I called the Chargers defeating the Cowboys last year. Well, that did not go so well. So I will give it another shot this year. We all want to see the Packers versus the Jets in the Super Bowl, but here is what I think will happen:
1. Chargers (14-2)
With a healthy Philip Rivers, the Chargers would have replaced the Patriots last season in the AFC Championship game.
The Chargers defense is, in my opinion the best in the NFL. They got a rough and fast defense that can stop anyone.
On the offensive end they got the best running back in the game with LaDanian Tomlinson (the new LT) and an impressive QB in Philip Rivers. They lost RB Michael Turner and Lorenzon Neal, who took pressure off LT, but Sproles is the speedy back that will be very effective with former LSU champion Jacob Hester paving the way.
The Chargers are deep and with Norv Turner getting this team off the pressure of not winning in the post season, they are on their way to leading the AFC.
2. Steelers (12-4)
The Steelers are my favorite to win the AFC North because they have one of the most balanced teams in the NFL. If Willie Parker was not out at the end of last season, who knows, the No. 1 defensive team could have made a run.
They lost Alan Faneca, who was the leader of the weak offensive line, but they have made moves to make the offensive line a strength in the offseason.
They had the best draft, including steals RB Rashard Mendenhall and Roethlisberger's new favorite target, Limas Sweed.
Big Ben was one of the most consistent quarterbacks last season and he will grow to get even better. He needs to learn to slide and not take hits so he can stay healthy. Expect a MVP caliber season from him.
3. Colts (12-4)
Payton Manning is still the best QB in the NFL right now. The defense for the Colts was banged up last season and WR Marvin Harrison was missed.
The Colts are fully healthy and brought back Dominic Rhodes to give the Colts a pounder that was effective when they won the Super Bowl in the 2006 season.
The Jaguars, Titans, and Texans are all getting better, but Manning is Manning. Freeney and Sanders on defense will also make sure they get back to that defense we saw in the playoffs that led to a Super Bowl.
4. New York Jets (10-6)
Wait, the Jets win the AFC East over the Patriots? No typo here. I had them finishing behind the Patriots before they brought the rejuvinated Brett Favre in with all of their key additions. Adding a QB that can take the Packers from 4-12 to the NFC Championship will bring the same luck for this 4-12 team.
The Jets have been built to win now. LB Faneca, TE Bubba Franks, LB Calvin Pace, and T Jenkins are all veterans who make this team much better. Also, first round pick Vernon Gholston is going to be a beast for the defense.
The Jets have an O-Line with Thomas Jones running behind it. Jones will get back to his old form he was at when he got the Bears to the Super Bowl. This team is too deep and talented not to like.
They do remind me of the Packers of last season and Favre happens to be the QB for this team too.
5. Browns (10-6)
The most surprising team last season will make sure that season was not a fluke.
Their question came on defense, where they added defensive tackles Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams. That just made them a whole lot better. They lacked players who can rush and now have a combo that will be a threat.
Their offense will put up huge numbers, headed by RB Jamal Lewis and QB Derek Anderson. WR Donte Stallworth was added to give them another team threat.
This will be the most exciting team to watch next season.
6. Jaguars (10-6)
They had a great year last season, but lacked a pass rush. Their secondary was amazing, but the rush was ok. Look out for rookie Derrick Harvey to make the Pro Bowl.
Another question was with the passing. Wide receivers Jerry Porter and Trow Williamson are the playmakers they need.
The fastest team in the NFL will make a run again next season and hope to get to the Super Bowl, which is not that far away from them in Tampa Bay.
What? Where are the Patriots? I do not think they will make the playoffs. They are older and that secondary is nothing special. I think they go 10-6, but still miss out.
People say their schedule is "easy" but every team they play gets better, like the Jets and Bills.
1. Vikings (14-2)
They finished the season strong last season and will carry that to this season.
Favre leaving the Packers makes their road easier. QB Tavaris Jackson is the big time player I saw in college. I am happy they are sticking with him. He was in his first official year starting last season. Give him time. He can be better than McNabb. He just needs to stay healthy.
Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor make up the best one-two punch in the NFL. The Vikings added Bernard Berrian from the Bears to be a playmaker for them on offense.
The defense has become the best in the NFC by adding S Michael Boulware and DE Jared Allen. They are too good all-around to not win at least 14 games. It does come down to Jackson, but trust me, he will impress you.
2. Cowboys (12-4)
The favorites to win are playing in the toughest division in football. They have enough talent to win it all, and adding speedsters RB Felix Jones and CB Adam Jones makes them that much better.
This is do or die for the Cowboys before they move to a new stadium. Jerry Jones put too much into this team to not win a Super Bowl.
I think Tony Romo is overrated since he has not risen in a big game, but this team is too deep to play in too many close games. Comes down to what they can do in the playoffs.
3. Saints (11-5)
Two years ago they were the best team in the NFC. The most electric offense was bruised up last season and the defense looked like it got washed up in the hurricane.
They are more talented now after adding to their defense LB Jonathan Vilma, CB Randal Gay, and LB Dan Morgan. Reggie Bush is also going to be a whole lot better with Deuce McAllister coming back. They also added another weapon in Jeremy Shockey, who can block and catch big passes up the middle.
The Saints will get back to that speedy lineup with QB Drew Brees leading the way. Expect them to have a big season and look to return to the NFC Championship game.
4. Eagles (11-5)
This was the best team in the NFC at the end of the season, aside from the Giants. McNabb was banged up as usual and if he can stay healthy this year, they will make big things happen.
Adding Deshawn Jackson on offense gives McNabb that deep threat he wanted. Jackson was great for Cal in college and you can expect big numbers for him this year.
CB Asante Samuel gives the Eagles arguably the best secondary in the NFL. The defense has always been good and it just got better this off season.
RB Brian Westbrook was the offense for the Eagles last year. Look for him to carry them again. He is in his prime right now and will continue to roll.
This team lived in the NFC Championship games and got to the Super Bowl, and you can look for them to get back there.
5. Cardinals (10-6)
They will win the NFC West, not with Matt Leinert, but with Kurt Warner running the team. Kevin Wisenhunt knows how to win and will most likely go with Warner.
This offense was one of the best last year with receivers Larry Fritzgerald and Anquan Boldin being the best combo in the NFL. The O-Line got stronger, which can help Edgerrin James get back to his old self.
The defense was sad to watch, but rookie CB Cromartie, LB Haggans, and rookie DE Campbell will lead this defense to get to playoff form.
They make many mental mistakes by getting flagged a lot, but Wisenhunt will make sure that does not happen this season.
Leinart is the starter now at QB, but Warner will take over the job and finally lead this team to the playoffs.
6. Packers (10-6)
No one has more pressure on him than QB Aaron Rodgers, but this team is too talented not to get back to the playoffs.
Rogers, in my opinion, should have been the No. 1 QB taken by the 49ers instead of Alex Smith. He impressed me in college and impressed me once again when he got in against the Cowboys last year.
Overall, the team's defense and offense have all the weapons there. They're very talented, but Rodgers' growth will hold them back a bit, but you should still expect big things from them.
Where are the Giants? Michael Strahan was more important than you think. That combo they had on the D-line got them to the Super Bowl. I think they go 10-6, but miss the playoffs. another reason why they should extend the playoffs.
So who wins?
He put up big numbers last season. Expect him to do the same this year. Reggie Bush on the outside, Meachem, and Shockey will all play big roles that Brees did not have last season.
Defensive Player of the Year— Shaun Rogers
He was impressive for the Lions, and trading him to the Browns was a steal for them. Expect him to stack up huge numbers as he leads this defense.
Coach of the Year—Mike Tomlin
Did a great job last year and was not given enough credit. Well, if there was a coach that went 16-0 you would ignore all the other candidates yourself.
Most Improved Player—Tavaris Jackson
Again, expect big things from him. If he can stay healthy he can be an effective player. He is a running QB, which fits the speed on the offense. Look for him to get the respect he deserves.
Offensive Rookie of the Year—Matt Ryan
I expect him to start game one and take the Falcons to a 8-8 record. He will impress many people as he did for Boston College.
Defensive Rookie of the Year—Verson Gholston
A workout warrior will get the Jets defense paving the way to the playoffs.
Super Bowl Predictions
Eagles defeat Chargers
McNabb will finally get Philly a championship. They are deep and added key pieces this offseason to get them there.
The Chargers are also deep, but will come up short to the Eagles.
I am still not sold on Romo to bring home the big game. McNabb will get his ring and could retire.
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