NFL Predictions: Division Standings, Playoff Predicitions and Super Bowl Picks
While it is only Week 9 of the NFL season, we have a pretty good idea on who is for real and what teams are pretending so far. The jury may still be out on the Titans, Texans, Bengals and Buccaneers, but I am here to answer any questions about whether those teams can play.
The Eagles got off to a terrible start but have since rebounded against the Redskins and Cowboys. The Bears got off to a poor start as well after hosting the NFC Championship game last season. The team that no one should be surprised about, however, is the Bills. They were picked by all to win the AFC East. At least I'm pretty sure.
With eight weeks left, I am going to take it upon myself to predict the final standings for all eight divisions. I am also going to give a full playoff preview with picks all the way up to the Super Bowl.
Without further ado, let's get started.
P.S. I must warn all, I am a cheese head. If any of you clicked on this article hoping to find out your favorite team won the Super Bowl, you might as well click out of this right now. The Packers are winning the Super Bowl. I'm sorry.
But hey, maybe your favorite AFC team got the honor of getting whipped by Green Bay in the big game. Or maybe your favorite NFC team made it all the way to the NFC Championship game before getting wrecked.
You never know, so you might as well read on.
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There, the first division. Why don't we just cut the whole analysis thing and just get right down to the surprises. Anything shock you here? Hmm...
Well, the Jets are 8-8. Honestly, that shouldn't be too shocking considering their defense is now suddenly letting people run all over them and their offense is having a really hard time scoring. After barely squeezing in two years ago at 9-7 and then going 11-5 last year, this is finally the year where they can't fight their way in.
The Bills? 12-4? What?
It's true. Their offense has a lot of weapons that will win them a lot of games the rest of the year. It's a quarterback driven league and while Fitzpatrick might not be as good as his numbers so far this year suggest, he also could be better than his numbers suggest.
Fred Jackson is also having a career year and, even though he's 30, he has plenty of miles left and he'll continue to be a beast this year.
Also, the Dolphins won't go 0-16. They'll beat the Redskins in Week 10.
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Again, any surprises?
Well, the Bengals, just like the Bills, went 12-4. But, they went 12-4 for a different reason, that being their defense. Their defense is playing out of its mind right now and I don't see why it can't stay very good for the rest of the year. Andy Dalton is playing very well and when the game gets close he'll pull out the win more often than not. Yeah, I know I can't assume that considering he's a rookie, but that's what I'm predicting for this season. Ha.
The Ravens cannot lose to the Jaguars. They cannot almost lose to the Cardinals at home. No, just no. They are still a very good team and will likely win a lot of games still, but with the Steelers and Bengals in their division, they will not see the playoffs this season.
The Browns losing the rest of their games? Yeah, I guess so. Look, Colt McCoy is a good young player, but he's not ready to start winning games when he's shouldering most of the load. In time, probably. But not now. The only chance they have is with Peyton Hillis, and considering the Madden Curse is now fully in effect, the Browns will go down with him.
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Brandon Flowers is a beast and will play like it the rest of the season. The Chiefs got off to a miserable start to the season when they went 0-3, but with the Chargers finding ways to lose every week and Carson Palmer's inevitable bust in Oakland, the Chiefs will again win this division.
Yes, I know I have the Tebow led Broncos to not win another game this season, but really, it's not that hard to believe. The Broncos beat the Dolphins, needing a late game comeback to do so, and Tebow has been the worst quarterback in the league in his first two starts, hands down. That may be harsh, but that's what I've seen. While I think Tebow will improve, not even Kyle Orton, a solid quarterback, could help this Brandon Loyd-less team win a game the rest of the year. Sorry Broncos fans.
Back to Flowers. He will help the Chiefs do something that no one else in this division was able to do. His pick six late in the fourth quarter will secure his Chiefs an upset victory over the Green Bay Packers in Week 15.
Yeah, that's right.
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Not too many shocked here, I presume? Who am I to presume, though, you all have probably fallen out of your chairs by now.
I just think the Texans are the best team in this division. 10-6 seems like a reasonable record with them when you consider they'll get Andre Johnson back soon and Arian Foster has returned to being the best running back in the AFC.
The Titans, I think, are not a bad team. But with Chris Johnson seemingly retired already, that will kill their season. Hasselbeck will slow down and the defense will have its share of problems, even if ultimately remaining solid.
The Colts will beat the Jaguars twice and the Titans.
The Jaguars will not win many games with their quarterback situation. Gabbert is simply not ready yet. Not at all.
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Yes, I know the Eagles started 1-4, but I bet many of you had them starting 10-1. So why not finishing the season that way?
The Eagles are a talented team and as long as Andy Reid is there, he will most likely fix any problems. I think he'll fix them in time for a wild card, but that is my opinion.
Eli Manning is having a remarkable season, and as long as the quarterback is playing well, you're in good hands. I never hated Eli or thought he wasn't a good quarterback, and he is making me look good with his play so far this season.
Tony Romo. He's lucky I have the Cowboys winning seven games and not five.
Honestly, I don't think the Redskins are that good. Their running game will disappoint the rest of the way and their quarterback, whoever it is, will blow. Hard. Sorry Redskin fans.
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The Packers are still the best team in the league, even with blemishes against the Giants and Chiefs on the road.
The Vikings will be much improved under Christian Ponder while Adrian Peterson continues his monster season and Jared Allen wins Defensive Player of the Year.
The Bears got off to a rocky start and their line is still really bad even if it has greatly improved. Yes, it was that bad at the start of the season. But Jay Cutler is having his best season, and as long as Matt Forte is getting touches, the Bears will be tough to beat.
Now, on to the Lions. Even though the 49ers and Falcons are good teams, losing back-to-back games at home is really discouraging. I take no account of their 35-point win against the horrendous Broncos by the way, so don't try me. I think the Lions will struggle with a lot of teams the rest of the year. With a clean sweep by the Packers and losing to the Bears at Soldier Field, it will prove to be too much to overcome.
Hey, do you remember the last time the Lions started 6-2? The year was 2007, and they finished 7-9. It almost hurts to laugh, doesn't it?
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There shouldn't be too many surprises with the Cardinals and Seahawks, who both suck, but the Rams and 49ers may surprise some.
The only reason I say that with the Rams is because I have them winning six games even though many have them pegged in the Suck for Luck sweepstakes. While they have sucked so far this season, I think getting Bradford back along with Brandon Loyd will really help this offense. Steven Jackson being healthy and the emotions riding high after beating the Saints last Sunday will push this Rams team over the top in a couple more games this year. Don't forget this team went 7-9 last season and are playing in the worst division of all time, save for the...
49ers! They are also in a terrible division and will easily sweep the division games. That will help them to challenge the Packers for home field advantage, but based on strength of victory, the Packers receive the top seed.
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The Buccaneers lost to a good Bears team the last time they played, and they didn't have any healthy running back besides Kregg Lumpkin. He was a former Packers practice squad regular, so trust me when I say he sucks. Besides that, I still believe in Josh Freeman and that Blount will come back and continue being a very good running back. Their defense will play well enough to win them plenty of games the rest of the way.
The Saints, after losing to the Rams last week, I mean, c'mon. Now, the Saints did lose to the Cardinals and Browns last season and still went 11-5. Maybe it's just in the Saints game plan every season to lose to awful teams and still make the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Saints, they will go 10-6 this season and miss out on the playoffs because of the strength of the NFC. Sorry Saints fans.
The Falcons are too talented not to be in it until the end this season, and that's what I think will happen with them. I have them at 10-5 playing the Buccaneers, also at 10-5, in Week 17 with a chance at the division. Unfortunately, his name is Josh Freeman, and again I have to apologize. Sorry Falcons fans.
AFC Wild Card Round
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Bills @ Texans: Bills
Bengals @ Chiefs: Bengals
The Texans finally get to play in a playoff game but unfortunately for them, they ran into a man named Ryan Fitzpatrick. He will shred the Texans defense in this contest and Steve Johnson will catch two touchdowns. Not a knock on the Texans, just a praise for a man on a mission.
The Bengals will knock off the Chiefs just because the Chiefs are not built to win in the postseason. Matt Cassel is not a good quarterback. I'm really sorry Chiefs fans. While they are capable of winning 10 games, they aren't capable of overcoming the Bengals defense. The legend of Andy Dalton begins.
NFC Wild Card Round
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Bears @ Giants: Giants
Eagles @ Buccaneers: Buccaneers
Even though the Bears offensive line will improve as the season goes on, they will not be able to handle the Giants stout pass-rush. In this game, the Giants will prevent Forte from destroying them and they will force Cutler to fall apart. Sorry Bears fans, but the Giants keep their improbable run going.
Two words. LeGarrette Blount. 183 yards and three touchdowns against the Eagles in the Wild Card Round. You heard it here first.
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Bills @ Steelers: Steelers
Bengals @ Patriots: Patriots
The Patriots pass defense is not going to get them to the Super Bowl, but it can survive when it only has to worry about Andy Dalton. No knock on him, but Dalton vs. Brady? I'll take Brady, thank you.
The Bills had a nice run, but with Ben Roethlisberger in his prime and the Steelers defense still having this year left in the tank, they'll beat the Bills.
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Buccaneers @ Packers: Packers
Giants @ 49ers: 49ers
The Packers, even with Aaron Rodgers struggling against Tampa Bay, will win this game. Obviously, no surprise here considering they're going to win it all, remember?
The 49ers, well, I just think they'll take care of business at home. There's no matchup that is clearly in favor of the 49ers that will propel them to a victory, just home-field advantage. That's all there going to need in this game, though. Sorry Giants fans.
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Patriots @ Steelers: Steelers
This is where the Patriots defense loses them games. We're talking playoff football, and while I do think the Patriots defense is better than people give them credit for, they won't be able to stop Ben Roethlisberger enough times in this game to give Brady a legit chance. The Steelers go to the Super Bowl for the second straight season.
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49ers @ Packers: Packers
C'mon, this really shouldn't be that surprising. Aaron Rodgers will once again make 49ers fans cry like babies that they have Alex Smith instead of him, even though Smith might be resurrecting his career.
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You knew who was going to win this game before you read this article (if you read the first slide, that is) but at least you found out it would be a rematch of last year's Super Bowl. Ben Roethlisberger will play better in this game then he did last year and will actually lead this game 24-20 with 3:05 left in the fourth quarter, but this time Aaron Rodgers will have the ball in his hands last and he will not disappoint. A touchdown pass to Jermichael Finley with 45 seconds left will give the Packers the win for the second year in a row. Sorry Steelers fans, but at least you made it.
Thanks for reading my article, I hope I didn't slight your favorite team too hard.