2011 NFL Predictions: 5 Teams That Won't Repeat as Division Champs
Winning your division in the NFL is supposed to give you an advantage in the postseason, but the truth is that some divisions are much more difficult than others.
In last year's playoffs, three division champs were sent home after one appearance and the sixth seed Green Bay Packers went on to win it all.
There are five teams that will fail to retake the division crown in 2011, however, they may sneak into the NFL's second season with a wild-card bid.
The Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers came out of the NFC North, but the rival Chicago Bears actually stole the regular season division title.
The Packers proved to be the better team in the NFC Championship game and will be the heavy favorites to dethrone the Bears up north in the NFC.
The Lions are on the prowl and the Vikings are sailing forward from last season's shipwreck, but the Pack will beat out the Bears for a postseason berth.
Chicago will be competing for a wild card slot.
1. Green Bay Packers (13-3)
2. Chicago Bears (10-6)
3. Detroit Lions (8-8)
4. Minnesota Vikings (7-9)
If the injury bug strikes again in 2011, the Colts won't be as lucky. Although as long as Manning is behind center, Indy is still the favorite in the division.
The Jaguars made an effort at bringing down the Colts in the AFC South last season, but came up short. This year it will be the Houston Texans led by last year's rushing champion, Arian Foster, and one of the NFL's top wideouts, Andre Johnson.
The Texans defense has improved and their offense has the talent to finally reach the postseason. The Colts will join them as a Wild Card.
1. Houston Texans (10-6)
2. Indianapolis Colts (9-7)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10)
4. Tennessee Titans (5-11)
Kansas City Chiefs
If they want a second chance, a wild-card birth is their best bet.
The Bolts' defense isn't the best, but it will be enough to dethrone the Chiefs who benefited from an easier schedule in 2010.
1. San Diego Chargers (10-6)
2. Kansas City Chiefs (8-8)
3. Oakland Raiders (7-9)
4. Denver Broncos (5-11)
The reigning runner-ups will come up a hair short in their quest for the AFC North crown in 2011 after winning the division tie-breaker against Baltimore last season.
The Ravens will edge out the Steelers as the rivalry heats up when the two top defenses fight for a higher seed.
Baltimore will avenge last year's playoff defeat and make Big Ben's path back to the big game much more difficult.
1. Baltimore Ravens (12-4)
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
3. Cleveland Browns (7-9)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-12)
The miracle in Seattle last season is over and won't reoccur now that Tarvaris Jackson has replaced Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback.
The NFC West will be an interesting division again in 2011, but the Seahawks won't be in the race for the top spot and may even fall to the bottom. Their defense is shot and the offense is void of weapons.
The Rams are on the rise and look to be the preseason favorites out west.
1. St. Louis Rams (9-7)
2. Arizona Cardinals (7-9)
3. San Francisco 49ers (7-9)
4. Seattle Seahawks (5-11)