 6. Miami/Pittsburgh/Houston.

    NFC: 1. Dallas, 2. Green Bay, 3. New Orleans, 4. San Francisco, 5. Atlanta, 6. Minnesota.

    I'm feeling generous, so I'm going to assume Houston makes it to their first ever playoff berth on tiebreakers.

    From there, here's how I would see the playoffs playing out:

    Wild Card

    Cincinnati over Houston. The Bengals are the better defensive team and the more complete offensive team.

    Baltimore over Oakland. The Ravens defense ought to be more than enough to stop the Raiders.

    Minnesota over New Orleans. Brett Favre gets his revenge.

    Atlanta over San Francisco. Having Alex Smith as their starter finally bites the 49ers.

    Divisional

    Baltimore over Indianapolis. Despite popular belief to the contrary, Peyton Manning has been a mediocre postseason QB, a fact that the Ravens will take advantage of.

    Cincinnati over New York. The Bengals have enough weapons to give the Jets trouble, and Mark Sanchez just isn't good enough to win a close postseason game yet.

    Minnesota over Dallas. Tony Romo continues to be Tony Romo, and the Cowboys postseason struggles continue.

    Green Bay over Atlanta. The Falcons lack both the defense to stop the Packers and the threats in the passing game to take advantage of Green Bay's weak secondary.

    Championship

    Cincinnati over Baltimore. I know, it's nuts, but in the battle of two teams I see as mirror images of each other, I'm going to take the more experienced quarterback in the clutch.

    Green Bay over Minnesota. Could Brett Favre's career (probably) end in a more fitting manner than if he were to loft up an ill-advised pass that is intercepted and leads to a defeat in Lambeau in the NFC Championship? I think not.


Super Bowl Champ

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    Super Bowl Champ

    Super Bowl Prediction: Green Bay 30, Cincinnati 24.

    Now, were I the only one to be picking the Packers, I'd feel like a terrible homer with no real knowledge of the game. But apparently many football pundits are leaning the same way, which means they see what I see in terms of this team's potential.

    I'm vacillating on whether the fact that many "experts" share my belief in this team is a good thing or a bad thing. In the end, I guess I'd rather be picked to be on top than on bottom.

    Anyway, this is just for fun, and I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions or comments, don't be afraid to write. Best of luck to everyone's team this season.